Login | Register
SearchMy Stuff
My ProfileMy PreferencesMy Mates RSS Feed
1 2 ... 6 7
9
Reply to Topic
Author Discussion

turbobloke

61,545 posts

145 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
SpeedMattersNot said:
What, with no funding? Jog on!
Presumably the students don't fund either drama or music themselves?

rover 623gsi said:
now they will have to choose, for example, drama and geography or music and history.
Even so, a course pretending to be Polly Toynbee in a leotard would save some money. Two GCSEs for the price of one, and clearly equivalent to double science in rigour and utility.

Edited by turbobloke on Saturday 6th October 16:58

baz1985

3,429 posts

130 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
turbobloke said:
Two GCSEs for the price of one, and clearly equivalent to double science in rigour and utility.

Edited by turbobloke on Saturday 6th October 16:58
Oi oi, tis a bit harsh, us 'dual/double science' dum8f6kers can do 5h!t like...quant stuff too...ahem, alas I think may have overstated the case!

TwigtheWonderkid

11,822 posts

35 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
What a dull place the UK would be, if when all the medics and engineers and scientists got home from work, there was no TV drama, or theatre, or music, or art galleries. In fact, they'd probably go and work abroad, somewhere where there was some culture.

RYH64E

4,819 posts

129 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
rover 623gsi said:
So, anyway…

My year 8 daughter is moving from middle school to high school next year. Last night we went to a school open evening during which I sampled some food many by some of the pupils. While chatting to the teacher she informed me that last year they had seven GCSE catering classes but this year they only have two.

This has happened because, as a result of school’s being judged on the Baccalaureate all the pupils starting Year 10 had to take either history or geography and a language. The result is that pupils starting their GCSEs only have one choice from catering, music, art, drama, textiles, PE, business studies, and media studies and a couple of others that I can’t remember. I also found out that as the school doesn’t have as many art students as last year one of the art teachers has been given a job teaching history – despite never having taught the subject before or having an history qualification.

Is this really a good thing???
My daughter is year 10, so we had the options talk at school last year. There was a very noticeable shift away from the new subjects and back to the traditional ones, statements such as 'you shouldn't disregard a btec in catering studies even though the local 6th form college doesn't count btecs when considering entry requirements'.

Another unintended consequence of dumbing down GCSEs, the school at which my brother teaches (maths) requires an A/A* in GCSE maths from anyone wanting to take the subject at A level. The reasoning is that GCSE maths is now so easy, and the gap between GCSE and A level so wide, that experience shows pupils with anything less than an A at GCSE are unlikely to be able to cope. My son's school won't take children into the 6th form unless they have at least a B in each of their chosen subjects at GCSE.

Edited by RYH64E on Saturday 6th October 21:48

turbobloke

61,545 posts

145 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
TwigtheWonderkid said:
What a dull place the UK would be, if when all the medics and engineers and scientists got home from work, there was no TV drama, or theatre, or music, or art galleries. In fact, they'd probably go and work abroad, somewhere where there was some culture.
Twee, but not real world. If I thought that fannying around in a school hall for two periods per week led to high culture in consequence, I'd be all for it. In terms of what emerged in the past, whether pre-Victorian or the post-war period, just how our musical / acting / artistic reputation managed to thrive and survive without all those GCSEs in drama studies and media is most surprising. Still, it's quite evident that modern 'talent' knocks the socks off everything that went before, so better late than never and hooray for leotards in term time.

Advertisement

turbobloke

61,545 posts

145 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
RYH64E said:
Another unintended consequence of dumming down GCSEs, the school at which my brother teaches (maths) requires an A/A* in GCSE maths from anyone wanting to take the subject at A level. The reasoning is that GCSE maths is now so easy, and the gap between GCSE and A level so wide, that experience shows pupils with anything less than an A at GCSE are unlikely to be able to cope. My son's school won't take children into the 6th form unless they have at least a B in each of their chosen subjects at GCSE.
Those entry requirements are reasonable. If A-levels in the physical sciences and maths in particular were more like their previous incarnations, the gap would be even wider - let's not forget that some HE science courses are dropping maths not only because the students arriving from sixth-forms can't cope, but because the lecturers can't hack it either. Not to mention the 3 year courses morphing into 4 so students arriving free from the burden of anything useful can be brought up to scratch (with luck).

However...standards aren't falling. No sirree, obviously not.

RYH64E

4,819 posts

129 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
turbobloke said:
Those entry requirements are reasonable. If A-levels in the physical sciences and maths in particular were more like their previous incarnations, the gap would be even wider - let's not forget that some HE science courses are dropping maths not only because the students arriving from sixth-forms can't cope, but because the lecturers can't hack it either. Not to mention the 3 year courses morphing into 4 so students arriving free from the burden of anything useful can be brought up to scratch (with luck).

