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If you don't sit the lit exam you don't get a GCSE in English Lang!

Discussion in 'English' started by recliningbuddah, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. recliningbuddah

    recliningbuddah New commenter

    One of my colleagues has recently been on a course, and was advised by the LEA advisor that from September 2013, if a pupil fails to sit their GCSE Lit exam, or doesn't get a G in it, then they cannot be awarded for the GCSE English Language qualification! Is this true? Anyone else heard this?
    RB

     
  2. recliningbuddah

    recliningbuddah New commenter

    One of my colleagues has recently been on a course, and was advised by the LEA advisor that from September 2013, if a pupil fails to sit their GCSE Lit exam, or doesn't get a G in it, then they cannot be awarded for the GCSE English Language qualification! Is this true? Anyone else heard this?
    RB

     
  3. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    Yes. They have to do English instead of English Language
     
  4. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    It's here: http://web.aqa.org.uk/qual/newgcses/english/english-language-updates.php?id=01
    Under Clarification from Dfee.
     
  5. recliningbuddah

    recliningbuddah New commenter

    Many thanks for that - I'm with WJEC and they haven't issued any such advice - what a suprise!
     
  6. sunflower48

    sunflower48 New commenter

    This is also the same for this year's examinations in June 2012. Students who only get their language if they achieve G+ in their literature examination. If you want it to count in the league tables and all that you have to ensure that they do the literature syllabus and sit the examination NOT just enter them for it, which was what schools thought they could do.
     
  7. CarolineEm

    CarolineEm New commenter

    No - at the moment, the <u>student </u>will still get their GCSE in English Language, but if they don't enter for Literature their GCSE won't count in your school's league tables. I've had this confirmed by AQA, although no-one can tell me whether this student will then count for the school league tables as NOT having achieved the magical '5 x A*-C' as officially they won't have English...?
     
  8. sunflower48

    sunflower48 New commenter

    Yes sorry slight misinterpretation. They will get their Language grade but it won't count for league tables, in which case they would be better doing the English only syllabus as that will count. I can't see many SMTs being happy that the students will get their Language grade, have not sat a Literature exam and that the Language grade won't count for their school especially if it is the whole of Year 11.
     
  9. CarolineEm

    CarolineEm New commenter

    Apologies for the abruptness of my "no" - indicative of my frustration at all these rules we now have to deal with and explain!
    I see that the clarification is worded - "The Department <u>expects </u>that where a candidate is entered for GCSE
    English Literature they take the subject and sit the exam and be tested
    on what they know." This leaves a necessary flexibility. Schools who decide to go for English Lang in Yr 10 (under the new rules still possible as long as you submit all c/a, S&L and the exam in the same series) and then move to Literature in Yr 11 may well find that one or two students don't then sit the Literature. Genuine reasons (eg. long-term illness) mean that there has to be some flexibility.
    I don't understand why schools would try to do this for all their students though? Why not just do the English GCSE?
    However, I CAN see schools deciding not to enter a select few for Literature who may not achieve the C-grade in English Language - thus keeping these students out of their league table figures.... (Hence my question of whether they will appear as a percentage who have NOT achieved 5 x A*-C inc. English and Maths, or whether they will just disappear out of the figures altogether???)
     
  10. sunflower48

    sunflower48 New commenter

    No need for apology, the whole thing is very annoying and frustrating. We don't teach fun lessons to Year 11 any more at this stage but teach them how to pass an examination! And then exam boards wonder why errors are made when they keep changing the goals! I agree with you about the odd student who for whatever personal reason just has to sit the language without the literature then we lose that mark from league tables. WJEC have promoted the fact that all students can start off doing Language and then at a later date split to continue with the Lit or the English only, and I have to say this has worked. No wonder everyone on here seems to be going for the IGCSE, but that's another story!!!
    Roll on June and the exams!!!
     
  11. anteater

    anteater New commenter

    I hope they make it easier than AQA to do this. I had a boy who disappeared in Y10 for various reasons, having done some of the Language Controlled assessments. We then decided to switch him to English only, but it meant he had to start the assessments from scratch (which was fortunately possible, as he was lucky enough to be given tuition at home). Why can't they make at least some of them the same so the work is not all wasted when this happens? Surely the creative writing tasks could be the same?
     
  12. sunflower48

    sunflower48 New commenter

    How annoying! I sometimes think that exam boards don't think that we are dealing with young people who have problems in their teenage lives, not always their own doing. WJEC are definitely not like that, we would not be expected to do pieces again if we switched to English only. Surely if they have studied it at GCSE level they could structure something to make it fit. But then that would be too easy for teachers!!!!
     
