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to be a bit taken aback that DS1 after only 6 weeks in yr10 is sitting part of his GCSE English core assessment today?

(30 Posts)
Ormirian Thu 20-Oct-11 13:03:20

It seems really confusing.

He is taking some subjects early but English isn't one of them. Apparently any of his GCSEs can be taken either in June or January but he doesn't know which yet. They no longer do 'course work' and all non-exam based work has to be done in school in a set up that sounds remarkably like an exam to me. And we won't know when he is doing them until a month or so before. He's only just been told that he will be doing 3 seperate sciences

I think I may just be too old to comprehend this but it does seem very complicated. The school have tried to explain it but there seem to be so many variables confused.

Life was much simpler in the old days <mutters and shakes walking stick at young whippersnappers>

MrsRobertDuvall Thu 20-Oct-11 13:10:40

Dd is too.
I wish they just did proper exams like wot I did.

ragged Thu 20-Oct-11 13:11:13

do they really not explain to you or the kids?

We always had sheets, handed out in first week or 2 of school, explaining that each piece of course work or exam will count for X% and the exam and course work dates are ABC, etc., a time table of material to be covered, etc.

CoffeeDog Thu 20-Oct-11 13:12:17

I am still shocked at my daughter bringing home a hand written by her paragraph about how to stay safe on the internet and not to give personnell info out to strangers... shes just 5 (the closest she gets to unsupervised computer access is the justin game on cbeebies.

Also upstairs 11yr old ask to use the printer as hers had broken and she needed to print out the worksheet to do her homework as all their work is set online now????

Good luck to your son, exams or no exams

coolascucumber Thu 20-Oct-11 13:12:52

We had this in year 9 last year sad

Ormirian Thu 20-Oct-11 13:14:17

Not like that ragged no.

We had a 'GCSE evening' last week where the deputy head talked at us for about an hour and explained the basics - which seemed to indicate that we were destined to now know what's going on for the next 2 years confused They did ask for questions but I wasn't sure where to start.

But we have a proper parent's evening soon so I will find someone to grill.

WoowooscarytouristfromWales Thu 20-Oct-11 13:19:23

We've had a timetable from the school ...
" GCSE Controlled Assessment Calendar "
Which for English very handily shows English as ongoing throughout the year.
Last week DD had a creative writing assessment , which I think took 3 lessons

WoowooscarytouristfromWales Thu 20-Oct-11 13:20:45

Can't write correctly sorry
Which shows English assessment as ongoing through the year

mumsamilitant Thu 20-Oct-11 13:20:52

YANBU. Yes, very very confusing.

My DS in year 9 and is taking certain GCSE's and I haven't got a clue what's going on. Apparently that they do this from now on all the time. Assessment, assessment, assessment.

What little I have gathered is

1. Everything is now geared to GCSE's
2. To show the teachers what levels they are capable of
3. At the end of year 11, the best levels are chosen to represent them

PS. The above is probably crap and I don't know what I'm talking about confused

ShirleyKnot Thu 20-Oct-11 13:22:20

My DS did a GCSE module of maths at the end of last year (so yr 9)


And he's constantly doing exam work so far this term.

hiddenhome Thu 20-Oct-11 13:24:00

Can they still choose their own subject options, or is this done for them?

Ormirian Thu 20-Oct-11 13:25:33

Yep he chose his options! But he lost his only MFL because he didn't want to drop music. Which is a bit of a bugger.

mediawhore Thu 20-Oct-11 13:29:57

YABU. It is no real difference than previously, except the controlled assessments are done in a more formal environment now to reduce plagiarism, which was becoming a huge issue in schools.

Am an English teacher (though currently on Maternity Leave) and can tell you that the English course is as follows now:

Controlled assessments throughout the year (in place of 'traditional' coursework). These come at the end of most units of work, which often take half a term.

The pupils will then do exams in a couple of units - most likely one in June 2012 and one in June 2013 (though this does depend on how individual schools sort their curriculum - this is the basic.)

