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Gcse History?


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#61 lex

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 09:42 PM

I hope so too, for your sake. I'm not quite sure why they do it, when the teachers gives us the homework, they clearly say: "I know you have alot, sorry". When I speak to friends from other schools, they say that they are flabbergasted at the amounts we get. I don't quite understand how that works. On top of that, we don't finish lessons until 6.

In history, the teacher is quite leniant, but we can tell that she's not exactly pleased when we ask for an extention. Actually, the teachers ARE nice, overall. BUT THERE'S SO MUCH WORK!

Edited by lex, 26 February 2004 - 09:45 PM.


#62 -James-

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 09:45 PM

As I said, Im not sure if teachers agree on what homework should be set and when (from all departments), but there does seem to be a lack of it (communication). Its not the teachers fault, they are told that they have to set homework. The system is just in a bit of a mess at GCSE level....

Edited by -James-, 26 February 2004 - 09:45 PM.


#63 lex

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 09:48 PM

You're experienced too! Woo! hehe

I suppose you're right. But it will it be any different at A Level?

- Teachers? What is the work load [generally] like in History at AS and A2?

I enjoy doing the History research but I find it hard to get full marks of the essays, although with effort, I get marks in the top band.

#64 -James-

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 09:50 PM

You're experienced too! Woo! hehe

Yay! :P

I suspect the workload will be a lot harder (coursework, essays etc), but Im not sure about homework...

Perhaps a teacher can shed some light on this....

#65 Mrs Faithorn

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 10:16 PM

Ok. I'll butt in then since you have asked for teacher input. So far I have been reluctant to get involved since - although there are two sides to every story - anything I might say about h/w would very likely be seen as "she would say that, wouldn't she?" and I really don't think it sensible to comment on situations (ie your schools) with which I am not familiar.

As far as AS/A2 is concerned do remember that you will be studying approximately half the number of subjects you are doing for GCSE so you can anticipate having roughly twice the amount of h/w for History that you get now.

At any school I have ever taught in there has always been a h/w timetable for GCSE and below (eg History always set on Wed night). At A Level there is no timetable as such , but teachers are expected to set slightly longer deadlines for written work and to attempt to liase with other staff so that the sort of 'bunching up' of work you talk about doesn't happen too often.

I would anticipate that you will find that you are given more control over your own learning at A Level too in the sense that some tasks are absolutely required and that others are 'advised'. From my own experience A2 is much more demanding than AS. You won't do really well at A2 if all you do is the bare minimum and the key factor will lie in reading around the subject as much as you can - which can be time consuming.

Another factor to consider is that you will be doing 3 Modules (Papers) in each of your AS and A2 years. If each of these is taught (especially if simultaneously) by different teachers the h/w load may be higher since there will be 3 different lots each week/fortnight.

Regarding coursework, then some exam boards have this at AS - others don't., but if you do the full A Level then one of the Modules will be coursework - and YES it's demanding in terms of time and effort. It's supposed to be!!

Teacherish bit coming up!

In my experience if you plan your time and start work set sooner rather than later then it is all quite manageable especially for people who are anticipating A/A* for GCSE. None of the bright people I have ever taught have found the work a major problem and indeed the people who have done the most in terms of extra curricular commitments have always been the ones who have coped the best. Why? Because they have good time management skills.

Edited by Mrs Faithorn, 26 February 2004 - 10:21 PM.


#66 -James-

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 10:22 PM

Thanks for the information and advice. It may sound 'teacherish' but all the same it is valuable info. Sorry to sound a bit ignorant but after GCSE Im not that familiar with the courses...

What is the difference between A2 and AS and A level? :unsure:

Thanks again :)

#67 Mrs Faithorn

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 10:44 PM

AS is the qualification that you do in Year 12. Each subject is composed of 3 modules (ie different papers). You take the exams in year 12 (either in January- if you have already completed the Module - or June) and at the end of it you can choose not to continue with the subject and if you have been successful have an 'AS in History'

If you choose to continue with the subject in Year 13 you then begin the A2 course. Again there are 3 Modules, one of which will almost certainly be coursework. Again you take the exams in January (if the Module has been fully covered in the Autumn Term) or June. The results that you get for A2 are added to the results you got for AS to give you an 'A Level History'.

You can resit individual Modules studied in Year 12 in order to try to improve the mark and you can resit an A2 Module taken in Jan in the June of the same year.

So A Level = AS +A2

That is the most basic of explanations and I hope it's clear?

It is really hard to say much more that is definitive as far as courses and so on are concerned because there are several Exam Boards all offering various optional courses for schools/teachers to choose from. There are 'rules' that everyone must obey such as you MUST do an English/British Module and a European or American one. One of them must be a 'Document Study'; at some point you must do a Coursework Module and so on.........but the 'routes' that schools choose through the statutary requirements are many and varied and some schools with lots of History candidates may well offer totally different courses in different option blocks.

If you are really keen to know more I can only suggest that you ask your History Teacher what your school offers for A Level (ie AS +A2) or approach the school you are thinking of transferring to. Many schools put the details of the courses they offer on their websites.

Edited by Mrs Faithorn, 27 February 2004 - 12:04 AM.


#68 -James-

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Posted 27 February 2004 - 11:06 AM

Thanks for all the information :)

Just to clarify what you said, you said that A level = AS + A2, does this mean in order for me to achieve an A level, I must take an AS and A2 course or can I after my GCSEs go straight onto an A level course?

#69 Mrs Faithorn

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Posted 27 February 2004 - 02:51 PM

I guess it is all rather confusing.

When you begin an AS course in Year 12 you are beginning a course that will lead to an A Level qualification as long as you then carry on with the same subject in Year 13 and do A2.

To put it another way, you can say that if you begin History in Y12 with the intention of doing the subject for 2 years then you are doing A Level.

There is not a completely different course/qualification called A level.

Is that clearer?

#70 -James-

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Posted 27 February 2004 - 05:52 PM

Thankyou, I understand how it works now :)




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