#1 What is changing? There’s a new Grading Scale for GCSEs.
The Grades given in GCSE results will change from the old alphabetical (A to G) to a numerical system (1 to 9).
When will this happen? It’s complicated and not all subjects will change at once.
Subjects to change in 2016 exams: English Language, English Literature and Maths.
Subjects to change in 2018 exams: Art and Design, Biology, Chemistry, Citizenship studies, Classical Greek and Combine Science, Computer Science, Dance, Drama, Food Prep and Nutrition, French, Geography, German, History, Latin, Music, PE, Physics, RE, Spanish.
Subjects to change in 2019 exams: Ancient History, Astronomy, Business, Classical Civilisation, Design and Tech, Economics, Electronics, Engineering, Film Studies, Geology, Media Studies, Modern Foreign Languages, PE (short couse) Psychology, Sociology, Statistics.
What are the expected issues with this change? The new grades don’t exactly correlate to the old letters. So a new 4 is approximately a ‘low-ish’ C.
Also students completing their GCSEs between 2016 and 2019 will leave school with a combination of both alphabetical and numerical grades.
#2 What else is changing? The exams are to become more rigorous.
What are the issues? Experts in the UK warn that ‘Good’ passes at GCSE level could reduce by around 23 percent.
#3 Any other changes? Yes, actually. How we measure school performance will also change. School league tables used to be created by measuring the number of students getting five or more A* to C GCSE grades.
The new school analysis system will use a ‘progress’ score called Progress 8.
How does this work? Instead of measuring students’ A to C passes, the new system will measure a child’s progress across several years at school, and the results will be based on the school’s ‘value add.’
What are the issues? This will be an exceedingly complicated process to work out and is expected to put additional pressure on teaching staff.
And the best news? There will be absolutely NO changes at all to the IGCSE exams, these changes only apply to the GCSE exams.