I've been teaching NEAB / AQA Modern World History for 13 years. However, in the past three years the style of questions in paper one have got progressively harder and more tricky. It almost appears that AQA are deliberately trying to catch or trick students into failing. However, I love the content and paper 2 is brilliant.
Unfortunately, our 'E' to 'D' students do very badly on Paper 1. We've tried everything, and I mean everything to try and help this group to improve but have hit a brick wall. On the other hand, our A- C students do very well and we get some really good As and Bs.
So we've soldiered on and scratched our heads and pondered what are we doing wrong. Even Ofsted was at a loss when they looked at the department. They graded the teaching and learning as very good and couldn't understand why we weren't breaking through the 40% pass rate. Then a friend in a neighbouring school, who achieved a 60% pass rate with very similar students, recommended that we look at the OCR Modern World Syllabus. Its taken me nearly a year to get around to looking at it in detail, but I'm converted.
I would strongly recommend that anyone who teaches AQA Modern World should consider looking at OCR. The questions are very straight forward and at least 40% easier! I'm not kidding, have a look online.
The curriculum pattern that I'm opting for is to do the following: Britain 1906 - 1919. This module does not include the weapons, tactics or fighting on the western front. I'm then going to do the OCR coursework on the FWW and stalemate. We will them move onto to the Treaty of Versallies, League of Nations and causes of the SWW. Once completed we will then opt for the depth study on the USA 1920s and 30s. At AQA we'd also do Germany 1920s and 30s. Unfortunately, you have to choose between USA & Germany. However, you can opt for the OCR coursework on life in Nazi Germany, which includes how Hitler kept control, Hitler Youth & KKK. This means that you get to drop Weimar Germany! If you prefer you cam drop Weimar Germany and do the OCR coursework on the Boom in 1920s USA.
When I first looked at the syllabus, I was concerned at the amount of content on the cold war section. However, according to OCR so long as you complete 1919 - 194O you are always going to get at least two questions on 1919 - 1940 so you can cut down on the content if you have a weak group. I actually think that I should be able to complete the whole cold war section, but on the whole there is a lot less content on the OCR Syllabus and the questions are a lot easier!
However, what annoys me the most is that exam boards can get away with such obviously different standards. We are not competing on a level playing field and that is not fair. So my advice to anyone doing AQA Modern World is have a good long look at OCR, its a lot easier!
If I'm wrong I'll own up to it in two years time!
Edited by rhuggins, 26 March 2007 - 12:00 AM.