From DD school magazine
“The Joys of Statistics!‖ you might expect me, as a Maths teacher, to exclaim. Averages, standard deviations and T-tests should allow us all to see deeper truths about the world and the human condition. Sadly my enthusiasm will again this year be dampened by the obfuscation – some would say deliberate deception – of the School League Tables. It‘s not that our students haven‘t done well in them; The Times had us * in the country at A level. The frustration is that picking another newspaper on a different day may tell a different story. Both the Telegraph and the BBC last year used the previous government‘s OFSTED-points system whereby a candidate with grades BCDE will score more points than one with ABB. I understand why a government might peddle this line – it‘s easier and cheaper to cram in a few more qualifications and do badly in them than it is to do a sensible number of exams really well. Certainly the vision of universities is not being dimmed by this smoke and mirrors and the UCAS system rightly rates our student with ABB much higher than her lots-of-low-grades‘ friend down the road.
Fortunately, we need not take much notice of these spurious measures; sadly some of our colleagues in maintained schools are persuaded to skew their curriculum to ensure that OFSTED-points remain high. ICT courses that are worth‘ 4 GCSEs and students being entered for General Studies exams for which they have had little or no preparation are just some examples. Universities and employers are not impressed and, as a colleague from a school not too far from here confided in me, the students don‘t think much of it either. I am delighted that we are running courses including Drama, Philosophy, the Environment, Creative writing, Politics, Engineering, Community Science, Enterprise and Horse-riding this year, not one of which is examined and for which the school will earn not one single OFSTED-point.
At my DD school pupils take a maximum of 10 GCSEs (and a minimum of 9). All of these must be real ones and must include Maths, English, Science (generally all 3 but at least 2), at least 1 Modern Language
At my DD school pupils generally take 3 A Levels but definitely no more than 4.
Last edited by guest43 on Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.