Posted by: markhowell101 | February 13, 2011

OCR Geography B SDME process – first time out

A bit delayed but I have been meaning to blog about this for a while. Having taught for the OCR C DME a few times already I found the transition to the new OCR B SDME a pretty straightforward one. Having been to London on a training day last year I discovered that the paper is written by the same team so the format was very similar.

The initial major change was the transition from 60 marks in 1 hour 45 to 40 marks in an hour. Having looked at June 2010’s paper this change seemed to come with a reduction in the number of 2,3 and 4 mark questions and more of the 5, 6, 7 or 8 mark question. In terms of preparation, this move from short to longer questions was the only difference for me.

This new OCR B course does start to move geography towards modular teaching a little as whichever topic is in the DME is dropped for the terminal exam. With this years title on tourism in LEDC’s, clearly this is built around the development module and it made sense to teach this module in the build up. I therefore started teaching this in October but changed the content slightly from what I will teach in future, losing some of the content on case studies which were not relevent to tourism and adding  content specifically about tourism. Next year with the flooding DME I will clearly teach rivers in the build up. It has actually been nice teaching a course where you have to swap topics around every year, keeps you on your toes.

We then sat a mock in December, which was an old OCR paper on tourism with an essay question on Nepal. I did cut some of the questions I order to fit it into the hour to allow students to experience the time constraints they will be under. This turned out to be great prep as the real thing was very similar, even using one nearly identical resource about Benidorm.

Following the mock we spent the allowed 3 weeks prepping for the real thing. In class this consisted mainly of breaking down the resources, discussing them and sessions on exam technique. At home I encouraged them to do wider guided reading around tourism in Benidorm and St Lucia so that they had an outstanding grasp on the issues of the place, not just those in the booklet. I added to this the revision podcast which was on iTunes which all of them downloaded, laughed at and then admitted that actually it was pretty helpful. Certainly the success of this podcast (over 10,000 downloads in the end and top 10 on iTunes education chart for a week) means I will do another for the resit in the summer.

Then of course it was up to them to perform in the exam. Most felt like the preparation we did was spot on and all but a few left the exam feeling pretty confident. Whilst that is not always a good sign I feel that the prep we did this year was spot on and I will do similar next year.



  1. Mate super interesting, definitely going to follow your lead in relation to prep when I get back home (and get a job hopefully!), great stuff!

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