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What are your modular GCSE strategies?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by brookes, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. As some of you will know, I've inherited a department with year 10s doing the modular GCSE for the first time. I hoped that the first unit's results would confirm we should go back to linear, but they were unfortunately too good(!) so I'm continuing with modular. However, I'm struggling to fit the recommended teaching hours for Higher in to the time available. I know that other schools are incredibly organised when it comes to entering students for each unit and they respond quickly to results in terms of resits. They also do Unit 2 before Unit 1 and enter promising Foundation students for the Higher tier when it comes to Unit 3. I just can't figure out the timings which make this manageable. I would really appreciate hearing how you organise the course.
  2. We currentlty have year 10 and 11 running parallel as we've gone to a three year KS4. We've done AQA Modular Spec B. Year 10 did module 3 in March last year, module 1 in June last year. They've re-sat modules 1 and 3 where necessary this year in March and will sit module 5 to bank Cs.
    Year 9 currently have done unit 2 in March, unit 1 in June, then unit 3 next year. In September I think we'll do unit 1 in March, unit 2 in November (year 10), then unit 3 in June (year 10).

    Hope that makes sense. It's very interesting to see how everyone else is doing it.
  3. Sorry if its a bit off topic.
    In a 3 year KS4 what do you do when the good kids complete the GCSE very quickly?
  4. Yes Betamale, and therein lies the problem. There is usually something for most other abilities to do (C/D borderliners can either have another go if they didn't get a C or have a go at higher if they did, those on a B can try for an A ect) but it's a real problem for those with ability. I've seen pupils sitting GCSE a year early and start A level only to be totally turned off by it and not go on to University level maths.

    I think it is a particular problem in 11-16 schools, with sixth form colleges usually reluctant for schools to start teaching pupils any of the A level modules.

    My own school has done stats GCSE but that doesn't take more than a term to do at most. They then did some 'extension work' but it was a real hard job keeping that going and maintaining their interest. So yes, a problem to which I have not seen a good solution. We have ceased to do early entry now.
  5. Are some schools giving over the time to other GCSE subjects? Not sure whether it applies to all subjects (especially core ones like maths) but I think one of the schools near me gives their students the chance to pick up an extra GCSE or two once they have completed their first bunch of options...
  6. Yes, I've heard of schools allowing pupils to either pick another subject to do or to spend more time on revision for other subjects. That must be a nightmare for schools to timetable and not entirely satisfactory if the pupil wants to go on and study maths at A level, I can't see the break being a good idea.
  7. Hi Sara
    Thanks for your response.
    We had some November entires who have got Cs and are 'kicking around' not wanting to do more and were the 'bright naughty ones'. They no longer turn up to lessons. We also have students who have done higher GCSEs and cannot make the transition to AS alone as there is not a class for them (5-6 students) and will not now be entered for the C1/C2/S1 exam in summer as they are getting E/Us (after getting A/A star at GCSE)
    I think FSMQ is hard but a nice learning curve for kids and also think stats is for kids who wont go any further with maths post 16.
  8. I have been following this topic with some interest over the last few days and I thought I would put forward my experiences of what presently is happening at my school.
    We were previously a school in special measures for some time and hence our department was under immense scrutiny from Ofsted. Our pass rates were extremely low not only in Maths but elsewhere in other subjects. Ultimately we managed to get out of special measures through various means and ended up being a Fresh Start school. Under this regime we did not succeed in achieving the old 30% threshold of 5 A* - C including English and Maths and hence came under the umbrella of National Challenge status.
    This status, along with the extra funding, ceases to exist as of the end of the present academic year.
    We have been able to put in place a plan of action that has significantly increased our departments A* - C, A* -G and overall CVA.
    Presently our current Year 11 have not only been entered for the Edexcel modular exams, so far completing units 1 and 2, but have also taken the Linear in November, last year, to "bank" not only C+ grades but also "catch" persistent non attenders. Our philosophy within the department has been that if a student has achieved a C+ grade (in November Linear) and has also achieved their FFT (PA Type A target) then they, if they so wish, no longer have to do timetabled Maths and are placed in a seperate supervised class to catch up and revise for other subjects that they have fallen behind on. This has then given us the opportunity to reduce our Year 11 class sizes making them more managable and concentrating not only on our C/D borderline students but those that have yet to achieve or exceed their FFT.
    May I point out at this time and it is something that needs to be shared in this forum.
    I had a meeting with my National Challenge Advisor, along with the Head of English last Friday, as we are trying to match up all students who have gained or have potential to obtain both C+ grades in both subjects.
    The matter of no longer being under the umbrella of National Challenge and the consequences of funding being withdrawn arose. Running both Modular and Linear is expensive.
    The advisor stated and will comfirm this via email to me, that any student can be entered for both Modular and Linear for their final exam in June. Therefore dual entry, even though I have been told otherwise, is allowed. They have confirmation from the JQC stating such.
    Therefore having had a department meeting yesterday after school our approach will be so.
    In April when present Year 11 unit 2 results come in, we will look at how far they will be away from achieving their FFT target grade via the Modular route. If sufficiently close these students will not only be entered for the final unit 3 exam but also the Linear. All others that do not fit the criteria will be entered solely for the Linear. Therefore some students will still have two opportunities to gain and achieve to their potential.
    As for the new specification coming into play our plan for Year's 10 and 9 are as follows.
    Year 10 have completed units 1 and 2 and will sit the final unit 3 exam in June. Again depending on them meeting the above criteria the opportunity to sit the 1380 Linear exam will be available in November this year and finally March next year. If they are unsuccessful then the new specification will have to be taken in June 2012.
    Year 9 will follow a similar path as Year 10.
    Sorry for being so long in this response but I wanted to share our experience.
    I have looked at the new specification and am worried, due to the content it has and how the functional skills element comes into play. We are playing the system I know, which is driven by results unfortunately.
    I have more to say on this and hopefully this topic will continue. I am presently looking at a whole new conceptual and instructional curriculum, for KS3 initially, as of September which has far reaching implications on our department.
    I hope the above has been of some use and any queries and questions that anyone may have I would be most happy to answer.
  9. Thank you for taking the time to contribute that. Although it is the kind of advice that my faculty's results could benefit from, it does make me feel sad reading it. I have mentioned the linear-and-modular entry for (obviously only) grade C candidates, and have been told the money is not available. My plan at the moment for year 9s is to be taught Unit 1 and Unit 2 concurrently. Higher sets will do both exams in June of year 10. Foundation kids will study both until Christmas and then focus on Unit 1 for half a term (March exam) and then Unit 2 (June exam). I feel that this is the best way of getting Higher kids through the material and Foundation kids through revision.
  10. We do modular... Unit 1 in Nov Year 10, Unit 2 in June Year 10. Year 11 sets will be based on resits/entry tiers. Resits will be in Nov Year 11 (maybe also March Year 11 if needed). C/D borderliners will sit linear in January in addition... they will have a few spare lessons only from March so not a lot of "spare time" to fill.

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