Curriculum Changes

Curriculum Changes

Key Stage 4 - changes to GCSE exams

What are the main changes?

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.

For most details of the new grading structure, please click here. The government have made a number of postcards available explaining the changes at Key Stage 4, they can all be viewed here.

The new Progress 8 and Attainment 8 measures also apply, see below for more information.

What are the changes to English & Maths?

For English, the 40% coursework no longer exists, making the final examinations worth 100%. Students get a separate certificate for their speaking and listening assessment. The grade will no longer be a letter; instead it will be a number from 9-1, with 9 being the highest.

Mathematics has been 100% examination for some time now, and this continues. The grade will no longer be a letter; instead it will be a number from 9-1, with 9 being the highest.

How will the assessment for vocational subjects change?

Foundation Pathway Level 1 courses continue to be assessed by portfolio only, but all others 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 are the new Progress 8 and Attainment 8 measures?

Progress 8 measure: Progress 8 is now 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 is based on students’ progress at secondary school measured across 8 subjects:

The Attainment 8 measure shows students' average achievement in the same suite of subjects as the Progress 8 measure.

Although most students study for Progress 8 and Attainment 8, the school recognises 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?

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
Started teaching from 2017 All other subjects.

What is the content and style of the assessment like?

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 not sit AS Levels.

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.