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Edexcel B Crime Jan 2011


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#1 Bill Revans

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 09:39 PM

Any thoughts on today's crime paper?

Didn't like the Witchcraft question - "In what ways did Religion influence people's reaction to Witchcraft?" lots of scope for irrelvant waffle.

Domestic Violence was a question we had practised.

London Bombings or Guy Fawkes - interesting choice. We covered London bombings this week because I forgot they'd included it in the new spec!

Transportation was straightforward, easier than changes in prisons

#2 Ms Ali

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 09:17 PM

Any thoughts on today's crime paper?

Didn't like the Witchcraft question - "In what ways did Religion influence people's reaction to Witchcraft?" lots of scope for irrelvant waffle.

Domestic Violence was a question we had practised.

London Bombings or Guy Fawkes - interesting choice. We covered London bombings this week because I forgot they'd included it in the new spec!

Transportation was straightforward, easier than changes in prisons


I am sick to death of Edexcel's approach to exam writing. TWICE in a row they have set Q1 on a topic not mentioned in the specification. 'Homelessness' (Jan 2011) and 'Riots' (Jun 2010) are not explicitly mentioned on the syllabus (in fact the latter lends itself to the 'Protest' unit, which is now no longer a part of Crime and Punishment (cf Units CA8 and CA11 for only mention of riots.) Now I realise these are only four mark questions, but these questions are particularly important for the lower attainers to be able to pick up some marks, as they don't have to write extended answers - it is a complete red herring to ask about homelessness (or riots, for that matter) as the main focus of the question, when these poor children have undertaken no such study: because it's not on the spec! I have struggled to find whence these spurious question topics are being drawn, and finally discovered they are drawn directly from the Edexcel endorsed textbook. So unless I buy this book and teach directly from it - rather than the spec - I am putting my students at a disadvantage. This is very bad form from Edexcel, who are supposed to publish possible exam content (ie teaching content) in the specification, not in a book we are expected to fork out another few hundred pounds for.

On another note - and I'm writing from memory as the paper's not in front of me right now - I'll be interested to see the mark scheme for the domestic violence question, because it seemed to focus entirely on the 1970s as the context of this question - I'm not convinced any of my students would have 9 marks worth of ideas of '1970s context' to write about.

I am checking out OCR and AQA!

#3 Dafydd Humphreys

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 05:52 AM

We're about to embark on the new Edexcel B Crime course for the first time, these posts are very disconcerting after our awful experience with the Surgery paper last week.

What are Edexcel up to?
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#4 Sally Thorne

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 02:00 PM

I am checking out OCR and AQA!


OCR did something similar last June (I think it was last June). There was a source based around Henry VI, I think, which totally threw our pupils, and they complained we hadn't mentioned him. It was within the scope of the syllabus, though: not him specifically, but changes in how crime was dealt with, if I recall correctly. We were angry with OCR, but those students who had practised their source skills still did well on that question, which I think proves it's a truer test of the skill when the question is unlikely to be anything that any student nationwide has learned to answer by rote. JMO.

Similarly, the Edexcel question is within the scope of the syllabus. Rather than being a question on homelessness, instead it's focusing on the changing nature of, and attitudes towards, crime, which I understand is on the syllabus. Equally, the June question was on the way the government deal with challenges towards their authority, rather than specifically on riots, I seem to remember.

Perhaps you should contact Edexcel if you need further clarification :flowers: that's what we did with OCR.

#5 Ms Ali

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 02:04 PM

We're about to embark on the new Edexcel B Crime course for the first time, these posts are very disconcerting after our awful experience with the Surgery paper last week.

What are Edexcel up to?


Fear not Dafydd, I suspect that as long as you buy this, (@15.25 a pop)

Crime Punishment and Protest

and teach every lesson entirely from it, with no attempts at innovation, you will know exactly what to expect from the exam. Throw away the spec. though, and any guidance the exam board might have to offer.

I also think that the Edexcel controlled assessment is far more difficult than the AQA or OCR offerings.

#6 Bill Revans

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 05:01 PM

Actually I liked the Question 1 - It is a source question based on inference, rather than a recall question. To infer from the first source that whipping Vagabonds is a harsh punishment aimed at deterrence and that the Tony Blair quote offering a hostel and Training Opportunities shows a more liberal attitude suggesting reform/rehabilitation, should not be hard... (maybe I'll speak to more students about their answers first, though).

The Witchcraft question:
"In what ways did Relision influence people's reactions to witchcraft?" I felt was unfair for 9 marks (and by the way there is not much in the Edexcel textbook about it!) A lot of scope to waffle and get few marks ... no dates were offered and so presumably answers could talk about attitudes to Wicca today and still get credit! Wasn't a Medium put in prison for Witchcraft in WW2? To really get to grips with that question you would need to have a good understanding in changes in religion from 1450-. There is very little on Puritanism in the board textbook, which would be key to my answer.

I look at these papers which are genuinely challenging for the most able - Good - and then enviously at our Science department clocking up BTEC points... I can only conclude that we really need an alternative qualification or a Foundation Paper to support our students who struggle. Otherwise History will be increasingly only for the smart, which would be sad.

#7 Ms Ali

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 05:56 PM

Actually I liked the Question 1 - It is a source question based on inference, rather than a recall question. To infer from the first source .... should not be hard... (maybe I'll speak to more students about their answers first, though).


Maybe I've just been teaching lower ability students for too long?

I look at these papers which are genuinely challenging for the most able - Good -


And by the time we've grown accustomed to teaching these specs, and worked out the nuances of question style (and content), it will be time for the GCSEs to change once again. I have taught OCR, AQA and Edexcel, both Mod World and SHP before, but for some reason I have found this changeover (2009) the most difficult.

#8 Dawney Sim

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 06:45 PM

In my opinion the books are rubbish and are not worth the money. By all means buy a small number to reduce the cost of photocopying but seriously they are severley lacking in information and detail. The books are not well written and often a paragrah or two on what might be a 9 mark question (i.e. the Domestic Violence question). I am still using my older crime and punishment books as I find they have much better information in them for topics that were also on the old syllabus and no doubt I shall have to go looking for extra material to supplement the newer topics.

To say that I am very disaffected with EDEXCEL at the moment is putting it mildly. Whats crime and punishment like on the other exam boards? I'm seriously thinking about jumping ship.

Question is ... will the EDEXCEL representatives on this forum read our comments and act upon them or just ignore the concerns of many history teachers?

#9 Dave Wallbanks

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:46 AM

Fear not Dafydd, I suspect that as long as you buy this, (@15.25 a pop) Crime Punishment and Protest and teach every lesson entirely from it, with no attempts at innovation, you will know exactly what to expect from the exam. Throw away the spec. though, and any guidance the exam board might have to offer.

Sadly I think anyone teaching using this book alone is going to have a few problems as I've found that there are sections that lack the detailed content necessary to achieve the highest grades and in recent times two questions in particular on Derek Bentley and Guy Fawkes would have caused problems for teachers using only these. It all makes me wonder if the book was completed before the specification.

I use a load of texts for this course including the official Edexcel book but still think you can't go too far wrong with Ian Dawson's book for a lot of the subject content.

I am struggling very badly however on the Domestic Violence topic. Anyone got some ideas?
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