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International Relations Edexcel - GCSE


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#1 debra g

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 03:06 PM

Hi all

My students have come out of the exam thinking that it was a VERY hard paper - haven't seen the paper yet but has anyone got any similar experience?

Ta

Debbie

#2 Helen S

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 03:56 PM

I would agree- we do Sections 1-3.

The starter 2 mark Q was- "Describe one reason why Kaiser William II's visit caused a crisis over Morocco in 1905"
........not an easy opener!

There were a few unpleasant questions. The ones which concern me the most will the 6 mark Q on the League of Nations (both choices were frightening) and the Germany 1923-1928 essay 12 mark Q. I rather fear that they won't think Ruhr, Dawes etc.

So my overall impression is about 1/3 of it was extremely difficult.

.......After the USA exam (see other conversation on here) I am NOT looking forward to our final Germany exam! I am not having a good GCSE year.

H.
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.
H. G. Wells

#3 jennyroberts

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 06:23 PM

I thought it was hard even our good students could only say it was ok. if it is any consolation if they all found it difficult they cant fail them all,there must be some tolerance in the marking.

A bit disappointed : :huh: :blink:

#4 Andy East

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 08:48 PM

Thought it was the toughest of the last three for sure. My strongest student was not too excited to say the least
That worries me a little.
As does the Germany paper now.

Edited by Andy East, 14 June 2011 - 08:49 PM.


#5 Katy B

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 08:02 AM

I was also rather unhappy, particularly with the 6 mark questions in section 4. One asked pupils about the main decisions made about Germany at the Yalta Conference - The Edexcel text book DOES NOT MENTION ANY DECISIONS MADE ABOUT GERMANY AT YALTA!!!! The Tehran and Potsdam conferences both mention decisions about Germany and some students have written about these decisions, but the question confused many students who had revised hard for this exam based primarily on what the Edexcel textbook said! - The other option for this section was about the key features of the Warsaw Pact - a topic on which there is a massive 1 SENTENCE IN THE EDEXCEL TEXT BOOK! Most of my pupils seemed to have a go at this one but it was a big ask to get 3 developed points based on what was written.

This is a big problem - We have invested in Edexcel resources at considerable expense in order to provide pupils with the knowledge and skills to directly support the Edexcel exams . . .

Any comment from Mark Battye to explain this would be greatly appreciated by myself and the students.


#6 Paul M

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 08:31 AM

I think this highlights the general weakness of the exam boards' own resources. We do OCR rather than Edexcel but the Walsh book gives far better coverage than the OCR one. I've ended up giving the students notes I've put together myself using the books as a basis as there are always gaps left by the books - rightly or wrongly you can't rely solely on a specific book either for content or skills.

#7 Katy B

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 08:52 AM

I agree with this to some extent and do not rely soley on the text book for either content or skills, but having only moved to Modern World last year from SHP they were our expected to provide our core content and I do not think that is unreasonable. It seemed a nasty question about the Yalta conference when the text book mentions 6 decisons made there and the failures of the conference, but nothing at all regarding decisions about Germany. I did provide pupils with additional information about the Warsaw Pact luckily, but if exam board materials are lacking - what is the point in buying them? I just feel pupils have been let down. :angry:

#8 Paul M

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 10:23 AM

I agree with this to some extent and do not rely soley on the text book for either content or skills, but having only moved to Modern World last year from SHP they were our expected to provide our core content and I do not think that is unreasonable. It seemed a nasty question about the Yalta conference when the text book mentions 6 decisons made there and the failures of the conference, but nothing at all regarding decisions about Germany. I did provide pupils with additional information about the Warsaw Pact luckily, but if exam board materials are lacking - what is the point in buying them? I just feel pupils have been let down. :angry:


I agree Katy that it is no at all unreasonable to expect the exam board produced material to cover ALL the content that they need. The point I was making is that the reality is that many of them don't and this is a clear weakness of many of these materials.

#9 Katy B

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 01:44 PM


I agree with this to some extent and do not rely soley on the text book for either content or skills, but having only moved to Modern World last year from SHP they were our expected to provide our core content and I do not think that is unreasonable. It seemed a nasty question about the Yalta conference when the text book mentions 6 decisons made there and the failures of the conference, but nothing at all regarding decisions about Germany. I did provide pupils with additional information about the Warsaw Pact luckily, but if exam board materials are lacking - what is the point in buying them? I just feel pupils have been let down. :angry:


I agree Katy that it is no at all unreasonable to expect the exam board produced material to cover ALL the content that they need. The point I was making is that the reality is that many of them don't and this is a clear weakness of many of these materials.


I have checked the spec and the exemplar SOW from edexcel and neither make specific mention of the Warsaw Pact! I don't mean to go on about this, but I wonder if it is it worth complaining? On balance the 12 markers seemed to be okay for the 3 sections we do.

