AQA P2: Foundation vs Higher

18Dec10

As I was producing this for my students, I thought it was possible others might be interested in it for theirs. I was asked how much variation there was between the Foundation and Higher tiers, and this was the result. More revision materials for AQA P2 (mid-January) will be appearing on the blog as I finish them for my students.

On checking the specification, there’s really not a great deal of difference – it’s how the questions are worded. The Foundation tier (unsurprisingly) leans towards more multiple choice guess answers and far less maths. I had my students compare ‘equivalent’ questions and we produced a summary table, linked to ‘how to revise’ notes specific to each tier.

printable: P2 F vs H as pdf.

I’ve always found it tricky to make tier decisions – almost invariably, some of them turn out to be wrong. They can be a self-fulfilling prophecy (you may be familiar with the ‘Pygmalion Effect‘ of high/low expectations), partly because students entered for the Foundation tier may choose, more or less consciously, not to put in any effort. There are often some students who could achieve B grades on the Higher tier but see aiming for a C by doing Foundation as the ‘easy option’. Sadly this is not always the case. I’d welcome any successful strategies colleagues have used to deal with this.

PS As you’ll see on the left, the blog is now on Twitter, as @teachingofsci. Some of it will be about Teaching Science, some will just be me (t)wittering.

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