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Which GCSE Science Course to choose?

Discussion in 'Science' started by Ver_Duchess, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. Hi, I work in a PRU and will be running a GCSE Science course in September and could do with some advice on which exam boards / courses work and which to definitely avoid. Problems that the pupils have are : EBD, generally low ability and low attendance. Also pupils often arrive halfway through a school year. Any help would be very much appreciated!
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Avoid OCR 21st century - heavily text / worksheet based. It's best for highish ability students.
  3. Looking for a sraightforward course in which the students can achieve grade C and above? Look at CCEA's Single award Science course. Its modular approach is "hit and run" - keeps students on task and assessment follows the teaching 6 times in the 2 year course.
  4. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    We have found btec to be good with our students who might not have found success with gcse. The portfolio nature of it would probably support erratic attenders, provided they have some individual guidance.
  5. Hi, I am in exactly the same position. I am taking over as senior science teacher in a BESD school in September and my remit is to gain good science GCSE's for the the students attending. I have looked at 21st Century Foundation and Higher, AQA Entry Level and Science A and BTec.
    At present I am tempted by the 21st Century and BTec courses. I am seeing my County Science Adviser soon and I will get back to you if I get any more information.
  6. fiendishlyclever

    fiendishlyclever Occasional commenter

    I work in a special school so similar situation.

    I used to do level 1 BTEC but the point score was dropped when the FLT version came out, so I won't be running it again. However BTEC is a nightmare to run with poor attenders and you spend half your time trying to catch these up while keeping the others moving too.

    I'm running OCR gateway alongside their entry level since I have a wide range of abilities in my group next year.
  7. BTEC is the way forward from my personal experience. I work with SEBD pupils and they love the tasks involved. Sell it to them as 2 GCSEs A-C equivalent and no exams involved!. Attendance has not proved to be an issue, the pupils can easily can up when needed. Long as the tasks are short and the pupils can tick them off and see the progress that they are making throughout the course.
  8. fiendishlyclever

    fiendishlyclever Occasional commenter

    The catch is that BTEC requires a certain level of ability & literacy. I've done level 1 BTEC but the spec (and GCSE equivalence) has changed. I still found attendance to be a problem to the point that several students won't get an award. It depends on the ability of your students - and matching a potential qualification to their needs :)
  9. We have gone for OCR Gateway - the language for the specimen exams and CAs was much better and clearer for our students (many of whom have some language difficulties)

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