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I was looking at the proposals for exam reform

(37 Posts)
reddidi Wed 12-Mar-14 16:33:31

... in England and although all the information is there, it is difficult to work out exactly what is going to affect which children. So in summary, if you are currently in:

YR, Y2, Y3, Y4 or Y6 - You will follow the new National Curriculum. You willl sit all new GCSEs which are likely to be graded 1 (lowest) to 8 (highest) and are unlikely to have different "foundation" and "higher" papers except in a couple of subjects. If you take A levels you will sit all the exams at the end of Y13; AS levels may still exist but will not count as the first half of an A level.

Y1 - as above, except that you should still learn the old National Curriculum for English, Maths and Science and the Key Stage 1 tests at the end of Y2 will be based on the old National Curriculum because that is what you are currently following.

Y5 - as above, except that you should still learn the old National Curriculum for English, Maths and Science and the Key Stage 2 tests at the end of Y6 will be based on the old National Curriculum because that is what you are currently following.

Y7 - You will follow the new National Curriculum. You will be the first year to sit all new GCSEs (the second year for Maths and English) which are likely to be graded 1 (lowest) to 8 (highest) and are unlikely to have different "foundation" and "higher" papers except in a couple of subjects. If you take A levels you will sit all the exams at the end of Y13; AS levels may still exist but will not count as the first half of an A level.

Y8 - You will follow the new National Curriculum. You will be the first year to sit the new GCSEs in Maths and English which are likely to be graded 1 (lowest) to 8 (highest) and English is unlikely to have different "foundation" and "higher" papers (but Maths is likely to, as now). For all other subjects you will sit the existing linear GCSEs graded E (lowest) to A* (highest), including the revised "broader and deeper" Geography GCSE and "more challenging" science GCSEs. If you take A levels you will sit all the exams for these at the end of Y13; AS levels may still exist but will not count as the first half of an A level.

Y9 - You will follow the new National Curriculum except in English, Maths and Science. You will sit linear GCSEs, the revised English Language GCSE with no Speaking and Listening component, the revised "broader and deeper" Geography GCSE and "more challenging" science GCSEs. If you take A levels you will be the first year to sit all the exams for these at the end of Y13, although in certain subjects* you will be the second year to do this; AS levels may still exist but will not count as the first half of an A level.

Y10 - You will follow the new National Curriculum except in English, Maths and Science. You will be the second year to sit linear GCSEs, the revised English Language GCSE with no Speaking and Listening component and the revised "broader and deeper" Geography GCSE, and the third year to sit the revised "more challenging" science GCSEs (although the second to sit them linearly). If you take A levels in certain subjects* you will be the first year to sit all the exams for these at the end of Y13; AS levels may still exist for these subjects but will not count as the first half of an A level. A and AS levels for other subjects will be unchanged except that there will be no January exams so resitting will only be possible in June.

Y11 - The National Curriculum only applies up to Y11 so you will not be affected by the change to this in September 2014. You are the first year to sit linear GCSEs, the revised English Language GCSE with no Speaking and Listening component and the revised "broader and deeper" Geography GCSE, and the second year to sit the revised "more challenging" science GCSEs (although the first to sit them linearly). A and AS levels will be unchanged except that there are no January exams so resitting will only be possible in June.

Y12 - You were the first year to sit the revised "more challenging" science GCSEs , but otherwise you escaped except that there are no January AS or A2 exams so resitting will only be possible in June.

Y13 - You almost escaped change, except that there are no January AS or A2 exams so resitting will only be possible in June.

* the A level subjects that are changing for first examination in June 2017 (current Y10) are English language and literature, the sciences, history, geography, psychology, art and design, sociology, business studies, economics and computing.

So that's really simple for children, teachers, parents and employers to follow isn't it?

creamteas Wed 12-Mar-14 17:18:40

Great summary.

I think I will pin this on my wall to help dealing with uni admissions over the next couple of years!

AntoinetteCosway Wed 12-Mar-14 17:29:34

I'm going to print this!

lalsy Wed 12-Mar-14 17:38:43

reddidi, thank you, what a public service

My ds is currently in year 10, though, and is doing speaking and listening controlled assessments in English (edexcel iGCSE eng lang), so there are some still kicking about (this is a new syllabus).

