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Foundation vs Higher Tier GCSE?

(19 Posts)
RosieLig Fri 02-Sep-16 03:19:46

I'm very confused about this. My understanding is that the Foundation exam is easier but a C is the highest grade. Certificates do not show which exam is sat.

Does the 2 tier system exist for every subject? When do teachers decide which tier to go for? Is the syllabus different?

What kind of communication is there normally with parents?


LIZS Fri 02-Sep-16 03:33:08

Thought the recent revisions were doing away with tiers. Iirc they only currently exist in maths. Yes the ceiling for foundation was a c and more clues were provided about solving the questions whereas in higher you need to apply what you have learnt.

RosieLig Fri 02-Sep-16 03:38:20

Thanks. Yes I googled that and found an article saying as much but I couldn't find specific dates. My Ds sits his GCSEs in 2018.

He's come home with some Foundation Spanish work and I was really shocked as the school haven't mentioned anything about Foundation. I will ask them tomorrow but I wanted double check my facts first!

LIZS Fri 02-Sep-16 03:41:54

He's got plenty of time. With 2 years to go I'm sure he won't be doing that level throughout, it is probably the closest resource they have for now.

RosieLig Fri 02-Sep-16 03:48:19

Thanks I was just worried that they were going to spring it on me by which time he might have missed too much upper tier work. He is in a lower set but is the most able in that class.

TheDrsDocMartens Fri 02-Sep-16 07:45:05

Lots of subjects had them this year but I'm not sure how it works with the new GCSEs.

titchy Fri 02-Sep-16 07:54:01

Why would you expect Higher Tier homework in year 9?

To answer your question, he'll be doing the reformed GCSEs, graded 1-9. For all subjects except English and Maths his is the first year, so teachers don't really know what the grades will look like. The exams will be harder. Maths will continue to have two tiers of entry, others will just have one tier (actually I'm not sure about Science...), which imho is disgraceful.

chocolateworshipper Fri 02-Sep-16 08:47:24

The way it was explained to us by DD's school was that the Foundation paper was easier (easier questions and less need for technical vocabulary in the answers to get the marks), with C as the highest grade. The challenge was that you needed to get almost everything right to get a C, so in some ways it is more beneficial for those that are being pushed from a U to an E or and E to a D iyswim. I'm afraid I don't know whether they are still available in the new format exams.

TeenAndTween Fri 02-Sep-16 09:22:56

He has just started y10. So quite possibly the higher tier language stuff is too hard at the moment. DD was given higher and foundation stuff for MFL all the way through to y11 Jan mocks, and then they decided what tier to enter pupils in.

Remember, they haven't got a stack of past papers to use that correspond to the new format, so they are just using previous ones as best available.

TheFallenMadonna Fri 02-Sep-16 09:28:33

Only Maths and Science will be tiered in the new GCSEs.

BertrandRussell Fri 02-Sep-16 09:31:17

The other thing we found at out school (it has a very high % of lower ability children) was that giving some of them them the higher tier paper, even if they were definitely capable of getting a C and might, just, with a following wind, the perfect paper and the grace of God, get a B, some of them were so daunted by seeing all the stuff they couldn't do that they froze. So a decision had to be made about whether to take a risk or go for a certain C.

WicksEnd Fri 02-Sep-16 10:01:37

It's different with languages in that the first year of the course is foundation Spanish, the second year of the course is further Spanish. That's how it worked at my dc's school. So nothing to do with whether they sit a foundation paper or a higher one like in maths.
Languages aren't GCSEs as such in that they get distinction/merit/pass etc as they're final overall grade. Thinks it's an fcse but I can't quite recall.

(No idea if this has changed under the new 1-9 grading though. It's 2017 which is the Guinea pig 1-9 year, not 2018 as a PP said)

WicksEnd Fri 02-Sep-16 10:02:20

Their not they're grin

RosieLig Fri 02-Sep-16 10:52:56

Thank you all that's great! We're not in England so GCSEs are a bit of a mystery and he's the first of mine to do them.

He's at an independent school and Foundation was not mentioned in all the information evenings apart from for Maths.

I was just worried he would be pigeon holed too early. I feel with a lot of effort he could get a B. He's better at the listening and speaking. Writing not so good, sloppy but he's got time to improve....He's also dyslexic.

I have emailed the school to ask.

eyebrowsonfleek Fri 02-Sep-16 10:55:53

My dd s about to start y9.

A lot of her tests have been foundation GCSE material because it's the right amount of challenge for a top set child of her age.

titchy Fri 02-Sep-16 10:58:58

Wicksend 2018 IS the guinea pig year. Only Maths and English will be the new style 1-9 in 2017.

goodbyestranger Fri 02-Sep-16 16:38:32

Yes titchy is right. I've got a proper guinea pig but her tests have been higher tier through Y9. She's about to start Y10, obviously.

clary Fri 02-Sep-16 17:08:37

wicksend that's not quite correct wrt languages.

FCSE is a qualification - easier than GCSE - with pass/merit/distinction grades.

But GCSE in language is very much a happening option. And certainly AQA board is still offering foundation level papers. The translations are easier, the essays are shorter. There is a crossover ie the hardest foundation level essay is the same as the easiest higher level essay.

I have certainly not decided yet who will be doing F and who H out of my year 10 group OP so please don't panic at this stage. grin

DRDBP Wed 18-Jan-17 11:38:37

English Language and Literature also start exams in 2017.

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