GCSE's taught over 3 years?

(63 Posts)
Grumpysfirstwife Wed 15-Jun-16 11:42:09

My friends school has decided they will now teach GCSE's over 3 years instead of 2. The letter from the school states this is now considered the most successful way to teach GCSE's as it gives them more opportunity to iron out any problems and that staff don't have to squash in bits of teaching, they can offer it in a calmer more detailed way instead.

Does anyone elses school do this? I'm curious to know if it improves grades or makes school less stressful for the students. It may suit my DD to do this due to a variety of reasons but I wouldn't like to consider moving her if it doesn't help the students achieve their potential.

BertrandRussell Wed 15-Jun-16 11:45:34

The problem is that nobody can say because we don't have any experience of the new GCSEs yet.

Grumpysfirstwife Wed 15-Jun-16 11:58:31

I believe they've been looking at other schools who already follow this way of teaching so I'm hoping someone will have some experience. confused

BertrandRussell Wed 15-Jun-16 12:03:39

Well a lot of schools- including ds's- have been doing 3 year GSCEs for a while. There are pros and cons- but I don't think any of them will apply after this year. The new GCSEs are apparently going to be much harder, so I really don't think there's any use comparing.

I suppose the thing to ask is- are you happy with the school? Do you trust it to do the right thing for the children?

Goingtobeawesome Wed 15-Jun-16 12:07:32

My son is year ten and did four GCSEs last month. He will do more next year too but as I went to school elsewhere I don't know what year 12 is for.

Grumpysfirstwife Wed 15-Jun-16 12:14:26

Goingtobeawesome Years 12 & 13 are usually for A Levels but some schools offer other qualifications too. Some students can resit GCSE's in year 12 where they didn't achieve the grade they wanted on the first sitting.

Goingtobeawesome Wed 15-Jun-16 12:27:25

Thank you GFW.

PurpleRibbons Wed 15-Jun-16 12:31:10

Looking at our new GCSE spec I can't see how we are going to teach it all in 2 years, especially as Yr 11 is really only 2 terms. It's too late to do anything for current yr 9 who will start in Sept but I would certainly consider 3 yr GCSEs for current yr 8. Unfortunately the exam boards didn't get the new courses approved until just before Easter so we haven't had a lot of time to plan for it.

BossWitch Wed 15-Jun-16 12:37:22

The new GCSEs are much harder and have more content all round I think - the new English Lit certainly does, and I know a lot of schools are starting in year 9 so that they will actually have enough time to read the texts. The tricky thing is that with it being 100% exam, they are being taught material in year 9 and then examined in it at the end of year 11. That's a long time to retain complex information. Also there is the question of whether they can be taught at a high enough level when they are still only in year 9.

I know of one school who are planning to do English Language in year 9 and 10, enter for the exam at the end of year 10, those that pass will then only study Lit in year 11, those that don't will not do Lit, just study and retake Language. Which sounds bloody awful. So I would just check with the school exactly how they are proposing to structure it all.

hedwig2001 Wed 15-Jun-16 12:38:09

My son's school does this. Options made in Year 8, courses started Year 9. He is just coming to the end of Year 10. It seems to be good.

mummytime Wed 15-Jun-16 12:51:23

My DD's school is doing this. There just isn't time to teach as broad a curriculum in 2 years. Different subjects are planning the 3 years in different way; for example one option is teaching a different qualification for the first year as a preparation for the GCSE. I don't think it is clear quite how it will all work, and they are keeping themselves flexible.
As they will be changing from 2 years GCSE to 3 this year, it means they will actually have two year groups starting GCSE courses at the same time. My DD is very lucky to be in the younger group so not the first cohort for all the exams (and will have just that bit extra time to prepare).

troutsprout Wed 15-Jun-16 13:14:25

Dd's school do GCSEs in 1 year (apart from the core and mfl) so heaven knows how they are going to cope with new GCSEs !confused
They currently do 2 in year 9, 2 in year 10 and 2 more ( plus core) in year 11.

