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Please help me understand year 9 and GCSEs

(11 Posts)
whataboutbob Sun 11-Sep-16 11:31:58

DS1 is starting year 9. I am having difficulty getting my head round the timing of GCSEs . I've looked at the school website but to be honest got overwhelmed with all the info on there. DS1 is not the most academic kid, and I know he's going to need help focusing.
My questions are:
Are GCSE exams taken at the end of year 10?
If not, is it year 11 or a combo of year 10 and 11?
Is it all about the exam now or is there any element of continuous assessment?
Many thanks for any information/ advice you can give.

thisagain Sun 11-Sep-16 11:42:51

Exams are at the end of year 11 and currently some have coursework but not many. For example for my DD (year 10) her Dance and Music GCSE do. My understanding is though is that coursework stops completely by your DS's year.

thisagain Sun 11-Sep-16 11:44:03

Previously GCSE's and had lots of coursework and some were sat in Yr 10 but they are all moving away from this.

tiggytape Sun 11-Sep-16 11:51:16

For children in the current Year 9, most GCSE subjects will be exam based and exams will take place in May and June of Year 11.

The current Year 11's are the last group of pupils taking some GCSEs that have large coursework elements. They are only going to be doing the new-style exams in maths and English.
The current Year 10's will be taking new-style exams in virtually every subject.

CodyKing Sun 11-Sep-16 12:03:07

Some y10 an take GCSE at the end of the year - they can retake in Y11 if the grades aren't good enough

There should be a school meeting for parents to explain the options and what's on offer - I think March for DD this year

Teachers are already talking to the children about options and coarses

whataboutbob Sun 11-Sep-16 12:03:27

Thanks so much for the great information and thank goodness for mumsnet! That is reassuring as it gives us some time to prepare ds1- who would rather be spending time with his buddies and is a little vague on the detail!

noblegiraffe Sun 11-Sep-16 14:42:10

First entry only counts for league tables so schools do not usually allow students to take exams in Y10 and resit in Y11 any more.

Your DC's assessments will be almost entirely exam-based at the end of Y11, and will be graded from 9 to 1.

whataboutbob Sun 11-Sep-16 17:37:47

Thanks Giraffe. It seems so different from the days it was O levels in the 5th form and A levels in the 2nd year of 6th form. That was easy to understand!

AtiaoftheJulii Mon 12-Sep-16 07:51:14

After all the changes in the intervening years, we're basically back to that! GCSEs in y11, A levels in y13 grin

whataboutbob Mon 12-Sep-16 09:10:14

Good point Atia. now they just need to rename year eleven the 5th form , and year 13 upper 6th and I'll be at peace!

Badbadbunny Mon 12-Sep-16 10:14:59

Shame they didn't just leave it all alone in the first place. It's the old pendulum theory in full force again - changes to one extreme then when that doesn't work, they go to the other extreme, which of course doesn't work either - they never seem to be able to get to the "middle" route which probably would work. We've gone from no coursework, to extensive coursework and now back to no coursework. Just the same as the dumbing down of GCSEs which made differentiation difficult (it's aim was to give the illusion that kids were doing better) so they've had to bring in the 9-1 scheme to allow a slight re-definition of the "pass".

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