There has been a recent change to GCSE Mathematics, some of the changes include:
- changes to the content – what is studied
- changes to the assessment – how questions are asked
- changes to the marking system – how grades are reported
Changes to the content
The GCSE is being “strengthened”, in that there is more content being added in at both the Higher and Foundation level. For instance, trigonometry which was previously only a Higher level topic and is now being assessed at Foundation level.
This additional content will build on the key concepts covered in Key Stage 3 along with cross-curricular initiatives on thinking skills and independent working. Work will include using and applying mathematics, problem solving and preparing to function mathematically.
Changes to the assessment
The formal assessment at the end of Year 11 will include questions that allow students to draw on elements from within and across the different topic areas, and questions that allow students to provide extended responses. There will be an emphasis on fluency in mathematics and mathematical reasoning.
The course will be taught using a variety of approaches. Emphasis is placed on understanding, enjoying and making progress in mathematics. Students can experience extra-curricular mathematics through enrichment activities, challenges and clubs.
Changes to the marking system
GCSE grades are reported as numbers from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest) rather than letters (G to A*). As before, there are two tiers of assessment, Foundation (grades 1 – 5) and Higher (grades 4 – 9). To ensure parity between the old and new system, the government has decided that the same percentage of students will gain:
- a grade 1 and above - as gained a grade G and above.
- a grade 4 and above - as gained a grade C and above.
- a grade 7 and above - as gained a grade A and above.
EDEXCEL Specification: 1MAO First teaching 2015
All assessment is by terminal exams at end of Year 11 and there is no coursework.
All students are expected to have the correct equipment, namely; a pen, pencil, ruler, protractor, eraser and scientific calculator (although the final assessment will include a non-calculator paper).
Students are put into groups based on prior attainment and our initial assessment. This is to ensure that they grow in confidence and build on success. Experience shows that, for some students, starting at Foundation level and moving on to Higher (if appropriate) leads to a more positive outcome. All topics are tested and movement between groups and tiers occurs if necessary. Every student is entered at the appropriate level for them to achieve success.
We are confident that students will enjoy mathematics at Prince William School and that they will develop their mathematical potential to the full.
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