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GCSEs 2021 - Possible changes to the exams

(10 Posts)
waltzingparrot Mon 22-Jun-20 23:22:31

Suggestions that the exams could be delayed till July / Open book exams. What do you think of these ideas?

Not keen on moving them to July. DS is absolutely hanging by the last two weeks of term. I'm certain he won't do his best work and therefore receive lower grades and yet they were told they wouldn't be disadvantaged by the Covid disruption

What are open book exams like; I've never done them.

www.tes.com/news/coronavirus-gcses-government-consult-ofqual-later-exams

OP’s posts: |
TeenPlusTwenties Tue 23-Jun-20 08:14:45

We have (re-)booked a holiday for 17 July (which we did knowing the risk dates might move) so I'm hoping if they only move them by a couple of weeks.

Open book for English Lit might cut down on quote learning etc, but it does rather change the spec mid-stream.
It would be great if they gave them all the equations for physics and more for maths. (Like they did before the new changes).

The only way 'they' can promise not disrupted really, is to promise the cohort as a whole will receive the same grading profile. Otherwise there are bound to be winners and losers. (My DD is highly likely to be a loser.)

PettsWoodParadise Tue 23-Jun-20 08:43:56

DD’s initial response was why have I been working so hard during lockdown to be rewarded like this?
She knows some DCs haven’t been able to study like she has for a whole host of reasons but the thought of it dragging out has just demotivated her massively. .

DD’s preferred compromise is to keep the exams at the time they were scheduled and to have the option to pick questions or to only be graded on the top 3 out of 4. This would make allowance for those who hadn’t finished the timetable. Some tweaks to question paper may need to be made if the scoring isn’t equal for the different parts eg if there is only one 12 point question and it is one part you haven’t studied that clearly wouldn’t work well.

TeenPlusTwenties Tue 23-Jun-20 08:57:08

DD’s preferred compromise is to keep the exams at the time they were scheduled and to have the option to pick questions or to only be graded on the top 3 out of 4. This would make allowance for those who hadn’t finished the timetable.

I would prefer this too, I think, but it wouldn't work for maths or some other subjects. Though ultimately I can't think what would help for maths, bar providing formulae.

meditrina Tue 23-Jun-20 09:12:31

The 2020 cohort had pretty much finished being taught by the time the closures came in - or there was very little cont by still to go. So even though the qualifications might be by a totally unexpected mechanism, the attainment will be comparable.

For the 2021 (and depending how things go this autumn, the 2022) cohort, they may well not be able to cover enough of the syllabus to mean any awards are comparable. And unfortunately that matters - higher education (whether Higher or A level or degree or something else) rests on the basis of a certain level of attainment, and will not have the time to fill the gaps (which might not be in the same places if pupils switch institution). Universities will just expect students to self-teach. But it's a harder ask for 16-18 yos

No, I don't know what the answer will be, other than hoping for no, or very little, disruption.

Schools with good online teaching (Sutton Trust said just under a third, higher in the private sector) will see higher pupil attainment, simply as an outcome of less disruption and lost teaching hours. That'll probably mean higher results as well

TeenPlusTwenties Tue 23-Jun-20 09:28:55

higher education (whether Higher or A level or degree or something else) rests on the basis of a certain level of attainment, and will not have the time to fill the gaps

I think this is true for maybe maths, science and MFL. However for English & humanities I think that the skills seem to be more important than actual content. So it will matter less if someone didn't cover Lord of the Flies thoroughly.

Schools with good online teaching (Sutton Trust said just under a third, higher in the private sector) will see higher pupil attainment, simply as an outcome of less disruption and lost teaching hours. That'll probably mean higher results as well

I think there is no getting away from that. However I think 'picking best 3 out of 4' might well help reduce this a bit. If someone for whatever reason failed to learn well this term, but usually does then you might expect they will be weaker in stuff taught this term. Allowing their answers to e.g. Lord of the Flies to be discarded would reduce the disadvantage a bit.

I do think however a decision will need to be made by October half term at the very latest (preferably by early Sept when they see whether schools are back properly). Otherwise schools will be rushing to cover everything whereas they might be able to properly focus on new content again.

Member Tue 23-Jun-20 09:44:51

At the very least they should survey what areas of the spec have been covered in year 10 Sept -March before schools closed and use that to amend, inform & make universal what should be taught from Sept onwards.

That way, topics taught pre lockdown could involve question choices & post lockdown topics everyone answers the same.

TeenPlusTwenties Tue 23-Jun-20 09:50:23

Member I really don't think that will work as schools can teach in whatever order they like. Which is why I think the 'try all the questions but only count the best 3 out of 4' is more feasible for some subjects.

Member Tue 23-Jun-20 13:27:15

You’re probably right; the thought of actually seeing if there is any consensus on what has been done so far in order to prescribe ongoing learning would probably be too much!

GrammarTeacher Tue 23-Jun-20 17:01:20

Apparently Ofqual are opening a consultation on this issue on Friday. Absolutely no decisions have been made yet. This is the usual random member of government saying something before looking into how it will work or the consequences.

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