students taking exams

If your child is in year 10 now, they’ll be starting their new GCSEs in maths, English language and English in Sept 15. It will be assessed by external exams at the end of the 2 year course in the summer of 2017, featuring the new 9 to 1 (high to low) grading system.

The other exams will be added in Sept 16, for examination in Summer 2018, so the current year 8s will be the first to experience the new exams for the majority of the subjects.

What’s happening to maths?

The new maths GCSE will be more ‘challenging’ with more emphasis on problem solving. There will be new topics, such as ratio and proportion and students will be expected to learn mathematical formulas by heart.

The syllabus will feature around a third more content and will require pupils to answer “real world problems”, including financial mathematics, to ensure the area is covered in greater depth.

And English?

Twenty per cent of marks for written exams will be allocated to accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar in the new English language GCSE and, while there will be no set texts, students will be expected to read widely.

English literature, which will no longer be compulsory, will see students having to tackle an unseen text and will require pupils to study at least one Shakespeare play, a Victorian novel and modern British fiction or drama since 1914.

Poetry is also set to become a bigger part of the GCSE syllabus from 2015, with pupils required to study at least 15 poems by at least five different poets.

The link below shows comparison of new to old grades.

Comparison of old and new grades