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Which A level chemistry syllabus?

Discussion in 'Science' started by barryanderson, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. My school currently teaches Edexcel for A level chemistry. We are considering switching to AQA or OCR non-Salters. Does anyone have experience of teaching two or more of these A level chemistry courses? If so, what do you see as their pros and cons?
     
  2. My school currently teaches Edexcel for A level chemistry. We are considering switching to AQA or OCR non-Salters. Does anyone have experience of teaching two or more of these A level chemistry courses? If so, what do you see as their pros and cons?
     
  3. Why not Salters may I ask? I have taught OCR A and found it a bit dry unless contextualised.
     
  4. I've been told that Salters is more difficult for students to do well at. However, I have no experience of it myself.
     
  5. We teach Salters find it perfect for engaging students, don't discount it, until you look carefully at it. The salters courses held at York Uni at the end of the year, are excellent for getting you started.
     
  6. am considering leaving aqa - the grade boundaries on the coursework are insanely high. What's wrong with edexcel that you are changing away?
     
  7. teach what you like.
    The spec only provides the material for an examination after all. It shouldn't stifle pursuit of interest in any way surely
     
  8. Sorry I haven't taught two specs but I am a big fan of OCR in general and especially OCR A. I can't stand Salters based courses.
    Also I can't stand AQA they mix and match things to much rather looking at the information and facts of science.
    Thats a personal view though.
     
  9. I used to teach and examine the old Edexcel spec - before 2008. Seemed then to have a good group of senior markers and was OK to teach - perhaps just a bit too much stuff.
    What's the problem with it now?
    Who knows how they will all change once Gove's plan to get universities to re-write GCE for 2014 has played out [​IMG]
     
  10. With Edexcel we've found there is a lot of material to get through - making the whole thing rather a rush. We deliver AQA for GCSE sciences and for A-level biology and physics. This makes A level chemistry the odd one out for us.
    Edexcel assesses practical skills via more frequent, smaller practicals than the AQA ISA approach. Apart from that they course content looks very similar.
    Thanks for your input, everyone.
     
  11. I think you will find there is a lot to get though with all of them! We currently do AQA, so I don't really know about the other exam boards for a fair comparison, but I would definitely agree with one of the earlier posters who stated the ISA grade boundaries are insanely high. They are also very difficult to prepare students for as the questions come from a wide area of the syllabus, (they are not the same as the Bio and Phys ones). Also with regards to frequent, smaller practicals, 12 of the marks for the ISA actually come from PSAs - six smaller practicals which take a minimum of 1-2 lessons each.
    That said if you are teaching the AQA GCSE it does follow on nicely. If you are good at teaching the practical based skills including calculating error, graphing etc. at GCSE this will help with the ISAs. My one piece of advice if you do decide to do the AQA course would be to provide students about to sit the AS with a pack of HW resources to complete before September. The course assumes they have remembered everything from GCSE and often if they have crammed than let it all drain from their brains over the holidays they can struggle with the first module immensely.
     

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