Why I'm changing from AQA to OCR
Posted 23 August 2007 - 02:51 PM
Well done! (I'd say you've earned celebratory pint or two!)
Posted 23 August 2007 - 03:12 PM
Posted 23 August 2007 - 03:33 PM
I must admit that last years AQA Modern World exam was better than previous years, but they still have a long way to go.
I disagree on comparing students ability year on year using data. The type, 'A' - 'D' does give an effective measurement in comparison to similar students in a range of different schools and educational environments.
At the end of the day you have to match the syallabus and the exam to your own set of circumstances. However, I know of 4 other schools who have made the switch from AQA to OCR and have also seen their results rise from around 30% to above 60%. I've managed to just about reproduce that success so imagine the difference that you could make with your own students! Don't get me wrong, I miss some of the features of the AQA Syllabus, but I don't miss those dreadfully worded questions that were deliberately designed to catch students out whereas OCR's motto is 'recognising achievement.' QED
I lead an especially talented team of professionals who have not been getting the results that they deserve for all the hard work and dedication that they have poured into our students in the past and that was the judgement of both Ofsted and HMI. We have finally achieved a breakthrough and its thanks to the straightforward, sensibly worded questions of my heros at OCR who are like a breath of fresh air in comparison to AQA!
Edited by rhuggins, 23 August 2007 - 03:38 PM.
Posted 23 August 2007 - 06:51 PM
Posted 25 August 2007 - 09:46 AM
Many thanks, I absolutely hate statistics and number crunching but its become par for the course these days as HOD. One the targets that HMI set us last year was to improve the way in which we use data. However, its amazing how little facts like 40% of our kids - school role 1200 - recieve school meals, can get you out of a tricky spot with HMI and Ofsted inspectors. We are due to be done over sometime very early this term, so I'm trying to make sure I'm armed to the teeth to beat them at their own game and demonstrate progress.
I yearn for the good old days when we didn't have to mess about with residuals etc. I just wish I knew then what I know now about exam boards,
Edited by rhuggins, 25 August 2007 - 09:54 AM.
Posted 25 August 2007 - 07:05 PM
Posted 25 August 2007 - 09:39 PM
Well you sing a good song Roy. We too are due to be done over early in the term - maybe I need a teach-in on data!! (although I am not currently suffering from insomnia...)
Its not worth losing sleep over, give me a shout if you need any help with data / insomnia!
Posted 26 August 2007 - 11:33 AM
Just back from hols and going through my last ever AQA results. Haven't had time to look at residual or breakdowns yet but the results are as predicted and not bad. 76% which is 3% down on last year but matches the schools drop of 3% to 80% A*- C so not concerned. However, A* and A results are up considerably this year by 11% to 37%!!!!! A sign that AQA are finally listening to the masses, I think, but too little too late in my opinion.
Colouring in department got 94% with OCR! Kids still choosing History though with 5 GCSE classes in Year 10 in September to match the 5 in Year 11!
Glad I made the move to OCR - no regrets. Just hope I'm not eating my words this time next year!
Thanks again for the support and advice.
Posted 26 August 2007 - 03:23 PM
Well done - those sorts of pass rates are way out of our league for the time being. Given time, though I'm pretty sure that we will get there eventually. Our girls out performed the boys by about half a grade so it might be interesting to compare their respective performance. Once I've finished decorating I'll have to play around with the figures.
Its interesting that you riased the point about the colouring in department. They are in the transition of following our lead and switching from AQA to OCR. This was also their last year of AQA and their pass rate barely made it out of the teens. Other schools in our area have made the smame switch with colouring in and guess what has happened to their pass rates?
To my mind it all comes down to two factors, level of syllabus content and the literacy levels of the questions and AQA seem to be getting wrong in other subjects as well. It might be interesting for folks to compare their performance with their own geography departments and see whether they are doing AQA or OCR.
Edited by rhuggins, 26 August 2007 - 03:27 PM.
Posted 30 September 2007 - 04:13 PM
Please feel free to feedback any of my comments to the AQA review committees. Its about time that they started listening to their customers instead of blindly continuing with to set inappropriate questions at Paper 1 with literacy levels that are beyond the average grade 'D' student therefore making it almost impossible for a middle ability student from a big standard comprehensive in a deprived area to achieve and demonstrate what they know!
Posted 10 October 2007 - 09:24 PM
I had a very nice long phone chat with someone from AQA yesterday who was very interested in some of the concerns raised in this thread about the difference between a level 2 / 3 berween OCR and AQA as well as the style of questions and the level of content in the syllabus. He was quck to point out that OCA had authorised the syllabus but as I pointed out, they could have easily resubmitted and updated their syllabus as other exam boards have done on a regular basis.
Anyway, fingers crossed you never know, AQA may yet reform itself with the new specifications in 2009! Hope springs eternal!
Edited by Roy Huggins, 11 October 2007 - 10:55 PM.
Posted 12 March 2008 - 09:24 PM
Please find attached some AFL resources that my departent has created using OCR past paper questions and mark schemes.
Rationale_and_processes.doc 38.5KB 808 downloads
Assessment_for_Learning_feedback_for_2004_examination.doc 150.5KB 1001 downloads
Assessment_for_Learning__questions_list_for_teachers.doc 35.5KB 904 downloads
Assessment_record_Causes_of_WW2.doc 30.5KB 825 downloads
Assessment_record_League.doc 28KB 810 downloads
Assessment_record_peace_treaties.doc 28.5KB 820 downloads
Causes_WW2__Cover_Mex.doc 192KB 848 downloads
League_of_Nations_and_Causes_of_WW2.doc 402.5KB 3108 downloads
NDTC_Mex_Student_MS_2005_OCR_P1.doc 35KB 1353 downloads
Peace_Treaties__1919_23.doc 39KB 1058 downloads
Were_the_Peace_Treaties_of_1919_Cover_Mex.doc 137KB 1281 downloads
Were_the_Peace_Treaties_of_1919_Cover_NDTC.doc 137KB 991 downloads
I've included teh rationale and instructions that we've created, but the basic idea behind them is that you do a past paper question every lesson and then get teh students to use the pupil mark schemes peer / self assess each others work. Students also have a little booklet included in which to plot their scores.
It has worked a treat and the credit for this brilliant piece of work goes to Dale Harden our history AST.
I'll post some more tomorrow.
Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:50 PM
Posted 12 June 2008 - 11:29 PM
I've got to say that I thougt that both OCR Modern World Papers were brilliant! We couldn't believe our luck as we even managed to predict the League of Nations Cartoon and the question on the Treaty of Versailles! Paper 2 was also great! Fingers crossed we might even beat last years pass rate.
On the AQA front, I must admit that the new syllabus does look a lot better! I think that I'm going to stick with OCR Modern World History as the questions and sources are a lot more predictable. Paper 2 is bound to be on either the Home Front or the Suffragettes. My money is on the Home Front!
I'll post back with our exam results in August.
Posted 13 June 2008 - 08:37 AM
As for the new specifications, AQA look to have simplified their papers so I'll be staying put. Why are OCR insisting on such a heavy amount of international relations content with their new specification?
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