question for English teachers

(9 Posts)
dreamingofsun Sat 30-Nov-13 09:33:08

My son is in his second year of his English GCSE. We have just received a letter from the school telling us that they are changing from AQA GCSE English to IGCSE English for both literature and language.

At this stage in the school year this seems to be absolute madness. I don't trust the English teaching at this school anyway - having had a bad experience with an older child.

Am I being silly? Can someone put my mind at rest and tell me this is a good decision? What should I do?

thanks for your help. He needs to pass both English Lit and Language at least a C for his future career aspirations

gillviola Sat 30-Nov-13 16:51:17

Changing to IGCSE is something lots of schools are doing because of the changes to GCSE introduced by Gove in September. Coursework is optional and there are terminal exams at the end. Look at the syllabus online and it should put your mind at rest.

chicaguapa Sat 30-Nov-13 17:50:11

I don't know about English, but DH is trying to change to the iGCSE in science for the exact same reason.

I think it shows the English dept are committed to getting the best for the DC as they are sacrificing their 'results' as the iGCSE results don't count for the league tables.

I imagine that what they've done in the first GCSE year will still count for the iGCSE as no-one will be wanting to repeat work. But I would speak to the school for reassurance.

DH said his school sent a letter telling parents the English controlled assessment the DC had done would no longer count for 20% of the final result and they'd have to take an extra exam instead. And not one parent hit the roof! hmm They wanted the parents to come in and discuss it with them but there was no engagement at all.

friday16 Sat 30-Nov-13 18:21:27

as they are sacrificing their 'results' as the iGCSE results don't count for the league tables.

That's simply wrong. iGCSE has been accredited as equivalent to GCSE for English (and most other subjects) for about the last four years. Were it not, maintained schools wouldn't just be "sacrificing their results", they would be instantly placing themselves in special measures as they would instantly fall below the floor standards.

DH said his school sent a letter telling parents the English controlled assessment the DC had done would no longer count for 20% of the final result and they'd have to take an extra exam instead.

If that's a reference to the removal of the speaking and listening task from the English Language GCSE it's again inaccurate. There is no "extra exam", the weightings have been altered so that the exams take up the slack in the total UMS.

chicaguapa Sat 30-Nov-13 19:56:35

Thanks for clarifying. I'd read that iGCSE results weren't included for league table purposes and that the school would score zero if they did the iGCSE in that subject. That's useful to know it's not the case.

friday16 Sat 30-Nov-13 20:38:07

I'd read that iGCSE results weren't included for league table purposes

Not since 2010.

dreamingofsun Sat 30-Nov-13 21:51:17

so at this stage in the school year, is it a good thing or a bad thing for my son to change? It sounds like its positive, but i'm still a bit nervous about changing things at this stage in the school year on such an important subject?

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 01-Dec-13 06:37:25

It depends. The Language papers have similar skills so that would be fine. My concern would be the Lit paper - when we switched (at the start of school year with year 10) the text choices were completely different.

dreamingofsun Sun 01-Dec-13 10:37:24

thanks everyone for your comments. I will ask for more info from the school i think, so we can see how many more lit pieces he will need to understand

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