Have your say: GCSEs should be scrapped, say headteachers

Watch
tam13
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
Here's where you can post a comment about our GCSEs should be scrapped, say headteachers article.

Read the full GCSEs should be scrapped, say headteachers article and join in the discussion by posting a message below.
0
reply
Vapordave
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 year ago
#2
Honestly I think it should be replaced with some sort of transcript or diploma to take to Level 3 education.
3
reply
Archie_Margretts
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#3
Report 1 year ago
#3
GCSEs are the first major benchmark of many people's lives, which means that they should be teaching more than just academia. They should be teaching students about the world, about how to live, about how to become a positive member of society. For example, how our political system works, how to pay taxes and apply for a mortgage, mental health awareness, sexuality and gender awareness. These are all important things that many children just don't know because their education system has failed them.

And I don't believe that it's just the content that needs changing but the type of assessment too. These types of memorisation tests are crude and not representative of how well a student has actually progressed in terms of skills learnt. Memorising stuff from a textbook does not constitute learning, and most adults will have forgotten 95% of their GCSE knowledge within the next 3-5 years. I personally cannot remember how electrolysis works, and I took my GCSE chemistry exam less than one year ago because I just don't need to know that! Some people who are studying chemistry in higher education may actually need that information, but that is what the textbook and the Internet it for. Why are we making children memorise facts when the Internet has an infinite memory? All the info is right there, so what's the point? We should be assessing students on the skills they have learnt not the facts they have memorised.

Students should be tested on their problem-solving abilities, on their teamwork and on their resourcefulness, all of which are desirable skills that they will need in the future. Maybe GCSEs can be graded continuously through the 3 years, through research projects and group assignments. This is what will make students prepared for the future, not stupid memorisation tests.

P.S Congrats to anyone who has made it this far, that was quite a rant xD
6
reply
_gcx
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 year ago
#4
Exams are the best mode of examination for a lot of subjects. Sure you could have tests scattered throughout the year - but what about late bloomers? It doesn't reward an upwards trend, but ratherconsistent performance. This is at a time when students are really finding themselves academically and finding styles of learning that suit them and subjects that they like.

There also seems to be somewhat of a misconception too that exams have to be about memorisation. This is only the case when they are made to be. (indeed if they're not - students complain about the exams being too hard)

And who will actually administer and mark these tests - surely you can't trust subject teachers to. (an immediate issue is that the marking suddenly becomes unanonymised)
2
reply
username5288074
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 year ago
#5
(Original post by _gcx)
There also seems to be somewhat of a misconception too that exams have to be about memorisation. This is only the case when they are made to be. (indeed if they're not - students complain about the exams being too hard)
Hits the nail of the head. Exams are also the fairest system of assessing students.

GCSEs often do not reflect the subjects they claim to assess. I believe we simply take too many of them.
GCSE maths does not reflect creative thinking and problem solving; GCSE literature does not reflect nuanced study of text; GCSE science does not reflect analysis and modelling; etc...

Some GCSEs are worth scrapping all together IMHO.
GCSE language historically was, and remains, an exercise in liguistic class; GCSE RE is a box ticking exercise with barley any philosophy or theology; GCSE Latin and Greek are only there for 'tradition' and to show of how posh you are.

Frankly I think curriculum should be cut and more emphasis placed on developing these modes of thinking. 3 core GCSEs of English, Maths, Science in the style of AS papers, alongside a students choice of subjects, would be the kind of GCSEs I would want to take.
0
reply
_gcx
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 year ago
#6
(Original post by anon2.718)
Hits the nail of the head. Exams are also the fairest system of assessing students.

GCSEs often do not reflect the subjects they claim to assess. I believe we simply take too many of them.
GCSE maths does not reflect creative thinking and problem solving; GCSE literature does not reflect nuanced study of text; GCSE science does not reflect analysis and modelling; etc...

Some GCSEs are worth scrapping all together IMHO.
GCSE language historically was, and remains, an exercise in liguistic class; GCSE RE is a box ticking exercise with barley any philosophy or theology; GCSE Latin and Greek are only there for 'tradition' and to show of how posh you are.

