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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:15 pm 
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9828734 ... warns.html

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:06 am 
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The comments about putting children in for gcse's early is spot on. At my eldest's grammar, they do nothing early and don't start controlled assessments until the end of y10. Dd2 is at a comp, y10. So far she has done one maths module and will finish her gcse in the summer, and controlled assessments in eng lit, eng Lang, French and Spanish, and will probably also do eng Lang gcse in June. So dd1 is doing CA's at 16.5 and dd2 is only 14.5. Fortunately she's doing ok so far, but it doesn't seem likely that she wouldn't do better after another year!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:44 am 
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It isn'r necessarily the type of school but the school itself that gets keen on early GCSEs

In this bit of North yorks we have one GS (boys) that do all the GCSE (bar maths for the top set and eng lang) in the summer of year 11 (where they ought to be done!)... the girls GS next door has been doing them at almost any opportunity from year 9 onwards though i do no detect that more and more are being shifted to some point at least in year 11.

However have come across non sels ellsewhere who had the view that "a C was enough "... often the kids could do much better


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:22 am 
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These schools that are using early/multiple entries for exams to boost grades (for which reach read boost 5A*-Cs and so their league table position) are not doing some random 'let's try putting set 3 in for Maths in Jan to give them 2 bites of the cherry' guesswork.

Far from it. They are paying thousands of their budgets to education consultancies with exciting looking websites which in turn formulate a '5A*-C improvement strategy'. This will often involve students choosing their options in Y8, doing short fat courses in a year, getting a C (often, in Y9, when an A may have been achieved later) and moving on to the next one. They will be entered for English and Maths up to 3 times and, when they achieve an unambitious target grade, they drop it and move on to the next course. Student progress data is analysed with micro-scrutiny, to identify exactly who may just fall foul of a D and why.

Of course, this means a greater number of students get 5 good grades, so gain access to further study. But whilst the C/D students undoubtedly gain here, the student who could have got As or A*s with a little more time/maturity loses out. And all lose out from the type of learning that happens for the sake of learning, or for curiosity, as the hamster wheel keeps on turning and, when you get a moderately decent result, you get off and onto the next one.

These schools don't publicise the outside force, or the budget spent on it. But a little like tutoring for the 11 plus, more and more schools 'need to do it, even though they'd rather not, because everyone else locally is doing it and if we don't we'll appear to be underperforming'.

Sadly, the rise through the league tables for many local comps is less to do with engagement, outstanding teaching, love of learning and more to do with a Machiavellian manipulation of the system. For me, that was the real reason a selective school was popular.

M


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:30 am 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
DS' grammar start with an MFL and 1/2 RE in year 9, then stats (top two sets only) and the other 1/2 RE in year 10. The majority of English language is in year 10, starting with controlled assessments in the first term. The remaining GCSEs, an AS in their MFL (or GCSE in another MFL) and FSMQ maths if in top set in yr 11 (2 AS, 9 GCSEs, 10 if they take Latin). Potential totals 2 AS and 13 GCSEs or 1 AS and 14 GCSEs! The minimum they can take is either 1 AS with 12 GCSEs or 13 GCSEs.

DD's grammar start with 1/2 ICT in yr 9, PE in year 10 (optional), everything else in yr 11 (11 GCSEs), making 12.5 in total.

Certainly, rather high numbers and plenty entered early.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:21 am 
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I'm so glad someone has finally highlighted the issue of early GCSEs. A friend of DD who goes to a different school was very disheartened last year when she got mainly D grades for her GCSEs. She was pleased with the one C but was very disappointed overall. Turned out she sat them all at the end of year 10 :shock: , so it's hardly surprising she did so badly when these exams were always designed to produce a final result at the end of year 11. She now has to do them all again (except for the C - even though she could presumably also improve on this grade with an extra year) having already had her confidence knocked. There have been similar cases at the same school...which seems to take the attitude that a C is good enough, regardless of when it is achieved and irrespective of any future ambitions children might have which will require them to have high grades at GCSE. :evil:

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:36 am 
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http://www.acme-uk.org/news/news-items- ... athematics

I posted this two years ago!

It is now highlighted in RAISEonline and shows the entry pattern.

By the way, since 2009 there have been rules about resits:

http://web.aqa.org.uk/subjects/notices/ ... -rules.php


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:25 am 
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https://www.education.gov.uk/publicatio ... -GCSEs.pdf

There are 2 models for early GCSE entry and while schools seem to like parents to think they are being really innovative and have the best interests of pupils at heart, this is almost never the case. Both models, the one used by fairly high-achieving schools to 'bring on' their 'outstanding' pupils in the name of pandering to the 'gifted and talented' among their cohort; and, more widely, that used by schools with a poor demographic and a desire to improve intake, are cynical ploys to manipulate positions in league tables and thus appeal to a more desirable (middle class) market. I assume the move away from modular GCSEs will be a powerful disincentive for the latter group to persist with this practice, as there won't be chances for multiple modular resits.

Agree with Mindset btw, consultancies abound and these supposedly 'innovative' heads are basically buying off-the-shelf improvement packages at vast cost. Look for the buzzword 'excellence' and behind it will be a consultancy!


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