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Need help understanding new gcse grading.(year9)

(20 Posts)
mint123 Fri 15-Jul-16 13:19:14

Hi all,

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 as 6a, 7c... what are the expected levels at the end of year 9 using the new grading?

His levels are:
Core assesment

English 4+
Mathematics 3+
Science 4-

Foundation assessments

English 4+
Mathematics 3+
Scince 3+
History 5-

mint123 Fri 15-Jul-16 13:19:33

Help with new grading

hesterton Fri 15-Jul-16 13:21:50

That's heading for As. By the time he is in Yr 11 they should have gone up - it's progressive. It reflects where he is now in relation to where he will be in 2 yrs time.

tiggytape Fri 15-Jul-16 13:36:09

Grade 7 is the equivalent of an A
Grade 6 is the equivalent of a B
Grade 5 is a pass (and the equivalent of an old high C or low B)
Grade 4 is the equivalent of a low grade C but won't be a good pass (whereas a low C used to be considered a pass).

So for example he is already at the stage of being able to pass many subjects and get a good pass in GCSE History even though he has 2 years left to go.

The new grades sound lower overall I think because there are now 2 grades right at the top which will be hardto reach:
Grade 8 is roughly equivalent to a high A or A* (but often the subjects will have more content than they used to so will actually be a bit harder)
Grade 9 will be reserved just for the very top pupils (around 3% of pupils in some subjects) and there will be very few pupils that get more than one or two of these overall (it won't be like the old system where some people in every school might get 14 of the top two grades)

mint123 Fri 15-Jul-16 13:52:39

Thank you both for explaining. I got a bit confused as at the last parents evening one of the teacher said the students are expected to maintain their level,so if they are working at level 5+ they should be at that level at the end of year 11.

mint123 Fri 15-Jul-16 13:58:02

Tiggytape do you by any chance know what the new grades are equal to comparing them to the old ones? I didn't mean gcse grades, I mean those levels that they receive in primary school. For example my son's present grade in English is a 4+ is that about a level 7c?

mimbleandlittlemy Fri 15-Jul-16 14:12:15

Helpful diagram:

tiggytape Fri 15-Jul-16 14:14:23

There was never a direct conversion really anyway between old nc levels and GCSE grades even before all these changes. It was based on making 2 or 3 sub levels of progress per year from whatever startig poiint they were at in Year 7
Parents who wanted a rough idea were told:
old nc level 4b = old GCSE grade F
old nc level 5b = old GCSE grade E
old nc level 6b = old GCSE grade D
old nc level 7b = old GCSE grade C
old nc level 8 = A low A or high B

The old nc levels never went higher than an 8 so there was no equivalent for an A* (those with an 8 in Year 9 though would be expected to get an A*)

However all of this might not be relevant for two main reasons:
1. Nobody has yet taken a GCSE with the new 9-1 grading system so nobody knows how well a pupil will need to do on the test to get awarded a particular grade. There is concern for example that many more pupils will be deemed to fail the new tests (lower than a grade 5) than failed (lower than a grade C) the old ones.

2. The new GCSEs are possibly harder - certainly without coursework element and with more content to learn. So what used to be good enough for an A might now only be good enough for a B. And what used to be called a B will now be called a 5 or a 6 so the final grade a pupil of that sort of level might get is very hard to guess right now.

tiggytape Fri 15-Jul-16 14:18:42

That diagram is helpful mimble in the span of grades.

HOwever it doesn't clarify that although an old C = a new grade 4, a grade 4 will not be a good pass whereas an old grade C was considered a pass.
A grade 5 will be the new grade to aim for to have achieved a good pass (so pupils need equivalent of an old high C or low grade B)

mint123 Fri 15-Jul-16 14:35:41

Thanks tiggytape. The English grading system was anyway new to me,when I finilly managed to understand it,it changed to the new one. What concerns me and makes me confused is supposedly they are to keep their whatever level they are at until year 11. So I was told if he is at level 4 in year 9 he should maintain that level as level 4 in year 10 is more harder therefore if he is able to keep it he is making progress. On the other hand his form teacher said his levels are really good anf he isaid most likely be able to archive As and Bs.

mint123 Fri 15-Jul-16 14:37:25

Sorry for the missspelling.. archive= achieve

tiggytape Fri 15-Jul-16 15:57:18

I think it is too early to say what final grade a child in Year 11 will end up with from various starting points in Year 9 but I know what you mean about the changes. I have a DC in Year 10 who will do mostly old style GCSEs but two new ones in maths and English and a DC in Year 8 who will only do the new ones.

