In this blog I will be explaining how to use the updated Cambridge National Health and Social Care Specification and locate important information to support delivery of this qualification.
The purpose of the specification is to act as a definitive record of the course. It sets out the aims and learning outcomes and how they are met. It also provides information on the file formats that work can be submitted in and the deadlines for each submission.
It seems like stating the obvious, but we should begin with the contents section. If you’re more familiar with teaching GCSE subjects then there are some sections here that you won’t be accustomed to:
Getting to know these particular sections of content in the Specification from the outset is really important when teaching Cambridge Nationals for the first time.
A great way to support your students’ is by understanding the marking criteria as this is how marks will be awarded. Familiarise yourself with applying a ‘best fit’ approach to marking on page 51 and the marking criteria glossary of terms.
You can find the marking criteria glossary of terms in Appendix D of the specification. You’ll need to fully understand the language used to assess your students and this is your guide – you can share this with your students too.
You’ll find the deadlines for submission of coursework on page 53 of the specification. These dates do not change so familiarising yourself with these will help you to plan your programme of study. You can also find important information on deadlines on the admin section of our website.
Unlike the examined units, moderated units can be submitted in more than one way. To help you decide which way works best for your centre you can refer to pages 53 - 55 of the specification.
We often get asked if video can be submitted for example in RO22 when candidates are undertaking the interactions, and the answer is yes: Refer to the evidence summary table in the set assignment. Although the format of evidence suggested is not exhaustive, it does guide you to formats that are most appropriate for the tasks. Remember video must be supplied using the appropriate file formats, you’ll find Information about what file formats we accept in Appendix C of the specification.
It is also worth noting that if you are going to use postal moderation that you can send work in a digital format and it doesn’t have to be printed out check out section 4.6.2 on page 55.
The witness statement is your opportunity to demonstrate how well your candidates undertook the relevant task, and yes – we do need one (or two sometimes) for each candidate.
Appendix A offers guidance on the use of witness statements. Witness statements are included in the model assignments where they’re required. If there isn’t a witness statement then you don’t need it.
It is useful to know how the final piece of work should be presented. We provide this information in section 4.3.1 of the specification on page 49. Make sure your students know what you need from them.
The unit recording sheet gives a descriptor for the mark band, how to judge your candidates work against these descriptions requires concentration, if you highlight in each of the mark bands where you feel your candidates have met the criteria this will help you to use the ‘best fit’ approach to marking and section 4 on page 51 of the specification focusses on this approach.
We’ve got a variety of upcoming Professional Development to support your teaching and assessment. I’ve highlighted four, for teachers new to Cambridge Nationals in Health and Social Care.
Choosing OCR: Getting to know the specification for Cambridge Nationals Levels 1 and 2 in Health and Social Care – free webinars designed to give you an overview of the specification as well as an introduction to the support, guidance and resources available.
First Teaching: Everything you need to know to get started with Cambridge Nationals Levels 1 and 2 in Health and Social Care – again free webinars supporting you to understand the specification and the assessment. During these events we focus on the marking criteria, model assignments, witness statements and examiner reports.
Ask the Moderator - a unique and interactive opportunity to engage with the Moderator on the issues that matter most to you. The event will also provide you with pointers towards resources and other sessions that can be used to develop your understanding of the assessment in key areas.
Understanding the assessment of internal units - These event will demonstrate how your students can progress from one grade to the next and will offer opportunities to mark real student work and engage with the Lead Moderator.
You can view upcoming dates and book your place via our Professional Development webpage.
If you have questions about the blog you can comment below, you can also sign-up for email updates or follow me on Twitter at @OCR_Health
Sarah Ash - Subject Advisor for Health & Social Care
Sarah was a teacher of Health and Social Care for ten years. This is her main subject area and her degree and PGCE qualifications are in this subject. She has also taught Child Development along with a number of other subjects at KS3 and moderated on the A level Health and Social Care for another awarding body. Sarah worked in secondary schools and a sixth form college in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex teaching KS4 and KS5 and as a teacher in a care home for young people aged 16-18 and supported them in preparing to leave care. She now works as a Subject Advisor in our Cambridge offices.