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Which GCSE syllabus?

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by christopherdavidbonner, May 11, 2011.

  1. Hi all
    With the introduction on E Bacc and many other things going on with our timetables next year, I have a group of about 10 pupils who want to be doing Drama but it won't fit onto their timetable. It was suggested a while back that I teach a second year 10 group next year, but that it is a "period 6", taught after school. We currently teach Btec Drama, rather than GCSE. The downside is that I don't think I'll have enough time to teach all the hours needed for Btec. The good thing is that this small group are all being targeted for E Bacc as they are G&T across the school, meaning I am pretty certain of their capability if we teach GCSE.
    I am an NQT at the moment, so although I have GCSE experience, I haven't been teaching it this year and now need to make some decisions about which one to teach.
    Which syllabus do you follow? How many hours a week/fortnight do you get to teach it in? How many hours should I be suggesting I get?
    Thanks for your help!
    Chris
     
  2. Oh. I spaced all that out nicely, but apparently this forum doesn't understand paragraphing.
     
  3. It doesn't if you use Safari! I found the same!

    I do 5 hours a fortnight for GCSE, I certainly would struggle to do it on less, athough we have little KS3 time so we're covering a lot of ground in Y10!

    As for which spec, it very much depends on you and your strengths and your kids's strengths. Objectively I still like Edexcel the best although paperwork is *crazy* for you! (I'm in the midst of it right now!) If you search on this board there have been a few board comparison threads recently which might be useful to you.

    Good luck! :)
     
  4. Thanks crunchynut. I will have a search and see what comes up. I've been trying to compare it myself. The Edexcel spec looks more interesting, but the AQA seems much easier for those with poor literacy skills. I don't think this group would struggle with the Edexcel, but if this is going be the spec I carry on with, maybe AQA would be a better choice. Might have to take it all in to work and talk it through with anyone who will listen!
     
  5. Although the AQA has an exam but Edexcel doesn't, if I'm right?!
    Gosh, there's so much to take in!
     
  6. Yeah that's right. Usually people opt for Edexcel or OCR with less able but the new Edcel spec coursework is fairly challenging, although I think it may get easier as we get better at delivering it. Certainly the benefit of Edexcel is that it's very practical and there are no written exams or set texts. OCR is similar in structure I think. AQA is a nice spec too depending on whether you could get kids through a written exam. And WJEC I know less about but, from colleagues experiences, they're a great board to deal with.
     
  7. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Hello there,

    I've taught all boards at some point- I am an exam board gypsy.....In summary
    EDEXCEL - No exam but the coursework is quite challenging, so more ideal for practical kids. Board are a nightmare in terms of support which is why I abandoned them.
    AQA - I didnt' enjoy this - It's very 'bitty' and asks candidates to make pointless comparisons between texts etc. But lots of people do use and enjoy it....
    OCR - Quite practical - performing arts emphasis. Supportive board to use.
    WJEC - My preferred one at the moment. Great support from the board.
     
  8. Me too and I agree regarding WJEC.
     
  9. japonica892

    japonica892 New commenter

    I love AQA and the old spec used to be better for more academic pupils due to the written exam which was quite hard and a comparison essay for every practical piece. The new spec is fab the written paper is based around discussing a piece of practical work and then a choice of writing about live theatre or a scripted piece. You can now enter for the written exam a year early (Yr 10) which means if they don't do well they get 2 shots at it but if they get good marks as 90% of mine did they have already finished the course.
    Your practical work is moderated and only a sample of 10 pupils seen (highest and lowest). I have looked into changing in the past but wouldn't now...I have done this course in 1 year with three lessons a week and now we are doing AQA performing Arts next year!

    Love AQA for ease of paperwork and excellent help!
     
  10. Thanks all! I have ended up choosing Edexcel, as I had some idea of it already from my training placements. My mentor from my first placement has been really helpful and there are a few local schools following Edexcel too, so I might try asking them for help if necessary.... will keep you informed!
     
  11. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Which exam board?.......
     
  12. I posted a similar thread. My school are very much behind the BTEC route but I'm just not sure. The OCR course seems pretty good but then again I have no experience of the others; am at a total loss! This will be my first time running a GCSE course and so want to do it right, but also choose the best one for my students
     
  13. Sorry but I have to disagree - I like the Edexcel syllabus simply due to the high percentage of practical work. Yes the paperwork is ridiculous but I really enjoy teaching it and the students love it. I also do Edexcel A level. I am a little nervous though about the moderation for the new syllabus this year - I think I've been pretty fair and maybe a little harsh but they might think I'm being too generous and slash everyone's marks as a result.
    I think there's pros and cons with whatever exam board you choose - it's up to you - you will find which one suits you best.
    Nicky xxx
     
  14. I agree about Edexcel - they are wholly unsupportive and I would never touch their GCSE again!

     

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