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Which ICT GCSE?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by essexwideboy, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. essexwideboy

    essexwideboy New commenter

    Hi all,
    Our ebacc kids will be doing a GCSE next year. We haven't done a GCSE since the new specs came out so I am looking for advice as to what is involved with the different boards and which one is the best to deliver?
    Thanks (0:
     
  2. essexwideboy

    essexwideboy New commenter

    Hi all,
    Our ebacc kids will be doing a GCSE next year. We haven't done a GCSE since the new specs came out so I am looking for advice as to what is involved with the different boards and which one is the best to deliver?
    Thanks (0:
     
  3. Several posts recently cover this topic and people give opinions on different boards so try doing a search for those. I am doing AQA - didn't mind the old spec but the new controlled assessment is awful. I hate it, the kids hate it, it is a nightmare to plan. The theory content is fine though.
    Am seriously considering moving over to iGCSE instead. The Cambridge version (via OCR) is accredited for state schools from 2010 but I am still waiting to hear back from Edexcel as to whether theirs is or not. I would prefer Edexcel as it is more accessible for my weaker learners, but I like the rigour and depth of the Cambridge one. Neither has any controlled assessment and has 1 or 2 practical exams instead. Surprised more people aren't moving this way already though with it only being accredited last summer maybe most people don't know about it yet.
     
  4. We are looking at a similar situation and have decided to go with the Edexcel GCSE - looks pretty straightforward. 1 unit of controlled coursework and1 unit of exam theory.
    We would of gone for AQA but on 2 50min lessons a week we thought we would be pushing it for time.
    :)

     
  5. I was going to do the AQA ICT GCSE course as I had heard Edexel admid is awful. However the controlled assignments look at dull as ditchwater- too much boring planning and not enough ICT content- It will bore my students rigid.

    I may risk Edexhell as their specs look less boring.
     
  6. We do new AQA GCSE, it's good. The support is good, there are loads of resources available to purchase.
    The Controlled Assessments are OK too. My kids don't find them too bad, they are generally able, well behaved students on the whole. They seem to vaguely like most of the work too and engage well. Bonus. The guff like planning is kept to a minimum, they have eliminated much of the duplication that was in the previous syllabus A.
    The iGCSE syllabus does however seems to be pick of the bunch, IMHO. Appears recommended for only the very brightest students though!!
     
  7. What type of resources are you referring to? What have you bought? Anything that is helpful that doesn't cost much would be worth knowing about. I use mostly my own stuff and have a subscription to teach-ict which is a big help. I don't think much of the AQA Nelson Thornes textbook - can anyone recommend a better one for AQA?
    My kids didn't like unit 2 that much though I have one girl on about 90%. Fantastic piece of work - best I've ever had. Didn't you think the task itself was pretty boring though? A very simple database, one table, 10 records. In my opinion far too basic. The marking scheme is easier to follow though than the old one.
    I think the unit 3 may be more interesting, particularly if there is a scenario that interests them. There is the opportunity to include more complex features using database and spreadsheet solutions but to be honest, I cannot see in the mark scheme where they would get more marks for doing this. It is still mostly down to their English ability on how well they can explain what they did and that penalises weaker students and foreign students (of which I have several) and not their knowledge/skills in using software and creating a working solution.
    I am trying to plan for unit 3 at the moment and ended up firing tons of questions at my coursework adviser because after 2 days of reading everything over and over I felt I was getting nowhere fast. I will credit AQA - they always reply promptly and they are always really helpful. I had a reply within hours with every point I'd asked well explained. Excellent.
    Referring back to the iGCSE and Edexcel - I finally heard back from them and unfortunately they are NOT accredited in state schools. They are creating Edexcel Certificates which are like the iGCSE but only maths and english are accredited at the moment. I like the Cambridge iGCSE but don't think my weaker candidates will manage it. So looks like I am stuck with gcse for a while longer. Will stick with AQA - better the devil you know and all that.
     
  8. essexwideboy

    essexwideboy New commenter

    Thanks for all the input, nobody mentioning OCR or WJEC interestingly. Will have a look again over the weekend bearing your points in mind. The students here are not the brigtest so I want to do something that is interesting but gets results.
     
  9. Cheers for that.
    I have a copy of the zigzag worksheets for AS and A2 - ok for homeworks and checking knowledge but not enough depth for AQA style exam questions which are much more meaty. Haven't seen the GCSE ones though. Might be worth a look especially for homework tasks.
    I will have a look at the gcse Folens textbook - I use Folens alongside the Nelson Thornes one for AS and A2 - I don't prefer one over the other for that level - both have their pluses and minuses. The kids like it though. Wish I had some budget to buy the CDs that back it up but they aren't cheap.
    The lmceducation stuff looks ok - may need to hassle my budget holder for some money!
    Try thinking of every question you can think of for unit 3 then sending them all to your coursework adviser. I did this and they were very helpful - I feel I know more what I am doing now. I asked if I could post the questions and replies on here but was told I couldn't unfortunately.
    Thanks for your suggestions.
    Wendy
     

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