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 Post subject: IGSE
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Can somebody please explain the IGSE argument to me. What is it? Why have some schools changed to it for Maths, Science and French? Is it harder? How is it different? How long has it been available? thanks


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:26 am
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Location: Watford, Herts
Some relevant articles:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:25 am
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My understanding is that IGCSE is more difficult because it is similar to old style GCE O level in that there is more teaching in a general way . By that I mean that in Maths there is no course work, no formulae provided in the exam booklet -you have to learn it and more is expected than at GCSE.
In English there is no pre release material I believe and no study guides with a formulaeic approach to success.You have to do the exam without the aid of a net which is why the government have stopped state schools from using it if they wish their results to be published . The fact that St Paul's Girls are recorded as having 0% A-C grades because they take IGCEs says it all. Why would they use them if they weren't more substantial than GCSEs? Clearly parents don't take any notice of these stats so who are the government kidding?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:04 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:36 pm
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Location: Rugby
Hope this helps:
Head Master's letter to The TimesPublished by Neil Hampton on 12 January 2010 [09:21]

Sir, At last a leading article (“Overexamined, undereducatedâ€


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:43 am
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dinah wrote:
My understanding is that IGCSE is more difficult because... in Maths there is no course work


I think that is now true of all GCSE maths (and is certainly true of the one my DS is doing). Coursework has been cut back in many GCSE subjects (except things such as art) and even those that have it now have much of it as "controlled coursework" where they can only do it at school in supervised conditions.

However, I broadly agree with your other points. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:27 pm
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Most - the vast majority - of private schools still do the IGCSE. An even smaller handful to pre-U.

There are many problems with GCSE's created under the Tories and further dumbed down under Labour but IGCSE's have their own problems:

Sciences IGCSE little on modern aspects (eg DNA) and still teaches the blast furnance

French IGCSE no compulsory oral

Englidh no Shakespere

History - little or no British history.

IGCSE's are mainly a point of differentiation for private schools - but many GCSE's are crap


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:25 am
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It's true of course that GCSE Maths now has no course work and English is to follow. I am assuming the governemnt are paying lip servise to improving the crediblility of GCSEs as Independednt schools have made a robustl protes against them. GCSE English is about to take an interesting turn if you have child in Year 9.
Course work is replaced with tasks taken under contolled conditions in the classroom .Pupils will be allowed some notes and over a number of lesson will complete the tasks without any redrafting or assistance from the teacher. The incomplete tasks will be collected and locked away until the next lesson so they can't be taken home. At the training meeting I attended much of the talk was about how this system could be 'played' be schools that had targets to meet.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:39 am
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I've looked at the spec for AQA MFLs as it relates to the controlled coursework, and it strikes me as a complete nonsense. Bring back terminal exams! According to the spec, the 5 hours preparation time can be completed at home or in school, but should not exceed 5 hours. My DC's form were instructed that they weren't to do any study on the currently assessed topic outside of the 5 hours time in class (they were required to do it all in class), but how on earth can this be policed? And if the prep is all done in class, then that's a loss of 5 hours (minimum - there's more time allotted for actually 'doing' the task) teaching time. There are 3 controlled conditions tasks to be submitted, but I expect most schools will do as my DC's school and actually 'execute' 6 tasks, and submit the best 3. So that's a minimum loss over 2 years of 30 lessons...


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