Students taking GCSE exams from summer 2018
What are the main changes?
In addition to the changes outlined below for Year 11, students will have most GCSEs graded 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade. Most courses will now be 100% examination, with a few still having controlled assessments, such as Art, Media Studies, Drama and Science. This is detailed in the Key Stage 4 curriculum booklet.
The new Progress 8 and Attainment 8 measures will also apply to this year group, see below for more information.
Year 11 (GCSE exams in summer 2017)
What are the changes to English & Maths?
As you may know, the way that subjects are examined and the final grades given at the end of Year 11 are going through a series of changes. This will happen over three or four years; the current Year 11 is the first to be affected at Key Stage 4 as you will complete your full course in Summer 2017.
For English, the 40% coursework will no longer exist, making the final examinations worth 100%. Students will get a separate certificate for your speaking and listening assessment. The grade will no longer be a letter; instead it will be a number from 1-9, with 9 being the highest.
Mathematics has been 100% examination for some time now, and this will continue. The grade will no longer be a letter; instead it will be a number from 1-9, with 9 being the highest.
How will the assessment for vocational subjects change?
Foundation Pathway Level 1 courses will continue to be assessed by portfolio only, but all others will have a final examination similar to the GCSEs. The percentage of marks for this exam will vary according to the subject, speak to subject staff for more information.
What about assessment in other subjects?
For all other subjects grades will be awarded on a combination of controlled assessments and final written/practical examinations. However, the government is planning major changes from September 2016 which will affect current Year 10 students - see information above.
All Key Stage 4 Students
What are the new Progress 8 and Attainment 8 measures?
Progress 8 measure: from the 2016 summer exams onwards, Progress 8 will be used for the performance tables of schools. Progress 8 is designed to encourage schools to offer a broad and balanced curriculum at KS4. The new measure will be based on students’ progress at secondary school measured across 8 subjects:
- English, Mathematics
- 3 other English Baccalaureate (Ebacc) subjects (sciences, computer science, geography, history, languages).
- 3 further subjects, which can be from the range of Ebacc subjects, or can be any other Government approved arts, academic or vocational qualification.
The Attainment 8 measure shows students' average achievement in the same suite of subjects as the Progress 8 measure.
Although most students will study for Progress 8 and Attainment 8, the school recognise that there are a number of students for whom a slightly different curriculum is more appropriate.
Sixth Form courses – the current state of play
Why is the government making changes to A levels?
- Concern over too many opportunities for re-sits – although January re-sits have gone, there is still concern that students can re-sit Year 12 and secure those marks before moving on to Year 13.
- Concern over the rigour of coursework - generally, marks are higher in coursework, resulting in grade inflation. No coursework is seen as a better measure of a student’s ability.
- Universities require “more depth of knowledge and understanding” and higher skill base. For most subjects asessment wil be by written exam at the end of the course.
What is the timeline for subjects offered at St Ivo?
|Started teaching from 2015 (current Year 12 & 13)||Art & Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computing, Economics, English Literature, History, Physics, Psychology|
|Started teaching from 2016 (current Year 12)||French, Dance, Design & Technology subjects, German, Geography, Maths, Further Maths, Music, Physical Education, Religion, Philosophy & Theology|
|Start teaching from 2017||All other subjects.|
What is the content and style of the assessment like?
- The AS is more content-heavy, and overall the A level more “robust”
- Emphasis on the terminal assessment.
- Most subjects have no coursework component
- Subjects such as the sciences have a formal single sitting practical examination
- Subjects such as Theatre Studies, Art and Design Technology continue to have practical and portfolio requirements
Will there still be AS exams?
These will still exist nationally, but if students sit these, the marks will not count towards the final A2 exam mark. Here at St Ivo current Year 12 students will be able to sit AS Levels in all subjects (old and new specifications). Discussions are ongoing for the current Year 11.
So, will students still have to choose 3 or 4 A levels?
For the current Year 11, the guidance is for students to choose three A levels as standard, although some students will wish to study four. We expect some groups of students will be keen to do four, such as very high ability students, or those specialising in a particular area. However, in some cases, studying four will likely result in a poorer performance than a focus on three. Students and parents, therefore, will be advised on a case by case basis.