  13. CandysDog

    CandysDog Occasional commenter

    This is the situation as I understand it.
    Any GCSE a student passes is awarded to the student. English Language and English Literature do not affect each other in that way. Furthermore, any GCSE a student gets counts as a GCSE in his/her school's league tables.
    The debate is about what counts as the 'English' measure, such as for the five A*-C including English and Maths measure and the EBacc.
    A student will count if they:
    • Gain an A*-C in English Language and an A*-G in English Literature
    • Gain an A*-C in English
    Originally, the requirement was that a student merely had to be entered for English Literature, but the DfE got wind of some schools entering students they had no intention of teaching Lit to (presumably as a way of avoiding Shakespeare). Therefore, they have recently tightened the rules (from 2012, not 2013). It may be late notice, but given the only schools affected by this are ones that have been cheating, there's really not much to complain about.
    The students measured are all students at the end of KS4. If they are on roll when the school census is taken in January, they count.
    Given anyone who can gain a Grade C in English Language can certainly gain a Grade G in English Lit, there is nothing to worry about and should not discourage schools from entering students for English Lit. If a student really is ill for the English Lit exams, then special consideration can be applied and they'll still get the G needed to 'count'.
    Note that league tables are entirely the DfE's domain. It's not really the exam boards' jobs to communicate this information (though they may as well - and often do). Both AQA and WJEC have put this information on their websites, if a little tucked away.
     
  14. sunflower48

    sunflower48 New commenter

    Perfectly said! Totally agree as well that, even though it is late in the day to give this notice, that it will only be schools that were cheating and having no intention of teaching their students Literature and were only entering them for the exam so the Language exam would count. WJEC did actually inform our centre about this change.
     
  15. Does anyone have the link to this information on the WJEC site. I am based in Wales which means that our students must do the Lang/Lit option as English alone is not available. On their website they state that a small minority of students may not be entered for Literature. They did not clarify, when questioned, what they consider to be a small minority. We have also been told that either Language or Literature can be used in the school's 5 A-C (maybe this is only the case in Wales). This is so confusing and surely it should be the same for England and Wales. We can also choose whether to go linear or not. Please make a decision and give us guidance - stop sitting on the fence. This may even call into question comparisons between English and Welsh students.
     
  16. recliningbuddah

    recliningbuddah New commenter

    May I please point out that I started this thread, not because my school is 'cheating' but because I have 4 students who didn't turn-up to the Unit 1 Lit exam last year, have gained a C in the January Lang exam and are being, how shall I say, put on 'early study leave' and will probably not turn up for the Unit 2 lit exam.
    I think a lot of schools will have a small number of pupils that this applies to! This is where my concerns lay!
     
  17. CandysDog

    CandysDog Occasional commenter

    http://www.wjec.co.uk/uploads/publications/15555.pdf
    I'm not based in Wales, but my understanding is that the regulators in Wales do not consider single English to cover the National Curriculum adequately (well, they've got a point!). Therefore, everyone in Wales should study Lang and Lit. The 'small minority', one presumes, are those who really can't access the exam or something. The phrasing of this is identical in the AQA spec, making it seem more like a government directive than something from the exam boards. The phrase then goes on to say that those who don't do English Lit should still study the National Curriculum content, which ties in with the reason why single English is banned in Wales.
    I've not heard this, but I may be wrong. It's complicated by Wales not having league tables as such. I thought just English Language counted (as well as Welsh (First Language), as the actual measurement is 5+ GCSEs at A*-C including English/Welsh and Maths).
    The situation is the same in Northern Ireland. The systems are certainly drifting apart.
     
  18. CandysDog

    CandysDog Occasional commenter

    Assuming your exam board has identical English Language and English exams, your best bet is probably to drop them down to single English. You'll have to pay late fees, but most schools will pay a lot more than them for good league table positions.
    All schools have these sort of disappearing students. However, ones who are capable of getting a C in English Language and willing to put in the effort to do so (involving turning up to and trying in exams, CAs and S&Ls), yet cannot even be bothered to turn up to one English Lit exam, are going to be very rare indeed.
     
  19. CandysDog

    CandysDog Occasional commenter

    The Department for Education appears to have backtracked!
    From http://web.aqa.org.uk/subjects/notices/gcse-english-performance-tables.php:
    The Department for Education has confirmed that as long as students enter for, sit and achieve a grade A*-U in English Literature, their English Language mark can be included in the performance tables. This is revised information following their announcement in January.

    It seems like a Grade U in English Literature will now be enough for a student's GCSE in English Language to be counted in the league tables. The wording implies that they must still turn up for English Lit (whether that means both exams and the CA or just one of them isn't clear).
     

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