GCSE

Changes to GCSE maths, English Language and English Literature will be introduced from September 2015. The main features of the new GCSEs are as follows:

All examinations for a GCSE subject will take place in May/June at the end of the course. Students should normally have completed the full two-year course of study before taking their exams. November exams in Maths and English Language will be available for students who were at least 16 on the preceding 31 August.

GCSE grades will be described using numbers (1-9) rather than letters. Grade 9 will represent the highest level of attainment. Students who fail to achieve a GCSE will be unclassified (U).

Most GCSE subjects will not be tiered and all students will take the same exams. The GCSE in maths will remain tiered with the foundation tier covering grades 1-5 and the higher tier covering grades 4-9. English Language and English Literature will be not be tiered.

English language
This will be assessed by exam. Students’ speaking skills will be assessed but, as with current GCSEs, will not contribute to the overall grade. The assessment will be marked by teachers and reported separately, alongside the qualification grade on the certificate. Twenty per cent of the marks for the written exams will be allocated to accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar.

English literature
This will be assessed wholly by exam. Five per cent of the marks will be allocated to accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Maths
This will be assessed wholly by exam, as now.

Achieving good grades in maths and English is often an essential requirement for further study as many post-16 courses offered by colleges require minimum grades in maths and English.

Science
Changes to GCSE science assessment were introduced in 2011 and further changes to the science content will be introduced from September 2016. The main features of GCSE science are as follows:

Students can take the following GCSE science subjects:

GCSE Science This is an entry level GCSE requiring a single year of study. Students will normally study this subject in Year 10.

GCSE Additional Science This is usually studied in Year 11.

GCSE science and GCSE additional science are often referred to as the Science ‘double award’ as they consist of two GCSE science subjects.

GCSE Biology
GCSE Chemistry
GCSE Physics.

These are often referred to as ‘separate sciences’ or ‘triple award’. These awards are usually appropriate for students who wish to study science subjects at A level. Schools may select students for these courses on the basis of prior performance in key stage 3 science. Students often commence their studies for these three GCSE subject in Year 9 as students have to cover more content to attain the three GCSE awards.

All GCSE science awards include a practical coursework element which comprises 25% of the total marks available for the award.

GCSE awards in applied science are also available for students who favour a more practical, less academic award.

At Redditch Professional Tuition we have experienced teachers who can offer individual, tailored support and exam practice in maths, English and science.

A Level

The new A level reforms for science subjects will take effect from September 2015. Students will take undertake a 1-year AS award or a 2-year A level award. Examinations for both awards will only be available at the end of the 1-year (AS) or 2-Year (A level) periods of study. The practical element of the awards will be reported as a separate award with a pass/fail outcome and will not contribute towards the grades achieved in the written papers. These reforms to the A level science subjects removes the opportunity for students to re-sit some examinations at the end of the second year of study.

At Redditch Professional Tuition we have experienced teachers who can offer individual, tailored support and exam practice in A level Biology and Chemistry.