I think university entrance for this cohort could be chaos, with no AS and uncertain effects of the changes on A levels grades - or will the exams change in recognition of the greater volume to be done all at once?

AntoinetteCosway Wed 12-Mar-14 18:10:49

lalsy I think the situation with speaking and listening is that they have to do them but they'll get a separate certificate for them and they won't actually count towards the GCSE.

lalsy Wed 12-Mar-14 19:11:55

That's what I thought but I have checked the iGCSE syllabus I referred to below and no - they seem to be part of the main mark count. Maybe an iGCSE things?

really1234 Wed 12-Mar-14 19:16:42

That's brilliant - thank you for that.

DS is in yr8 and we have had no information whatsoever. So he'll have a nice mixture of old style grades and new style 'numbers' in Maths and English. What a blinking mess.

really1234 Wed 12-Mar-14 19:28:00

Sorry, a question. Below is an extract from your Yr8 paragraph.

existing linear GCSEs graded E (lowest) to A (highest), including the revised "broader and deeper" Geography GCSE and "more challenging" science GCSEs.*

What are these 'linear' GCSEs?, I thought GCSEs were graded A-G?

With regard to the Geography and science, looks like they are stuffed then. The same grades as the old system but the tougher exams of the new system sad

AntoinetteCosway Wed 12-Mar-14 20:39:45

Ah yes, must be an igcse thing.

ThreeBeeOneGee Wed 12-Mar-14 20:42:10

Thank you from me too. I have one in Y9, one in Y7 and two in Y5, and finding it hard to get my head around all the changes.

motown3000 Wed 12-Mar-14 20:48:41

Completely confused ?. It reminds me of the sketch from "Monty Pythons Meaning of Life". The Public School Classroom one where they go on about a million different combinations and everybody is still confused.

I thought the new Gcse were going to be graded to 9....

motown3000 Wed 12-Mar-14 20:51:02

The other Problem is what if an employer thinks a Grade 8 is equal to a old style CSE grade 3 or 4 or Something ?

.( I am not quite that old but nonetheless)

reddidi Wed 12-Mar-14 21:08:59

@really1234
What are these 'linear' GCSEs?, I thought GCSEs were graded A-G?

"Linear" in this context means that all the exams are taken (and all controlled assessments (coursework) submitted) at the end of the (2 year) course. Previously, GCSEs were referred to as "modular", meaning that exams could be sat at any time after teaching the relevant module, and could be resat to improve grades at any time before "cashing in" at the end of the course.

These are confusing terms, not least because the syllabus is still broken down into modules which are examined separately (because exam boards haven't had time to change the syllabus to work differently). IMHO better terms than "linear" are "summative" (which is used for the new A levels) or "terminally examined" (which is absolutely specific but DfE/Ofqual don't seem to like), but "linear" is the term that has been used for terminally examined GCSEs for years so we are stuck with it.

With regard to the Geography and science, looks like they are stuffed then. The same grades as the old system but the tougher exams of the new system

Sort of, but for science in particular they may get tougher again in the new specifications.

@really1234
DS is in yr8 and we have had no information whatsoever. So he'll have a nice mixture of old style grades and new style 'numbers' in Maths and English. What a blinking mess.

Yes it's a real car crash for Y8s which will live on their CVs for a long time sad

@lalsy
iGCSEs, GCSEs and A levels in Wales and in Northern Ireland and Standard Grades and Highers in Scotland are not affected by this (but may have other changes, refer to the appropriate bodies).

Note that current Y11s, Y10s and Y9s doing English or English Language GCSEs will still do the speaking and listening elements but as AntoinetteCosway says they will not count towards the GCSE grade (instead the 20% which they used to count for will be added to the weighting for the examined part which will therefore count for 60% with controlled assessments counting for 40%). I left this detail out for clarity, sorry.

@really1234 @lalsy @creamteas
Thanks smile I have checked and rechecked this, but if anyone spots any errors do point them out!

reddidi Wed 12-Mar-14 21:18:30

@motown3000
I thought the new Gcse were going to be graded to 9....

