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GCSEs are to stay!

(208 Posts)
SPBInDisguise Thu 07-Feb-13 09:02:36

I didn't see that coming. Sorry if there's a thread already, I did look.

story here

RevisionBuddies Thu 07-Mar-13 14:38:13

Revision Buddies have a nice blog post on this subject...

zamantha Sun 24-Feb-13 19:24:43

My DS took it last year and he covered a lot of literature which is good. Was a fiasco with AQA English grades in summer though and we were lucky, as only a few were, his exam was upped by 2 grades. His school, a good all boy comp, had most except top set doing this to maximise grades which had worked prior to the deflation of 2012.

ravenAK Sun 24-Feb-13 18:42:58

Thanks (& sorry I got your name wrong - predictive text!).

I've had middle/top sets for the last couple of years, so never taught it, but it does look like a better option than inflated Lang results & dismal ones for Lit for our C/D borderliners. Ah well...

zamantha Sun 24-Feb-13 18:33:34

In an email/letter to schools - these were in his list of intentions - Gove that is. I presume the English GCSe will be dropped in about 4/5 years as he had planned all the changes with ebac to do so. However, will he be lobbied about this? It works for many pupils.

ravenAK Sun 24-Feb-13 15:45:15

Bugger, we've only just started offering English to our least able couple of sets...nothing on AQA site, Samantha, are you sure? I'd better give HOD a head's up on that one!

JugglingFromHereToThere Sun 24-Feb-13 13:48:00

Ah, thanks for that zamantha, it's good to know what's going on !

Rhiannon86 Sun 24-Feb-13 12:40:17

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zamantha Sun 24-Feb-13 10:56:51

In short:
English GCSE to be scrapped
English literature GCSe and English Language GCSe to continue.
Many schools have to try to teach two exams in 3 lessons maybe 4 a week.

zamantha Sun 24-Feb-13 10:54:50

Happy to answer smile. The new proposals I think are suggesting that the combined course called English which incorporates Eng.lang/Eng. lit is to be scrapped which favoured those slightly less gifted at the subject - namely my DS who is brilliant at Maths and Science but not English. New GCSEs insist on dual certificates and so two exams have to be studied in finite time - not all students will manage breadth of syllabi and sadly some schools will not offer Literature except to the brightest to ensure all pupils achieve a good grade in Language - understandable as all pupils need a good English grade and they only need one for further education. Could mean far fewer lit. texts being studied. sad

JugglingFromHereToThere Fri 22-Feb-13 19:10:48

Just wondered about the changes you mentioned with "new English GCSE to be scrapped" zamantha, but not to worry !

zamantha Fri 22-Feb-13 19:08:35

Do not agree . They are a good measure of standards and it is wrong for others to downgrade or moan about our children's achievements.

Interesting about Maths results today - comparing Asian countries with England. Culture seems to play a part and I do believe we put down education, educationalists and many in society have not been made to see how education can prosper them - is sad. That being said, things are achanaging and the pressure in some Asian communities upon children achieving is perhaps unhealthy.

Rhiannon86 Fri 22-Feb-13 14:39:20

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zamantha Fri 22-Feb-13 14:09:32

Sorry, don't understand question.

JugglingFromHereToThere Fri 22-Feb-13 10:56:32

Ah, what's happening now with English then zamantha ? - DD(13) just starting to really enjoy her English, including Shakespeare - they've been reading "Much Ado"
It's all very confusing isn't it ? Especially for our year 9's (like DD)

zamantha Thu 21-Feb-13 19:26:33

Am sad the new English GCSe is to be scrapped - it incorporated Literature study but enable the teacher to focus on literacy in the main - just right for many pupils who back in the day would not be allowed to take an O'level - that being 80% of the population.

Purists about Shakespeare do annoy - they are meant to be seen not read - they are plays. The joy of reading them is generally far better once seen and visual cues will support some understanding once the text is explored. Close analysis of critical scenes is a beautiful way to teach Shakespeare as there is then time to mull over perfect poetry.

I also agree up thread how brilliant the BBC David Tennant version of Hamlet is - being a mum can't go to theatre so much and I was transfixed with the way he brought the language to life with such rich meanings.

