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IGCSEs and the future

(19 Posts)
roseshippy Thu 02-Feb-17 22:03:12

Any thoughts on this?

AQA & WJEC have both dumped their Certificates

CCEA don't offer them

Edexcel are moving to 9-1 grading from 2018 (English & Maths) and 2019 otherwise

CIE (OCR) are offering from this year in English and Maths, and from next year in every other subject, a choice of non-league-table-qualifying A*-G or UK-spec 9-1 qualifications.

DS' school is continuing with the non-qualifying CIE A*-G exams. So presumably they will show 0% A*-C including Maths & English not that they care that much.

Isn't it taking the piss to claim to do IGCSEs as a more demanding & rigorous qualificiation and then stick with the easy A*-G option rather than 9-1?

Seeline Fri 03-Feb-17 08:24:34

As the Government doesn't recognise iGCSEs, they are I think only taken by independent schools.
Independent schools don't have to appear in league tables, and in fact my DSs school has actively withdrawn from all league tables.
Those tables that appear in local papers etc, on info scraped together by some poor hack, usually show indies fairly low down/bottom of the list depending on the mix of IGCSEsgrinrdinary GCSEs that they do.
On that basis, 'the public' won't know what sort of exams the kids have done anyway, just that the school appears to be very poor.
My DSs school is certainly continuing with iGCSEs in some subjects, but are following the 1-9 grading. Don't know about the A*-G - surely it will depend on the syllabus/method of testing as to whether or not they can be said to remain more rigorous.

roseshippy Fri 03-Feb-17 13:53:23

Yes I see CIE say

"We will support independent schools in the UK by offering 9-1 graded IGCSEs in our most popular subjects. Please see the table below for updated information on the 9-1 syllabuses. This means that schools will be able to retain A*-G or move to 9-1 grading. The syllabuses will be distinguished from each other by their syllabus codes. Although they are separate qualifications, the syllabus content and the method of assessment will be the same in each syllabus."
": Neither the 9-1 nor the A*-G versions of the syllabuses will be included in UK performance tables. "

catslife Fri 03-Feb-17 16:58:44

I don't think that iGCSEs are more demanding than the new 9-1 GCSEs to be honest. The factors that made GCSEs less demanding (opportunities to resit individual modules and inclusion of coursework) no longer apply to the new GCSEs and the former was already addressed when subjects such as Maths and Science switched over from modular to linear courses a few years ago.
The only difference between the 2 qualifications now will be the fact that 9-1 GCSEs for Maths and Science are tiered with Higher and Foundation levels whereas iGCSEs are not tiered so cover the whole grade range.
The grade A*-G iGCSE could perhaps be phased out at a later date if only a small number of schools choose this option.
Provided pupils stay on at the same school for sixth form, it is unlikely to be a problem to still have A*-G grades, but it could perhaps be a problem if pupils want to move elsewhere (private schools may not be keen on this happening though so it could be a good way of ensuring pupil retention).

TheSecondOfHerName Fri 03-Feb-17 21:58:23

DS1 took the CIE iGCSE exams last summer in Chemistry & Biology. The courses had more content and were harder than the new AQA 9-1 GCSE courses DS2 is studying.

user1484226561 Fri 03-Feb-17 23:25:00

iGCSEs are easier than GCSEs, but they are taught by private schools because they are much cheaper to run.

roseshippy Sat 04-Feb-17 00:06:51

IGCSE has tiers, who told you they didn't?

qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/International%20GCSE/Mathematics%20A/2016/Specification%20and%20sample%20assessments/International-GCSE-in-Mathematics-Spec-A.pdf

I suspect foundation GCSE may now be harder than foundation IGCSE, as GCSE has been made harder. I think generally they have been treated as the same.

Tinuviel Sun 05-Feb-17 15:28:34

I have to disagree, user. The current IGCSE languages are certainly not easier, nor are the science. However, the new GCSE language exams are very different and I would say are slightly harder than the new IGCSE (which isn't that different from the current). I don't know enough about the new Science to comment.

ShanghaiDiva Sun 05-Feb-17 15:37:02

agree with thesecond. - cie igcses for science subjects are pretty rigorous. Ds moved to the ib diploma and his chemistry knowledge was far above the level of students at his new school.

user1484226561 Sun 05-Feb-17 18:03:13

well, they are easier to get B/Cs in, but harder to get As in. I don't know about languages, but have taught the iGCSE alongside the traditional GCSE for several years, and the iGCSE science is easier to pass, and very much cheaper to run. That's the main attraction, the low cost for the school.

happygardening Sun 05-Feb-17 19:06:44

I understand from MFL teachers that the Cambridge IGCSE for MFLs is harder than GCSE, DS2 sat Latin IGCSE a few years ago and it was the same as AS level. I'm not aware that they are cheaper than IGCSE and as in general parents pay this is irrelevant. I think they are more expensive that GCSEs. I also think independent schools like them because they are linear no course work for most subjects except the obvious art geography music etc. and most importantly free from continuous government interference. I looked on the Cambridge IGCSE website (the board DS2's school uses) I don't get the impression they are stopping them as they are also aimed at international students.

nocampinghere Sun 05-Feb-17 19:11:20

my understanding is that independent schools prefer IGCSEs in many subjects as they are a better grounding for A levels in that subject.

nocampinghere Sun 05-Feb-17 19:12:17

how is the IGCSE very much cheaper to run?

AlexanderHamilton Sun 05-Feb-17 19:16:37

The head of ds's school wrote to parents about 2 years ago saying that at the present time they felt igcse to be a better preparation for A level but individual heads of dept would monitor the situation & if the new qualifications were felt to be more appropriate they would move over.

From what I can gather they are moving to 9-1 for science subjects only at the moment.

Dd is at a different school doing all GCSE's & from what I can see of the difference in maths igcse has harder content but GCSE they do more non calculator exams.

roseshippy Sun 05-Feb-17 23:19:56

From what I can see the old GCSE had compulsory practical work, but the new one does not.

The IGCSE has a shorter practical which looks like it is done under exam conditions (1 hr 15 vs 6 hours for GCSE), but you can also opt out.

So the old GCSE would be cheaper to assess, but that no longer applies as you can do GCSE Chemistry A and skip that.

roseshippy Sun 05-Feb-17 23:20:39

sorry i mean the igcse would be cheaper than the old gcse, but now the new gcse lets you opt out of practicals

notangelinajolie Sun 05-Feb-17 23:26:10

My DD is at a state school and she is doing IGCSE Science so it is definitely not just Indy schools.

AlexanderHamilton Sun 05-Feb-17 23:35:50

That's very unusual Angelina as they don't count in either the old league tables of percentage A* - C or the new Progress 8 so state schools usually don't do them.

cakeisalwaystheanswer Mon 06-Feb-17 13:52:15

DS's school sit IGCSES including languages but they sit French a year early and can then do a "challenge" language Italian or I think Russian (not sure DS did Italian) GCSE in a year. They are not allowed to do IGCSE for the challenge language because its too hard. Of the 60 who did Italian GCSE 56 got an A*, 4 an A. DS is still fuming about how easy GCSE languages are. His French is incredibly good and he has been on lots of immersion courses to improve it but hardly surprisingly he knows very little Italian having only studied it for 2 terms, but on paper he has the same qualification and grade for both. It is not surprising that so few pupils go on to take MFL for A levels when they have been so poorly prepared by a GCSE course which requires so little language knowledge. Language teaching in this country needs a complete overhaul.

Like other posters I am a bit in the air with DD because she will sit during the IGCSE transition period of some A-G some numbers and I am waiting to hear how her school intends to deal with it. I would prefer all one or the other.

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