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National Curriculum and Exams

By PGCE, POT 3No Comments

I have recently been involved in some department meetings that have been to discuss the relevant topics and schemes of work for the next academic year in my home school. The way this has worked is the Head of IT has emailed us out a list of the various areas in the curriculum that have gaps and need schemes of work. We have previously discussed how these schemes of work for year 7-9 relate toe the national strategies and national curriculum.

I have personally been involved in creating some marking levels for year 8 assessments according to the levels set out here

It has also been very interesting talking to my mentor about the future of GCSE and he has said that if he could he would ask pupils to do the  ICT iGCSE as this is a academic route that does not require anny coursework assesment.

Currently the School are going to do the ICT  functional skills by edexecel it is apparently a good course as it does not require the pupils to do all the work independently without the use of scaffolded work for coursework. It is all assessed through exams.

I have been involved with coming up with the mini projects that help the pupils learn all the basic skills for the GCSE. The point is to get the pupils the do the tasks again and again practicing the skills so that they remember them for the exam. I helped with comming up with a game project unit to design and sell a game including the planning and marketing.

Year 11 GCSE Coursework Lessons

By Observations, PGCE, POT 2, Reflection, TeachingNo Comments

Working with year 11 Course work

I have been team teaching year 11 coursework lessons that are a completely different approach to normal guided teaching. The first thing is that they are all working away on their own documents and so they are all at different levels this means that you have to initially be familiar with the actual coursework requirements and structure. I have been spending the time reading through the Candidate booklet and familiarizing myself with what exactly the pupils have to do.

The pupils here are KES are doing the AQA syllabus and have to create two tasks

1) Set up a website for the driving school.

2) Set up a system to manage driving lessons and provide a link to it on the website.

So currently as they are on the old spec they are allowed to have a pre made template with headings and guidelines. They then have to do the following to create the project and then write it up in this format.

There is an analysis section that applies to both (10 marks)

Then they have to do a write up on each of these areas below

Design (20 Marks)

Implementation (40 Marks)

Testing (10 Marks)

Self Evaluation (8 Marks)

Report (6 Marks)

Evaluation of others use of ICT (6)

Total (100)

Currently the pupils I have joined are at a stage where they should have completed a preliminary stage of each of these areas some of them are at varying levels and have created a comprehensive report and others are quite far behind for example one pupil has almost finished with a 250 page report and another has still not completed making his website.

They key to helping out in a course work lesson is to be able answer questions that arise swiftly in a ‘get in get out fashion’. The way to be able to offer this assistance is to have a solid understanding of the exam board and the mark scheme so that you know exactly what is required.

I have already been looking through some of their work that they have been handing in at intervals and I have made corrections to the work. This is another way of getting to grips with the mark scheme and what they have to do to achieve the higher grades. This interval hand is a big demand on the teacher but is vital to offer

Here at KES there is a high demand to do well with most pupils aiming at the A-A* grade which means that you have to be really stringent when it comes to the actual mark scheme. This is obviously way above the national average that most state schools would achieve but is a good standard to reach and push to if I was to work in a State School.