Need help understanding new gcse grading.(year9)(19 Posts)
Just got my son's end of the year school report. He is in year 9 going to year 10. Our school uses the 1-9 grading system. At the last parents evening I was told that he is one of those students who expected to get As. His report doesn't seem too good for me tho. It would be very helpfull if someone could translate his grades into the old grades such asuggestion 6a, 7c...
His levels are:
We work on them being two grades different, so old 7 is now a 5.
Your DS will of course not generally be getting A's. But he might get 1's!
See new GCSE grades
On the new GCSE system:
7+ = a/a*
6 = b
It seems to be an approximate conversation.
Depends on the subject slightly. Rough guide.
4 = Bottom of C
5 = Top of C
6 = Most of B
7 = Top of B and bottom of A
8 = Rest of A
9 = Top 5% or so of A becomes A* - this is harder to achieve as previously it was around 10%
5 is the new 'good' pass.
I would ask the school, as everyone is feeling their way with these and doing their own thing with reporting. So my dd (same stage) has been given marks that the think is the grade she'll get, for the level she is working now. 9.7, 9.5, 9.8 etc, which we are told mean she is in year 9, and then they feel she will be likely to get a '7' / '5' / '8' at GCSE if she maintains these standards. Of course it is all very much guesswork at this stage.
We were told
A** = 9
A* = 8
Current y9 needs to get 5 to be good enough to study A level. Y8 and below need to get a 6. The difference is because current y9 are the guinea pig year for the new system (bar Maths and English) so are going to get the preparation that younger years will get. (Basically teachers know very little about the new exam and how the new scores will be allocated.)
Your son is in y9 and will therefore have 2 years worth of knowledge to learn before his exam. At his current rate of learning then it means they are expecting him to hit 7+ by end of y10 which doesn't sound outrageous at all.
I'm a secondary school teacher and the training I've received this year from the GCSE and IGCSE examination boards tells us:
A** = 9
A = 8
low A = 7
low C=4 (NOT a pass grade)
(This is the same as previous posters have explained).
Also, students should be assessed "as if they took the GCSE exam. today" which means that Year 9 students who have started studying their GCSE syllabus would probably be getting 3s or at the most 4s in most subjects, even if they're brilliant students, as they haven't completed 2/3 of the syllabus. I hope this makes sense? To the OP, it sounds as if your son's school has received the same or similar training as me and is applying the same to the grades your son's received (my school won't switch to 1-9 until this coming September).
One last thing, if your son's sitting any "Cambridge" (CIE board) GCSEs or IGCSEs, then he will receive the traditional A* - G grades for those as Cambridge isn't switching to 1-9. (Presumably the teachers will use 1-9 for all subjects on the school reports to make things easier and clearer for them, you and your son).
DS2 (also Y9) is doing a three year KS4. He has already started his GCSE courses so his end of Y9 exams were GCSE-style questions on the parts of the syllabus he has done so far.
His end of Y9 report gave us the following grades, based on his marks in those exams. (The grades in brackets are what he is aiming for at the end of Y11).
Maths 7 (9)
English 6 (8)
Biology 8 (9)
Chemistry 7 (9)
Physics 7 (9)
Geography 5 (8)
Computing 7 (8)
Latin 6 (8)
French 6 (8)
To give context, he finished KS2 on level 6 in everything except reading (level 5).
The courses are very new and in many subjects the specifications have only become available in the last few months. I think teachers are being put in a very difficult position, being asked to quantify progress in courses for which no students have yet sat any exams.
I guess it makes sense to say " what he/ she should be aiming for" but surely it's unlikely that many kids are going to walking away with a clutch of 9s? I was thinking it might be like 1 at best ? Maybe two if exceptional?
I think schools need to get on top of making this widely known. I can see a lot of kids and parents being outraged ( whipped up nicely by the media of course) that their child who was previously the kind of child to come out with all A*s now not getting the top grade.
Schools are idiots if they are setting targets of 9s. Not only do we not have any idea of where the grade boundaries will fall for awarding the 9, but there is currently a review of how the grade 9 will be awarded, which could mean fewer 9s in subjects like maths and massively more 9s in subjects like Latin.
Agree with noblegiraffe. A target of a 7 is ambitious for almost any student and an 8 for someone who is exceptional.
We've been old the same - there will be no grade 9 predictions at all even for students who excel in certain subjects.
Grade 9's will be awarded to the old A* students who just so happen to fall in the top % nationally for their year group nationally after doing 2 or 3 written papers at the end of Year 11 which may or may not reflect their true or overall ability.
No school can possibly guess how the rest of the students in the country will perform relative to their own students in an exam system that hasn't even started yet and where grade boundaries have never been set.
I would have thought before they start a new system they set up the grade boundaries. It might be that I am not a native English speakers and don't fully understand the new concept... I still don't understand how those student are expected to do well,when nobody knows what "doing well" on the exam means.
Grade boundaries for each exam are always decided after the exam has been sat. The exam boards then look at how pupils scored and use that to decide whether it was a particularly tricky paper and to lower the grade boundaries (this is why petitions to have grade boundaries lowered for hard papers like with 'Hannah's Sweets' are pointless because they will be anyway if the paper is hard, regardless of petitions).
However, usually the GCSEs have been sat in previous years so we can say 'we don't know where the grade boundaries will be for this particular paper, but they are usually around 75% for a C'. The problem with these new GCSEs is that they normally run pilot studies before they are introduced across the whole country. Gove wanted to rush them in as quickly as possible, so there have been no pilot studies. What private companies and individual teachers are now trying to do is collate results for mocks in their own pilot studies because the government can't be bothered to do things properly themselves.
Thank you noblegiraffe for explaining. Ithe make sense.
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