- New GCSEs in English and Maths will be taken in summer 2017.
Key features of the new exams:
- The maths course will cover a larger body of knowledge and in greater depth. There will be a demand for broader and deeper mathematical understanding. There will be the option of 2 exams to sit – one for students aiming for grades 1-5 and one for those aiming for grades 4-9.
- The English exam will require students to be well practised in reading difficult texts and analysing them and use high levels of technical accuracy (spelling, punctuation and grammar) in their writing. The focus on English literature is greater. There will be one exam which tests the whole ability range.
- Grades given for these new GCSE qualifications will be expressed numerically rather than as the current alphabetical grades. Grade 9 will be equivalent to a high-end A*.
- The new GCSEs will be fully assessed by examination at the end of the course.
What this means for students:
- Work in Year 9 may appear to be harder than expected because students are being prepared for the new more rigorous GCSEs.
- These students will receive examination results that will be a mixture of graded numbers (for English and Maths) and letters (for all other GCSEs).
- The ability to write longer and more grammatically correct answers will be important as this will be a feature of the marking of the new exams.