Frankly I think curriculum should be cut and more emphasis placed on developing these modes of thinking. 3 core GCSEs of English, Maths, Science in the style of AS papers, alongside a students choice of subjects, would be the kind of GCSEs I would want to take.
GCSE languages were worse on the old spec - around 60% of the GCSE was coursework that was frequently cheated and was basically just memorisation. (so students could be sitting on a C or high D without even having sat any written exams yet and with no knowledge of the language, not a good start)
0
reply
username4521132
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 year ago
#7
I think it should be GCSEs replaced with a diploma and then all grades are averaged out into a single number like a GPA system. There should be assessed core subjects but as well as non-assessed elective subjects. Should bring forward vocational subjects like computing and foodtech, life skills, sports and creative subjects like arts, music.
Last edited by username4521132; 1 year ago
2
reply
username5288074
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#8
Report 1 year ago
#8
(Original post by _gcx)
GCSE languages were worse on the old spec - around 60% of the GCSE was coursework that was frequently cheated and was basically just memorisation. (so students could be sitting on a C or high D without even having sat any written exams yet and with no knowledge of the language, not a good start)
People paid me to do their French & Computing courseworks
I was referring to English Language though
Last edited by username5288074; 1 year ago
0
reply
flaurie
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#9
Report 1 year ago
#9
GCSE exams are probably the fairest way of assessing students - if they were tested throughout the year, surely it creates a huge pressure to be consistently good and perform consistently well - it creates a bigger chance of them being ill on the test days
We could take into account how the student has done in the gsce years, so 25% of your final grade is the average grade of assessments in Y11 (so they can understand the Y10 content without as much pressure) and 75% based on the GCSE exams? Everything will have disadvantages as well as advantages, so I don't think there is a solution that everyone will be happy with
0
reply
jonathanemptage
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#10
Report 1 year ago
#10
(Original post by anon2.718)
Hits the nail of the head. Exams are also the fairest system of assessing students.

GCSEs often do not reflect the subjects they claim to assess. I believe we simply take too many of them.
GCSE maths does not reflect creative thinking and problem solving; GCSE literature does not reflect nuanced study of text; GCSE science does not reflect analysis and modelling; etc...

Some GCSEs are worth scrapping all together IMHO.
GCSE language historically was, and remains, an exercise in liguistic class; GCSE RE is a box ticking exercise with barley any philosophy or theology; GCSE Latin and Greek are only there for 'tradition' and to show of how posh you are.

Frankly I think curriculum should be cut and more emphasis placed on developing these modes of thinking. 3 core GCSEs of English, Maths, Science in the style of AS papers, alongside a students choice of subjects, would be the kind of GCSEs I would want to take.
They should also do away with the subjective subjects like art or english lit I mean how can someones opinion be wrong and get abad mark so get rid of those for sure.
0
reply
Jordan White
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#11
Report 1 year ago
#11
My personal view is that GCSE's should be focused more on course work than examination. Course work provides a good overview of what the student is capable of when they're given 'enough' time. Examinations give one chance, with added pressure and strict timelines. In the real world, in any workplace, you wouldn't have just one chance to get something right but a number of tries. Academia must reflect workplace practices if they wish to remain relevant when compared to other training providers. With the latest T-Levels, I think they're in the right direction, but need to look more at general education areas too.

That being said, I disagree that GCSE examinations should be removed outright but more compliment coursework.

That's my thoughts.
Last edited by Jordan White; 1 year ago
2
reply
josie71202
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#12
Report 1 year ago
#12
they shouldn't be scrapped they should be reformed
0
reply
Fresher18
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#13
Report 1 year ago
#13
I dont agree that they should be scrapped but I think it would be better to move to a system similar to the US where you are tested throughout the year on various things like pop quizzes and assignments with a small final exam worth like 10-20% rather than how it is on the current system, with the assessments being spread across different styles and each being worth a small amount then the stress is reduced as whilst you might have multiple stressful times knowing that your grade wont be impacted too much if you were to have an off day and do badly on the exam.
0
reply
Tolgash
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#14
Report 1 year ago
#14
(Original post by jonathanemptage)
They should also do away with the subjective subjects like art or english lit I mean how can someones opinion be wrong and get abad mark so get rid of those for sure.
It's not about the perceived ‘accuracy’ of someone's sentiments, but rather the quality of them in terms of their depth and the style used to express them.