Literally nobody yet has taken one of these new exams, and even those half way through the new courses in the current Year 10 have no idea how 'good' they need to be to get a grade 7 rather than a grade 5 or how many people in their school (if any) will get one of the new grade 9s

mint123 Fri 15-Jul-16 20:23:13

It would be so much easier if the schools would give out a guideline of the expected grade that a child should achieve in each year group. It seems like lots of people are having trouble understanding this new grading system(even the old one).
I don't think is fair on those children that have to take the new gcses without really giving them an idea what is expected of them. Seems like even the teachers have no idea of the expectations. Why they didn't start to introduce the new system from year 7 instead of dropping the present year 9-10 student "into deep water"? In what way is it going to be harder I wonder,is the course work more harder or the grading system is more stricter? If it's the course work then again why not start from year 7 so they can get them ready by year 11?

noblegiraffe Fri 15-Jul-16 20:59:03

What this report means is that the teachers have been asked to make something up. There is absolutely no way that a maths teacher would be able to say with any degree of confidence that your DS is working at a grade 3, let alone a 3+ (way to give you an illusion of accuracy with the plus, it's total nonsense).

My Y10s have just sat a new GCSE style set of papers where a private company are collating the results over a few hundred schools. They are then going to attempt to put together some grade boundaries so that we can have some idea what sort of grade our Y10 students are currently achieving. I've also seem some teachers on Twitter trying to pool their results for a specimen paper to try to do similar. Given that we don't know how Y10s who have sat a full set of papers are performing, the idea that your Y9 can be graded is ridiculous.

We won't have any real idea of how students will perform until this first cohort go through the exams. However, if I was asked to give a grade to a Y9 student who was expected to get an A at GCSE, I would be giving them higher than a 3, probably more like a 5. But that would be just me making something up.

That's also for maths, where students will be taking the exams next year and we have already been teaching the course for over a year. Subjects like History won't have even started teaching the new GCSE yet!

tiggytape Fri 15-Jul-16 23:21:40

In what way is it going to be harder I wonder,is the course work more harder or the grading system is more stricter?

The course work element is being almost completely dropped for many subjects. Most GCSEs will be 100% exam based.

In subjects like maths, more content has been added - so children studying the new maths GCSE will be tested on more content (and some harder content) than before.
In English, the exams will use traditional texts and traditional methods (memorising quotes etc), they will be exam-based with no course work and 20% of the marks will be based on accurate spelling and grammar.

On top of that the grading will be stricter. It will be harder to get the top mark because the old A* equivalent is now not the top mark. There is one above it for truly exceptional children (perhaps only the top 3%) who will get a grade 9

And a pass grade will be higher too - more like a high C or low B (so no option to scrape the equivalent of an old grade C and then have it classed as a good pass)

Everytimeref Fri 15-Jul-16 23:35:29

Have to agree with noblegiraffa. No can tell you what the levels mean because no one knows. It pure quess work.

Everytimeref Fri 15-Jul-16 23:36:57

Sorry should read noblegiraffe
phone fail!

Feistymum1 Sun 18-Jun-17 10:08:22

Hi thoughts appreciated please. My daughter goes to private school and is a B/C/A level student. She is sitting her GCSEs next year and I am surprised to have just been asked if she can sit the foundation level science instead of higher tier. It's completely out of the blue- she didn't do brilliantly in her end of year exams. I was wondering if schools have been told they have to do a few foundation level exams and she is an easy pick. Thanks, Fuming mum.

noblegiraffe Sun 18-Jun-17 10:15:22

I responded on the other thread you posted on, Feisty

Feistymum1 Sun 18-Jun-17 10:17:53

Thank you. X

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