The school should have sent info out (or put on school website) at the start of the year. We give all our students a sheet with what will be done and when. Maybe your child did not pass this on?

fourkids Thu 20-Oct-11 13:32:23

Ormirian, TBH I'm as lost as you on this, but I can assist in one way - The controlled assesments replace the coursework this year (so that the parents can't do it for them), but tend not to be exams as such. They seem to be 'coursework' that is prepared for in the preceding weeks during lessons, then written up in a supervised environment.

However, what I can't get my head around is this -My DC (yr10) has already done part of her maths GCSE (the rest will be in another two exams over the next two years. Sh is 14 FFS! And I can't get any sense about whether all schools and all exam boards do this - so is DC in effect disadvantaged by doing part of it so early? And do all schools do the same exams at the same time, or if someone knew the right people could they get an idea iof the questions from someone in a different school/area?

Ormirian Thu 20-Oct-11 13:33:36

I'll ask him media. But I think I've seen everything.

So he could be doing another one of these just before christmas?

herbietea Thu 20-Oct-11 13:34:40

Message withdrawn

Ormirian Thu 20-Oct-11 13:35:52

That's something else that I struggle with fourkids - DS1 is doing maths GCSE this year. If he does OK they will leave it at that. If he does better than expected he can do it again grin Madness I tell you!

Ormirian Thu 20-Oct-11 13:37:18

However DS seems au fait with it all and I guess that is what matters.

gramercy Thu 20-Oct-11 13:39:48

Just as an aside - these controlled assessments - if they're given the question in advance can't they just memorise a model essay? I asked ds this but as usual his reply was "mumble mumble gerroff my case mumble mumble"

fourkids Thu 20-Oct-11 13:44:14

"However DS seems au fait with it all and I guess that is what matters."

That's really sensible...same here I suppose. It's just all so <<wail>> confuuuuuusing.

And it seems to mean that the entire next two years is going to be taken up with GCSE's (revision every night etc) rather than relatively hard work for two years with a full-blown cramming session at the end. I fear that by the time they've all done their GCSEs it will have completely taken over our by the time the last one is doing them, we'll have A levels underway (same system??), and one half way through university doing exams too.

It caught me by surprise a bit, and I wonder if it will ever end...

fourkids Thu 20-Oct-11 13:46:36

gramercy, yes they can. And that's what they are instructed to do AFAICT!

They prepare and write copious notes during the lessons before- which must be in bullet form rather than actual essay form - and the teacher checks them, and tells them how to make them better. Then they take them in and write it up.

IloveJudgeJudy Thu 20-Oct-11 13:50:33

I think it must be the four-hour controlled assessment that DD is doing. She's had to do hers after-school a couple of hours as she had other things to do, like a geography field trip on one or two of the scheduled hours.

fourkids Thu 20-Oct-11 13:51:38

"That's something else that I struggle with fourkids - DS1 is doing maths GCSE this year. If he does OK they will leave it at that. If he does better than expected he can do it again Madness I tell you!"

The only reason I can think of for that is that they ony teach to the grade they predict the DC will get. So if they predict a C for example, for a group of kids, they don't teach them the stuff they would need for a B or and A. So I guess if a child in that group does better than expected, they think, "Oh, we'd better teach Charlie some more stuff because he might be able to do the whole exam if we do."! ie they decide whether each child should work toward foundation or higher level and teach them accordingly (This seems bonkers to me, but I have tried to rationalise it by likening it to O levels and CSEs - which I think might have equated to a grade C O level?).

However I may have that right round my neck...maybe a teacher will come along and enlighten us...

mediawhore Thu 20-Oct-11 13:57:24

It may well be that he will do another one before Xmas - it depends on how your school set out their course.

Maybe an email to the head of department would help you know what is expected and when.

smellimelli Thu 20-Oct-11 13:57:57

Contact the school, ask to speak to the Exams Officer. They will have a timetable of all exams, modules and Controlled Assessment dates.

I'm surprised your DC hasn't been given this/accessed it on the school website. This happens at my school.

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