As this is the final year for the old style syllabus I thought I would review some of the salient points from the 2014 subject report under Internal assessment. If you have never read a subject report I encourage you to check them out on the OCC forum.Its worth reading not just the most recent (though thats an obviously good place to start).

I have always found moderators to have mixed reactions to work on human physiology. One thing that has been repeatedly requested and often ignored, is the consent form signed by volunteers for an experiment on such things as heart rate and exercise. There has, to some extent, been  a request for voluntary compliance which has been largely ignored. From next year this has become incorporated into the assessment criteria, under ethical practice and will directly impact marks if omitted.

Other essential considerations include cross moderation. This can be difficult. My school last year had 5 teachers with only myself bridging the gap from G11 to G12. Maternity leave and staff departures etc can affect consistency. However, its important to discuss and come to a consensus on interpretation of the criteria as and when you can, and to repeat each year. Its also important to be consistent. Moderators are not there to mark, but to check for both consistent application from a centre  to the criteria and obviously for correct basic standards to be applied.

It will be interesting to see how the new IA unfolds, as a comment under Design focusses on centres repeatedly, year after year, boxing students in to perform the same investigation such as affect of temperature on Enzyme action. Is this because of lack of resources?

The main comment under DCP relates to the trivial nature of experiments that fail to provide for sufficient quantitative data to allow effective processing. That can be difficult for the teacher who is providing students free reign to carry out an experiment. I know my students can be guilty of this.

And then the predictable knock on for CE is the statement that a poor RQ leads to poor data collection and processing and then a poor conclusion. Hopefully this negative knock on effect will no longer be possible under the new criteria.

And LASTLY, thought I would include a video from my new favourite YOUTUBE channel – The Penguin Prof Channel.

This excellent video below covers many of the concepts explored within the Cells unit of the new course. I very much like her clear voice, friendly tone and informative content. This is an excellent concluding video. I recommend others in the series.