Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/981/26841

From The Socialist newspaper, 7 February 2018

GCSE grading game stresses out students - even more than before!

The new GCSE requirements turn learning into a memory test, photo by UBC Learning Commons/CC

The new GCSE requirements turn learning into a memory test, photo by UBC Learning Commons/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Adam Abdullah, school student

The government has implemented new GCSE rules and with them stress, and with them fear, and with them anxiety.

Since the regular GCSE grading system of A*-G was replaced with the 9-1 grades, levels of stress, anxiety and mental disorders have increased among young people in schools.

What is the issue of replacing the letters with numbers? The GCSE 'specs' - the exam rules, the amount we have to 'learn' and level of homework - that come with it.

Coursework has entirely been removed from GCSEs. And with the exception of one or two speaking and listening tests it's mostly written examinations now.

Even drama, a subject about getting on your feet and expressing your creative freedom, is now 40% written examination with exam board Edexcel.

This is so with all the subjects, written examination has taken over. For example, for triple science - physics, biology, chemistry - you have to take nine exams where three are for each of the sciences. They teach the different modules in the order of the exams and it seems more and more like it's meant to test our memory functions rather than intelligence.

What are we to the examiners, goldfish?

Under the old GCSE spec teachers used to be able to allow students to sit the exams at different points (for example, if you had three exams for one subject you could do one in Year 10). So I've calculated I have 20 or more exams to do in one academic year...

Even if you'd count yourself as 'strict' you can see how this is going to impact us. As the exam boards only have one set of results to compare us to, one horrible thing that has happened is that on the OCR board maths exams only 27% earned a 'standard' passing grade (grade 4) or higher. The best percentage - AQA exam board - was only 32%.

In English literature you're expected to have a memory good enough to remember quotes from 15 poems, novels, contextual information for all those poems, and not go blank under that pressure...

Across all the exam boards last year only 33% to 50% achieved a grade 4 or above in English language. This is a recurring theme now.

It has gone so far a student created a petition to parliament that has over 160,000 signatures. This is 60,000 above the required number for parliament to discuss having a debate and they will now announce the date soon.

The recurring theme of pass rates going down, the 'worst' schools being shown in league tables, rising mental health issues, austerity cuts to schools and academisation all show that we are indeed in crisis.

However, we can escape. Freedom from pressure, elimination of memory tests and a wholesome education not revolving around examination is not only what we want, but what we need.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 7 February 2018:


Save our NHS

NHS - build the fightback

NHS day of action: all around the country

Tragic death exposes criminal understaffing of NHS

York socialists head resistance to NHS outsourcing

Trump v NHS


News

Capita in crisis: bring all outsourcers back in-house

90 feared dead after migrant boat capsizes


What we think

Corbyn's left must seize the advantage in Labour's civil war


Councils

Haringey: now's our chance for a no-cuts council

Walthamstow: occupy to save the town square

Scene set for TUSC conference electoral debate


Workplace

Royal Mail forced back under threat of action

Unison national women's conference

Striking back against academies in Newham


International socialist news and analysis

May's silence is a green light for Chinese repression

Sudan: Mohamed Satti released - global solidarity campaign gets results!

Protesters denounce oppressive Sri Lankan regime


Opinion

GCSE grading game stresses out students - even more than before!

Fighting sexism: Positive discrimination - yea or neigh?

Bernie's book shows need for workers' party

Darkest Hour: Not the usual flattery of brutal Tory Churchill

The Socialist inbox


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

The Socialist Party is being evicted - we need you!

Yorkshire Socialist Party regional conference


 

Home   |   The Socialist 7 February 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Students:

triangleOver 2.5 million students emptied the classrooms on International Women's Day - 8th March - in the Spanish state, called out by Libres y Combativas. photo by LyC

triangleAnger after violent youth deaths - Communities need public services not cuts

triangleFor socialist change, not climate change!

triangleWildfires hit Europe - build for 15 March student climate strikes

triangleSocialist change, not climate change!

Schools:

triangleTory education 'reforms'

triangle"There's no planet B": Thousands of youth strike against climate change - we need socialist change!

triangleUnison union campaigns for school support staff action

triangleTeachers vote 83% for strikes

Student:

triangleSchool student climate strike

triangleBirmingham Uni: Standing up to racism is not harassment!

triangleConference shows potential for fighting leadership

Stress:

triangleTeacher recruitment falls by a third - cut workload, not funding

triangleTory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

Parliament:

triangleAusterity out, Tories out

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

13/3/19

Obituary

Obituary Joan Beale - Labour women's activist and Militant supporter

13/3/19

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

13/3/19

Anti-war

History: Alice Wheeldon - an anti-war socialist persecuted by the state

6/3/19

Retail

Interview with a shop worker

6/3/19

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

6/3/19

Women

Women workers' militancy during the 'great unrest'

6/3/19

Labour Party

Solidarity with Chris Williamson

27/2/19

NHS

Non-fiction: 'Unhealthy Profits: PFI in the NHS'

27/2/19

Art

Art exhibition: 'Unobtania' by Peter Robson

27/2/19

Letters

The Socialist inbox

20/2/19

Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

13/2/19

Letters

The Socialist inbox

13/2/19

NHS

'Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor': comedy and tragedy judiciously mixed

13/2/19

Film

'Green Book' film: a timely reminder of racism in the USA

6/2/19

Theatre

Theatre: Ballad of Johnny Longstaff

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999