However...standards aren't falling. No sirree, obviously not.
From my experience GCSE maths is really easy, you can get a B without tackling any of the even slightly difficult stuff, but A level maths is still hard, I guess I'll find out when my kids get a bit older.

turbobloke

61,545 posts

145 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
RYH64E said:
turbobloke said:
Those entry requirements are reasonable. If A-levels in the physical sciences and maths in particular were more like their previous incarnations, the gap would be even wider - let's not forget that some HE science courses are dropping maths not only because the students arriving from sixth-forms can't cope, but because the lecturers can't hack it either. Not to mention the 3 year courses morphing into 4 so students arriving free from the burden of anything useful can be brought up to scratch (with luck).

However...standards aren't falling. No sirree, obviously not.
From my experience GCSE maths is really easy, you can get a B without tackling any of the even slightly difficult stuff, but A level maths is still hard, I guess I'll find out when my kids get a bit older.
Cross your fingers or jump for joy depending on your perspective. When lecturers go through A-levels and uni and then can't cope, something is definitely wrong all the way down the line.

SpeedMattersNot

2,955 posts

81 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
turbobloke said:
SpeedMattersNot said:
What, with no funding? Jog on!
Presumably the students don't fund either drama or music themselves?
I think we have our wires crossed. Not for the first time!

Music is one of the most costly subjects to a school. Instruments are not cheap, the computers required by the music technology classes are often beyond spec of the DT department (let alone the library) and of course text books often cost more and unlike other departments, you can't just "photocopy" new music! It has to be purchased...

But their budgets are typically similar to subjects such as maths. Who just don't have any significant cost at all.

The moment this eBach is introduced, the more diverse subjects will lose even more funding. DT, Business Studies, the Arts and such will all lose out and this will have a detrimental affect on our children because lets face it - the "classic" and "old school" subjects are very boring. The kids today live in the most aesthetically stimulating period of time known to mankind and our government thinks it's a good idea to make school even less interesting by introducing more chalk boards and reducing the creative subject content across the industry? Wake up!

turbobloke said:
TwigtheWonderkid said:
What a dull place the UK would be, if when all the medics and engineers and scientists got home from work, there was no TV drama, or theatre, or music, or art galleries. In fact, they'd probably go and work abroad, somewhere where there was some culture.
Twee, but not real world. If I thought that fannying around in a school hall for two periods per week led to high culture in consequence, I'd be all for it. In terms of what emerged in the past, whether pre-Victorian or the post-war period, just how our musical / acting / artistic reputation managed to thrive and survive without all those GCSEs in drama studies and media is most surprising. Still, it's quite evident that modern 'talent' knocks the socks off everything that went before, so better late than never and hooray for leotards in term time.
Indeed Twig, you have a point but bad examples. Most medics, engineers and scientists get home and watch the BBC News, or x-factor or strictly come dancing. But the real people who succeed from music, drama and art go onto proper jobs in the various surrounding trades, because they have a complete understanding of these subjects.

Britain actually is one of the most successful game designing nations in the world. Multiple art and music students end up working within the trade and whilst drama students may not end up working as actors on Eastenders they do end up working for various publication media's.

turbobloke, there are multiple qualifications out there that back when population was so low, it wasn't essential. And to be honest, it still isn't - but you're damn better off having it than not! For example, what about motorsport technology/engineering? We still had world championship winning drivers and teams before GCSE's existed - are you suggesting these courses and other variants too are obsolete?

turbobloke said:
RYH64E said:
Another unintended consequence of dumming down GCSEs, the school at which my brother teaches (maths) requires an A/A* in GCSE maths from anyone wanting to take the subject at A level. The reasoning is that GCSE maths is now so easy, and the gap between GCSE and A level so wide, that experience shows pupils with anything less than an A at GCSE are unlikely to be able to cope. My son's school won't take children into the 6th form unless they have at least a B in each of their chosen subjects at GCSE.
Those entry requirements are reasonable. If A-levels in the physical sciences and maths in particular were more like their previous incarnations, the gap would be even wider - let's not forget that some HE science courses are dropping maths not only because the students arriving from sixth-forms can't cope, but because the lecturers can't hack it either. Not to mention the 3 year courses morphing into 4 so students arriving free from the burden of anything useful can be brought up to scratch (with luck).

