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GCSE new levels 1-9

(33 Posts)
var123 Thu 22-Oct-15 11:42:25

I found this online about the new GCSE levels and thought others might be interested:-
grade 9 will be highest, at a standard equivalent to the current top half of A*
grade 7 will be equivalent to the current grade A
grade 5 will be linked to international Pisa tests
grade 4 will be equivalent to the current C grade
grade 1 will roughly cover current F and G grades

Here's the link:www.aqa.org.uk/resources/mathematics/gcse/mathematics-8300/plan/changes-to-grades

Needanadulttotalkto Sat 24-Oct-15 02:13:06

Goodness, really!? Sounds like this will create a lot of confusion. I predict this will get changed back in a few years time! Interesting that they are trying to further differentiate grades at the top end, and the reverse at the bottom, but then I suppose nobody really gives a crap if your grade is an F vs a G!

popuptent Sat 24-Oct-15 08:20:29

I saw something that had only a high 4 being equivalent to a C and a pass being considered as more of a 5. There didn't seem to be a direct link between any individual number and the current grades.

OddBoots Sat 24-Oct-15 08:27:11

Interesting that they are directly comparing a letter with a number as everything else I have read suggests it isn't that simple, the letters fall between numbers rather than being equal to them.

For example this tweeted image from ofqual link

Racundra Sat 24-Oct-15 08:49:09

Dfe have said that 5 will be a 'good pass' rather than the old C. 5 is the very top of the old C and a B really.

var123 Sat 24-Oct-15 14:25:51

The part that interests me most if the grade 5 being linked to the international exams that the UK govt has no influence over. It seems a genuine attempt to prevent grade inflation.

So, if students do well going forward its because they are getting better, not because the exams got easier, and no one can say otherwise.

noblegiraffe Sat 24-Oct-15 14:28:24

Grade 5 being linked to some nebulous international standard is just bizarre. How are they going to decide the grade boundary for that, when the grade boundary for a 4 is set by achievement of a particular percentage of students?

blueemerald Sat 24-Oct-15 14:37:20

I had to give my "working at" grades for this half term yesterday. I work in an SEN school where nearly all of our students will get grades between D-G for my subject (English). My year 10s are currently all F-G level (normal for them after one half term of GCSE work) but having to go through and put 1, 1, 1 for all of them was really disheartening because some of them are more able/working harder than the others (hence some being F and some G) and also because those G grade students will effectively have to go up two "old style" GCSE grades (G-E) before they show progress on the new scale. That could take some of them two years, which (selfishly) doesn't make me look good but it also damaging for their already fragile self-esteem.

That's before you even get to the fact that I don't even really know what a 1, 2, etc even looks like.

MrsWooster Sat 24-Oct-15 14:40:18

and the fact that the government can and have moved pass and grade boundaries to suit their own agendas..

var123 Sat 24-Oct-15 14:45:19

Blueemerald - Would you get away with writing 1F or 1G - just for the differentiation?

var123 Sat 24-Oct-15 14:47:51

Noblegiraffe - are you saying that the grades will be awarded by a relative placement with the others who took the paper, rather than an absolute score?

If yes, I'd be interested to know what those %s are.

What's nebulous about the pisa exams?

blueemerald Sat 24-Oct-15 14:53:15

I'm hoping so, var123. We are also toying with a decimal system. That would also enable us to show progress as well as the difference between the top and bottom of 1. So you would go from being a 1 to 1.25 to 1.5 etc. That would be fine for staff (although meaningless to anyone offical) but my G grade kids don't really get decimals either so I'm thinking of a pictorial version of circles divided into 4 and we can shade in the quarters as we progress.

The whole thing is bonkers.

pieceofpurplesky Sat 24-Oct-15 14:57:33

Pisa exams are completely skewed as
Not every pupil takes them - for example all pupils in the UK are measured but only those in certain cities in China that attend particular schools - therefore the data is not actually comparable.

A level 5 is the new pass mark and is the equivalent to the top third of a C, therefore 2/3 of an old C will fail.

