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IOE Blog


Expert opinion from IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society


GCSE and A level maths students are missing out on a key learning period. How can we help them?

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 15 June 2020

Jennie Golding

For GCSE and A level grades this summer, Ofqual will use a system whereby teachers synthesise all the information available to them to assess students. Centres will be asked to rank their students in each subject entry, to allow for moderation in the light of ‘baseline’ data to allow for differences in the cohort, and a school or college’s past performance.

Most in the education community seem to think this is the fairest that can be achieved in the circumstances. Indeed, the outcomes will arguably be fairer to many students than a one-off exam-only system, although inevitably there will be students who will feel under-rewarded.

But what will these GCSEs actually mean? What will that magic grade 4 in a GCSE Mathematics, for example, represent?

My own ongoing research, begun before the pandemic but still continuing, shows that many schools and colleges, in a range of circumstances, have not attempted to set up any structure for home-working for their year 11 (more…)