UPDATE: OCR GCSE Media was accredited on July 13th.
We had been hoping to have more news on accreditations by now, but the wheels continue to turn slowly. AQA and OCR have still apparently not submitted their fourth drafts of A level, while it looks as if AQA’s fourth draft of AS must have been rejected, as the Ofqual site now says ‘awaiting fifth submission’. OCR put in their sixth version of GCSE last Friday and AQA’s sixth is apparently almost ready. The word from both boards on GCSE is that they are confident this will be the version to get through, and that it will be before the holiday. A level is increasingly likely to be delayed into August- if it gets through at all.
OCR announced last week that it is withdrawing GCSE Film Studies due to too few centres signing up. We are told that if there were to be a dramatic rush of schools saying they want to do the specification after all, then OCR would re-consider, so if you do want to protest about this or to tell them that you intended to do it but hadn’t signed up, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org sharpish! Paul Reeve, the boss of Into Film, has already contacted us to express his concern at losing that GCSE option, so it has not gone unnoticed.
If there is any news before the end of term, we’ll send it out.
We held the first Sussex Media Teachers Conference on 7th July at the University of Sussex. Although the core aim was to support teachers subject knowledge – given the new specs at GCSE and A level – its wider remit was to forge a network of media teachers and lecturers. In the end we had over 30 media educators from prospective trainee teachers and NQTs to experienced school and FE teachers. We also had the support of lecturers from our two local universities: Sussex and Brighton. We were ably hosted by the School of Education at the University of Sussex and the Inspire Teaching School Alliance.
There were eight excellent workshops from Dr Tanya Kant and Dr Victoria Grace Walden (Sussex) and Dr Theo Koulouris and Dr Ryan Burns (Brighton) on contemporary media issues but linked to content of the new specifications. We ended the event with a TeachMeet set of peer led presentations sharing of practice. We heard about innovative partnerships between schools and media practitioners (Tom Misenti), the value of international educational trips (Jessica Hallissey) and colleagues from Uckfield took us through a mobile phone piece of practical work (Carla Taylor and Chris Beaumont). The full list of workshops is available here: tinyurl.com/y75764x2
All in all a pretty good first attempt. I am particularly grateful for the attendance of colleagues from beyond our region (Alexandra and Danilo from Brazil).
Comments from participants were positive:
‘Great to get an injection of media theory, a chance to think outside of the treadmill’ James King
‘A brilliant day; lots of inspiration for teaching the new specifications’ – Marg Rowe
‘A good mix of theory applied and some useful teaching ideas. Synapses buzzing now!’ Graeme Scarfe
I am looking forward to continuing the conversation through other events. If you would like to join our network and/or help support future events, please contact me.
According to the Ofqual site, OCR will be re-submitting A level very soon and the 4th drafts from AQA of AS and A level are also imminent. Our sources at AQA have told us they are ‘confident’ about getting specs through.
AQA GCSE Draft 5 will be submitted this week (Friday 16th) and OCR GCSE Draft 5 next week (23rd).
The MEA is co-sponsoring a conference on Friday 7 July at Sussex University
This is very much a teacher-led pop-up event initiated by a shared response to the challenges of curriculum change with support from the Media Education Association, the universities of Sussex and Brighton, Brighton and Hove Council and the Inspire Teaching School Alliance.
It will be an all day event from 9:30 – 4:00 and will be aimed at media/film teachers at schools, colleges but will forge links with media researchers/lecturers at universities.
In this more DIY spirit the conference looks to share the practice that exists within our schools, colleges and universities.
The morning section will be workshop based with academics (Sussex and Brighton universities) with specialist knowledge hoping to fill some of our subject knowledge gaps in preparation for the new specs.
The afternoon section of the day is very much teacher led. There is huge expertise within our region but often very little chance for us to share our practice. I would like to propose a TeachMeet format so please can you let me know of a 3 minute or 7 minute talk you would like to do on an aspect of your media/film teaching practice. It can be a teaching idea, a way of using technology, a form of assessment, a showcase of some practical work (but some understanding how you got there), a presentation you give to parents to sell the subject, how you fight for a place in the curriculum, an exciting app, collaborative planning, training as a media teacher – almost anything goes – you know your audience but keep it positive!
We are doing the event as cost effectively as possible but it will cost about £50 per head for registration, lunch and refreshments. Do get your school to ‘save the day’ for you.
Our hope is that you will leave inspired but also connected to some other media teachers who you can co-plan with and support next year.