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June resit after early entry November GCSE?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by obloquy, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. The new plans for all-linear GCSE from summer 2014 include a November session for maths. Can anyone see any rules / regs to stop students sitting for the first time in November, and having a resit opportunity the following June?

    I know that some schools have done this with some success in recent years, notwithstanding reports detailing the pitfalls of early entry. I'm just interested to know if that is an option that will remain open to schools.
  2. What are the advantages of early entry for all but
    a) those who will stop coming to school before June
    b) those who already can score 90%+ in Higher tier and can therefore go on to do some other Maths work?
    The former will only be an issue for a minute number of kids in most schools. The latter still don't need to sit the GCSE in November and can do the extra Maths then walk the GCSE in June.
    No need for early entry, therefore don't do it.

    cyolba, old skool and proud of it :)
  3. s1x


    They are advantage for SLT who wish to prematurely cash in C grades for kids who could have gone on to get As in maths in favour of spending time cramming to ensure all pupils leave with 5 A*- Cs.
    English coursework catch up, multiple resists on modules for other subjects and bye bye to maths.....

    As for the original question. IIRC and this is a big IIRC, the only stipulation is that the grade obtained for a GCSE had to be in year 11 to count towards A*-C results which of course would allow for the proposal you suggest.
  4. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    You may well be right that the SLT in some schools would have seen it like this in the past.
    It should be less straightforward to do this in future, though, because 3 levels of progress will be important, so pupils going from level 5 at KS2 to a C grade at GCSE will be seen to be underachieving.

  5. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I would agree with all of the benefits that Pencho lists.
    We do early entry with all of our Year 11 students. It gives them a focus through the summer before Year 11 (if we are lucky) and for the first half term of Year 11. It means that they are only revisiting for Maths in the main, and not for all of their subjects.
    I feel that both taking the exam and getting the results have a positive motivating effect on the vast majority of our students.
  6. It's true that getting an early C grade can disincentivise students, but it ain't necessarily so. Many schools start KS4 sometime in Y9, so a November exam in Y11 might come after the same amount of lesson-time as a June exam with KS4 starting at Y10. There are problems with starting GCSE earlier and earlier, but covering KS3 in 7 terms instead of 9 is doable (no?).

    An advantage of using the November session can be a hit-the-ground-running sense of purpose at the start of Y11, less conflicts with time-demands from other subjects [if well coordinated], less pressure from SLT [if 'banked' results are good for expected progress and A*-C], and the opportunity to change groups and re-focus teaching and learning in preparation for the June resit.

    In truth I agree with many here who feel that the best solution would be for all students across the land to sit GCSE (from one board) at the same time in summer of Y11. If, for whatever reason, schools want to accelerate some students they can start offering new, more advanced courses before the end of Y11 - students sitting Additional maths, FSMQ, AS would surely ace the GCSE at the end of Y11, having completed study of the GCSE topics some time before. Students not attending in summer Y11 remains a problem, but is a system of early- or multiple-entries to accommodate this any more than a sticking plaster?

    It would be great if there was a policy that made this June-session-for-all happen - and I think that is the intention of the changes that Ofqual have confirmed - but from the documentation I have seen there is no bar, only discouragement, for schools to choose to enter students en masse in November; an opportunity missed perhaps? [DM suggested that policy-makers sometimes come here - if so, please take note!]
  7. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    Once again it goes back to my point about options. If people feel that they want to do summer entries of Y11 only then this is fine, if some people want to do early entry in Nov 2011 then I see nothing wrong with this too. We have the best of both worlds. Similar to the modular and linear debate. I simply don't know what people have so much against it. I know some schools can abuse it, but this happens with any system.
  8. It'll be interesting to see what happens when the next (inevitable) round of budget cuts arrive on SLT laptops/tablets. Will they use the "end of year 11" excuse to bar early entry for all but those for whom there is overwhelmng evidence? Or will something else be sacrificed in order to continue early entries in core subjects?
    I understand your argumrnts, pencho, and agree that early entry should be considered carefully. However, I feel that, in many schools, a significant number of kids get a bad deal. I know of schools that do early entry so that they don't hve to employ supply staff all year. Some that do early entry for all and then, due to lack of specialist teachers, syphon all those with C or above off to complete BTEC coursework so that the specialist Maths teachers can focus on those with D grades. These situations are really poor and perhaps a lack of opportunity for early entry might make schools re-evaluate exactly where their priorities should lie.
    cyolba, swinging low in a sweet chariot :)
  9. While I agree with Pencho's points the situation I find myself in is that described by Cyolba. After the Nov early entry students who got grade C+ have moved on to focus on other subjects with the exception of a few who are doing additional Maths.The main Maths specialists in the dept are now focussed on those that got D's and E's.The frustration however rises when I go over some of the grades and see a number of students who were potential A's or B's but who didn't get achieve their potential because of early entry.They are now studying privately to retake in the next two weeks and I worry because that may never happen for them given that they are doing this on their own but probably would have achieved better had they sat the exam at the right time.[​IMG]
  10. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    Are you HOD. if so surely you can do something about this situation. Some of the students you describe should maybe not Have done it early. You need to ave discussions about the suitability of students. Just because you have some schools who Maybe do not do the bet for students,, it doesn't mean that every school should be penalised. Hopefully the focus on progress of high ability students may help now.
  11. I am HOD and have discussed the issue with SLT on several ocassions but our views are diametrically opposed. For the school it's more about banking the C and that's why I am now working with the grade D/E students to add to the so called bank.Highers on the other hand are studying advanced Maths but I have concerns which I can't state and then for those with potential but didn't make it they are on their own pretty much trying to improve the grade,something which I doubt will happen.I can see where the school is coming from but as a Maths teacher with the passion to see students do well and achieve their full potential rather than deposit grades that are not in line with ability it's painful. I am totally against such a system of an early mass entry for all when some could excel if entered at a nearly correct right time, but who has the last word on this?-Certainly not the HOD and for that reason I am searching for the obvious even though the grass may never really be greener but hey....

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