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 Post subject: OCR/ AQA SCIENCES
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:44 pm 
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Can anyone tell me if the OCR courses in chemistry and biology are well respected? And the AQA in physics? I'm taking a very thorough interest in local GSs and their courses although DS hasn't taken 11+ yet ... :roll: :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: OCR/ AQA SCIENCES
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:43 am 
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I would recommend AQA for Triple Science. 43% of my dd's sixth form go onto read Science at University and they use AQA for GCSE. 85% of the year of 200 students do Triple Science. DG


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 Post subject: Re: OCR/ AQA SCIENCES
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:41 am 
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Location: Essex
Daogroupie wrote:
I would recommend AQA for Triple Science. 43% of my dd's sixth form go onto read Science at University and they use AQA for GCSE. 85% of the year of 200 students do Triple Science. DG


Perhaps you could use this as a 'template' looking at the figures for good passes at A level and university destinations vs GCSE results from 2 years previously i.e. same cohort, and which GCSE board. This wouldn't tell you what board(s) year 12 'incomers'' had taken, though.

One thing to bear in mind, though, is that by the time your own DC gets to that stage, the school may have switched to a different board.

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 Post subject: Re: OCR/ AQA SCIENCES
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:46 am 
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Thanks for replying DAO. The very local GS does AQA physics but OCR for chemistry and biology. They do a 3-year GCSE programme (with an accelerated KS3 stage of 2 years to enable this). It's not a superselective, but has a science specialism. I know things are about to change with less coursework and more end of year exams; don't know if this will have an effect? Is AQA generally thought to be more rigorous than OCR? I wonder why they've chosen different boards for the different sciences ...

Ahh, crossposted with Toadmum! Thanks: that's a good idea to compare and contrast .

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 Post subject: Re: OCR/ AQA SCIENCES
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:16 am 
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DD2 did OCR "21st century science " - she has found this course to be a really poor preparation for AS Biology and Chemistry. She believes her school chose it because it allowed those who were not especially academic to do better than they might otherwise have done with a more scientific course.
When DD1, who did AQA, has looked at DD2's books she has had a number of comments to make - none of them favourable.


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 Post subject: Re: OCR/ AQA SCIENCES
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:49 am 
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Generally AQA is seen as more vigorous. Our GS has gone over to iGCSE as its considered the best prep for A level.
As above, schools do change their approach as well as the government led changes so looking now for 4/5 years time is not failsafe.


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 Post subject: Re: OCR/ AQA SCIENCES
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:11 am 
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DS1 did AQA for all three sciences at his original GS; at the girls' GS he has moved to for A level, the GCSE syllabus currently followed is AQA for Biology and Physics and OCR 21st Century for Chemistry. If I remember, I will ask him how the girls who moved on to sixth form from within the school find the work for AS level...

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 Post subject: Re: OCR/ AQA SCIENCES
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:24 am 
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Thanks for all the responses. Very interesting. I feel I know what to ask when open evening comes around. I'd love to hear feedback, if you do remember, Toadmum.

Thanks everyone.

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 Post subject: Re: OCR/ AQA SCIENCES
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:07 pm 
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fatbananas wrote:
Thanks for all the responses. Very interesting. I feel I know what to ask when open evening comes around. I'd love to hear feedback, if you do remember, Toadmum.

Thanks everyone.


Probably as much detail as one is likely to get out of DS1, but when I asked whether he had noticed whether the internal candidates in his Chemistry class were having any problems with the AS syllabus, he said no. He did add that, firstly, they were doing OCR for A level Chemistry and secondly, that the school did make sure that they were properly prepared for the move up from GCSE. For all three sciences as well as for maths, there were separate additional induction days back in July, as well as the general sixth form induction.

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 Post subject: Re: OCR/ AQA SCIENCES
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:42 pm 
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Thanks for taking the trouble to come back on this, Toadmum.

Presumably, if a school is using OCR for Alevel, it must be an examining board they think will have the approval of universities when their students are applying for science degrees.

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