Do you think the GCSE and A-level reforms were necessary? Watch

Tolgarda
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What's your take on the matter? Do you think the system required the revamp it currently has? Do you think that the reformed GCSEs and A-levels are any good?
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Cakecupcake
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
What's your take on the matter? Do you think the system required the revamp it currently has? Do you think that the reformed GCSEs and A-levels are any good?
Whether or not it was, COULDNT THEY HAVE WAITED 2 MORE !%#%@*#^ YEARS?!?!
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username3989988
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It has just made me really stressed and now I've finished GCSEs I'm struggling to return to a normal non-revision routine. That may have been the same as the previous system though.
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Nihilisticb*tch
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I think they were somewhat necessary, however I think the way they were brought so suddenly was unfair. The reformed gcses and a levels were accompanied by a new curriculum for both primary and secondary school. The first pupils to sit the exams should have been those who were taught the new curriculum from the start rather than those who had been taught a different curriculum and suddenly had a new one thrust upon them.
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boggles333
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
What's your take on the matter? Do you think the system required the revamp it currently has? Do you think that the reformed GCSEs and A-levels are any good?
If you are living in a dream world where the top 2% is no better than the top 30% then no it was not necessary. Tony Blair dumbed down education in order to prevent talent from thriving, thereby destroying White Western civilization. The other thing he did was to bring in 3 million migrants with a view to blending out indigenous White North Western Europeans.
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Pantera Fan Club
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It was absolutely unnecessary. Changing the grade numbers has done nothing to make school more practical or useful. We're still sitting in classrooms like we have the last 150 years. We're still learning specifications, we're still going through the motions, we're still ignoring all creativity or problem-solving. We're still sitting in liquid solutions, slowly absorbing (by diffusion) all the knowledge our individual brains can.
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by boggles333)
If you are living in a dream world where the top 2% is no better than the top 30% then no it was not necessary. Tony Blair dumbed down education in order to prevent talent from thriving, thereby destroying White Western civilization.
Never really saw 30% getting the top grade for any subject under the old system. I don't see 2% getting the top grade for most subjects under the new system either to be fair.
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boggles333
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(Original post by Pantera Fan Club)
It was absolutely unnecessary. Changing the grade numbers has done nothing to make school more practical or useful. We're still sitting in classrooms like we have the last 150 years. We're still learning specifications, we're still going through the motions, we're still ignoring all creativity or problem-solving. We're still sitting in liquid solutions, slowly absorbing (by diffusion) all the knowledge our individual brains can.
True, if schooling was so wonderful it would not have to be compulsory. The real reason why it is compulsory is to train people to become good corporate employees who are not likely to rebel.
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Geek5
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TLDR:
A Level reforms = good.
GCSE reforms = bad.

I don't think changing the actual grades from letters to numbers was necessary, no. I can also understand why they made qualifications more rigorous but surely lowering the grade boundaries on the more challenging exams defeats the object of making them more challenging? I'm not sure I agree with the hardening of GCSEs as they should be a baseline qualification for everyone (I'm not saying everyone should pass if they don't deserve it, but the should be the most accessible qualification). However, I agree that A-Levels should be more difficult as it helps push people towards vocational areas such as plumbing because we need people to work in those industries too. I sat the reformed A-Levels and a non-reformed A Level but only to AS. When comparing the first year like-for-like, the non-reformed A Levels had much less content and it was far too easy to get full UMS. For those where it did't go so well, they could resit the exam which made it easier to get a high grade. This meant A-Levels were appealing to the lowest common denominator. By making everyone sit the exams at the end of the two years, the playing field was levelled because people couldn't get high grades simply by doing multiple resits.
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by Nihilisticb*tch)
I think they were somewhat necessary, however I think the way they were brought so suddenly was unfair. The reformed gcses and a levels were accompanied by a new curriculum for both primary and secondary school. The first pupils to sit the exams should have been those who were taught the new curriculum from the start rather than those who had been taught a different curriculum and suddenly had a new one thrust upon them.
This is their only true flaw really.
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Geek5
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
This is their only true flaw really.
I fail to see why this is a flaw at all. The curriculum at KS1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 operate independently of one another and there is no logical reason why you should have to complete the reformed KS3 curriculum in order to sit the new KS4 exams, for example.
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Luckie_13
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The way that they changed it was not the best, yes the system needed changing but they've only gone many steps backwards. They've made the courses much harder so that the percentage required to pass has decreased incredibly, this discourages students from actually understanding anything that is taught. And it encourages the teachers to just teach quick tricks to get their lower ability students to pass. For example, set texts now have to be memorised in the exam, and that does not encourage learning it is just brute memorisation.

