Friday, 24 August 2012

A Level and GCSE Results Days

I have created a series of updates on our ICT Subject Page, that will support Teachers and Exams Officers as you receive your Level 3 Results. 

You can access these updates below and I have also included links to relevant UMS and Raw grade boundaries.
There is also a non subject specific results day support page that will be of use to Exams Officers. Good luck today and enjoy the rest of the summer break.   

Enquiries About Results (EAR)

The ICT Enquiries about Results update offers guidance for schools and colleges who are unhappy with their results from the Summer examination series. There is guidance on accessing Results Plus, moderator and examiner reports and how to enquire about your results.

UMS Guidance

This UMS Guidance update provides information on UMS marks and how they are used in the awarding process. There is also a link to download our UMS calculator. You can also access Raw mark and UMS mark, grade boundaries, for all units of GCE Applied ICT.

Summer 2012 Feedback event

In the autumn term we will be hosting a series of events that offer feedback on the summer, GCSE and A Level assessment series. You can read more about these online events including how to sign up in this Summer 2012 Feedback update.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

DiDA 2012

Given the continuing popularity of DiDA qualifications and mindful of the success and motivation DiDA has given to thousands of learners since its launch in 2004, we have decided to do our utmost to ensure that DiDA will continue to count in League Tables from 2014 onwards.

This has involved making a number of changes to the specification not least the introduction of an element of external assessment. However, we think we have managed to do this without losing the essential essence and uniqueness of the qualification.

We submitted the revised Level 2 Certificate to Ofqual on 23 November and will be submitting the Diploma early in December. We expect the new qualifications to be accredited in January for first teaching in September 2012. Work on Level 1 will begin shortly, with the same timeline for accreditation and first teaching.

We will not be accepting any new registrations on the existing DiDA specifications after August 2012.

Some of the key changes are listed below...

  • Two qualifications only (Certificate and Diploma)
  • All five units reduced in size
  • An external assessment element introduced in the form of a practical, computer-based task (internet access not required)
  • Maximum mark for internally assessed units reduced from 42 to 33
  • Planning no longer a separate assessment strand
  • Weighting of assessment strands adjusted to give students more credit for demonstrating practical capability
  • Assessment objectives revised
  • Unit titles amended
  • Grades changed from Distinction, Merit, Credit, Pass to A*, A, B, C
  • Assessment guidance merged with Assessment evidence grids in the specification
  • Moderators Toolkit revised to allow for submission of MS Office files
The structure of the new qualification will be as follows...

Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications
Size: 120 GLH (broadly equivalent to 1 GCSE)
Structure: Unit 1 plus one further unit

Level 2 Diploma in Digital Applications
Size: 240 GLH (broadly equivalent to 2 GCSEs)
Structure: Units 1 and 2 plus two further units.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Ofqual GCSE REform Consultation

Ofqual recently launched a consultation into the implementation of reforms to GCSEs in England. Please ensure you take this opportunity to provide feedback to the regulator before 4 November 2011.
 What are the key changes proposed?
There are three key changes proposed, two of which will affect GCSE ICT students:

Making all GCSE assessment linear to ensure that GCSE examinations are taken at the end of the course.

Restricting the availability of examinations to the summer only, removing the potential for resitting units. (There will only be retake opportunities in November for GCSEs in English, English Language and Mathematics.)

Proposals for making GCSE ICT assessment linear

For GCSE ICT qualifications awarded after summer 2013:

students will have to enter all the assessment units at the end of the course, at the same time as they enter for the subject award the GCSE examination series will be restricted to May/June students will not be allowed to carry unit results forward from one examination series to another, except where a student wishes to carry forward the result from one or more controlled assessment units in order to retake a whole qualification.

Controlled assessment

There are no proposed changes to controlled assessment. Centres may continue to schedule controlled assessments at their discretion, as far as this is permitted by the specification. The proposed changes do not mean that controlled assessment tasks must be taken at the end of the course. However, controlled assessments can only be submitted at the end of the course. Teachers must therefore ensure that the controlled assessment task they follow will be valid at the time of submission.

When will the proposed changes take place?

For all two-year GCSE courses starting in September 2012, all examinations will be sat in May/June 2014. This also affects three-year GCSE courses that have already started in September 2011.

How can I provide feedback to Ofqual?

If as a teacher you feel you don’t always get a chance to comment on changes, please take this one! You should read the consultation document on the Ofqual website. There are a variety of ways in which you can respond before the consultation closes on 4 November 2011.

Anyone who wishes to comment on the timing of the move to linear can have their say here.

So what happens next?

We recognise that teachers need to have appropriate time to revise their teaching plans and strategies. We want to keep any changes to a minimum, but we will provide you with full support to implement these reforms. We will also consult with you as much as possible, but please share your views on these proposed changes via our subject communities.

We have no plans to change the subject content of our specifications, but this is subject to the outcome of the consultation and the accreditation of our revised specifications by Ofqual.

Friday, 15 July 2011

GCSE ICT Some Useful Information

GCSE ICT: Unit 1 - Living in a Digital World. Please access and download the Unit 1, June 2011 exam paper and mark scheme. You might find these useful for revision or mock exams. I will include the Raw and UMS grade boundaries in a later e-update once they become available.

GCSE ICT double award resources. You can access the first TB for the double award units on the Unit 3 homepage. Select the 'Teacher Support Materials' option to download the content.

