Friday, 16 November 2018

The Problem With the 9-1 GCSEs (and the impact on our young people...)

I've found out what the biggest problem (I certainly see it as a problem) with the new GCSEs is.

I don't think it's the content and specifications.
I don't think it's the number of exams students are now sitting.
It's the kids.

Current year 9 and above, maybe beyond, hold a belief that when they got a C they had finished third in a race. I get that. A and A* were the same grade to them, a B is next and a C is finishing third.

Finish third and you now get a 7. That means that those who were happy with a C (finishing 3rd) are now unhappy with a 5 (finishing 5th) or a 6 (finishing 4th).

Kids are sending themselves to the brink of stress and breakdown to achieve things that, in the time they're given, is beyond them. They're aiming for grades 3, 4 or even 5 grades above their FFT20 estimates.

A 4 isn't finishing 6th, it's the same as a good pass from 3 years ago. It's totally acceptable, and anything better is the same as finishing 2nd or 1st three years ago.
I think our young people haven't had this message clearly enough.

That's a huge problem.