Hate Gove - so glad GCSEs are staying - surely improve them but don't just focus on the elite. There is also an argument that the C grader receives most focus due to league tables and internal school pressures- this could be addressed.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Tue 12-Feb-13 15:10:37

Great, thanks. Options evening is coming but I needed to get MN approval first! It's got a very good art dept and does Photography as well as art. She's had a letter saying they would really like her to consider doing one of them and decided Photography. I originally thought Art might be looked upon as 'better' but DH pointed out is something that she will probably use in the future . I'd like to have a clu how to actually use a camera. So unless they say something to put her off at Options evening she's going with that.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 12-Feb-13 12:37:59

Anyway, Wynken, those options sound OK to me, but presumably you get some sort of options evening to discuss these things, and your DD will have a session with someone to check they're ok.

JugglingFromHereToThere Tue 12-Feb-13 11:33:50

No, am pretty sure you can do Photography GCSE in it's own right now BoffinMum - though you can also use some photography within an Art GCSE too smile

BoffinMum Tue 12-Feb-13 11:20:46

Is Photography really Art GCSE?

WynkenBlynkenandNod Tue 12-Feb-13 09:50:03

Ok this is doing my head in all the chopping and then not changing. Year 9 options next month. Compulsory English, Maths and science. 4 options, I'm thinking Geography, Spanish, Photography and Drama. She's not keen the Geography and Spanish but accepts that she needs to do them. Put my foot down about Media Studies with an incentive (No it's not blackmail DD if you find this).

That way she's got core, a humanity, a language then things she wants to do. Does that all sound OK ?

BoffinMum Mon 11-Feb-13 12:15:28

I learned spelling and grammar extremely rigorously in one particular primary school, on a whole class basis. Upon looking up my former classmates on Friends Reunited, I found that, surprise surprise, all the better off kids had left the area and got white collar jobs, and the others had stayed behind and got blue collar jobs, or were unemployed.

It's about a hell of a lot more than what you know.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 11-Feb-13 09:02:34

>watching them regularly make mistakes and gaffs
Or gaffes even wink.

I did O-levels in the 70s and learnt more grammar from French than English lessons. We didn't study a proper novel - The Nun's Priest's Tale and Under Milk Wood (plus The Merchant of Venice) always seemed a somewhat odd combination to me (other sets did The Mayor of Casterbridge).

We did get taken to see both the Shakespeare and the Thomas, which was good - as well as reading all the texts through in class and having to memorise chunks.

The assessment consisted of one exam paper (all other O-levels were multiple papers). That was shite.

It wasn't perfect then, its not perfect now but not sure its worse - true enough as LaQ says it depends a lot on the calibre of the teacher. Same applies to other subjects of course.

ravenAK Sun 10-Feb-13 19:49:39


Our kids do have to study Eng Lit, yes.

They all do it as integral part of English, including at least one Shakespeare play each year, throughout KS3.

Then the most able 2/3 are timetabled to do both Lang & Lit GCSEs at KS4. Same teacher for both, integrated course which weaves in & out between CA for one then exam skills for t'other. Less able students do single award English, which incorporates both, albeit with a greater emphasis on Lang.

@LaQueen - I suspect I'd enjoy having you as a TA in my lessons. There'd probably be quite substantial areas of disagreement, but a second person in the room sharing the enthusiasm would be fun, & great for the students. As a department we've been arguing for subject-specialist TAs for some time.

I will just say this about this: 'why have I sat in endless English lessons, as a TA listening to much younger English teachers who have benefitted from the New Labour approach to teaching English...watching them regularly make mistakes and gaffs...watching them make countless spelling and punctuation mistakes on the white boards...who also freely admit in the staff room that actually they themselves have never read any of Shakespeare's plays page for page...' that it isn't an experience you'd be having in my lessons, or that of any of my colleagues.

Although, having been educated in the '80s & subjected to the Tory approach myself, it's a bloody good job I did Latin, or I'd know nowt about English grammar despite going to a super-selective grammar school...wink

pointythings Sun 10-Feb-13 17:25:42

I suspect you're right, BoffinMum - he's just worried that some of those parents might be the kind that vote for his party...

BoffinMum Sun 10-Feb-13 11:47:45

Gove is after a kind of educational Hitler Youth developing plenty of mini Goves that agree with everything he says.

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