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 Post subject: new maths GCSE
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:04 pm
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your thoughts?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-30951130
the curriculum is not the same, so is it indicative if the actual cohort for GCSE tries these papers?


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 Post subject: Re: new maths GCSE
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:28 pm 
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This is all about market share of the exam boards.

Two other boards are worried people will change to AQA if it is perceived as 'easier' ...


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 Post subject: Re: new maths GCSE
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:50 pm 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
There have always been differences in how the GCSEs are perceived. OCR was traditionally taken by independents and grammars as it was seen as a more rigorous exam. Edexcel was seen as the easiest or perhaps the most accessible.
This could have been no more than snobbery on behalf of teachers, but the demographic was noticeable.

The main problem with the new exams IMHO is the same with everything else: in the rush for ideologically driven change and the need to be seen to reform, correct and robust research has not been carried out.

I think reform is necessary as often an in-depth knowledge of the style of mark scheme is as important as understanding in achieving a high grade. Partially, this is inevitable if exams are to conform to Ofqual's five main assessment criteria: validity, reliability, comparability, manageability and minimising bias. The criteria lead to examinations that are predictable so that the results between each year/board are comparable.


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 Post subject: Re: new maths GCSE
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:57 pm 
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I assume this is some of Mr Gove's policies coming through, some more rigour in the classroom with a return to the basics of teaching to address the steady decline in standards.


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 Post subject: Re: new maths GCSE
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:00 pm 
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The problem with the current GCSE is not the content but the grading - it's far too easy to get an A due to the way that half the paper is comprised of grade D/C material.

They could have left the content as it is and tweaked the grade boundaries or paper format.

However, the solution is Gove-driven so his solution was always 'chuck it all out'.

This blog is quite interesting:

http://www.robeastaway.com/blog/chinese-maths


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 Post subject: Re: new maths GCSE
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:27 pm 
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Posts: 583
Sad article when one considers the make up of the audience; where were the locals? my point exactly.


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 Post subject: Re: new maths GCSE
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
I've posted elsewhere and not relevant to GCSE but my primary school recently had visitors from Beijing - paid by their government as they want to learn from the UK. They were very interested in our child-centred and problem-solving approaches. They know that their system doesn't create 'thinkers or leaders' and they really want to learn from us.

We can never compare Shanghai with England as we don't teach in the same conditions. Subject experts from the beginning of primary school who only teach in the morning. They have the afternoon for planning and marking, while lower level teachers take small intervention groups of children who didn't make the grade in the morning sessions. Facilities are superb and schools are extremely well resourced.

Education is a national priority rather than a political plaything and is therefore well resourced and teachers are well paid.

Respect for both teachers and maths as a subject are really high - when I told them of my maths background prior to being a head they bowed to show respect! Normally I'm viewed as a bit of a nerd!


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 Post subject: Re: new maths GCSE
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:35 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
This is all about market share of the exam boards...


What a pity that education is so much about market shares! imho there should anyway be only one board for some true fairness! Wasn't this one of mr Gove's aim but the pressure by the different boards forced him to retreat on this point?

moved wrote:
The criteria lead to examinations that are predictable so that the results between each year/board are comparable.

Do you think the first year of examination with the new maths GCSE will also be predictable? or people high up in the decision making are in an attitude of wait and see for 'what will happen'?

Guest55 wrote:
This blog is quite interesting:
http://www.robeastaway.com/blog/chinese-maths


thank you for sharing; this is so interesting.

sbarnes wrote:
some more rigour in the classroom with a return to the basics of teaching to address the steady decline in standards.

That there is a decline of standards,there is no doubt about that.But maybe this is due partly to
1) lack of respect towards teachers and too many disruptions during lessons, even in the 'good' schools
2) new 'modern' methods of teaching.
Till this day,I am not too sure about 'independent learning' as early as the start of secondary school.I am not convinced the children are ready for this at such a young age as state primary schools in England do not give the youngsters the habit to sit down and do a bit of studies daily (unless the parents try to implement such a habit in their home). Of course, asking independent learning from children coming for prep schools or private school might not be as problematic,but do all kids,even from this type of schools, have the maturity for that?

I do not try at all to be controversial.I am simply very dissatisfied with the system and many of the 'modern' fashions in the world of education. For example why is English grammar not properly taught in state primaries? Why do the kids have to discover the rules; why not learn them and then practise them? I use to do pages and pages of French grammar or vocabulary exercises when I was little (our famous 'Bled'!) and that never killed me!

I know,many forum users will think I am too old fashioned... But I am not even ashamed of being so! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: new maths GCSE
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:59 am 
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JaneEyre wrote:
That there is a decline of standards,there is no doubt about that.
I must challenge this - this is now a taken for granted 'truth' for which there is not one jot of evidence.
The following questions are never satisfactorily answered, but they are fundamental to education policy:

1. Which standards are declining?
2. How do we know?

Governments and policy makers love to build narratives around crisis and failure because this allows them to propose solutions and justify their own agendas. Objective evidence of decline and failure is impossible to find as the parameters change so often there is no reliable comparative method. And policy makers don't want one anyway, because then they couldn't justify their own quick fix solutions to problems that may well not exist. Electoral success depends nowadays to a large extent on manufacturing a crisis culture and ensuring that it is accepted as a reflection of the 'true' situation. Politicians can then blame others for the prevailing decline, and propose their own alternatives to overcome it. Once you break that cycle by denying the crisis, politicians become expendable.

Now there's a thought. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: new maths GCSE
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:01 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:00 pm
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Location: RBK
Some times, accepting that problem exists is half way towards solution. However, the standards to be achieved or compared to need to be defined to be sure if standards are falling.


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