#10 Joel Thorpe

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 11:21 AM

To be honest I thought that this paper was actually quite fair. There were a couple of curve balls, but show me an examination paper that doesn't have a few. My students generally came out positive about it. I suppose only time and the exam board will tell.

Section one. I believe was a gift, easy questions, including the eay "in" of 1a. Remember that is only one statement explained, they are not looking for a massive in depth analysis.

Section 2. The only real curve ball there was the six marker on the slavery and refugee comissions

Section 3. Bread and butter really although a twelve marker on Abyssinia was a tad harsh.

Section 4. Bread and butter again. The Warsaw pact and Yalta questions are only three developed points. The specs do cover Yalta and the Warsaw pact

"The importance of wartime conferences (Tehran, the ‘Percentages Agreement’, Yalta), and their contribution to increased tensions."

"To identify the main aspects of the background to the Berlin Crisis (eg the start of the Cold War, the division of Germany and Berlin, the formation of NATO and the Warsaw Pact), and the main reasons why refugees and spies became problems."

Section 5. Cold war crises. Bread and butter again

Section six. (A personally disliked one). The specs cover it all and frankly bread and butter.

I am sorry if this seems a bit preachy, but frankly you can not expect a text book to cover everything. I use tha Walsh book too and find that it's a good tree to hang the work off, but by no means the be all and end all of the content. I work from the specs, not the text book.

To be honest, this whole issue bit me on the bum last year when my students followed the text books and some of the stuff,for instance about the Balkans is sadly lacking. I adjusted my teaching accordinly.

One particular thing that bugs me though, is that now I do not teach the period, I teach students to answer questions about the period. A subtle difference, but an important one.

On an aside, how on earth can you get away with just teaching three sections? That scuppers the students if there are curve balls. I teach all six and then get the students to choose FOUR to revise in depth. I find the students to feel more confident that way and also more in control of their own learning.

Edited by Joel Thorpe, 16 June 2011 - 11:24 AM.

"I've spent my money on birds, booze and fast cars. The rest of it, I squandered!"George Best

"Oh well, what the hell!!" - Hungry Joe
 


#11 David G

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 02:07 PM

On an aside, how on earth can you get away with just teaching three sections? That scuppers the students if there are curve balls. I teach all six and then get the students to choose FOUR to revise in depth. I find the students to feel more confident that way and also more in control of their own learning.
[/quote]


How long does it take you to teach 6 sections? We teach 3 and it takes about 13 weeks. There is no way we could finish the course if we did all 6!

Regarding the paper, I thought it was hard (we do the first three sections), especially section two. The 12 mark question ' Explain why International relations with Germany changed in the years 1923 to 1928?' was a stinker.

#12 Jenjane

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 02:28 PM

On an aside, how on earth can you get away with just teaching three sections? That scuppers the students if there are curve balls. I teach all six and then get the students to choose FOUR to revise in depth. I find the students to feel more confident that way and also more in control of their own learning.


I ahven't seen the paper yet, but have to agree, we teach 3, and there's just about enough time for that. Was not aware that anyone managed to fit in all 6!
Jane

#13 Joel Thorpe

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 02:37 PM

I teach all six.

My year 10's spend the whole year doing that course. We are now starting the controlled assessment, to be written up before the end of September, the two sources to be given out the second week back and then Germany to Christmas and Source paper after Christmas.

In my opinion to teach only three is to put far too many eggs in one basket.

"I've spent my money on birds, booze and fast cars. The rest of it, I squandered!"George Best

"Oh well, what the hell!!" - Hungry Joe
 


#14 Katy B

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 09:08 AM

Hi Joel
Thanks for your response.
Just wondering do you have a 3 year KS4? There is no way I could teach all 6 units in the time we have, particularly as the 4 elements of the course are equally weighted. I will consider teaching a 4th unit from now on though.
I am not sure that we are looking at the same spec though as i still can't see Warsaw Pact in the 3rd issue spec.

"The growing involvement of the USA in Europe, the
Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, Bizonia, the Berlin Blockade/Airlift
and the formation of NATO. Military developments and the beginnings of
the arms race."


I have used a range of materials beyond the textbook of course, and have had focused on exam skills throughout. Will just have to do this for everything from now on.
Incidently and slightly unrelated, there are new materials to support higher achieiving and C grade pupils . . .

http://www.edexcel.com/subjects/History/Pages/ViewEditorial.aspx?editorial=430

#15 Emma_Kramer

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 09:15 AM

I actually thought the paper was quite good. It was a resit for our students and hoping for good things... but we'll see.

We only teach 3 sections. We have 5 hrs of teaching time a fortnight and it's a major squeeze anyway. We're a catholic school so occasionally miss lessons through masses. With the way the 2 week timetable works, sometimes it can be a while before we see eachother again.

Nightmare!




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