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New Linear GCSEs, New Spec? Ofqual not clear

Discussion in 'Science' started by Kevinberry03, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. With the new linear GCSE starting from September 2012 does anyone know what is happening to the new specs- Very unclear from Ofqual- The idea of teaching any of the indivisual blocks and then waiting up to 18 months before the exam fills me with dread, especially given the very low scores seen in the November series of exams set by Edexcel that was "fresh" in students minds- Hopefully this link to Ofqual will work but it does not seem very helpful and the exam boards appear to have no guidance on their sites. http://tinyurl.com/7xpkwbl
     
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I was under the impression that the specifications were remaining unchanged. As for waiting until the end of year 11, we did that less than ten years ago! (Grades were indeed lower).
    Best wishes,
    P
     
  3. Firstly I wish that Mr Gove would work out his whole policy on education and then, if we are going to have to go with it, we could work out an action plan. I wake each day wondering what the next gem of an idea will be. We have had the attack on exams, then ICT, who or what will be next?
    Regarding the level of grades, remember that the exam boards (overseen by Ofqual or whoever it will be by then) award grades according to their judgement of the candidates' performance. So, unless it is deemed that one year group is dramatically worse than their predecessors, the grades will be awarded to give a similar spread of A*, A, B etc. This may mean that where, say, 80% gained an A on the modular scheme, 75% may be sufficient if the same exam were taken linearly. Of course, a dramatic fall in the results could be blamed entirely (by HM Gov) on the two days that were taken out by some for the strike action!

     
  4. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    Unfortunately Mike, the recent Edexcel results show that the spread of grades has changed dramatically in the recent exams. It appears that the exam have had to set the boundaries much higher than previously, even on what are much more difficult papers than on the old specs. See the other thread on Edexcel results for more info.
    I believe that it is about using kids' results to provide political ammunition - with results this poor, Gove will blame the previous Government for dumbing things down, and then show how his policies are going to raise standards.
    Mark
     
  5. mousey80

    mousey80 Occasional commenter

    I believe that the specifications will be unchanged. The difference will be that all the exams will be at the end. You will be able to finish core science at the end of year 10 and do the exams then, and additional at the end of year 11.
     
  6. Some idea of Mr Gove wanting big changes in pass rates at GCSE comes from this interview:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16567482

    This, combined with Ofqual reports consistently stating that the standard achieved by pupils achieving A and C grades is not high enough (http://www.ofqual.gov.uk/news-and-announcements/130-news-and-announcements-press-releases/336-shortcomings-in-gcse-sciences-persisted-in-2009-says-ofqual-report-) makes it even more likely that the new GCSE will see seismic shifts in pass rates...
     
  7. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    The 21st century C456 paper last June had a raw mark threshold of 50% for a grade A.
    Grade A for getting half the paper wrong.
    They think they've done well at GCSE, then if they get 49% on an A level paper they're on an E and can't understand why they're sudddenly almost failing. Ouch.
    The current system supports no-one. However it will be enormously painful explaining to everyone why grades have dropped.
    P
     
  8. mm38

    mm38 New commenter

    I agree. I'm quite happy for the grade inflation of recent years to be reversed but the response of the public will be that teaching has got worse!
     
  9. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    Absolutely Phlogiston!
    I have had no end of e-mails and phone calls from parents in the last week, asking (legitimately) about why their children have achieved so poorly in the recent Edexcel exams. This despite the fact that we have made significant progress against the (new) national average!!!
    So it seems that there will be a real shift in what each grade actually means...I suppose it's a good thing, but I don't want to be the one to have to explain this to endless parents who don't understand what's going on!
    Mark
     

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