To clear matters up first I have decided to remain with OCR. My rationale (I will be brief as it was a long process, see Exam Boardroom: The gloves are off!) is:
- Students get a choice of exam questions. OCR are the only exam board to offer a choice.
- A lot of the topic areas within Philosophy and Ethics are similar to the old spec, so the text books are still relevant (good for planning and saves budget but only useful if you are coming from OCR).
- Yes the content is heavy but if you were like me and covered topics with a lot of extra detail, plus taking into account the topic areas removed such as Copleston and Russell or Abortion etc. (see Out with the Old and in with the New: OCR Spec Changes for a full run down of the changes) then the content is actually pretty manageable. Yes there is the new added bonus of Christian Thought (or the religious area of your choice) but this is unavoidable.
- The essay writing technique and questions in the first year matches the current A2 technique so this is easy to adapt.
- Better the devil you know! I trust OCR.
Mapping out the first year’s course:
- Covering a topic per week: this might seem very quick and I appreciate there are differing amounts of bullet points per topic area but these just make your teaching more focused rather than necessarily more content. This is based on 4 1/2 teaching hours a week.
- Starting with Philosophy, through to Ethics and finishing off with Christian Thought: the plan is to start with what I know. I can cover this content quickly and efficiently (as little has changed) leaving the new topic area (Christian Thought) until the text books have been released.
- Splitting content with two teachers: I will be sharing two out of three classes (hence why I have to plan for both just me and sharing). Easiest way I can see is two share out the topics (as fairly and easily as possible) and then make sure those areas are covered by the individual teacher according to the SOW dates (see below)
- Revision and recap weeks built in: Because the content will be covered so quickly it is important to consider revision time throughout the year also recap weeks. This also allows for over spill ( just in case all the content is not covered within a week) you can catch up.
Please note: My college might have slightly different holidays and start/ finish dates. I have also planned in our mock exam weeks which are institutionally based. You will also notice that I plan on covering each area within Christian Thought within a week also. I am not expecting to keep to this because of the new material. However from the 13th March onwards is revision so if the content takes twice as long to cover then I have the time to do it.
I will blog updates as I complete the other columns.