(Before we start, a lot of this is my opinion)
so, as a lot of you may know, the education system within the UK is currently in shambles (as someone currently experiencing yr 11 I can say that with confidence) and the pressure to achieve a specific expected grade is constantly on the rise. The way I see it, we as a collective are not appropriately readied for the life ahead of us; learning how to analyse shakespeare or argue the differences between two photos is not going to have an effect on my future, whereas knowing basic life skills like how to budget and save money efficiently, or how to vote for a party based on how their policies would influence me, is going to have an effect.
Another problem is the assumption that exams are all that should matter to a teenager, and nothing else is more important in the entire world than the grades printed next to your name on a piece of paper in an envelope. This is why thousands upon thousands of students have severe anxiety and tend to feel an extreme lack of self worth. The expectation placed on students, and teachers, to achieve an A (or in the case nowadays, a 9) is constantly increasing, and the more we do well, we aren't rewarded, the exams are just made harder and harder. Answer me this, if you spent 3 years learning to walk again after a spinal injury, and a day after recovering you were expected to run a marathon, otherwise you would have your legs amputated, how stressed would you be?
That question probably didn't make much sense, which is why it's a good metaphor for the examination process we currently have. But I have a solution, and I may make a petition if enough of you want me to.
Here's my solution:
-keep primary education the same
-keep KS3 education the same
-in KS4, things like maths and english should replace the current curriculum material with things like how to tackle economics, how to argue a point, current affairs and the likely effects on the country etc.
-Scrap the concept of final exams in favour of assessments at the end of each term, which are prepared and trialled by the teachers so they can be tailored to each student's approach to give everyone the chance to do well.
-The grades are granted based on a student's grasp of the subject and how much needs to be reviewed
-If the student has areas of weakness, those areas are made the top priority, and are re-taught, this time how the student best sees fit. A re-assessment may not always be needed
-All the grades from all the assessments are brought together and an average is determined. This is the final grade given to the student at the end of year 11.
I feel like this solution, if applied to most, if not all, subjects, would be a substantial improvement, and a great way of modernising the education provided to the UK.
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I like the idea of student tailored assessment in principle; coursework and exams suit some students better than others, and neither is a true reflection of a students full ability in a lot of cases. However, I don't think it's feasible in the current situation, there simply isn't the time or resources for teachers to complete that level of additional work.
Also, I like your idea of amending life skills to the curriculum, but I think it should be in addition to what's already there, rather than replacing anything.