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Would like a Computing GCSE but want to avoid OCR

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by violetriga, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. EdExcel will be launching a "Computing Science" course soon. Very few details about it right now though, but at least it's an alternative.
  2. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    Don't forget that IGCSE is now open to state schools
    The Cambridge IGCSE Computer Studies is worth a look - even if it is only for the "alternative to coursework" paper
  3. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    Look you know I don't do computing, actually I can't do computing and don't have any desire to, but hold the phone here kids. You guys are all buying into a GCSE spec (as it's your only option) that has generated a 29% A*- C result set!!! You have to be out of your collective minds.I mean honestly that's crazy. I know you want the subject in, and I fully appreciate that it's challenging, interesting for some and will equip kids with a far better skillset than ant ICT course. But 29%!! You really think that's a wise horse to be backing? I hope for all your sakes that's a pilot result of just a few dozen kids because if the numbers taking it were in the hundreds and the pilot ran across numerous schools then heaven help you in 2014 when your SLT coming asking for answers. Those exam boards are not allowed to see significant moves year on year in grade distributions you know, and I would be crapping my pants if I were starting that OCR spec this September.
    If I were in your shoes I'd run with the Cambridge National or new CIDA/DIDA, take the programming unit inside them, and then see how those GCSE computing results improve over time. At least you can have some element of control over what grades come out the other end that way and you buy yourself a window of opportunity to see how other computing specs and pilots evolve.
    Again 29% - If I was your head and you returned those then I'd pull your subject straight away and now we're all on our way to academies then that's a lot more realistic than ever before.
  4. Have you got a source/link for this data?
  5. The BTEC First I&CT could be an option. A technical exam, a simple "digital portfolio", and a 60 glh programming unit.
  6. rubikwizard

    rubikwizard New commenter

    We started the OCR Computing course last September with a single group of 28 students (other classes still doing Nationals and the rebranded Cambridge version next September).
    The kids absolutely love it and are doing really well. The grades won't be as good as Nationals and our SMT accept that. We expect to get two classes opting for it next September.
    I fully recommend the course, as do our students, so don't dismiss it so easily. It will be a while before the other exam boards have something to offer.
    We think we have a well balanced KS4 by offering Nationals and Computing which leads nicely into our KS5 with AQA Computing + a Level 3 ICT course (currently L3 Nationals).

  7. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    The problem is OCR not Computing, unfortunately only OCR offere Computing at this moment
  8. gavcradd

    gavcradd New commenter

    Hang on, before we get too tied up in these percentages can we please look at what is actually being presented here?
    Firstly, the grades are for one examination unit - 40% of the GCSE, not the whole GCSE. I don't know about you, but my students usually get far better coursework grades than exam grades.
    Secondly, the grades are only for a very small number of students and so any comparison is statistically insignificant.
    Thirdly, the qualification was still in PILOT when this examination was taken and these would be the people taking the examination after only one year (or even less) of study.
    Fourthly, this will also be the examiners' first time assessing this, probably after years of assessing AS/A2 level Computing. Rightly or wrongly, of course they're going to be harshly marked.
    I'm very happy with OCR GCSE Computing!
  9. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    No the grade distrubutions for the whole gcse are in the document I provided a link to. OCR tell me scaling for raw to ums grades was not required as with the new GCSE in ICT.

    OCR seem to be on a one board mission to uphold standards.
  10. And I'd like to add that this was after only doing the course for a year (this is Year 10s taking it and virtually no past papers to practise from) and it's not as if they have been doing Computing all their lives like English Maths and Science, so I think these are pretty good considering the high grade boundaries.
  11. I'd very much like to establish how much time (both in years and GLHs) the tiny sample in the grade distribution have had. If it's a 1 year result ,it is very encouraging for runnng the course as a 2 Year KS4 course I would think.

  12. The pilot had only been going for a year so the results are based on Year 10s having been studying it for a year only. It actually never occurred to me or my colleagues to enter in our Year 10s and have instead opted for doing the exam at the end of year 11. This way, we will have 2 extra past papers to use and more revision time. I was quite pleased with our Year 11 mock result where we gave them the June 2011 paper. The 4 pupils that are struggling in my class but also don't bother to do any work all got Us, The 2 pupils who struggle but try got a D and a C and the 10 others who have really embraced Computing got 1 A*, 5 As and 4Bs between them. A perfect representation of my class. I don't see a problem with this course or OCR really.
  13. That is the most valuable feedback I've read so far. To be honest looking at the papers/controlled assessment, beyond a 1 year rush job I was a little bemused by the spread of results from that sample.

  14. Hi Tosha,
    Good news, if it gets approval: AQA Computer Studies has a draft spec with some support material.
    One thing that really wound me up about OCR was the fact that Hodder produced a decent resource base (over 1 year into the GCSE ICT course), but the schemes of work were lacking. I started using a lot of the material from the excellent ICT SOW available from AQA and saw real benefits.
    If AQA produces decent stuff for their new course, it should be good. (BTW, we have always used AQA for our A-level studies, so it would be good for the sake of joined up thinking!)

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