There has been a lot of chatter on Twitter, various Facebook groups, between schools and within schools on preparing students for the new GCSEs. Their concerns seem to relate to the following areas:
- Grade boundaries – there has been a multitude of different percentages suggested. Some are based on Maths; others are based on previous C grades. Some would offend my maths colleagues as they did not show their workings out!
- What does a grade 9 piece of work look like?
- How to predict grades for data drops, SLT, line managers.
- Applying mark schemes – some exam boards are beginning to publish exemplar material with mark-scheme applied.
- Teaching the new elements – translation, literary extracts, roleplays, photocards, spontaneous speech, conversation questions.
I considered my own post, however it would appear that the following people have already covered most of this territory:
Steve Smith – Worried about the new GCSEs
Helen Myers – 9-1 Grading
Both are excellent, well-informed blogs by experienced professionals.
Steve’s post deals with practical ways you can bring about the results you want by what you do in the classroom. There are also helpful strategies and tips aimed at people who are teaching lower ability learners.
Helen’s post deals more with information that is out there. She looks at what is within your control and what is out of your control. She has some helpful links to Ofqual information on grading, predictions and how the grade boundaries will be set. If you are looking for some grade boundaries to use, this is not it, but it is a very enlightening read.
There are some answers out there, yet there are still a lot of unanswered question when it comes to this new GCSE. My main message would be to keep teaching as well as you can, focusing on delivering the best you can in the classroom and prepare your students as best as you can.
For those of you already thinking about the next cohort, have you tried EverydayMFL: The Options Lessons