They are raising students to believe that they need to memorise huge amounts of information in these syllabuses only to find out that the exam covers none of it. It's not the way education should be going.
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by Geek5)
I fail to see why this is a flaw at all. The curriculum at KS1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 operate independently of one another and there is no logical reason why you should have to complete the reformed KS3 curriculum in order to sit the new KS4 exams, for example.
I do believe the new KS3 curriculum actually helps build students up and prepare them for the more challenging KS4 curriculum much better than the former one did (e.g. problem solving is much more emphasised now in KS3), or so I heard. If that is the case, then the KS4 reform should have come after the KS3 reform.
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Geek5
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
I do bbelieve the new KS3 curriculum actually helps build studenrs up and preapre them for the more challenging KS4 curriculum much better than the former one did (e.g. problem solving is much more emphasised now in KS3), or so I heard If that is the case, then the KS4 reform should have come after the KS3 reform.
I haven't heard of any significant reforms to the KS3 curriculum recently. Any reforms at KS3 would be futile anyway, given how the vast majority of secondary schools are academies and therefore do not have to follow the National Curriculum thus setting their own.

The vast majority of schools have shortened their KS3 to two years rather than three because of the most content heavy GCSEs. This would not suggest that the new KS3 curriculum prepares pupils for GCSEs. However, this means a longer KS4 which one could argue gives more time to prepare for final GCSE exams, but this still doesn't support your point as this is relevant to KS4 curriculum reforms more-so than any KS3 reforms.

Despite this, I do believe that the more challenging GCSEs probably do bridge the gap more with A-Level, lessening the jump.
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by Geek5)
I haven't heard of any significant reforms to the KS3 curriculum recently. Any reforms at KS3 would be futile anyway, given how the vast majority of secondary schools are academies and therefore do not have to follow the National Curriculum thus setting their own.

The vast majority of schools have shortened their KS3 to two years rather than three because of the most content heavy GCSEs. This would not suggest that the new KS3 curriculum prepares pupils for GCSEs. However, this means a longer KS4 which one could argue gives more time to prepare for final GCSE exams, but this still doesn't support your point as this is relevant to KS4 curriculum reforms more-so than any KS3 reforms.

Despite this, I do believe that the more challenging GCSEs probably do bridge the gap more with A-Level, lessening the jump.
Well, this is new, I heard differently, but this sounds more rational. Also, wasn't the content of the reformed A-level syllabuses changed to have more challenging content as well? I think the jump will be relatively the same.
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ltsmith
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I think we should use the same system US schools use.

In class assessments only. SAT/ACT before university and optional AP tests for people who want to go to prestigious universities.

Its significantly less stressful than having to take 10+ GCSE exams at 16.
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GalGirl101
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I was part of the last year group to do the old GCSEs so can't comment on the new GCSEs but I was the second year to the do the new A-Levels so maybe I'll be helpful

The new linear A-Levels do create a lot of pressure because it's literally a case of "now or never" with the exams. If you get your grades, congrats! If you don't, you're spending time, money and energy going through that again and it may not even be successful/worth it because a) you might not do well again and b) some uni's don't like the fact that you resit or do your A-Levels over the course of three years instead of two
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Geek5
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
Well, this is new, I heard differently, but this sounds more rational. Also, wasn't the content of the reformed A-level syllabuses changed to have more challenging content as well? I think the jump will be relatively the same.
I know that a lot more content was added to reformed a level subjects. My old A Level History teacher said that the reformed A Level was much harder than the old A Level. I imagine this is true for most if not all subjects.
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troubletracking
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My CV's gonna look well ugly with numbers from GCSE and letters from A Level
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by Geek5)
I know that a lot more content was added to reformed a level subjects. My old A Level History teacher said that the reformed A Level was much harder than the old A Level. I imagine this is true for most if not all subjects.
I heard similarly. I think the gap remains as wide as under the old systems for both GCSEs and A-levels.
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