Well done to all those lead internal verifiers who have managed to gain accreditation via the OSCA2 on-line test. Where lead internal verifiers have not yet been successful samples have been requested and we have had some feedback that we feel should be passed on. We appreciate that this is a new specification and there will be (hopefully rare) occasions when interpretations differ about whether or not a criterion has been fully met. We will strive to pass these on (with suggested solutions) as and when they arrive.

Assignment Briefs

There has been issues with some centres having assignment briefs that are ‘not fit for purpose’, and in some cases this has been due to the wording of the tasks not being detailed enough for the learner to access all the criteria and in others where time-scales/dates have been inappropriate or missing.  There is specific guidance for assignment brief design this on page 34 of the ‘Teaching BTEC‘ booklet provided as part of the BTEC Specification pack that should have been supplied to schools by EDEXCEL (a pdf version of this resource is also available for download from www.edexcel.com). Please remember that the assignment ideas on this site are not assignment briefs as these can only be generated by individual centres in accordance with local needs and resources. It is also essential that these locally developed assignment briefs are internally verified before they are given out to learners, there are extensive guidelines for this in the publication mentioned above.

Tasks

There have been a couple of issues that have arisen where External Verifiers have asked for specific additional evidence for students to fully match criteria. These are both from Unit 1 which is the unit that most centres will have started on and therefore the one where most samples will have been taken from.

The first is in assignment 2 ‘How Physical Properties of Substances Determine Their Uses‘. On a couple of occasions verifiers have asked that in addition to thermal conductivity electrical conductivity should be investigated. This is at odds with the advice we received from EDEXCEL early in the writing process and we are taking this up with the board but until we get categoric clarification on this issue it is wise to cover this on any future work or work that is sampled. For this purpose an additional Worksheet has been added to the site (Worksheeet U1 2.2). This will allow students to very quickly investigate electrical conductivity in accordance with the original scenario.

In order to fully meet Unit 1 – P4 (part of Assignment 3 – ‘Electronic Structure and the Periodic Table‘) students are required to make explicit reference to halogen displacement reactions when investigating the reactivity of group 7. Please bear this in mind when carrying out assignments that assess P4 or sending work samples that cover this criterion.