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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:49 pm 
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Location: Rugby
Anyone read this, or any of many similar items?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/ed ... -dire.html


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 11:09 pm 
Harriet Harperson must love these new diplomas! :roll: They are totally patronising and as someone said, "full of New Labour speak". Labour really don't have a clue what they are doing.


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 7:01 am 
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Location: groombridge, e.sussex
With DS in year 9 and DD going into year 7 i wonder what on earth they will be able to achieve at the end of their education. I sometimes despair already at the standards of work at my son's Grammar; certainly better than most schools but compared to my time at Grammar .....
He has his Spanish Oral this week (French last) and had the questions to bring home, then he was allowed to learn his answers!!! Doesn't appear to be much understanding at all. Hope this improves before he needs to converse while abroad!!


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 11:15 am 
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sp wrote:
With DS in year 9 and DD going into year 7 i wonder what on earth they will be able to achieve at the end of their education. I sometimes despair already at the standards of work at my son's Grammar; certainly better than most schools but compared to my time at Grammar .....
He has his Spanish Oral this week (French last) and had the questions to bring home, then he was allowed to learn his answers!!! Doesn't appear to be much understanding at all. Hope this improves before he needs to converse while abroad!!


Not the case in DD's school.She is in year 8 .She had 10 end of year exams thisweek,with vast amounts to learn.In German and French no prior knowledge of test content.The Latin vocab alone was 10 -12 long pages.Fortunately she has a very good memory.

I went to an v. ordinary comp and I know that the Maths and Science that she does in year 8 is what I was doing in year 10 or 11.Perhaps your education was especially good Sp ?


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 12:22 pm 
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The Telegraph article is not about A'levels, but about diplomas (NOTE to MODERATORS - amend topic title?).

The fact that diplomas are a weird hybrid, with little academic rigour (except the engineering one) is old news.

Whilst A levels and IB continue to exist alongside diplomas, our DCs still have the choice of a somewhat academic course.


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 12:29 pm 
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Location: groombridge, e.sussex
Chelmsford Mum: my DS has finished his main exams for which he had no prior knowledge (as far as I know!) it is just the oral part of the languages that appears rather odd. A friend told me that in GCSEs the oral is practised as opposed to being random questions on the day.
Certainly in other subjects the content is different to my day; not sure I could honestly say it's any where near what I was taught. Maybe I'm looking through biased eyes back to my time at school!


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 12:54 pm 
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sp wrote:
Chelmsford Mum: my DS has finished his main exams for which he had no prior knowledge (as far as I know!) it is just the oral part of the languages that appears rather odd. A friend told me that in GCSEs the oral is practised as opposed to being random questions on the day.
Certainly in other subjects the content is different to my day; not sure I could honestly say it's any where near what I was taught. Maybe I'm looking through biased eyes back to my time at school!


I knew you meant the languages only.
Just remembered my French O'level oral.We were the last year to do O'levels before the switch to GCSE.As I recall most was random questions, as you put it.There was one section where we had to give a little pre prepared speech, mine was on whether Capital punishment was justifiable.(My choice, what a cheery girl I was :roll: )

It is all very confusing.As I said I know DD is tackling topics up to three years earlier than I did and yet One keeps reading articles saying standards are dropping.Hard to make sense of it.


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 1:14 pm 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
French can be a very easy GCSE to do well in. If the school chooses the EDEXCEL coursework option then children do not have to complete a written paper. The teacher is allowed to send assignments back and ask the pupil to improve it. The pupil is allowed to look up all the grammar and spellings. I tell my pupils to use BBC Bitesize and Letts books. Always use a conditional sentence. Orals can be learnt, both the presentation and the subject. I have a pupil who understands very little, can only speak on the very limited GCSE subjects who should obtain a grade A. (He has A* for his coursework and a B for his presentation). The listening passages are significantly easier as are those used for reading.
I should add that the OCR exam with no coursework is really quite tough


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 2:34 pm 
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I think DD is doing OCR (certainly there is no course work) French. And she has learnt a lot. The written work is stretching although I'm really sorry there is no literature content at all (at this stage (year 10) I was reading Le Grand Meaulnes).
What I am dismayed to learn however, is that the oral preparation is to write and then learn by rote the answers to 60 questions! This is a hard task in one way but although initially useful as preparation, it isn't any good in terms of giving her confidence to engage with someone French and I'm amazed they can get through by rote learning. Shouldn't an oral be a conversation that requires you to listen and respond, not just spot the appropriate regurgitation!? (Although I confess I got through a lot of Early English poetry that way at uni!)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:26 pm 
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another mother wrote:
I'm really sorry there is no literature content at all (at this stage (year 10)

With some boards, modern langs have zero literature component even at A2!!!


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