However...standards aren't falling. No sirree, obviously not.
turbobloke has posted links to evidence he suggests proves that maths has got so easy even his sperm could pass with an A*. In reality, my wife got an A* in either the first or second year A*'s were available and she also got a B in her A-Level maths which she took 3 years early (she was already put up a school year).

...but if we go shopping, she can't work out what is cheaper if you buy a pack of 4x440ml tomatoes over 4 individual tomatoes. According to turbobloke and his beloved Ofsted (who lets face it, only have jobs because they criticise education) she should be perfect at maths...

Thing is, I've recently gone back into education. Studying Level 4 maths in my course, our tutor (who hates calculators) can blitz the chalkboard stuff but when it comes to plugging in the laptop to the projector he just can't cut it. This is something a 5 year old can do...So of course this tutor will moan that I don't know the 32nd n'th degree of pi over the square route of purple monkey dishwasher, because he's pissed off he can't even get the projector to work and the college won't buy him a chalkboard!

There is no point in this day and age, training hundreds of people how to write on a chalk board if they can't apply it to modern facilities. With the government essentially writing off all of the "modern" subjects and even some of the old ones which, are now relevant, we are moving backwards and the entire education system will suffer.




turbobloke

61,545 posts

145 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
It's got to be a case of posting evidence on PH for obvious reasons - as such, as well as from personal experience, there's no doubt at all that maths and the physical sciences have been dumbed down along the GCSE/A-level route. As such, seeing it and then ignoring it suggests we need more History skills on sources and evidence as there are people who appear to ignore Ofqual and the numbers when the picture in plain sight doesn't meet with their rhetoric. Or indeed (perhaps) because of that.

jester

Apart from examining this published evidence including from Ofqual, which is conclusive, one of the types of voluntary work I've done for many years has kept me in contact with the products of the brave new world where A* grades are as plentiful as a prize donor's sperm. At the same time, the best students which schools can produce in these subjects have been short-changed in relation to their capabilities. This is the key issue here. It's not a hit on students or teachers, it's an entirely fitting criticism of a debased exams system presided over by ministers and the exam boards that has let students down badly by failing to provide an approrpriate menu and end-of-course assessment for all, due to damaging egalitarian delusion from the 'all must have prizes' agenda.

If there are still vested interests working overtime to blur the view and claim otherwise, it's pointless now as the drop in standards is too big for even Dynamo or David Blaine to hide using smoke and mirrors.

As to the sterling defences of prancing in the hall or spending school budgets on music tech kit, they could have a point - after all, where would Strictly X Factor on Ice with the Stars be without all those Grade D GCSEs and bare pass BTEC Level 3 Nationals in MusTech...the hit taken by our artistic and cultural reputation would be catastrophic and Simon Cowell would be a broken man.

Then again, there's always the Turner Prize. When in need of cultural salvation, in a real national emergency, break glass. Stick the broken glass in a tank of formaldehyde sitting on an unmade bed in a gallery with flashing lights, job's a good 'un.

music

TwigtheWonderkid

11,822 posts

35 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
RYH64E said:
From my experience GCSE maths is really easy, you can get a B without tackling any of the even slightly difficult stuff, but A level maths is still hard, I guess I'll find out when my kids get a bit older.
My son is doing A level maths, having got an A* at GSCE. His GCSE syllabus was pretty much as per my O level from memory, and as for his A level stuff, it's way beyond me. He's also doing A level Chemistry, Biology and English.

But my youngest son is far more into music and drama. Also the humanities, loves History. No doubt that's what he'll pursue I guess. And good for him I say. Everyone is an individual. Who wants a nation of clones?

turbobloke

61,545 posts

145 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
"His GCSE syllabus was pretty much as per my O level from memory"

Memory can be faulty. For a refresher, take a look back at posts showing modern O-level course content compared to GCSE. Historically the gap is wider. I'll see if I can find the post and the links.

turbobloke

61,545 posts

145 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
Not too far back:

In this thread on Friday 21st September I said:
Here's a 'modern O-level' specification (pdf) which is said to 'bring together the modern and traditional approaches to ordinary level mathematics'. Presumably the marketplace for this involves international clients and some independent schools not opting for the iGCSE.

http://www.edexcel.com/migrationdocuments/GCE%20O%...

Look in the right-hand column for 'questions will not be set on...' and '...are excluded' as almost all (if not all) of these were set in the past on O-level papers including for example calculation of the angle between two planes or the angle between a straight line and a plane. Linear programming is excluded, so is synthetic division. It's all just a bit too tough.

Even a modern O-level lacks the challenge of previous years, while GCSE specs are no match for the modern O-level.
Modern GCSEs and A-levels don't bare much comparison to previous years. This is why 3-year science and maths courses at uni have had to be turned into 4 year courses, and why lecturers can't cope with the maths in HE science courses ffs.

