Changing from AQA to EdExcel

Discussion in 'Science Technicians - General Discussion' started by clairelucas, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Apparently we are changing from AQA (with kerboodle textbooks/resources) to EdExcel (with Pearson tb etc.) for GCSE. Although I haven't officially been told, our new yr7 textbooks are now Pearson, and apparently our yr 10 will be changing over- I hope they mean next year as their required practicals may not be relevant. What practical changes/ resources are different? I don't want to order anything that's going to be obsolete before it gets here, and without the edexcel site being available to us yet, I'm not sure where to look.
    I realise there may not be anyone who knows, as you'd have to know both syllabuses to compare them....
    I think algal balls may be one practical, as I've previously glossed over that, not being on AQA..
    Thanks for any help, though I'm sure it'll sort itself out once we have subscribed to EdExcel..
  2. clairelucas likes this.
  3. Talk to exams about getting the documents you need
    Chances are one subject in the school will be with edexcel and that should give the exams office access to their locked doc's for all subjects

    The core prac guide that Jburns posted is, frankly, a dumpster fire for technician info sorry
    Most of it is aimed towards informing the teachers on how the practicals fit into the exams and the style of questions to expect

    Appendix 3 is the only thing near to an equipment list you'll find and it doesn't cover strengths of solutions etc. for the most part

    Be warned we spent most of the first year doing it (now into year 3) modifying the methods to ones that work and changing those that work to being possible in a school that doesn't have a university's budget for individual glassware, not sure how that compares to others in terms of user-friendliness though
    Jaytee and clairelucas like this.
  4. We are switching to the opposite, have been doing Edexcel and switched to AQA this term for our year 9's as they are moving on to the GCSE course. Our year 10/11's are continuing the Edexcel course until they leave. There are actually fewer core practicals with Edexcel, though unfortunately algal balls is still there (sorry :eek:).

    Edexcel don't do reaction times, plant responses, decay, Temperature changes or water purification. Neutralisation is different, Edexcel do Hydrochloric acid and calcium hydroxide powder instead and only those doing individual sciences do a titration core practical. The resistance practical is also slightly different, edexcel don't test the length of the wire. The only additional practicals that Edexcel do, is respiration rates, where you use the maggots/respirometer, and also, distillation of inks is an additional edexcel practical.

    Sorry if this is confusing, but I hope you find it of some use :)
    Tinkywinky and clairelucas like this.
  5. have they bought activeteach?, the pracs are the same spec point but different. :rolleyes:
  6. You should swap textbooks :D
    Rhiannon likes this.
  7. Now you tell us...!
    Rhiannon likes this.
  8. we use the ebooks in activeteach, less hassle apart from the bill.
  9. this page is slightly better.
  10. Doesn't look too bad, though I have never used algal balls and bicarb indicator, and the number of times it comes under discussion here, I'm not looking forward to it! Have done all the others in one shape or form otherwise- the respiration of living whatever's I've used with maggots before, but only as a demo (3 diff temperatures, one in each) Is it a bit of a mare as a class set? At least they shouldn't need to handle them if they are pre-warming at the beginning of class... Also, seems to be rather a lot of alcohols- may need more meths burners if we are going to have 'dedicated' burners for each one.
    Shopping list at the ready.. though I'm surprised we still have budget!
    Hints and tips appreciated, but especially thankful for your downloads- Thank you!
  11. Make sure you find out which are single only and which are combined

    The burner one is only done in single chemistry so we make do with just giving them about 3 each of 5 different alcohols - it's not like they can use more than one at a time anyway :rolleyes:
    clairelucas likes this.
  12. I tend to use mealworms now and have found them a lot better! and we do this as a demo.
    clairelucas likes this.
  13. What do the kids use to look at the text books?
  14. just do it as a group demo and fake some you prepared earlier using pH buffers, it takes longer than 2 lessons to get results usually (if there is a full moon)
    yes use mealworms, had mine in the fridge for over 6 months so far, there is a thread about this.
    Computers at home (they don't work on eink kindles :(), we a set of tablets from a microsoft prodgect that can be used in the lab, but mainly at home, they have access to the pages when doing homework tasks and related PowerPoints (they get the PowerPoint only if you don't subscribe to the books), we don't use books in lessons. if they need to see a page the teacher can project the interactive active teach teachers page.
  15. Having worked both I think you will find Edexel so much easier once you have adjusted.
    Really comprehensive tech notes compared to AQA
  16. Thanks -busy costing at mo..
    Algal balls a bit costly if starting from scratch. How do you grow your algae? Have old (but enormous) fish tank, and looking for alternate container, and/or growing medium...
    Found saps recipe..
  17. Look at my pic - demijohn, few drops of babybio fertilizer, fish tank aerator, fill with tap water and inoculate with algae from supplier - a leave for a couple of weeks.
    clairelucas likes this.
  18. £20 ish for the small starter in a 1ltr flask and another £6? for a basic cheap pump, not so much in the greater scheme of things. Our last batch just died for some reason not sure if it was because of the temperature change over the holidays.
    clairelucas likes this.
  19. but do you get any results within 50 minutes?