The TES is reporting that Ofqual and England’s exam boards have shrugged off criticism by Nicky Morgan of their plan to stop practical science from counting towards school exam grades and are insisting that teachers are “enthusiastic” about the idea…
…Ofqual was sticking to its guns today over the science proposals, stating that they were “designed to invigorate the hands-on learning experience of students and equip them for a future in science”.
Steve Evans, head of general qualification reform at the OCR exam board, was similarly convinced. “Trials show that teachers and students are enthusiastic about the new proposals and we hope that their enthusiasm can help win over the science community,” he said.
“Like the education secretary, OCR cares about the next generation of scientists and has been making sure that they leave school having obtained the deeper understanding of science best gained through more practicals and greater experimentation.”
Ofqual and the boards argue that their plans will actually enhance practical science by removing a temptation to teach to the test. It will still be a requirement to carry out experiments for the qualifications, with a greater variety demanded, even though they will not count towards final grades.
Andrew Hall, chief executive of the AQA exam board, said: “We want the new approach to make a positive difference in terms of science practicals, so that students spend more time gaining a broad range and depth of practical skills…
Which side of this argument are you on? Do you support the proposed changes and the reasons given by Ofqual and the exam board or are you on the side of those wanting assessment of practicals to stay?
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