Teachers, students, headteachers, parents, adults, children, teenagers, graduates and the unemployed.. no matter what the label may be we have all done exams, passed or failed we have all completed them. A richter 10 scaled earthquake in education has miraculously just happened straight after the marking down of GCSE English, and somehow I don’t believe that it is a coincidence.
Everybody (including myself) has a bias opinion on the matter, everybody feels that the year they sat their examinations at 16 whether it be O-Levels of GCSE’s they felt that they were hard and challenging for the year that they sat them. The truth being, they probably were. No matter how hard they may be I feel that GCSEs are simply a stepping stone onto A Levels, and A Levels a stepping stone to a Degree… but what about those who don’t want to pursue an acedemic career and what to do something more vocational? This change really will affect their prospects, and probably not in a good way.
The fact is, is that as they stand the GCSEs aren’t challenging the top end of the student body, making their grades easier to obtain, so there is little to distinguish between the A* and the A pupils, but what I ask is surely that is down to the teaching? If you have a good teacher and you enjoy their classes, you are bound to do better? If you pay attention in class and find the lesson stimulating, you are bound to do better? If you stop messing around and start listening, you are bound to do better? The change to the EBaccs is an eye opener for all the students who think that they can sail by with doing the bare minimum because it is set to challenge them at a higher level. While they are at it, they may as well return the blackboard, cane and abacus. Personally I think the change is drastic, but action needs to be taken in order for students to find their highest potential… and still even if education isn’t for everybody if students actually absorbed what they were being taught in the first place, they shouldn’t necessarily have any problem tackling those harder exams…. I just hope it doesn’t cheapen the value of my 10 GCSEs in the process.