As for percentages for various grades these have not been given yet.

noblegiraffe Sat 24-Oct-15 14:59:48

4+ and 7+ grade boundaries will be set so that they will be achieved by the same proportion of students currently achieving C+ and A+. So the grade boundary for a 4 will be set in maths by the mark achieved or beaten by 60% (approx) of students taking the exam. Except it will be more complicated because there are 2 tiers.

The 9 is set at the top 3%. I expect the private schools will hoover most of those up.

The 5 is the 'standard' achieved by the best performing students internationally. How that will actually translate to a % on a test not sat by international students is a mystery. However it is also said that the 5 will be set to be the top of an old C and the bottom of an old B.

What will actually happen is that they set the 4, 7 and 9 from the set proportions needed, then spread the rest out fairly evenly between.

var123 Sat 24-Oct-15 19:32:31

Blueemerald - I hope I don't get shouted at for asking this but is preparing these students for exams really the best use of their last years in school? If they don't understand fractions and struggle between G and F in English, then wouldn't it be better to equip them with some skills that will help them in the adult world?

blueemerald Sat 24-Oct-15 20:10:03

I wouldn't shout at you! The students at my school have social, emotional and mental health difficulties. Most also have some learning difficulties or ADHD or ASD as well. In terms of life skills they are "normal teenagers" and most of the gaps in their knowledge come from massive gaps in their education (due to a combination of long exclusions, mainstreams being ill-equipped to teach them, poor attendance and so on).

Most of our students will get 5 GCSEs and go on to college, about 70% get GCSEs they need to get onto a level two course of their choosing at colleges (4 D grades).

Devilishpyjamas Sun 25-Oct-15 06:48:45

Oh dear. Ds2 is in the first cohort of this nonsense. (Well except English & Maths where the poor sods the year before him will already have had a bash).

BrendaandEddie Sun 25-Oct-15 06:51:19

i am sure in an interminably dull training session, our bosses said in 2017 no one will be able to get an a* equivalent.
I dont know why, it doesnt affect me till 2018 so I wasnt really listening

titchy Sun 25-Oct-15 08:13:30

Top of grade 8 and all grade 9 are A* standards - maybe you should have listened!

Needanadulttotalkto Mon 26-Oct-15 11:23:08

Blueemerald
That is very sad for your students :-(
I doubt the government was considering their feelings when they designed this system!

Out of interest, for the poor DC who do not get their 4 D grades, are any of them able to / do they choose to retake post 16 at your school or another? If they succeeded at this could they then still access 1 year of govt funded FE?

Or can any of them do say, maths & English GCSE alongside a more vocational course at school?

Needanadulttotalkto Mon 26-Oct-15 11:24:08

^ I'm aware you could also do retakes at some FE collages.

blueemerald Mon 26-Oct-15 11:32:07

If they don't get 4 Ds they can access a level 1 college course and work up to level 2 and 3. They all do vocational courses. All young people have to be in education or training now until they are 18.

With regards to retakes if you don't get a C or above (not 100% if it will become 4 or 5 on the new system) in maths and English then you have to retake up to two more times. But the "pass" rates of these retakes are very very low.

We have just had our application for post-16 rejected by the LA so we are unable to help them directly at the moment.

var123 Mon 26-Oct-15 11:34:41

What are the post-education options for people who just are not up to getting a few gcses or fail to for any reason?
When I was at school there weren't many but one became a butcher, another joined the army and the others got manual jobs.

RealHuman Mon 26-Oct-15 11:39:02

That's a massive ability range to cover with one test - high A* to top end of E. The 8 and 9 students will be fruitlessly churning through questions they barely have to think about while the 3/4 borderline students will be faced with an exam half of which they can't possibly be expected to understand.

foragogo Mon 26-Oct-15 11:46:35

so if all 9 and top of 8 only are A* how will the universisties that currently want A* for medicine etc tell the siffernec ebetween a high and a low 8? I know, they will insist those candidates have 9s. So this is really just restoring the old order of less people going to university no?

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