Entries in the newly reformed GCSE subjects have risen from last year
GCSE pass rates fall slightly following exam reforms English literature pass-rates have declined by 2.5 percentage points to 72 per cent, following new, tougher exams. However, the pass rate for maths, which has also been made harder, has risen from 61.5 per cent to 68.9 per cent, the BBC has reported. Overall, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, passes (grades
C/4 and above) have dropped by 0.6 percentage points to 66.3 per cent. Exam boards have also stated that 2,000 candidates achieved a 9 (the highest grade under the new system) in all new three exams and that there was 50,000 grade 9s overall. READ MORE: tinyurl.com/ydcpa8ud
Two-thirds of GCSE grade 9s awarded to girls Two-thirds of girls have received the highest grade of 9 in the new, tougher GCSEs. Nearly 51,000 grade 9s were given across the three reformed subjects, maths, English literature and English language and around 30,000 were given to girls. Over 2,000 pupils in England were awarded a grade 9 in all three of the subjects, which is less than a third of
the 6,500 straight A*s candidates from last year, according to Datalab. In maths, nearly 20,000 entries scored a 9 and over 31,000 achieved this grade in the two English GCSEs combined. However, overall, GCSE pass rates have fallen this year following the exam reforms.
The number of pupils entered in the reformed GCSE subjects of English language, English literature and maths have increased from last year. There have also been record entries into geography GCSEs this year. GCSE results also show that across the reformed subjects, 51,257 grade 9s have been awarded and attainment for a standard pass in English has risen from 24.4 per cent last year, to 31.1 per cent in England. More pupils appear to be taking their maths GCSEs at a time that is right for them as early entries in maths reduced by 64.6 per cent, but the number of entries gaining a grade 9 is at 13.3 per cent, compared to 3.5 per cent overall Minister of state for school standards, Nick Gibb has congratulated pupils. He said: “The government’s new gold‑standard GCSEs in English and maths have been benchmarked against the best in the world, raising academic standards for pupils. These reforms represent another step in our drive to raise standards, so that pupils have the knowledge and skills they need to compete in a global workplace. “The fruits of these reforms will be seen in the years to come, but already pupils and teachers are rising to the challenge with more than 50,000 top 9 grades awarded across the new GCSEs and more than two-thirds of entries sitting the tougher English and maths exams securing a grade 4 or C and above – a standard pass.”
READ MORE: tinyurl.com/yavojz63
READ MORE: tinyurl.com/y8bvxcxh
Reformed English GCSE could be putting pupils off reading
Science GCSE entries decline
Changes to the new English Literature GCSE may be putting pupils off reading, research shows. As reported by Tes, respondents to a survey conducted by John Gordon of the University of East Anglia’s school of education have said that the approach of analysing a novel in school has distracted pupils from engaging with the story and characters. The research also found that respondents thought the new GCSE’s emphasis on studying a novel’s literary features was off-putting and confusing.
This comes following changes to the English Literature GCSE, which has scrapped coursework and ruled that exams become closed-book assessments. Instead, pupils are required to memorise details of texts and remember key quotations. The study of 165 current pupils, adults and teachers, also found that teenagers approach reading exam texts very differently from reading for pleasure. READ MORE: tinyurl.com/y8nyf3wt
THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR EDUCATION – www.educationbusinessuk.net
The number of pupils entered for the combined science GCSE this year has fallen by 27.6 per cent. There were only 960 entries for pupils aged 15 and under for GCSE sciences in comparison to 141,414 last year – showing a drop of 99.3 per cent. Schools used to enter pupils for combined science at the end of Year 10 and additional science at the end of Year 11. However, Ofqual said this summer that many pupils who would normally have sat the exam at the age of 15 were waiting until next year to take the new 9 to 1 combined science or 9 to 1 separate sciences. Figures also show that the proportion of A* to C grades in GCSE science has fallen by 4.9 percentage points compared to last year. The proportion of A* to A grades dropped by 1.8 percentage points compared to 2016. READ MORE: tinyurl.com/y9u78lgk
Volume 22.7 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Business Information for Education Decision Makers