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EBAC and History


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Poll: EBAC and History (47 member(s) have cast votes)

How is EBAC affecting your school?

  1. History has been made compulsory (1 votes [2.13%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.13%

  2. Large uptake in optional choices of History (20 votes [42.55%])

    Percentage of vote: 42.55%

  3. Some increase, but Geography favoured (3 votes [6.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.38%

  4. History has been abolished at GCSE (1 votes [2.13%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.13%

  5. No perceptible change (22 votes [46.81%])

    Percentage of vote: 46.81%

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#1 JohnDClare

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:01 PM

I am getting reports from some teachers that EBAC is having - contrary to our expectations - a negative effect on History.
I have even heard of examples where History has been essentially abolished, and children have been made to study Geography because SMT thinks it is easier/more generally applicable.

What is happening in your school.

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#2 Dave Wallbanks

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:13 PM

This is appalling. Why have schools gone down this route? Surely they can see the value in a GCSE in history or are schools just saying geography is much easier and playing the numbers game? History teachers need to make sure they fight their corner and show their school's leadership team that history has to be included in the curriculum of any school worth its' salt? What about students who actually WANT to study history or those who just don't like geography but will be compelled to study it just because it suits the school leaders? This is something I am sure will be seen across the country but it needs to be resisted.
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#3 suzygudgeon

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:54 AM

Tha main issue is that Geography has a tiered paper and therefore seen as mor accessible

#4 MrHobbs

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 08:19 AM

A Humanities choice has become compulsory. All students have to choose either Geography, History, RE or Other Cultures. This is a little odd as only the top two sets have to do a language and thus able to get the EBac. The problem with this approach has been setting. The History/Geography sets we have ended up with are huge for GCSE groups and particularly at the lower end extremely varied in terms of their ability making differentiation an issue, and children being in a subject that they are clearly going to struggle to succeed in.

As for the Geography vs History argument, the Head of Fac who has just left certainly floated the idea of making all students simply do Geography on the basis of it being 'easier' than History.

#5 Sharon P

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 08:53 AM

We've had an interesting twist. The top half of the year group have been given the (compulsory) option of History or Geography as one of their option choices, and then History appears in a free standing option group for any others to choose from.

IT has worked well, but my only concern is that a lot of pupils will be taking a Humanities subject when actually they really don't want to do either. Will see how things progress...

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#6 Gorbash

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 08:17 PM

Not really had an impact for me...had already taken the subject from 35 to 70-80 from a cohort of 180 (approx) on a regular basis. Was a bit narked last year when geography was the largest subject choice at GCSE but I've regained my crown this year...

We are 'pushing' those students identified by FFT data as capable of achieving the eBacc toward doing a humanities and language subject; not because we agree with it but because sixth forms, colleges etc will start demanding it soon enough as part of their admissions requirements.

The big winner in my school is MFL; where they traditionally had 2 classes of between 5-10 students (economically not viable but still went ahead anyway...) they've now got 3 classes of 15-20!

Think that what will be interesting (on a personal rather than national level) is to see what happens when (1) the GCSE results come out in august and (2) when the new HT takes over in January. Think how we do things 'may' change then...

Paul
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#7 chriswalker

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 06:41 AM

Very similar to Sharon.
All "upper band" have to choose either History or Geography.
In the first year of E-bacc "lower" band were disqualified from choosing History or Geography.
I railed against that with SLT and also against the fact that students were not allowed to do both Hist and Geog.
Got my way on both arguments this year= 4 classes for first time at GCSE.
So its broadly been a positive development for us - but not for the students who have now a ridiculously restricted choice at GCSE.
Oh and we run a two year ks3 which leads to their curriculum being narrowed after only tqo years of secondary education.
nonsense really

#8 monica1789

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 04:34 PM

My school is trying the Geography only route for Ebac students this year. I can understand some of the rational behind this choice but having listened to many moans and groans from the pupils, feel that this is not one of the best choices my SMT have made. These students had been given a History choice under other option but most were under the impression that would be taking H&G as part of the Ebac and so did not take this option. We like others start our GCSE's in year 9 so the pupil's were told that they would do half a year of each topic as an introductory to their GCSE. Now this is not the case.

#9 Mark H.

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 04:54 PM

Some Independent schools haven't really taken Ebacc on board and are still allowing an essentially free choice of Humanities at GCSE (including RS and Class Civ) so they won't have felt an impact. I hate to sound like Cassandra but I predicted on this forum a couple of years ago that Ebacc could actually have a detrimental effect on History because many schools would favour the 'easier' Geography .

Edited by Mark H., 17 June 2012 - 05:34 PM.

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#10 MrHobbs

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 01:27 PM

Something of an annoying postscript to my earlier post.
Have now been told by SLT that I cannot be considered for whole school positions due to the significance of the Ebac - In the interests of the school I cannot be spared from the History Department to do other roles

#11 monica1789

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 05:59 PM

Will this have an effect on your own development Mr Hobbs?

#12 MrHobbs

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 07:20 AM

Yes to put it bluntly. Was just turned down for one of two head of house/year posts seemingly solely on the basis that I teach an ebac subject

#13 Giles Falconer

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 08:20 AM

Yes to put it bluntly. Was just turned down for one of two head of house/year posts seemingly solely on the basis that I teach an ebac subject


Sounds rather odd - what will they do when teachers of these main subjects look elsewhere for promotion and leave?

#14 MrHobbs

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 08:58 AM

The explanation was that as they were expecting a visit from Ofsted next term that in the best interests of the school it was felt that those who applied from Ebac subjects would not be considered for any of positions of responsibility they advertised internally (2 HoH and 2 PSHCE heads). That these new appointments were temporary - they are for 1 year - and that would be up for review at the end of this period and we could be in a position to apply then.

I have no problems with this except in that if History is going to be treated as a 'core' then it would be nice to be actually treated as a core - limits on class sizes, the number of classes taught, time, responsibilty etc

As for what they think about moving on well they will feel that E&M teachers here are pretty much all on responsibility money no matter what role so are not likely to feel too aggrieved and the perception remains that Humanities teachers are ten a penny

Edited by MrHobbs, 20 June 2012 - 09:02 AM.


#15 Paul M

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 09:19 AM

I have no problems with this except in that if History is going to be treated as a 'core' then it would be nice to be actually treated as a core - limits on class sizes, the number of classes taught, time, responsibilty etc


You've absolutely hit the nail on the head there. Hist or Geog has been made compulsory at our place meaning we are teaching the whole cohort between us - like a core subject - but with no increase in curriculum time (still 2 hours a week), still mixed classes at KS4, still no increase at KS3 etc.




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