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Just got back from DCs year 11 parents' evening and i felt a slight air of panic amongst the teachers .....

(114 Posts)
iclaudius Wed 27-Mar-13 20:59:06

They seemed all at sea about grade boundaries .... imparted some shocking statistics about the number of A* for example being awared this year as opposed to last year at the same modules.

A few of them alluded to 'Is this Gove? Who knows?'

Generally left us with the impression that August this year will be very different to the last few years. We are not OVERLY concerned by this as we do agree that the system needs to change BUT its worrying when it is your own child who is THIS year group.

Anyone experienced similar news at theor childs school??

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 28-Mar-13 11:48:42

aargh. Sorry. Bloody laptop. blush

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 28-Mar-13 11:52:33

notnow Oh god, really? sad English Lit and Lang are DD1's top subjects and she will be gutted if she doesn't do as well as she is hoping. sad

bigTillyMint Thu 28-Mar-13 12:57:40

So notnow, it's better if the students sit the exams early in Jan?

notnowImreading Thu 28-Mar-13 13:33:23

BigTilly, there is no way to know in advance which sessions are 'better' - it's supposed to be bloody fair! Of course, I am not necessarily right; I'm only basing my ideas on last year's experience in English Lang and the results from the Lit modules taken in schools local to me.

Russians, if these are your DD's best subjects, you have much less to worry about. It is the pupils on course to hit D and C grades who will be in the firing line if my guess is correct. hmm

It really makes me so sad for the pupils - there is nothing they can do about the situation they're in except work harder, work harder. It's not as though they (for the most part) don't care. Poor little buggers.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 28-Mar-13 13:57:13

Actually, notnow I don't agree that I have much less to worry about. DD1 has significant challenges in her life and she deserves to do as well as she is predicted to do in those subjects. I am perfectly entitled to be worried about what will happen to her as a result of Gove's meddling.

bigTillyMint Thu 28-Mar-13 14:20:45

I am also a bit worried, though DD is only in Y9 - will her predicted grades (already doing 3yr GCSE course) be achieveable or will she be disappointed even if she works hard?sad

iclaudius Thu 28-Mar-13 14:32:08

Yes it seems like that bigtillymint...

I think the reality is it will affect ALL kids in this year in different ways ... I wish as I said earlier that it was more publicised as I think a lot of children are in for a shock

What will happen in August - what will Gove say then? Maybe an over intellectualised conversation on news night followed by the whole thing being forgotten and the class of 2013 left to 'get on with it'?

AryaUnderfoot Thu 28-Mar-13 14:47:13

iclaudius the wonderful Mr Gove will make a grand statement about how our children have been let down by an education system that has been declining for the last 20 years. He will say that the measures, put in place by him, will help to bring back rigour to the education system, ensure teachers have high aspirations for all students and will help to restore our place in the international rankings.

The trouble is that he believes his own hype.

notnowImreading Thu 28-Mar-13 17:48:59

Russians, I apologise if I've offended you - it wasn't intended. I meant that there seems to be a lot less movement in the grade boundaries at the upper end of the spectrum and those pupils with high Bs to A* grades seem to have been penalised less than pupils on the C-D borderline. Again, that's only based on the changes we experienced in English last year. Actually, I agree that you have every right to be worried about Gove's pernicious effect on education, particularly for the class of 2013.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 28-Mar-13 18:57:53

notnow You didn't offend me thanks (although another poster did) but I did want to challenge the assumption that if a child gets an A or a B instead of the A* they would have got in other years, then that's fine and they should just suck it up because at least they haven't failed.

BrunellaPommelhorse Thu 28-Mar-13 18:58:35

yup - already loads of evidence that grade boundaries WAY higher than last year in lots of controlled assessments

IAmLouisWalsh Thu 28-Mar-13 20:19:00

January exams are going - this year was the last series for GCSE. And the November series will be resit only English and Maths - ie only open to those who sat the exams the previous June, and must be a full resit.

complexnumber Thu 28-Mar-13 21:39:45

"In a few years time, employers, etc won't remember that the GCSE's started being marked more harshly this year"

But in a few years the GCSE is going to be completely irrelevant any way as noone will be leaving school at 16 any more.

(Or have I misunderstood something)

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 28-Mar-13 21:49:10

Sorry, Russians, but I DO disagree with you. Getting an A rather than an A* won't stop you from getting onto ANY college course, or stop you from getting ANY job.

