Skip to main content

New GCSEs

Having just read this article about the new GCSEs that we will be blessed with come September 2015 I am highly intrigued to how they will pan out.

Yes perhaps it is good for fourteen-sixteen year olds to read a Shakespeare play and a 19th Century novel - in fact I think that's a really good aspect of the new GCSEs - but the focus on examinations is something that I do not agree with. As someone who attends a competitive comprehensive I felt enough pressure as it was to do exams and I still do as I am finishing my A Levels. The coursework aspects of the courses I took - particularly as someone who found essay writing particularly difficult back then - were a welcome relief and a chance to develop and engage in essay writing. I understand that students will do 'mock essays' but this only increases pressure on students to actually do them - since they won't have 'official' deadlines - and more pressure on teachers to be constantly working on and improving the students writing styles since the level of competition will be much higher at the end of the two years.

Furthermore even as it is students show a lot of negativity towards exam texts and as an A Level English Literature student I can safely say that a 19th Century novel was difficult to study - and I'm someone who reads a lot! The level of enthusiasm a teacher would have to engage to get twenty to thirty fifteen year olds to invest themselves in a novel like Jane Eyre would be pretty high.

I'm not one to be skeptical but I reckon these new GCSEs are going to be incredibly challenging for family life, for the students' well-being and on the teachers as well.

Comments

  1. The focus on exams is something that astounds me, the people making these decisions are people who have had it pretty easy in school, they are very intelligent people! However intellect seems to have gotten in the way of common sense and understanding.
    Personally I was always a high achiever, until GCSE, yes I came out with mostly A grades, but it was a lot of hard work, and it was the exams that brought down my grades.

    My prime example is media, I have always gotten A* grade coursework, but then I came out with a D in the exam giving me B, which broke me, because I knew the content, but my essay writing and long answers are something I find incredibly difficult especially under a time constraint.

    Yes, I think exams are the only way you can test some subjects, but I think that they should have a coursework element to allow those who don't find exams easy to at least give them a fighting chance of getting the grade the deserve.

    But I completely agree with you about 19th century novels, it's hard enough getting those who have chosen to do english literature to get excited about it, but kids who aren't interested and feel they are being forced into qualifications are not going to even try.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Be skeptical. Just don't be cynical.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Just Dietary Things | Eating Gluten and Dairy Free

Around a month ago, my boyfriend and I pootled into Pizza Hut and I said "ooh go on then" and had lovely, lovely cheese on my gluten free pizza.

Three years ago in May I was diagnosed coeliac, and since my diagnosis I have never had an "ooh go on then moment" because I know the dire consequences it can have on my body. Every day, I swallow calcium, vitamin D, B12 and ranitidine tablets in an effort to keep my bones and body healthy. Everywhere I go, I look at labels and folders of ingredient information. Being coeliac is something I'm used to now, but it's taken me a year to solidly give up lactose (and I'm still not 100% sure I'll last Christmas...).

The day after my Pizza Hut escapade, I was sick. Slowly over the last year of being lactose free on and off, my reaction to lactose has worsened. My stomach doesn't like food very much (even if my mouth and brain do!) and I often feel sick after eating, but lactose made that significantly worse. As…

Today I am: a fire-breathing Queen

As you can probably guess from my lack of posting, Master's degrees are hard. Speaking to my fellow MA buddies, we can't quite pin-point what it is that is making us perpetually stressed but there's just something about them that seems to eat up all of your time ever. And don't even get me started about 'thinking about the future'.

I somehow forgot that one of my favourite things to do to relax is to take a bath. Earlier last term when our shower broke (yay student housing), we were confined to baths - and I vowed that I would take more as soon as the shower was fixed and not just fall back to showering. But alas, I did. 

Baths have always been kind of special to me; forever have they been places of chats, giggles, relaxing, music, and such a treat. For a couple of years I couldn't get out of the bath unassisted because of my back, so to be able to leap forth out of the tub with a gracious gazelle-like leap (I lie) is a privilege. I also used to not be able t…

Feeling stressed? Avobath

My next escapade into the Lush bath-bomb world was the wonderfully named Avobath. Admittedly, I did use this bath-bomb a while ago... weeks ago... and I haven't had time to write up anything until now. Why? Essays. Stressful essays. (Did I mention Master's are tough? No...?)

The avobath is lovely, because it smells fresh (I definitely don't do sugar-sweet smells) and that just intensifies as it hits the warm water. I'd had a particularly rough day when I decided I'd use this one, and it just made the bathroom smell heavenly. Costing only £3.50, too the avobath comes in 25p cheaper than my previous BBOC (bath-bomb of choice) Dragon's Egg.

A little less exciting than my last pick, but nevertheless still heavenly to the nose and skin, the avobath was incredibly moisturising and calming. Just what you need around this busy exam and deadline time!!

I've only actually got two (EEK) months left, including May, in my student house so I need to use all the bathing o…