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    Hi all,

    Can somebody confirm whether or not the new grading system for GCSE (on a scale of 1-9) is set in stone for the new curriculum and exam reform for September 2015, or is it just a proposal at the moment?

    Just needing some clarification to help in discussing recent educational issues for my upcoming PGCE interview.

    Additionally, is it mandatory for schools to scrap using levels for lower key stage and Year 7-10, in favour of coming up with their own grading system, or is it optional? I've heard different things.

    Thanks for the help!
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    The new GCSE grading system is set in stone for those subjects that are changing from sept 2015 and first exams in 2017. It does not immediately apply to all subjects as they don't all change in 2015. Some change in 2016, some in 2017 and some will be scrapped. You'll find helpful info on the examiners web sites (e.g. edexcel, OCR or aqa). Obviously would be good if you know when it affects your specific subject.

    For several years students will have a mixture of 9-1 and A*-G grades, cue endless questions from students and parents "is my A* a high A* equivalent to.........."

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    All subjects are going to move to grades 1-9. 4 is supposed to be the equivalent of a low C, so they can distinguish more between the top grades.

    Part of the idea is that they can add a grade 10 if they want to, and even 11 and 12 in the long run, which would sound less stupid than A** and A***.

    Pupils currently in Y9 will do their GCSE English and Maths (maybe some others - I'm not sure?) under the new system (Grades 1-9) but most other subjects will still be U-A*. The current Y8s will do new GCSEs for the other subjects.


    In terms of KS3 Levels, it depends on your school. Most are still using levels for the time being (we are, with Y7 and 8 - Y9 use GCSE grades).

    For next year onwards, we've been asked to develop descriptors/criteria for the GCSE grade 1-9 and to apply these from Y7 onwards. So a pupil might be grade 1/2 in Y7, grade 3 in Y8 and so on (working towards a final GCSE grade of 4-9). The trouble is that in my subject (Languages) we don't yet know what 1-9 will look like in terms of the GCSE. So any draft assessment schemes are very much a work in progress. I think this is common in other schools as well.
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    (Original post by myrtille)
    All subjects are going to move to grades 1-9. 4 is supposed to be the equivalent of a low C, so they can distinguish more between the top grades.

    Part of the idea is that they can add a grade 10 if they want to, and even 11 and 12 in the long run, which would sound less stupid than A** and A***.

    Pupils currently in Y9 will do their GCSE English and Maths (maybe some others - I'm not sure?) under the new system (Grades 1-9) but most other subjects will still be U-A*. The current Y8s will do new GCSEs for the other subjects.


    In terms of KS3 Levels, it depends on your school. Most are still using levels for the time being (we are, with Y7 and 8 - Y9 use GCSE grades).

    For next year onwards, we've been asked to develop descriptors/criteria for the GCSE grade 1-9 and to apply these from Y7 onwards. So a pupil might be grade 1/2 in Y7, grade 3 in Y8 and so on (working towards a final GCSE grade of 4-9). The trouble is that in my subject (Languages) we don't yet know what 1-9 will look like in terms of the GCSE. So any draft assessment schemes are very much a work in progress. I think this is common in other schools as well.
    Come next year, some schools are doing this slightly differently. E.g. A pupil may enter year 7 with a target grade of 6 and this will be THE SAME every year. So they'd be a YEAR 7 level 6, a YEAR 8 level 6 and so on... Might be easier to show progress this way. Maybe? So pupils don't just get stuck and aren't able to move upwards any more when they're starting at 1 and just expected to keep advancing.
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    (Original post by rachel.h)
    Come next year, some schools are doing this slightly differently. E.g. A pupil may enter year 7 with a target grade of 6 and this will be THE SAME every year. So they'd be a YEAR 7 level 6, a YEAR 8 level 6 and so on... Might be easier to show progress this way. Maybe? So pupils don't just get stuck and aren't able to move upwards any more when they're starting at 1 and just expected to keep advancing.
    Hmm, that's an interesting way of doing things.

    I just don't know how you'd decide what the criteria are if you needed a different set of criteria for every year group. What a "Grade 4" or whatever is would become completely subjective and meaningless if it was different for every year group.

    Plus it would be a far too much work for teachers to produce 4 different sets of criteria, so I'd refuse solely on that basis.
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    Speaking as somebody who still has two O levels from the days when they were numbered 1-9 but with 1 being the best, and all the rest as ABC, I am a bit miffed at the overnight devaluation of my grades! (Lol. Not really. My days of having to discuss my qualifications are long gone.) I can scarcely imagine how employers are going to get their heads round this, though, and that's from the perspective of someone within the trade who knows what's going on and has gone on in the past..
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    (Original post by myrtille)
    Hmm, that's an interesting way of doing things.

    I just don't know how you'd decide what the criteria are if you needed a different set of criteria for every year group. What a "Grade 4" or whatever is would become completely subjective and meaningless if it was different for every year group.

    Plus it would be a far too much work for teachers to produce 4 different sets of criteria, so I'd refuse solely on that basis.
    That's the way we'll be doing things I think our SLT are quite nervous that a year 7 and year 9 could both be sat on the same level.

    My hod doesn't seem too concerned about creating the criteria, but of course as you've said, the problem is that it's then OUR criteria.
 
 
 

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