Upcycle Now! Competition. You have until the end of term to enter your student work in our Upcycle Now! competition. Please send your student's creations to There is 100 worth of iTunes vouchers up for grabs for the best entries. You can see some of the current entries on the GCSE ICT webapages.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

GCSE ICT 2010 CABs now available!

The GCSE ICT Unit 2: Using Digital Tools, Controlled Assessment Brief (CAB), is now available to downolad from the GCSE ICT website.

The Unit 4: Creating Digital Products, CAB, is being finalised and will be available on the GCSE ICT website on Friday.

The CABs are controlled content and you will need an Edexcel Online - Username and Password to access. Your exams officer will be able to provide you with these. If you have any problems you can contact our team on 0844 576 0024.

The CABs can be made available to your students internally but is not for vew in the public domain. Further information on the use of the CAB can be found in the Controlled Assessment Teachers Support Book.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Useful Dates for Summer Assessment Window

Some useful dates for ICT exams and coursework in the coming assessment window...

GCSE ICT : A reminder that the deadline for the submission of centre marks and the receipt of coursework is the May 15th 2011. The date of the unit 1 exam is Monday 13th June. The date of the unit 3 exam is Thursday 16th June.

IGCSE ICT : The secure data files for 4IT0/02 will be available to download from the IGCSE ICT pages from the 10th May. The date of the 4IT0/01 exam is Thursday 16th June. The 4IT0/02 one week examination window begins on Monday 20th June.

GCE Applied ICT : 23rd May is the start of the examination windows for 6953, 6957 and 6959. 6953 - Unit 3 The Knowledge Worker has a 5 day window ending on 27th May. 6957 - Unit 7 Using Database Software has a 4 week window ending on 17th June. 6959 - Unit 9 Communications and Networks has a 4 week window ending on 17th June. The deadline for the submission of centre marks and the receipt of coursework unit samples is the May 15th 2011.

DiDA : The deadline for the submission of centre marks and the receipt of coursework for D101, D201, D102 and D202 (unaccredited units) is May 15th 2011. The deadline for the remaining units (and all OSCA-accredited units) is the June 15th.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

GCE Applied ICT

Quick reminder of the details of this summers exam series for 6953, 6957 and 6959.

Pre Release and Practice Data Files

The Practice Data Files for 6959 May 2011 are now available to download. The Pre Release Scenario for 6953, 6957 and 6959 are also available to download from the GCE Applied ICT web pages. You will find this material by navigating to the "Assessment Materials" category and refining your search to "Pre Release Material Summer 2011". You might find it useful to provide your students with this information to digest over the Easter holidays.

Live Data Files

The Live Data Files for 6953 and 6957 will be available to download from the GCE Applied ICT website from the 27th April.

Exam Dates

23rd May is the start of the examination windows 6953, 6957 and 6959.

6953 - Unit 3 The Knowledge Worker has a 5 day window ending on 27th May.
6957 - Unit 7 Using Database Software has a 4 week window ending on 17th June.
6959 - Unit 9 Communications and Networks has a 4 week window ending on 17th June.

I can confirm that due to this years half term dates the window for 6957 and 6959 has been extended to 4 weeks. Remember to read the ICE Document and to notify us of your schedule before the 22nd April.

GCE Applied ICT Accreditation

I have had some recent enquires about the availability of GCE Applied ICT. I can confirm that this course is accredited until 2013. This means that the last certification will be in the Summer of 2014. Any centres offering GCE Applied ICT can recruit students on a two year program in September 2011 and September 2012. We are currently considering options for A Level ICT and I will provide you with further updates on this as they become available.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

ICT in the News

You might also be interested in the monthly ICT in the News updates that I post on the Edexcel ICT Subject Page. The purpose of these updates is to support your delivery of our ICT qualifications by providing access to a collection of ICT news stories in one place. You can access this month's useful news stories in the March edition of the update. Remember to check back as the the content is updated as more interesting stories become available. You can also access older updates from the ICT Subject Update archive. You can also access interesting news stories by following me on Twitter @ICTSubAdvisor or by joining our GCSE ICT Facebook group.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Edexcel Functional Skills ICT - March Window

If you are preparing students to sit Functional Skills ICT in the March window, the following dates are relevant...

Functional Skills ICT - March 2011 Window

Entry Deadline - 25/02/2011
Test Week - 21/03/2011 to 25/03/2011
Results Issued - 29/04/2011

Those of you intending to sit the exam in an upcoming window might find the following Instructions for the Conduct of Examinations (ICE Document) useful.

We have a series of free resources available to support your delivery of Functional Skills ICT. This scheme of work includes skill-building activities and useful hints and tips - to help your students succeed in the test. You can view and download this content on the Functional ICT pages.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Edexcel GCSE ICT 2010 - More Tea Time Briefings!

GCSE ICT 2010 - New tea time briefings announced.

Im pleased to report two more Tea Time Briefings to support your delivery of the GCSE ICT 2010. These free, online meetings are designed to support your delivery of the Unit 2 controlled assessment.

"Giving Good Test Buddy Feedback" and "Making the most of End-of-activity Reviews" can be booked now and details can be found on the Edexcel ICT Subject Page and on the Facebook group. These sessions may fill up fast so take some time to consider the content and book your place soon.

The Facebook group is an excellent way to find out about these events as they are announced and also to contact other teachers delivering the same course. Please take some time to join the group today.