As lecturers categorical considerations about the best way wherein new GCSEs in England are being graded from 9-1 moderately than A*-G, we reply some key questions concerning the adjustments.
When do the brand new 1-9 grades are available?
The brand new grades are being phased in, beginning with a few of this summer season’s exams.
New-style GCSEs in English language, English literature and maths will probably be taken by the present Yr 11 college students – these exams will probably be graded within the new approach, with 9 as the very best mark and one the bottom.
A 4 is broadly being in comparison with a C grade, though the exams watchdog, Ofqual, warns in opposition to “direct comparisons and overly simplistic descriptions”.
For many different topics – together with biology, chemistry, physics, laptop science, French, Spanish, non secular schooling, geography, music and historical past – the brand new grades will probably be awarded from the summer season of 2018.
A 3rd wave of 9-1 graded GCSEs – together with psychology, historical historical past, enterprise, info and communications know-how (ICT) and media research – will probably be taught from September 2017 with exams in 2019.
So some youngsters could have a mixture of GSCEs below totally different marking schemes?
Sure, that is proper. The present Yr 11s will get English and maths outcomes below the brand new numerical grading scheme and the remainder of their choices will probably be graded A*-G.
The present Yr 10 college students will then sit most of their GCSEs below the brand new system, however they could have some below the previous system, for instance if they’re taking historical historical past or ICT, whereas these pupils now in Yr 9 will probably be totally “moved over” on to the numerical grading system.
How do the brand new grades evaluate to the previous ones?
Grades 9, eight and 7 are broadly equal to an A* and A. Grades six, 5 and 4 are consistent with B and C grades. A 3 can be broadly much like a D grade, with two and one taking in grades E, F and G.
There’s nonetheless a U (ungraded) mark.
Training Secretary Justine Greening says a grade four will be seen as a “standard pass” and a grade five as a “strong pass”.
She additionally says that for varsity efficiency tables, the federal government will publish “commonplace passes” (grade 4 and above) but additionally the “robust passes” (at grade 5 and above).
Watchdog Ofqual says that, broadly, the identical proportion of youngsters will get a grade 4 and above as at present get a grade C or above.
It additionally says a method will probably be used which can imply that about 20% of all grades at seven or above will probably be awarded a grade 9.
Chief regulator Sally Collier says college students who get a 9 could have “carried out exceptionally”.
Will not the primary cohort to take a seat the brand new exams be deprived?
It actually appears like this and college students within the subsequent two 12 months teams are guinea pigs for the brand new grading system.
Nevertheless, Ofqual insists these college students won’t be deprived.
It says that in 2016, in English and in maths, about 70% of 16-year-old college students achieved a grade C or above and so it could count on an analogous proportion to realize a 4 and above on this summer season’s exams.
Ofqual additionally says examination boards will use check outcomes from nationwide curriculum exams (Sats) taken on the finish of main faculty to foretell the possible achievement on the new grades of 1, 4 and 7.
Why are GCSE grades in England being modified?
The brand new GCSE grading scheme is an element and parcel of a brand new curriculum which was launched in England’s colleges in 2014 by the then Training Secretary Michael Gove.
The brand new GCSEs programs embody a lot much less coursework than earlier than, with grades in virtually all topics relying on exams.
Programs are designed to be extra rigorous with exams taken after two years of examine, moderately than in modules with exams alongside the best way.
What is going on in Wales?
Change is below approach in Wales in addition to in England. The Welsh authorities has launched new and revised GCSEs taught from September 2015.
Essentially the most vital adjustments are in English language, Welsh language and arithmetic. In all of the modified topics, the brand new or revised specs would be the solely ones accessible to state colleges in Wales. They are going to be delivered by the WJEC examination board.
One essential distinction to England is that the established grading construction of A*- G is being maintained.
What is going on in Northern Eire?
Whereas pupils in England could have outcomes graded 9-1 and pupils in Wales could have A*-G graded outcomes, pupils in Northern Eire might find yourself with a mixture of A*-G and numerical grades.
Initially, the Northern Eire authorities stated all examination boards working within the province must give their results on an A* to G basis. This led English examination boards OCR and AQA to announce they’d not supply the brand new GCSEs there.
However in June 2016, this decision was reversed by new Education Minister Peter Weir and pupils will now be allowed to take a seat GCSE grades from English examination boards giving outcomes utilizing the 9-1 system.
Roughly three-quarters of GCSEs in Northern Eire are taken by means of the NI Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Evaluation (CCEA); the remaining quarter by means of the AQA, OCR, Edexcel or WJEC examination boards.
What about Scotland?
Scotland has its personal system of public examinations: Nationals and Highers.