No more AS Levels?Christine Blower, generalsecretary of the NationalUnion of Teachers, said that2015 would be “the yearwhen everything changes”,adding: “This is anunmanageable level ofchange which could lead toa collapse of the system.”
Key dates… Current Y10 2012 New GCSE entrants study linear qualifications 2013 New National Curriculum published Current Y11/12 January 2014 No AS/A2 exams Current Y8 2014 New National Curriculum implemented down? Current Y7 2015 EBac subjects – GCSEs replaced with EBCs? Current Y9 2015 return to linear A Levels?
Increasing ‘rigour’ “…academic rigour is liberating, not limiting. Students with good passes, especially in traditional subjects, have more opportunities in life.” Michael Gove 2012• Harder to get higher grades (80% Singapore model?)• Taking more ‘difficult’ subjects (EBac GCSEs, not vocational subjects and at A Level the ‘facilitating’ subjects)• No modular exams – fewer chances to retake• Focus on knowledge and facts, rather than skills• Tougher exams, less coursework
No more tiers “Under the shake-up, the foundation and higher level will be scrapped in the EBC subjects, meaning there will be no cap on how well pupils can achieve.” Daily Mail 16 September 2012• Can one exam both stretch the more able and be accessible for the less able?• What do those who ‘aren’t ready’ to take the exam leave school with?
Facilitating subjects“There are some subjects that are required(by universities) more often than others.These subjects are sometimes referred toas facilitating subjects.”Informed Choices, Russell Group 2012• The myth of ‘difficult’ A Levels• Linear courses in these subjects from 2015 (no AS level)• Other subjects will continue with AS/A2 level structure• How will this affect university applications?
Meeting the challenge• Raise standards from Year 7• Intensive literacy and numeracy focus for least able• Challenge the most able• Protect curriculum diversity• Strengthen internal assessment and challenge complacency (Y10/12)• Strengthen advice and guidance• Avoid knee-jerk responses and stay informed• Be sure of our own values and needs of our students
Opportunities for Farmor’s School• Academy status – freedom from National Curriculum statute• Strong in academic subjects• Challenging the more able• Deeper learning• Enjoying learning