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OCR Modern World for 2013 - big changes!


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#1 Paul M

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:28 AM

Has anyone seen this..?

http://www.ocr.org.u...ptions-2013.pdf

I was browsing the OCR website this morning to see if the Examiners Report for January had been published and whilst I couldn't find that, there is a news update explaining that as part of the 'strengthening' of GCSE History from September 2013 that all exam boards have been asked to do, they are limiting our options when it comes to the combination of International Relations and Depth Study for Paper 1. This is outlined in the document I have posted the link to. The main impact is on the 1919-39 depth study, which as you will see can no longer be combined with Germany 1919-39, the USA 1919-41 or Russia 1905-41.

My first reaction is one of real anger. I would imagine a significant proportion of schools do the 1919-39 International Relations option with wither Germany or USA (as we do) and this is going to require significant work in terms of planning. I'm ok with that if it's a change that can be justified, but I cannot see how the proposed changes actually 'strengthen' the course. To take the USA example, apart from the link between the League of Nations and the Wall Street Crash there is almost no crossover with the International Relations unit. The Treaty of Versailles, Manchuria and the Rhineland are totally different to the Red Scare, Prohibition and the New Deal!

Rather than look at themselves to 'strengthen' the course by modifying the exam papers it seems they've just decided to pass the burden on to us. Is there anything we can do to lobby for this not to happen? If it goes through I'll be looking very carefully at an alternative exam board.

#2 j hewson

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:41 AM

That is worrying. One of the things that allows pupils to do well is to link events together from the International Relations side and the Depth Study (e.g. Hitler in the Rhineland at the time Britain and France were occupied with the Abyssinian crisis). It does not give schools much time to decide whether to change their International Relations topic or their depth studies.

#3 Karen Miller

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:46 AM

This is ridiculous. We do 1919-39 and Germany. Thankfully I won't have to worry about all this next year but it makes me despair.
I was looking for the reports on Jan 2013 as well and wondering how they are going to defend such a huge change in thresholds - raw score marks from last June. Kids who on raw score marks last June would have received a C grade got an E grade on paper 2. I'm fuming about it. That paper was not over a grade easier than last June's and I have accounted for the extra SPG. The lowest mark any of mine got on paper 2 raw score was 23. Working on strictly old fashioned % terms that means that you get an F for getting 43% on a paper!! Sorry how is that right when 23 would have got a D in June 2012? The papers weren't that different so I don't get it. Is it me?
I honestly give up.

Edited by Karen Miller, 07 March 2013 - 03:05 PM.

Such is life!

#4 Geoff Thomas

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:20 AM

This is really special pleading, and you are free to tell me to get lost, if you wish.

As I have mentioned before, I am now involved with helping to plan study trips, particularly to Germany and Central Europe and even more particularly related to the period from 1918 to 1992.

Do you feel that emphasis is shifting away from these areas / times, such that I need to rethink my life?

#5 jilljam

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:40 PM

I can't actually believe this. WHEN the hell where they going to tell us this? We have a three year KS4, so my year 9's have just started their 1919-39 depth study and now I find out from here, not from OCR that I can't do this anymore???!

Also, could someone fill me in on what has happened to the grade boundaries on paper 2 for OCR

Why do I feel an impending sense of doom.....

#6 Paul M

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:45 PM

I really think we need to make a big fuss about this. IIRC a couple of years ago they were planning some changes to the International Relations which would have necessitated us teaching more than one of the study periods but this was dropped after protests. Perhaps we can have an impact again?

If this goes through my instinct is to drop OCR and switch to AQA, although I'm worried that the other exam boards are quickly going to follow suit.

#7 jilljam

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:49 PM

I was just sitting here thinking the same thing about moving exam boards...does anyone know if AQA or Edexcel have made any annoucements?

#8 Jim Belben

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 02:45 PM

I was just sitting here thinking the same thing about moving exam boards...does anyone know if AQA or Edexcel have made any annoucements?



This is what Mark Battye says on Edexcel's website:

"Important update: Ofqual announcement on ‘tightening’ of GCSE History specifications

In January 2012 Ofqual announced that they would be carrying out a review of all GCSE History specifications to ensure they meet all of the regulatory requirements.

At the end of February 2012 they announced that they want to ‘tighten GCSEs in key subjects to make sure students cover the whole curriculum.’

This will affect GCSE History for first teaching from Sept 2013.

We can't at this stage confirm exactly what changes may be required, however we will keep you informed about the latest developments as they arise."

@HodderHistory
www.hoddereducation.co.uk
 


#9 j hewson

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 02:55 PM

The concern that I have is that this is announced now, in March 2013, ahead of propsed changes in less than six months. I understand that, with a bit of re-jigging of what we deliver, we could start year 10 in September on their paper 2 topics, for example and then buy some more time by getting the controlled assessment done, but it is asking a lot of schools who deliver (as many do) the interwar period with a depth study of Germany or the USA to now do something else at such short notice. This, a week after telling 150+ sets of parents what the GCSE syllabus consisted of at options evening......

#10 Paul M

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:49 PM

I was just sitting here thinking the same thing about moving exam boards...does anyone know if AQA or Edexcel have made any annoucements?


I contacted AQA today to find out what they are doing and received a short response saying that the specification is with Ofqual and so they could not provide any further information at this stage, and when they were in a position to do so they would make an announcement on their website. They did not give any indication what this might be.

So we'll have to wait and see...

#11 Frank Dacey

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:21 PM

I have an options evening in 2 weeks time for current Y9 pupils, but apart from OCR it looks like we won't know what exactly we'll be able to offer. In fairness. I think OCR had less content in their spec than the other 2 boards so maybe they won't have to make big changes. 'Tightening up' obviously means teaching more content, yet History is the subject where content is less important. However much you know about certain topics, you'll always have huge gaps in your knowledge. It's how you apply the content that counts but it looks like we're heading back to the old days when the O level was a glorified memory test and no one knew what to do with the knowledge they'd learny. Good job I'm retiring this year.

#12 j hewson

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 12:40 PM

I think, as in all cases, there has to be a period of consultation. I certainly hope that if this is the case, then Ofqual (who have instigated this and the boards have had to comply) listen to us as those who have to deliver this content. I am not holding my breath on that one...

#13 Paul M

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 03:44 PM

I received an email today from OCR outlining the proposals. I don't think there's going to be much in the way of 'consultation' - it seems the rules regarding combination of options are set in stones and the revised specification and sample assessment materials will follow in due. Annoyingly it doesn't give any indication of when this might be!

#14 Alick Brown

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 06:43 PM

Anyone looking at IGCSE?
Seems to offer an answer to many of the above concerns.
http://www.cie.org.u...t?assdef_id=864
Alick Brown

#15 Ed Podesta

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 06:57 PM

We have a scheme of work 1919-1939, one careful owner, well accessorised, if anyone would like to swap for similar one about the Cold War?

"In the past, philosophers have sought only to understand the world. The point is also to change it." - K. Marx
"Classification is exceedingly tedious" - I. Berlin

 

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