Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
GCSE changes are disappointing, says head
CHANGES to the way GCSE’s are taught and graded announced on Friday are disappointing but not a surprise, according to two Worcestershire headteachers.
The huge changes to the examinations taken by pupils at secondary schools were made by both Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove and Ofqual following consultation periods.
They include new content in maths and English, a new grading systems, new tiering model, will see course work scrapped in favour of a fully linear structure and exams only taking place in the summer - apart from English language and maths for some students.
The changes in content will see more time spent teaching maths with greater coverage of key areas such as ratio, proportion and rates of change.
Changes to the way English is taught will see 20 percent of the grade given based on accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Students will study texts including Shakespeare, 19th-century novels, romantic poetry and other high-quality fiction and drama and the new GCSE will also ensure all students are examined on some unseen texts, encouraging students to read widely and rewarding those that can demonstrate the breadth of their understanding.
Clive Corbett, headteacher at Pershore High School, said he was disappointed by the changes.
“My concern, and that of the parents, the fact that this linear exam system, coming in in 2017, is not going to suit all children,” he said.
“It’s undermining the fact that the real world isn’t all about exams. Some youngsters will benefit and others will lose out from the fact there is no course work.
“To me there nothing wrong with course work, as long as it’s properly over seen but I am afraid the government don’t trust schools. We will work with it and do our best for the youngsters.”
Mike Woods, assistant head teacher and head of sixth form at the Chase School, said the changes were no surprise.
“It’s essentially moving back to the old grammar school expectation,” he said.
“Lots of people might say it’s a retrograde step because there are youngsters who don’t do so well in exams but with a so called controlled assessment it will give teachers more time to teach because there isn’t so much time out of the curriculum with time devoted to doing course work.
“Whatever changes happen schools will do their best to make sure students are prepared in the best way possible.”
Councillor Liz Eyre, cabinet Member with Responsibility for Children and Families backed the changes.
She said: "It is important that our young people are able to compete on the global stage in terms of employment and are encouraged to strive for results that truly reflect their ability.
"Any change that enables them to be fairly assessed in the round is welcome. Any change which encourages ambition and increasingly reflects accurately ability is also to be welcomed.
"If we are not ambitious for our children yet protective of over stating their abilities who will be?
"However I do appreciate there are concerns from the teaching profession and changes which are sudden can be disruptive."
Comments are closed on this article.