Getting a D instead of a C will when even basic retail jobs expect you to have a minimum of C at GCSE.

So what if you can't do medicine? At least you can GO to college or Uni and get ANY job that will actually FEED you.

Those in current Y10 that will be affected by the change in the C/D boundary may well NOT. Our local college is insistent that they will NOT relax the course requirements on any of their courses - they didn't for this years intake even with the grades fiasco.

So there IS a significant difference. And lots of these C/D pupils will have parents that CAN'T afford to support them if they are unable to receive JSA, unable to get CTC and ChB because they are no longer in education, and also unable to get even the most basic job.

In my town, even cleaners are asked to have Maths & English GCSE at a C grade or above, because there are so many applicants for each job (200 for each job), that many WILL have those grades.

So, it leaves the C/D borderline pupils with nothing to feed themselves with.

It doesn't leave an A*/A pupil in the same situation.

I HAVE another DC who will be an A*/A pupil. I'm not going to worry about being able to feed him if he gets an A instead of an A*. I AM worried about feeding my DD because her C's will now be D's.

iclaudius Thu 28-Mar-13 21:52:48

couthy - you have to hope that when push comes to shove the local college example you give will actually lower the entrance requirements

if they don't they simply wont fill the places

iclaudius Thu 28-Mar-13 21:54:39

I decoded tonight that PRE results the government should make a big LOUD CLEAR press announcement - telling the world that this is going to happen - then everyone - teachers - pupils- employers- colleges - the media - the world will know where they satnd and no one will be left feeling short changed

iclaudius Thu 28-Mar-13 21:54:54

decided - not decoded

Startail Thu 28-Mar-13 21:58:53

I wish they'd stop messing about with English, DD1 is dyslexic, she's better at lit. than language, so I really didn't want to hear they are messing that about too.

She'll get a C disasters apart, but some sixth forms want a B and at present that looks like her having to do her least fav. language CAs again.

Core science she should get her A, stupid course work report things allowing (I can't remember what they are called)
Sorry, when she gets 99% on one exam paper, dropping a grade because of extended writing, waffly course work annoys me.
I'm a firm believer in nice simple old style end of two year exams. Spreading the stress and pain over two years seems utterly cruel.

Schooldidi Thu 28-Mar-13 22:10:20

Couthy aren't there ANY college courses near you that have lower requirements? I'm not talking about A levels; they tend to have a very strict C grade (or even B grade in some subjects) or no place policy, but other more vocational courses.

I currently teach a year 11 class where there are very few of them who are likely to achieve the C in both English and Maths, not through lack of effort or teaching, but because they find it incredibly difficult. Every single one of them has something lined up to do next year, whether it is a course at college that 'only' requires Ds and has the space for young people to resit Maths and English GCSE as many times as they need, or apprenticeships. Is it very different in your area? Our colleges seem to cater very well for young people without Cs at GCSE, offering childcare, construction, hair and beauty, agriculture, etc.

Haberdashery Thu 28-Mar-13 22:10:43

This is why it would have been better to stick to the system where the grades were based on where in your cohort you came, so top 5% A, next 10% B, whatever makes sense in terms of what you want the grades to mean. It would be an unlikely world in which one year's children were madly more intelligent or otherwise than the next/previous year over such a large sample.

iclaudius Thu 28-Mar-13 22:21:03


Would have been better to completely overhaul the entire system and start again rather than merely denigrating the existing one...

howshouldibehave Thu 28-Mar-13 22:21:16

I thought you could claim child benefit until your child was 19, Couthy, if they're in f/t education?

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 28-Mar-13 22:42:35

couthy you can disagree with me all you want but that doesn't make you any the less wrong. And SHOUTING at people just makes you look silly it doesn't convince them you are right. Nobody here has said it's not terrible for the C/D boundary kids. It's terrible for all the kids. You are the only person saying it's terrible for your kid but so what you couldn't give a stuff about other kids.

iclaudius Thu 28-Mar-13 22:54:39

my son was hoping to do medicine and has working very hard over the last few years to attain theis goal...

not getting majority A* will preclude him from very many medical schools without any further considerations

that is sad

this time last year it looked a 'given'

Startail Thu 28-Mar-13 23:08:53

Surely medicine will take the same number of DCs, so if they make A* to hard they will have to take some As.

I'm assuming likewise, sixth forms will have to take C's for English if B becomes very difficult to get.

It's the C/D boundary that causes the problem, collages can't take DS because low Ds English probably isn't good enough to cope with many courses.

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