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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:45 am 
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The article suggests that private schools are sticking with the old style IGCSE so their pupils will not be used as guinea pigs and they will receive higher scores- frustrating if correct.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/priv ... -z6f6jqknd


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:24 am 
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Yes, some private schools may be sticking with IGCSEs - I understand that many of them moved to those in science originally as they were more challenging. But many of them are doing a mix of both. And why would a school that has the choice make significant and disruptive change to something that is as yet untested, unproven and causing so much angst anyway?

But even if the private cohort achieve A or A*, and the state cohort achieve more 6's and 7's than 8's or 9's, the university system will see the stats of percentages gaining each grade, will be able to differentiate between letters and numbers, and make their offers accordingly.

It is a period of change, but periods of change have occured before when the private schools switched to what was then perceived as the 'harder' options of IGCSE.

I think you could drive yourself mad expending much energy in thinking that state will be disadvantaged by this vs private.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:38 am 
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They didn't move to the IGCSE because they were more challenging - they moved because they were perceived to be easier!!! :lol: Part of this perception was because they are more resistant to government meddling and therefore easier for the teachers to just reteach the curriculum every year without too much thought. (I know this because my father was part of the body who set the Chemistry GCSE/IGCSE and A level questions for many, many years, for one exam board!)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:57 am 
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Location: Herts
IGCSE's are just one year later moving.

This year is the last year of the old letter grades.

Next year they will be on number grades like everyone else.

English and Maths have already moved. Anyone sitting English and Maths IGCSE this year will be awarded number grades not letter grades.

IGCSE's are easier. But private schools like to tell prospective parents that GCSE's were not challenging enough for their students so they needed something better!

Next year all subjects will be in the number pot! DG


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:49 am 
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My take on iGCSEs is that they are more straightforward, and possibly, in English which is what I have some experience of teaching myself, more traditional. I was asked to tutor a private school boy who was struggling with English iGCSE (I hasten to add that I am not a tutor, but I am a teacher, and this was a family friend). It was a very traditional layout and set of skills and reminded me of my own English O level. My elder son did iGCSE too at his state school and I thought that the school had done it because it was easier and for some insane reason they went through a short period of putting children in for early entry English. I have issues over the English GCSE curriculum, having taught almost every board - none of them in my opinion was great and iGCSE was just a different version of not great.

Private schools will engineer advantage for their pupils in any way they can, but I don't think they will have anywhere to hide with the new grading systems on the comparability score. It is my opinion that the perceived advantage of private school tends to be in the confidence stakes rather than any intellectual or academic benefit.

ETA the only people who thought the iGCSE was 'harder' were the parents of private school children who believed the sales pitch.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:01 am 
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Location: Herts
Because they want to believe there is a reason to pay money to go to schools that are easier to get into.

There has to be a reason. It can't simply be believing that they are with a "socially better" type of cohort. It has to be better academically as well.

I know the IGCSEs well and I totally agree they are more traditional and like the O level.

I have been surprised how many A stars have been gained in a whole range of IGCSE subjects. It will be interesting to see how IGCSEs fare in the world of 9-1.

I don't see much difference in the English syllabus this year. DG


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:28 am 
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I can tell you they are not easier. I have twins one going through selective GS and GCSEs next year and the other at an online school and doing IGCSEs also next year. So I have them side by side and as GS son confirms, what he is seeing of his brothers IGCSEs, they are NOT easier. They might have been, if you were OK with not having coursework contribute to your grade, but now they have gone over to 9-1 they are harder just like the 9-1 GCSEs.

I think there is a perception that IGCSEs were easier because of the natural drive to find a less academic reason why private schools might, in some cases, do better. Surely though where such a difference exists (which it very often doesn't, esp with GS of course) it is probably more down to the teaching and the small classes where a child who does not understand is less likely to be not noticed (saying nothing else about small class sizes, this isn't about that, but obviously its easier to spot a child scratching their head if you only have 16). And as Amber says, the teachers might have become very good at it as they delivered the same each year. It might also be a misplaced sense of 'separateness' - perhaps declaring little Johnny is doing IGCSEs might be a bit of a "we go private" badge for some odd families??

But any school sticking to IGCSEs now is NOT choosing an easier route, definitely not.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:39 am 
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Yamin151 wrote:
And as Amber says, the teachers might have become very good at it as they delivered the same each year.
Do I? :?:
Yamin151 wrote:
its easier to spot a child scratching their head if you only have 16
Yeah, head lice are a problem in all sectors...I don't think the private schools can claim they are that exclusive.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:23 pm 
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Amber wrote:
Yamin151 wrote:
And as Amber says, the teachers might have become very good at it as they delivered the same each year.
Do I? :?:
Yamin151 wrote:
its easier to spot a child scratching their head if you only have 16
Yeah, head lice are a problem in all sectors...I don't think the private schools can claim they are that exclusive.


Sorry Amber - I was misquoting you - it wasn't you at all! Sorry!!!

And I think you will find that private school children do not have 'lice', they have Pediculus humanus capitis, please, do you not know your latin????? :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:09 pm 
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Location: N London
There was a letter in yesterday’s Times from Cambridge exam board saying iGCSE are equivalent to GCSE, and in some cases the iGCSE have been used as a model for the new GCSE. The advantage is no change this year. I was under the impression they were moderated in the same way as moderation occurs between the exam boards. By Ofqual?


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