It is not fixed yet. Ofqual have proposed 1-8, OCR's response (and maybe others?) to the consultation proposed 1-9. Note that 1-8 is 8 different grades as is G-A* but Ofqual stress that 1 is not equivalent to G and 8 is not equivalent to A* etc. so 1-9 would avoid people making this obvious link.

joanofarchitrave Wed 12-Mar-14 21:19:07

I am in awe of your work reddidi, thank you.

reddidi Wed 12-Mar-14 21:23:56

Oops, a typo: graded E G (lowest) to A* (highest)

Y8 - You will follow the new National Curriculum. You will be the first year to sit the new GCSEs in Maths and English which are likely to be graded 1 (lowest) to 8 (highest) and English is unlikely to have different "foundation" and "higher" papers (but Maths is likely to, as now). For all other subjects you will sit the existing linear GCSEs graded G (lowest) to A* (highest), including the revised "broader and deeper" Geography GCSE and "more challenging" science GCSEs. If you take A levels you will sit all the exams for these at the end of Y13; AS levels may still exist but will not count as the first half of an A level.

lalsy Wed 12-Mar-14 21:40:45

Good work folks.....shall we send it to that Mr Gove chap when we have finished? Some of the detail and implications may be news to him.....

VivaLeBeaver Wed 12-Mar-14 21:47:40

Dd is in year 8 and it worries me.

I try and tell myself that all of her year will be in the same boat so it really shouldn't matter for uni applications, etc. they'll all be affected the same. Dd loves science and wants to do some sort of science at uni so I hope the new, tough exams don't ruin it for her.

It worries me that they'll be guinea pigs for so much stuff. Will the teachers be teaching them the right stuff now to prepare for it? It all seems so rushed.

motown3000 Wed 12-Mar-14 21:53:12

We could of course turn it up to "11" ? You can't have an 11 because it only goes up to 9.. Those who know the film "Spinal Tap" will not what I mean. it would be hilariously funny , if it was not so serious.

reddidi Wed 12-Mar-14 22:14:55

@motown3000
grin re Spinal Tap

You are right about 1-9: Ofqual were saying 1-8 back in July last year but by November had moved to 1-9 so that is the current proposal.

Also noticed that I missed potential changes to English lit and history, I'll mop these up in a second full version on Friday, any more corrections/suggestions send 'em through smile

reddidi Wed 12-Mar-14 22:57:26

Dd is in year 8 and it worries me.

It worries admissions tutors even more. The last time I spoke to a (Cambridge) admissions tutor they couldn't see any alternative than to interview many more candidates (because GCSE results alone aren't enough to spot the good ones) and either make lower offers or make more offers and risk overfilling (because you know a candidate with 3 As at AS with 2 at 90%+ UMS is on track for A*AA but without the AS results you've only got predicted grades). Alternatively/also tests such as BMAT, LNAT, ELAT, TSA etc. may become even more important and introduced for more subjects. This first becomes a problem for university admissions in 2017, so current Y10s.

noblegiraffe Wed 12-Mar-14 23:15:01

Will the teachers be teaching them the right stuff now to prepare for it?

In a word: no. Speaking as a maths teacher. The new content for GCSE was only released in November, in a dense 17 page document which will take some digesting. The exam boards are currently working their way through it and trying to decide how to assess it. They will need to produce syllabuses, textbooks, resources, sample exam papers. First priority for schools will be sorting out schemes of work for KS4, for the kids who will be starting it in 2015, then thinking about how it will filter down to KS3. Gove has also said it will require extra teaching time because there is a lot more content than currently, so that all needs to be thrashed out with whoever is in charge of timetable allocations.

Kids in the first few years of these changes will be at a disadvantage over those currently in primary who will start secondary school with teachers knowing what they will be working towards in Y11.

saintlyjimjams Thu 13-Mar-14 06:50:20

Wow - really helpful - thank you

OddBoots Thu 13-Mar-14 07:01:04

Thank you, that's really helpful but what a complete mess!

The removal of AS levels as a standard part of sixth form is utterly baffling to me, having them just makes more sense.

noblegiraffe Thu 13-Mar-14 07:08:12

AS levels will still exist, but the results won't count towards A2. So if a student takes an AS in e.g. Maths, gets their results and finds out they've done brilliantly and decide they want to take A-level, they'll have to be examined on all the AS stuff again at the end of the A-level.

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