Pupils usually receive a poor mark because they lack the ability to write with the consummate coherence expected at the higher levels in the marking criteria, or they fail to expound their arguments, which makes them appear weak and underdeveloped.

- TE
Last edited by Tolgash; 11 months ago
0
reply
xoxAngel_Kxox
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#15
Report 1 year ago
#15
Exams are only about memorising material if teachers make them that way. If they ensure that students understand their course material and know how to answer the questions, it's not about memorising, as such, as they will have that deeper understanding of what they're learning.

I took my GCSEs in 2007 and wouldn't pass any now because I just learned things and then forgot them over the summer - because too many teachers see GCSEs as a memory game instead of broadening student knowledge over the whole of the course. I think it's the style of teaching that's the issue in many cases - though I would like to see more coursework based marking including things like projects on specific modules, experiments, personal research, aural presentations etc - as not everyone thrives under exam conditions, so it's important that each student has a variety of ways to show what they can do. There's no need for this to be stressful as they would be spaced out over the whole course and preparing for and delivering them would add to the knowledge needed for the written exams, too.
1
reply
username1799249
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#16
Report 1 year ago
#16
(Original post by Archie_Margretts)
GCSEs are the first major benchmark of many people's lives, which means that they should be teaching more than just academia. They should be teaching students about the world, about how to live, about how to become a positive member of society. For example, how our political system works, how to pay taxes and apply for a mortgage, mental health awareness, sexuality and gender awareness. These are all important things that many children just don't know because their education system has failed them.
Which is precisely why this is now taught in secondary education. It is called PSHE. We have covered topics on political systems, the monarchy, taxes, loans and mortgages, The National Trust, healthy eating and living and a variety of sex education in my form just this year.

(Original post by Archie_Margretts)
And I don't believe that it's just the content that needs changing but the type of assessment too. These types of memorisation tests are crude and not representative of how well a student has actually progressed in terms of skills learnt. Memorising stuff from a textbook does not constitute learning, and most adults will have forgotten 95% of their GCSE knowledge within the next 3-5 years. I personally cannot remember how electrolysis works, and I took my GCSE chemistry exam less than one year ago because I just don't need to know that! Some people who are studying chemistry in higher education may actually need that information, but that is what the textbook and the Internet it for. Why are we making children memorise facts when the Internet has an infinite memory? All the info is right there, so what's the point? We should be assessing students on the skills they have learnt not the facts they have memorised.
Rote learning is a very good way of learning "stuff". Why do you think doctors have such tough exams? Do you want your doctor flicking through a textbook looking for that reference they added to an essay 10 years ago? Essay and report writing is a very different skill and not necessarily a good means of assessment either. Perhaps a mix of the two is ideal, but the thing everyone forgets is how much work is involved in marking coursework. My Y11s last year took around 1.5 hours each to mark - x28! That is one man-week of effort on top of a full timetable. It is not sustainable if you ramped it up to all courses.

(Original post by Archie_Margretts)
Students should be tested on their problem-solving abilities, on their teamwork and on their resourcefulness, all of which are desirable skills that they will need in the future. Maybe GCSEs can be graded continuously through the 3 years, through research projects and group assignments. This is what will make students prepared for the future, not stupid memorisation tests.
Again - funnily enough, this is precisely what exams are like now. This is why they are so challenging compared to the older exams. Students are often presented with scenarios they have not studied and have to apply their understanding of a subject to a new context.

(Original post by Archie_Margretts)
P.S Congrats to anyone who has made it this far, that was quite a rant xD
A good rant, but all of your ideas are actually alive and kicking in current educational standards.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Feeling behind at school/college? What is the best thing your teachers could to help you catch up?

Extra compulsory independent learning activities (eg, homework tasks) (2)
3.77%
Run extra compulsory lessons or workshops (7)
13.21%
Focus on making the normal lesson time with them as high quality as possible (8)
15.09%
Focus on making the normal learning resources as high quality/accessible as possible (6)
11.32%
Provide extra optional activities, lessons and/or workshops (21)
39.62%
Assess students, decide who needs extra support and focus on these students (9)
16.98%

Watched Threads

View All