Thu, 20/09/2012 - 13:40#1
Proposed changes to Key Stage 4
Here is a summary of the proposed changes for KS4 (GCSE)
What are your thoughts?
- Removing controlled assessment and course from the six EBacc subjects (though "practical" subjects such as art will retain them)
- No teacher assessment in these subjects at all: 100% externally marked exams.
- No separate higher and foundation tier papers - everyone sits exams with all level questions included.
- One board for each EBacc subject - awarded by tender - the most ambitious courses to be awarded the franchise.
- New qualifications in EBacc subjects leading to English Bacc Certificates - success in all six subjects = "A Full Bacc".
- The pass grade for English and maths EBC to be higher than grade C at GCSE.
- Exams to be more rigorous, though more will ultimately "clear the bar" - suggestion that this will be as a result of better teaching.
- Enhanced provision for lower achievers - a detailed record of successes to be kept by schools.
- Pupils to be able to extend retakes to 17 or 18 to achieve EBacc.
- English, maths and sciences will be the first subjects reviewed: EBCs to be introduced by 2015, examined from 2017.
- Entire suite of GCSEs to go.
- Replacements for league tables to be examined. These will reflect vocational qualifications as well as academic.
- Disadvantaged pupil performance to be reflected in tables.
- A return to separate sciences suggested, though there is an acknowledgement that schools welcome double award.
- Awarding organisations will have to offer more detail in the information that is made available about students’ achievements, in addition to the overarching grading structure.
- Qualifications likely to be no longer graded with letters. Not necessarily the same grading structure will be used in each subject.
- Examinations will require the whole syllabus to be covered, in a range of ways.
- Students will be expected to demonstrate more independent thinking.
- Schools may be expected to devote more curriculum time to EBacc subjects than others.
- Restrictions on use of calculators, periodic tables and historical source materials.
- Universities to be involved in spec development, as has been suggested at A-level.
- Lower uptake languages such as Russian may be under threat from the awarding organisation tender process.