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Modern day parents - what should I expect re GCSE's etc???

(19 Posts)
LynetteScavo Fri 22-Jul-11 18:31:34

I'm panicking slightly after reading some other threads.

In my day we did 8 GCSE's, all in one year. I did no revision what so ever...and about an hours homework per night MAX. (Not all teachers actually set homework)

I understand things are different now. So; How many GCSE's to they take now? Over how many years do they take them? If they don't get an A when they first take it, can they take it again? How much homework/revision is normal.


Fairenuff Fri 22-Jul-11 18:39:50

My DD will be doing 10 and a half!?! GCSES spread out over the next 2 years. I too am confused as some DCs her age (in different schools) have already taken some of their GCSE's papers. Will be interested to find out the answers to this one too.

PotteringAlong Fri 22-Jul-11 18:46:37

Right- first off, don't Panic, I promise school will know what they're doing!

How many depends on what subjects and how the school is sorted but most pupils will do 10 GCSE's as standard - this might increase if they do something like ICT which can be worth up to 4 GCSE's.

Whether they resit depends on a) how old they are and b)their target grades. From 2014 (so puils just leaving year 8 going into year 9) they won't he allowed to resit because the rules are changing. If their target grades are high and achievement is low until then they should be able to resit but it's much better not to have to!

Pupils will usually still do GCSE's over 2 years, but in my department I run my GCSE over 3 years (so they start at the beginning of year 9 and take the first exam in year 10) as I only get 1 hour a week and it's simply too quick to do it in 2 years.

Your best bet is to go to the options evening or, if your DC is older, call school and ask. They'll never mind answering questions

LynetteScavo Fri 22-Jul-11 19:15:15

Thank you, PotteringAlong .

Why won't they be able to resit?

DS is just finishing Y7, so does this mean he will only get one chance at each GCSE?

PotteringAlong Fri 22-Jul-11 19:41:24

Honest answer? I don't know - I only found this out at school today! I'm planning on worrying about it until September grin

If I read it correctly it's that the government are saying all GCSE's must be linear (ie taken at the end of year 11 in a one shot wonder kind of way) but the implications of that for doing your GCSE in 2 bits (ie one half in year 10 and the next in year 11) which is what lots of departments do I genuinely don't know. I've added it to my stuff to do list for the holidays! But I'm fairly certain it means no resits for your DS

PotteringAlong Fri 22-Jul-11 19:43:02

I'm NOT planning on worrying about it until September that should've said... smile

LynetteScavo Fri 22-Jul-11 20:45:21

So it's going back to how it was "in my day" but with 22 GCSE's rather than 8 (only really boffins did more than 8 GCSE's! - some one got into the local paper because they took 12,although not all A's ) How times change!

kritur Fri 22-Jul-11 21:32:41

By the time your son gets to Year 11 it is likely that the GCSE assessment scheme will be much more similar to the one you took yourself than the current regime. The government is currently looking at moving all GCSEs (except maths and english) to terminal assessment at the end of Year 11 like in the olden days!

In the current system kids are taking between 9 and 15 GCSEs or equivalents (BTECs, OCR nationals, diplomas, ASDAN and AQA awards etc.......) which is really confusing for parents. Modules can be resat many times which restricts the depth of knowledge the student can achieve (and doesn't help in preparation for A-level).

Tortu Fri 22-Jul-11 22:32:05

Gah. Can I just point out again what an idiot Michael Gove is? Modules throughout the course means that kids are required to work throughout the course rather than winging it for a year and then cramming at the end. Also, what is the problem with letting them resit it until they get the grades? At least this guarantees that they actually know the stuff!

As anybody who's read any education studies at all knows, this form of assessment favours just one style of learner: the bullshitter.

(mutter, mutter...fantasies about Michael Gove meeting any children in a comprehensive)

Kritur, not sure what you mean by this: 'Modules can be resat many times which restricts the depth of knowledge the student can achieve (and doesn't help in preparation for A-level).'.

