Things went a little bit crazy at the end of last term. The head of department made the decision to move on, culminating in me being offered the post. He then had an accident meaning that I had to take over earlier than planned. All of this has meant that my focus on the new A-level course has been broken while I have dealt with other matters.
This is a good time for me to share the decisions that we have made moving forward with the new A-level specifications.
We have decided to follow the OCR specification B (MEI). We like the way that the questions are not separated into different sections, this is closest to the way we are aiming to teach trying to emphasise the links between topic areas. As previously documented we also felt that the large data set was by far the most manageable, even allowing that it will be changing from year to year.
We have decided that we will not follow one textbook. Having received an inspection copy of most of the different textbooks there were none that really grabbed me. As such we will utilise questions and exercises from different sources, including the different textbooks and the online materials from Integral, Underground Maths, nRich and similar.
In terms of teaching we are going to follow the model that we had planned of two teachers sharing the load equally and teaching as if we were one person.
It will be interesting to see how the numbers of students sitting maths in the first year pans out. At the moment applications for the course are slightly down on the previous year, but that is to be expected as they were a smaller year group. Numbers for further maths are considerably down, but again that was expected given the small numbers of suitable students. Hopefully a clearer picture will emerge from GCSE results day tomorrow, grade boundaries are going to have an impact.