This would be fine if these debased exams were taken only by middle-achievers and those with less aptitude for science and maths (as I said, we need courses and assessments for all) the crime is that they are tarted up with A* diversions (yet, based on the same massacred syllabus content) to give the appearance of maintaining challenge and standards. This fools nobody except, perhaps, some rose tinted specs wearers and vested interests. Yet there is no criticism of students, teachers, parents or anybody at that level. The dumbing down fails everybody concerned and the fault lies with ministers and exam boards.


Edited by turbobloke on Sunday 7th October 09:20

RYH64E

4,819 posts

129 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
TwigtheWonderkid said:
My son is doing A level maths, having got an A* at GSCE. His GCSE syllabus was pretty much as per my O level from memory, and as for his A level stuff, it's way beyond me.
That just isn't the case, for instance calculus isn't studied at all at GCSE.

Here's an old GCE paper, have a look and see what you think. http://www.burtongrammar.co.uk/category/life-and-t...

turbobloke

61,545 posts

145 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
RYH64E said:
TwigtheWonderkid said:
My son is doing A level maths, having got an A* at GSCE. His GCSE syllabus was pretty much as per my O level from memory, and as for his A level stuff, it's way beyond me.
That just isn't the case, for instance calculus isn't studied at all at GCSE.

Here's an old GCE O-level paper, have a look and see what you think. http://www.burtongrammar.co.uk/category/life-and-t...
That was cruel - but necessary. Hope you'll forgive the addition to your post as some might think you meant GCE A-level.

Compo lawyers, don't get ready for a flood of cases for 'failure to educate' wobble as standards from GCSE are just as high as O-level sonarnuts

RYH64E

4,819 posts

129 months

otolith

25,356 posts

89 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
I remember my A-level chemistry teacher (who sat on an exam board) bemoaning the changes over 20 years ago. He was annoyed that GCSEs were not uniformly providing enough preparation for A-level and that changes were having to be made in A-levels to accommodate this.

He complained that one of the exam boards was teaching what he called "social chemistry" - his example was that students were being taught how salt was mined and what it was used to make but didn't know what an ion was. As a result, he was not able to take for granted that students would understand some basic concepts - this was a sixth form college with students from many different secondary schools.

He also complained about the GCSE maths syllabus after I solved a radioactive decay problem algebraically instead of using graph paper. He sighed, and said that was what he used to teach, but it had been removed from the syllabus because you could no longer expect students to understand logarithms. I don't remember whether my exam board's GCSE syllabus included logs, because I studied AO level additional maths at the same time.

turbobloke

61,545 posts

145 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
otolith said:
because I studied AO level additional maths at the same time.
That was one of the first acknowledgements of dumbing down and it was quite some time ago compared to the A* diversions. At least it had a sound basis, with appropriate syllabus content rather than dolled up questions on the same surgically diminished menu.

Another common defence of the indefensible is the claim that syllabus content has been slashed, but look at the difficulty of the questions. That's another sick joke - the approach today is formulaic, with most of the need for thinking removed. Otherwise for example how would non-maths specialist teachers have a hope in hell of understanding what was going on, never mind the pupils...then again, if we solve the shortage of specialist maths teachers, those emerging from the present system will only be capable of continuing the status quo anyway.

That's if the rose tinted specs / all must have prizes / won't somebody think of the childwen argument is finally recognised as defeated, which it has been. Mullered into a pulp, but like most politically correct dogmas it won't die as the corpse will be propped up and marched around by spin alone.

frown

RYH64E

4,819 posts

129 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
otolith said:
I don't remember whether my exam board's GCSE syllabus included logs, because I studied AO level additional maths at the same time.
My daughter's Higher Plus GCSE textbook doesn't even mention Logs, I've just checked. So that's something else new for A level.

If I spent too much time thinking about ut I'd get really annoyed. Our old GCE (O level) syllabus included both calculus and logs, and we sat O level in year 4 (year 10 today) and AO in year 5 (year 11), what on earth do they do for 5 years at school today? Some of those sample maths papers are easier than old 11-plus maths questions.

turbobloke

61,545 posts

145 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
RYH64E said:
If I spent too much time thinking about it I'd get really annoyed.
yes

Dealing with the outcomes of the current debased system is annoying too, on behalf of the students it's failing year on year, some of whom feel insulted when the situation is discussed but quite without justification as it's no criticism of them - or teachers - they are the victims.
1 2 ... 6 7
9
Reply to Topic