PotteringAlong Sat 23-Jul-11 13:16:43

Tortu - agree completely!

mountaingirl Sat 23-Jul-11 14:47:43

Tortu - I agree completely. My ds has had to study continually over the last two years whereas dh & I did next to nothing at the last minute. I wish Grove and his cronies would give some credit to these poor kids and their teachers. If he needs to improve anything it is teaching English grammar and making sure that this generation knows how to spell and punctuate.

SecretSquirrels Sat 23-Jul-11 14:50:17

Some of the numbers are boosted because schools have been allowed to class BTECs as GCSEs. They are not GCSEs and have no exams but a vocational course in say sport can "count" as 4 GCSEs. So even none academic kids can come out with 15 "GCSE"s although in fact they may have only done 3 or 4 subjects and no exams. I think Gove plans to stop this which might make the numbers of real GCSEs more like when I did 8 in 1974.

DS1 has just finished Y10. He's done his Maths GCSE and started statistics. He's doing 3 sciences, 2 English, 1 language, Geog, PE and RE. So 11 altogether. Quite a bit has already been done in Y10 some in exams and some in "controlled assessments" which are like long tests done in exam conditions.

The modular courses and coursework do tend to suit some kids better than others, I wonder whether boys might do better with a big bang at the end of Y11 rather than the drip, drip approach? A whole other subject though.

gramercy Sat 23-Jul-11 16:39:26

I'd much rather things went back to the old system.

Why should there be no differentiation between pupil A who gets A* at one shot and pupil B who has taken the GCSE in countless bitesize chunks and then has resat it a few times into the bargain?

EvilTwins Sun 24-Jul-11 20:53:01

But gramercy, why should the "at one shot" pupil deserve more credit? I think that showing a consistent level of achievement over a period of time is more "real". I also did bugger all in prep for my GCSEs but came out with As and Bs (in 1991) Going back to the "old system" will benefit some students and not others, but doesn't actually prove anything, other than that some kids are better at sitting exams. Exams aren't a good preparation for real life. I know now that I wouldn't be able to get away with doing very little for 2 years and still be seen as a top achiever at the end of it.

Secret Squirrel - you didn't do 8 GCSEs in 1974. Surely you did O Levels if it was 1974 - different again.

Kez100 Sun 24-Jul-11 22:03:07

How much time do we spend learning, say, Maths. At just secondary it must be well over 400 hours. I cannot see testing in an hour and a half is a good way. Sure it was the way we olduns had to do it, but that doesn't make it right.

Whilst I can see the practical problems of CAs I think they are a much fairer way of assessment and covering the syllabus too. Modules as well - I imagine the cost is quite high - but by the end of the course the children will have had much longer in total hours in the exam room which also allows better coverage of the syllabus and - should a child be ill on one day - it's less of a problem.

Hayfever for anyone who suffers (I did as a child) make exam time a complete nightmare. I welcome exams dotted around that make it fairer for hayfever sufferers too.

mumblechum1 Sun 24-Jul-11 22:06:30

DS has just taken 12 GCSEs but as others have said, he didn't need to do a massive amount of revision as so much work is coursework or modules. He'd already got about 80% of the marks for the sciences and English before the summer exams started (not all subjects are like that, though).

I like the coursework method, he does well with coursework, all A or A* whereas he goes off track in exams.

mumblechum1 Sun 24-Jul-11 22:10:48

Rather, he'd done 80% of the work, not got 80% of the marks, sadly!

magentadreamer Sun 24-Jul-11 22:15:06

My DD (yr9) has just completed two GCSE. Both where done over yr9. GCSE Statistics one exam in June and one CA. GCSE Geography one "bitesized chunk" unit in Jan, two "bitesized" chunks in June plus a CA . She worked her socks off for Geography all year. GCSE Statistics was very much a last minute bugger I've got an exam for my DD and I suspect Geography if assessed similar would have been the same. What I don't agree with is the whole culture of I can always resit if I don't get a good grade first time around.

Kez100 Sun 24-Jul-11 22:16:40

My daughters in year 10 and has no coursework at all so for those who argue against it, in our experience it has gone. It's now controlled assessment which is very different as it's sat in exam conditions but over an extended period so, presumably, it again covers more syllabus and give more chance to provide evidence of ability.

All the modules sat mumble will be examined modules. So he has still been examined and, in total, for longer.

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