Changes to GCSEs in 2012 – confirmed today

Source – Ofqual website

Ofqual has today confirmed the changes that will be made to GCSEs in England for teaching from September 2012.

Changes are being made to GCSEs in order to implement the policy aims set out by the Department for Education in the 2010 White Paper, ‘The Importance of Teaching’.
As a result of the changes:
·               Assessment will take place at the end of the course of study 
·               Assessment opportunities for the majority of subjects will be restricted to summer only
For English, English language and mathematics there will be an additional assessment opportunity in November
Any pilot qualifications that are exceptions to this arrangement will be separately identified
In GCSE English literature, geography, history and religious studies, additional marks will be awarded for the accuracy of spelling, punctuation and grammar in questions that require extended answers
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English Bac ‘first of many accountability measures’ – oh goody!

BBC NEWS
The English Baccalaureate is the first of many more performance measures to come, says Schools Minister Nick Gibb.
The English Bac marks how many pupils get five A*- C GCSEs in English, maths, a language, two sciences and either geography or history.
Defending its introduction, Mr Gibb said: “There will be more of these accountability measures, not fewer.”
The benchmark has been criticised by teaching unions, which say it fails to recognise success in other subjects.
Mr Gibb defended the omission of RE from the new benchmark, saying the subject was compulsory in schools until the age of 16 and GCSE entries had increased from 16% in 1995 to 28% in 2010.

The English Bac would help reverse a steady decline in GCSE entries for geography and history, he added.

Read the full BBC News article here

Humanities at the core of the new EBacc according to White paper

English Baccalaureate – for any student who secures good GCSE or iGCSE passes in English, mathematics, the sciences, a modern or ancient foreign language and a humanity.

This combination of GCSEs at grades A*-C will entitle the student to a certificate recording their achievement. At the moment only around 15 per cent of students secure this basic suite of academic qualifications and fewer than four per cent of students eligible for free school meals do so. So to encourage the take-up of this combination of subjects, special recognition in performance tables will be given to those schools which are helping their pupils to attain this breadth of study.

Link to White paper EBacc pages here

The Humanities subjects included are:
GCSE in History
GCSE in Ancient History
GCSE in Geography
Cambridge International Certificate in History
Cambridge International Certificate in Geography
CIE legacy iGCSE in History
CIE legacy iGCSE in Geography

Link for full details of all the subjects included here

Changes to the reporting of results and attainment tables are also available – click here

The status of our subjects appears to be rising again – AT LAST!!