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 Post subject: GSCE 2021?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2020 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:49 pm
Posts: 45
Schools minister Nick Gibb has suggested that GCSE and A-level grading in 2021 will reflect the "lost learning" pupils have experienced as a result of the pandemic. Does this mean less papers for each subject? know Poetry has gone from the English Language paper.

Do you think GCSE will go ahead or come March/April the government will do a U turn and go down the Teacher assessment route? At the start of the year I was 100% sure that GCSE would definitely go ahead but with the virus spreading at its current rate I'm having doubts. Some Year 11 pupils have been lucky to have had a full 8 weeks, some have had one round of isolation others have been off for 4 week or more. My DS has had to isolate twice due to being in close contact ... But remote learning for those four weeks was as good as it could get.

Wales and Scotland are looking likely not to have GCSE and are focusing on continuous assessment though-out the year and GCSE grades will be based on these assessments.

My DS has assessments after the half term holidays and then Mocks after the Xmas holidays. Thankfully he is taking each assessment as the real thing this year because of what happened last year and I suppose the uncertainty of this year. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: GSCE 2021?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2020 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
I think, Treat every piece of work as if it will be assessed for your GCSE (or A level) grade is a sensible way of taking things this year, for everyone from year 10 up. Certainly by the time (round about the week before schools went back :lol:) I got round to saying that to DS2, who is taking A levels this year, he had already worked it out for himself.

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 Post subject: Re: GSCE 2021?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:42 am
Posts: 162
With childern either isolating or having to resort to online work or staff isolating, so much of learning time has been missed this term. This will continue to be the same in the next term as well.
Last year, the learning was all done. The mocks were done; only revision and related aspects were missed out.
If the govt/exam boards decided to cancel the exams last year, then the same should be done this year ane even if they plan to do so the announcement will not come until Mar 2021; otherwise some will just give up now.


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 Post subject: Re: GSCE 2021?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:24 pm
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Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
Latest proposal being run the the educational flag pole (it is getting crowded up there!) is to give the topic of the question in advance to facilitate teaching only to that content. I appreciate the gesture but this would really be taking 'teaching to the test ' to the next level and can you imaging the soul destroying writing over and over again on the same subject to the exclusion of all others? It would be a game of who could memorise their essay rather than about skill.

How can it be fair to have all the other devolved nations having cancelled their exams, but for England to be ploughing on with exams?

DD just finished her first lot of mocks (second lot usually in Jan but may be pushed back to Feb) and the school have done a fab job of juggling those who are isolating, nerves and teaching, but there is a palpable air of 'this REALLY counts' and the whole cohort have been nose to the grindstone like it is the real thing, rather than it being a kick up the proverbial back side that mocks might sometimes be.


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 Post subject: Re: GSCE 2021?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:52 am
Posts: 188
PettswoodFiona wrote:
Latest proposal being run the the educational flag pole (it is getting crowded up there!) is to give the topic of the question in advance to facilitate teaching only to that content. I appreciate the gesture but this would really be taking 'teaching to the test ' to the next level and can you imaging the soul destroying writing over and over again on the same subject to the exclusion of all others? It would be a game of who could memorise their essay rather than about skill.


I agree! DD would become completely disengaged. The prescriptive nature of the current system is already incredibly frustrating. Can you imagine how unprepared these kids would be for 6th form if they spent all their time only perfecting the tested topics?

DD currently has regular topic tests and is expecting mocks in late Jan/early Feb. She is taking all these very seriously so would be in reasonable shape for internal assessment, I suppose. I saw a recommendation that mocks done in a block should be avoided. Instead exams should be spaced out so few students would miss everything.

I quite liked the idea of doing later GCSEs but giving lots of optional questions.
I hope they are still able to run the exams. Unless they decide to cancel GCSEs for good and stick to applying to uni with known grades? Don’t know what they do about 6th form applications/apprenticeships then.

If they do opt for internal assessment do you think the powers that be have learnt from this year’s assessment debacle?


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 Post subject: Re: GSCE 2021?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 10331
Location: Essex
PerpetualStudent wrote:
PettswoodFiona wrote:
Latest proposal being run the the educational flag pole (it is getting crowded up there!) is to give the topic of the question in advance to facilitate teaching only to that content. I appreciate the gesture but this would really be taking 'teaching to the test ' to the next level and can you imaging the soul destroying writing over and over again on the same subject to the exclusion of all others? It would be a game of who could memorise their essay rather than about skill.


I agree! DD would become completely disengaged. The prescriptive nature of the current system is already incredibly frustrating. Can you imagine how unprepared these kids would be for 6th form if they spent all their time only perfecting the tested topics?

DD currently has regular topic tests and is expecting mocks in late Jan/early Feb. She is taking all these very seriously so would be in reasonable shape for internal assessment, I suppose. I saw a recommendation that mocks done in a block should be avoided. Instead exams should be spaced out so few students would miss everything.

I quite liked the idea of doing later GCSEs but giving lots of optional questions.
I hope they are still able to run the exams. Unless they decide to cancel GCSEs for good and stick to applying to uni with known grades? Don’t know what they do about 6th form applications/apprenticeships then.

If they do opt for internal assessment do you think the powers that be have learnt from this year’s assessment debacle?


I think the best way would be to offer more options within the exam paper, as well, as that would deal with the problem of schools exercising their freedom to teach topics in any order logical to them, so to speak.

Or there's the Welsh option? Scrap GCSEs in May / June (/ July) and instead... have externally set and marked tests taken in the classroom instead of under complete exam conditions, earlier in the year...? I'm assuming that either there will be a lot of options in those papers, or that the Welsh Assembly does actually have the power to dictate the order of teaching of topics within the GCSE syllabus in Welsh schools.

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 Post subject: Re: GSCE 2021?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:45 pm
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I am not impressed with the 'treat every test as if it will be your CAG' mentality that is seeping through this year - it is causing a lot of pressure. DD is being set a huge number of tests and alongside homework, and cannot find the time to revise thoroughly for each, leading to a sense of demoralisation if results are low. I hope the exams do happen in the summer, and there is further statement from the goverment specifically regarding it for England as I actually think it would provide some breathing space to focus on a revision plan etc.


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 Post subject: Re: GSCE 2021?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:44 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:52 am
Posts: 188
So, the exams will happen, with forewarned topics according to BBC News.
“More generous grading, advance notice of exam topics and additional papers are promised by the Department for Education to make up for the disruption faced by students during the pandemic.“

Giving the DC a sheet with formulas makes sense and is easy enough to do.
I’m not sure how more generous grading will work. Won’t that be across the board and therefore help those least affected by COVID as much as those most affected? Or does it just mean that while the least affected might know to put the right keywords in, those who get in the ballpark of the right words (possibly those most disrupted) will also be marked right? I see a lot of remarking requests coming after these exams!


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 Post subject: Re: GSCE 2021?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:02 am
Posts: 221
I wonder the impact on GCSE 2022, my DD started the courses in September and they also missed a lot of foundation work from year 9. She is adopting the same approach as many DCs ... treat everything as though it might be your GCSE mark so that level of pressure for two years. They have seen increased grades in the 2020 cohort and more generous grading in the 2021 cohort. This is mentally very tough on the 2022 cohort.


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