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 Post subject: Farewell, Modular GCSEs
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:49 am 
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All GCSEs to be assessed at the end of two years, inna O Level Stylee, for courses of study commencing 2012 and onwards, sayeth the Gove. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-13922439

Presumably this doesn't mean new syllabuses, as you can just take all the exams at the end. But it's going to be a violent change for delivery. It'll be interesting to see if the parents who mutter about how less rigorous GCSEs are compared to O Level will be quite so vocal when it's their children, but it might halt the move to iGCSE (although presumably controlled assessments will be retained up to a point: I can't imagine that thirty-five years after the 16+ pilots started he's going to completely abandon course work).

Prediction: slight rebalancing of the girl/boy results.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:42 am 
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Will the exams be slimmed down then? I'm sure my daughter spends longer on exams per subject than I ever did at O level. My history O level was one 2 hour 30 min paper. Her history GCSE is three 1 hour 15 min papers (plus a controlled assessment). If this is repeated across subjects (and I can't keep track of what on earth is going on with English), it surely can't be reasonable to sit so many exams in one batch.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:49 am 
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Y wrote:
Will the exams be slimmed down then? I'm sure my daughter spends longer on exams per subject than I ever did at O level. My history O level was one 2 hour 30 min paper. Her history GCSE is three 1 hour 15 min papers (plus a controlled assessment). If this is repeated across subjects (and I can't keep track of what on earth is going on with English), it surely can't be reasonable to sit so many exams in one batch.


Good point. And of course, "we" probably eight, or at most ten if our school was flash, O Levels. It's routine now for people to do at least two more than they would have done in the days of O Levels. Mind you, I did a pilot 16+ in History in 1981, and I did a 3000 word project as well as the exam, so some things have a longer history than you might think. And remember that English is probably two GCSEs, as it probably was when you did O Level.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:34 pm 
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Hi

Interested in your comment regarding English, I can't quite work that one out myself. Son has just done part of GCSE exam which was 25% of coursework, essay about 'Of Mice and Men'. He is now doing another three hour essay about the same book controlled assessment spread over three lessons!!! Very confused!!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:40 pm 
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chocolate wrote:
Hi

Interested in your comment regarding English, I can't quite work that one out myself. Son has just done part of GCSE exam which was 25% of coursework, essay about 'Of Mice and Men'. He is now doing another three hour essay about the same book controlled assessment spread over three lessons!!! Very confused!!


If your son's school is like my daughter's, it's using the same texts to provide the language controlled assessments as the literature controlled assessments. So you write a review of a book as a language exercise, and you write a review of a book as a literature exercise. It's madness.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:23 pm 
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From the article mr gove said:

The problem that we had is that instead of sitting every part of a GCSE at the end of a course, bits of it were taken along the way," Mr Gove said.

"Those bits could be resat. That meant instead of concentrating on teaching and learning you had people who were being trained again and again to clear the hurdle of the examination along the way.

"That meant that unfortunately less time was being spent developing a deep and rounded knowledge of the subject."


As someone who has just spent the last 2 months working on my daughters Geography module with her which adds up to about half of her GCSE (basically the non physical geography bits) i actually think the opposite to the above and i think she has learnt this module really well she wants to get an a* and the grade boundaries for this are high (>92%) (presumably because it is modular) and she has had to learn this really well and has developed a deep and rounded knowledge of the subject and when i compare this to my module/coursework free o levels in which i crammed everything for the exam and was left with no deep and rounded knowledge, I am not convinced you get this with end of course exams. I would be interested in other people's opinions on this though


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:34 pm 
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The problem with his argument about other countries is that very few examine 14-16 year olds over so many subjects. Most wait until 18 for the biggies.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:07 pm 
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Surely any deep and rounding knowledge of any subject would be to do with the course rather than how it is examined?

Mr Gove is trying to persuade the public that he is doing something new and value adding to the GCSE system. In fact he is simply reverting to the system 3 (?) years ago. Pointless waste of time and probably money. I expect nobody is counting the cost of this 'new' initiative.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:08 am 
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Looking for help wrote:
Surely any deep and rounding knowledge of any subject would be to do with the course rather than how it is examined?


My daughter's never more than six weeks from an exam or a controlled assessment, and they started taking modules and CAs within six weeks of starting the GCSE course. The examination system drives the course, rather than the other way around. Most children will take major, life-affecting exams every three months from the beginning of Year 10 (at the latest, the beginning of Year 9 in many grammars) through until the end of year 13. You don't make a pig fat by weighing it every day.

Quote:
Mr Gove is trying to persuade the public that he is doing something new and value adding to the GCSE system. In fact he is simply reverting to the system 3 (?) years ago. Pointless waste of time and probably money. I expect nobody is counting the cost of this 'new' initiative.


Why pointless? Are you saying bad ideas should be persisted with if they've had enough money spent on them? Why would reverting to a previous system cost so much money? Do you believe that the modular system has been a success?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:18 am 
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I can;t stand Mr Gove but
Tree wrote:
As someone who has just spent the last 2 months working on my daughters Geography module with her which adds up to about half of her GCSE

surely this is a major reason why this modular stuff has to be stopped?
tokyonambu wrote:
You don't make a pig fat by weighing it every day.
Couldn't agree more, in the current testing regime the actual purpose of educating children has been lost in a tunnel of benchmarked hoops for children/teachers to jump through.

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