Earlier this week, students sat the first paper of the new GCSEs.

We thought the OCR B paper was fair. A few interesting variations from the usual structure of the paper, and less emphasis on some aspects of the specification than we might have expected.

Worth reading a couple of articles by teachers on the new GCSEs to get some other perspectives.

There is a TES piece here by Mark Enser.

There is a temptation to see the specification as a long checklist and to base the curriculum on simply working our way through it and making sure we get to the end in time for the exam. The issue with this approach is that it ignores the links between topics that you see when you look back at the exam paperSecond is a piece by Jennifer Monk on her blog. Read that here.

Some interesting comments in both.
Tony Cassidy reminded us to have some perspective on our own involvement in students' GCSE performance...
Geography was also the subject of several articles this week: in the Times there was a story of how middle class students are apparently drawn to the subject, and the Telegraph did a fairly lazy piece on the subject too - why does every mention of Geography resort to mentions of 'colouring in' still?

It's also worth having a look on Twitter immediately after the paper ends too, as the memes and comments flow from students who have just sat the paper - just search on terms such as #edexcelgeography to see them (works for all awarding bodies and subjects too for the next month or so)

Best of luck to all students and teachers who are still to sit the other two papers. And that goes for parents supporting students too - have just spent a couple of hours with my son going through his urban case studies for Paper 2....