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Important information regarding changes to GCSE, AS and A level qualifications.

GCSE, AS and A level qualifications are being reformed. The new subjects are being introduced gradually, with the first wave being taught from September 2015. Subjects that have not been reformed will no longer be available for teaching from September 2018.

Reformed GCSEs

  • will be more demanding
  • have been designed for a two-year period of study
  • will be linear, so students will take all of their exams at the end of the course
  • non-exam assessment will be removed or reduced in the majority of GCSEs
  • will have a new grading scale from 9 to 1

Reformed AS and A levels

  • will have new content with greater input from universities
  • will be linear, with AS assessments typically taking place after one year of study and A levels after two
  • will keep the A* to E grading scale (A to E for AS level)
  • AS results will no longer count towards an A level
  • degree of non-exam assessment will reflect balance and nature of new subject content
  • performance standards stay the same

The phased introduction of reformed GCSEs will mean students will receive a mixture of letter and number grades in summer 2017 and summer 2018.

ofqual the reforms


New GCSE grading structure

Reformed GCSEs will be introduced gradually over three years from September 2015. They will be graded from 9 to 1, instead of A* to G. Students taking GCSEs over this period will therefore receive a mixture of 9 to 1 and A* to G grades.

Students will not lose out as a result of the changes. We will use a statistical method (known as comparable outcomes) in 2017 so that:

  • broadly the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 4 and above as currently achieve a grade C and above
  • broadly the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 7 and above as currently achieve a grade A and above
  • the bottom of grade 1 will be aligned with the bottom of grade G
  • grade 5 will be awarded to around the top third of students gaining the equivalent of a grade C and bottom third of a grade B. This has been defined as a good pass by the Department for Education.
ofqual grading structure

Student Information on Examinations

  • Students should arrive in good time for all examinations.
  • Students must be in the examination room/hall for 9.00 am for morning examinations and 1.00 pm for afternoon examinations.
  • Some afternoon examinations may finish after 3.15 pm.
  • Seating plans will be displayed in Houseblocks each day.  Students must check their seat number before entering the examination room and know their candidate number.
  • Students must not have any electronic equipment including mobile phones, ipads, ipods, MP3 players, wrist watches with data storage devices with them OR in their pockets, even if they are switched off or have batteries removed.  They must be handed in to Main Reception and will be returned immediately after the examination finishes.
  • Alarms on watches should be deactivated before entering the examination room.  If this is not possible they should not be brought in.
  • Bags are not allowed in examination rooms and should be left in the designated areas in the Houseblocks.
  • Students should enter the examination room in silence.  No talking or contact with other students should be made until examinations have been completed and students are outside the examination room.
  • Students should make sure they have all the necessary equipment for their examinations – pen (black ink only) plus spare, pencils, pencil sharpener, ruler, eraser etc.
  • Some examinations may require additional specialist equipment e.g. calculator, geometry equipment, copies of text books or art materials.
  • Calculator covers are no longer allowed in examination rooms and should be left in bags.
  • Students are NOT allowed to use Tippex, correcting or gel pens in any examinations.
  • All equipment must be in a transparent pencil case or plastic bag.
  • Students must ensure that they write their legal name on all examination papers.
  • Students must not write inappropriate, obscene or offensive material on their examination papers.
  • If you try to cheat or break the rules in any way you could be disqualified from all your subjects.  Incidents of cheating include bringing notes into the examination hall, having a mobile phone on you (even if it is turned off), copying another student’s work etc.
  • External examinations cannot be completed at any other time than stated on the students examination timetable.
  • Students should inform the Examinations Officer immediately of any change of circumstances e.g. injuries or illness.
  • Students should eat breakfast or lunch before examinations.
  • No drinks, sweets or food are allowed in examination rooms unless for medical reasons.  Water is available for any students who require a drink during an examination.
  • Sixth Form students are allowed to bring water into examination rooms.  This should be in a transparent bottle with the label removed.
  • Students in Year 10 and Year 11 must wear full school uniform to all examinations.