BertrandRussell Wed 15-Jun-16 13:40:46

Presumably that's a private school, trout?

MummySparkle Wed 15-Jun-16 13:45:37

We do GCSEs over three years in our school. I work in the art department so can't comment on any other subjects. It's good because we can teach them more technical skills earlier on, and they can build on these. However the coursework they produce in Y9 is t always of a high standard. I've spent a lot of time leading up to this years marking cherry picking the good bits out of old sketchbooks and creating 'project sheets' out of them and hiding / removing the bits that would detract from their grades.

flissfloss65 Wed 15-Jun-16 14:12:56

My ds school does this. It has meant he will leave school with 15 gcse, hopefully. 1 taken in yr 9, 5 in yr 10 and the rest this year. To fill in the timetable in yr11 he had taken gcse economics in one year. It has worked well for him but they do 3 full years for maths, English and 3 sciences. Certainly meant this years exam timetable hasn't been too full. I guess it also means the school can show they pass a very high number of gcse.

lljkk Wed 15-Jun-16 14:19:34

wow, 15?!! How do they timetable 5 in yr10? DD's GCSE regime starts in yr9, but the curricula of core subjects (science-math-English) aren't really different from what they would have been if GCSE programme didn't start until yr10. DD will end up with 11 GCSE + extended project (No. of GCSEs are 1:3:7 for yrs 9:10:11). She found it difficult to choose 5 GCSEs (so many). Can't imagine hassle of choosing another 3.

BertrandRussell Wed 15-Jun-16 14:22:10

It's a way some schools fudge their figures!

BossWitch Wed 15-Jun-16 14:35:06

Interesting to see what happens with uni admissions on this, oxbridge in the past have disliked 'staggered' qualifications I believe, they want to see that they can get 11 A*s all at once. With AS levels being dropped by most schools unis will have to look more closely at gcse.

lljkk Wed 15-Jun-16 14:36:55

What is it, like 0.5% of kids can go to Oxbridge? Anyway, it's not a kid's fault what their school offers. I'm sure the brainboxes at Oxbridge can figure something out.

BossWitch Wed 15-Jun-16 14:43:58

I know that the oxbridge thing will only apply to a few, but I wonder whether other universities will adopt a similar attitude. I'm not claiming that they will, necessarily, just that it will be interesting to watch and see.

Not a kids fault doesn't mean that it won't have an impact. The reason schools stagger gcses in the way described in this thread is to make it easier for them to pass. So if a uni is closing between two kids with the same a level grades, but one of them sat all their gcses in one go, and one spread them out over three years, that is, conceivably, something to take into account.

BertrandRussell Wed 15-Jun-16 14:46:05

Doesn't matter whether the it's the kids fault or not. Universities (and not just Oxbridge- there are others!) often have a requirement that GCSEs should be taken in one sitting. So all the other ones, the ones that take it up to 15 over the years, are for the school's benefit not the students'.

Want2bSupermum Wed 15-Jun-16 14:47:37

I went to a top tier private school in the 90s for sixth form and thought the way they approached GCSEs was awesome. GCSEs were all taken at the end of U5 (year 10 I think). The core subjects that everyone had to take started in U4 (year 8 I think) with the electives streamed into those who thought they were going to do GCSE and those who didn't think they were going to do it. You could change your mind all the way through that first year.

I'm very happy to see other schools looking to follow this type of format. It opened up so many more opportunities for learning and when I joined for sixth form I was way behind in terms of true understanding of the subject areas in my A'Level subjects.

BertrandRussell Wed 15-Jun-16 14:48:54

And they aren't going to "figure out something". Why should they? They have squillions of candidates who have got the right qualifications. Anyone who hasn't is out on a first sift.

Grumpysfirstwife Wed 15-Jun-16 15:02:45

So it seems generally it's accepted well but we're not sure about university admissions?

Thanks for your replies smile

BertrandRussell Wed 15-Jun-16 15:16:13

We are sure about university entries. They don't mind how long you take to do them so long as you do them all at once.

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