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What is a foundation level GCSE?

(15 Posts)
BecauseImWorthIt Fri 22-Jun-07 17:46:20

DS1 is in Yr 10 and has just taken his Statistics exam. He was given the Foundation level paper to do, which - I understand - means that the highest mark he can get is a C.

Is this correct? It seems madness to do an exam where the highest grade you can achieve would be a C!

He's in the top set, so I don't really understand this. If he wasn't capable of getting a higher grade, then why do they put them in for the exam a year early? (It's a state school, not a private school, btw)

hercules1 Fri 22-Jun-07 17:48:49

You're right. If he sat the higher and got below C he'd get nothing. Why not speak to his teacher to see if he can do the higher or pay to enter him yourself if you're sure he can achieve it. It may be the teacher is trying to protect their A-C grades.

Pixiefish Fri 22-Jun-07 17:53:34

In Maths there are 3 tiers. In English 2 tiers. Generally we don't enter kids for the higher paper UNLESS they're more than likely to get a B or above- there's no point. The paper's harder and in English there is less guidance on the higher tier paper

roisin Fri 22-Jun-07 17:55:17

Schools don't get brownie points for getting As and Bs, just Cs.

For many subjects you have to cover extra work for the higher paper, or teach in a different way. So if you have a class of varying ability, it may be easier to just enter them all for the Foundation paper to get the Cs.

Our school have done some Languages GCSEs in yr9, but only entered them all for Foundation paper.

BecauseImWorthIt Fri 22-Jun-07 17:56:25

But why put them in for an exam in year 10? Why not wait until year 11 when they've had time to do a bit more?!

Pixiefish Fri 22-Jun-07 17:58:54

Are they doing a lot of different things in Maths. They do some papers in year 10 in Science as the course is modular

BecauseImWorthIt Fri 22-Jun-07 18:07:04

Yes, he's also doing his physics exam on Monday.

Not sure about maths.

I'm cross about this because I have lots of problems with his teacher, and I think ds would have been capable of doing better.

I'm not really a pushy parent (although I clearly sound like one!) and I'm not pressurising him to get A*s for everything, it just seems crazy that he can't get higher than a C.

Sorry if I'm ranting!!!

Pixiefish Fri 22-Jun-07 18:35:46

When is his parents evening? Maybe you could bring it up then

Hallgerda Fri 22-Jun-07 18:52:39

My local comp puts the top set in Year 9 in for the foundation level paper. I suspect, while it may appear to you and me to be a daft idea, that it's no reflection on your son - it's probably just what the school does. I presume they do the higher level papers in Year 11?

BecauseImWorthIt Fri 22-Jun-07 18:58:22

Already had parents' evening.

think I will have to make a separate appointment.

Homebird8 Fri 22-Jun-07 19:08:18

Because He's Worth It!

BecauseImWorthIt Sun 24-Jun-07 00:34:08


I find it really frustrating not knowing what's going on. But I know my parents didn't have a clue either when I was his age.

It just seems so much more complicated now. When I was at school you did a CSE or a GCE. I wonder if this is what they're really re-introducing. I suppose I'm an intellectual snob in that I want my son to at least have the chance to get higher grades.

He's not a PFB, honestly!!!

islandofsodor Sun 24-Jun-07 21:25:40

This happened to me with my Maths GCSe. I took it a year early and gained a C, the highest mark possible at the level paper.

We then spent the following year studying another subject (statistics actually). I did re-take maths at higher but still only got a C.

Maybe statistics is an extra subject they wouldn't get the opportunity to take otherwise, they might be re-taking next year but no-one can take away the C (a couple of friends of mine who got C the year early failed at higher.

Blandmum Sun 24-Jun-07 21:30:46

Higher level papers deal with more chalaging material.

If a students is a d/c boarderline, we put them in for foundadtion because it tends to be easier for them to geta C at foundadtion than it is a takes the pressure off them a bit

2shoes Sun 24-Jun-07 21:45:20

ds did the foundation gcse in science. after the first one the teacher asked him how he got on and he said it was easy. she then said thats because you were in the wrong group. he has now been moved up. worth speaking to the teacher.

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