Enter your keyword

GCSE Reforms

Over the next few years there are a number of changes taking place within education;

  1. Introduction of new KS4 courses for ALL subjects
  2. New GCSE grading structure (1-9)

Headline measures for schools will also be changing to the following;

  • Attainment 8
  • Progress 8
  • % English and Mathematics
  • English Baccalaureate
  • *There is the possibility of a 5th measure in the future for destinations.

What is Attainment 8?
This is the student performance across 8 subjects and school performance across 8 subjects.

What is Progress 8?
Within Attainment 8 we will calculate how much progress a student has made by reviewing a pupil’s actual attainment compared to their estimated attainment from other statistical data for each student. For example, whatever the level the pupil achieved at KS2 should be an indicator of how well he/she will achieve at GCSE: this will be the estimated Attainment 8 for this pupil and will be calculated as an average of how all similar children (those who achieved the same average KS2 level as this student) perform at GCSE. This gives us a Progress 8 score for each pupil.

We will calculate the mean average of our school’s Progress 8 score. This is how the entire cohort and their attainment compared to the average across the whole cohort in eight subjects.

For all pupils nationally, the average Progress 8 score will be zero (0). Mount Carmel school score will be interpreted alongside our confidence levels. If the lower bound of our confidence level is greater than zero (0) this means our school has achieved greater than average progress compared to other pupils nationally. This is reversed if the upper bound is negative. In other words, an individual student’s VA score is based on how far +/- this estimated Attainment 8 the students’ actual Attainment 8 is.

The Progress 8 measure will be the ONLY measure used for floor standards (-0.5) and is averaged across all pupils completing GCSE’s in any ONE year.

  • Within the Progress 8 measure, the double weighting of English and Mathematics means that 40% of Mount Carmel RC High School’s Progress 8 score is determined by the results of these 2 core subjects.

Changes to examinations

  1. All external examinations will be in the form of linear exams meaning all exams will be sat at the end of Year 11.
  2. Internal assessment (controlled assessment) will either be removed completely or significantly reduced, depending on the subject.
  3. The content of each subject’s syllabus will be reviewed and modifications made after a consultation period.

Changes to the subject’s pupils will study

  • Pupils will study the new syllabus for English and Mathematics from September 2015 with the GCSE examination taking place in 2017.
  • Students will be graded under the new structure for these subjects using GCSE grades 1-9.
  • All other subjects are in the process of being reviewed and updated with first delivery to the Year 10 cohort in September 2016, with examinations taking place in 2018. All subjects will receive GCSE grades 1-9 in 2018.

Changes to the GCSE grading structure
The current A*-G grading system will be replaced with a new nine-point scale (1-9), which will be phased in over the next few years.

  • ‘9’ will be the top grade representing the top 3% nationally. This will be similar to a GCSE grade A** which is recognition of exceptional performance and will only be achievable by the students who currently achieve the ‘top end’ of a grade A*.
  • ‘1’ will be the lowest grade.

The rationale behind this change is to provide greater differentiation of student outcomes, especially for the higher achievers given the new GCSE grade 9 (A**) and also students who achieve broadly ‘middle ranged’ GCSE grades.

  • Expectations will be much higher under the new GCSE grading structure. This is because the new grade ‘5’ will be set about two thirds of a GCSE grade higher than the current requirement for a grade C.
  • The new grade ‘4’ will be representative of the bottom of a current grade ‘C’. This means that the same proportion of students who currently achieve a grade C will achieve a grade ‘4’ in 2017 and beyond.
  • The new grade ‘7’ will be the equivalent of a current grade A.
  • For some pupils it is proposed that the proportion of students who achieve a grade ‘1’ in the new GCSE structure will be about the same as those who currently achieve a grade F or G.

Comparing the ‘old’ GCSE grades to the new GCSE grades 1-9

It is important to remember 1-9 in 2017 is for the new English and Mathematics GCSE’s ONLY. All other subjects will receive 1-9 from 2018 onwards.

An example of how this could look;


What GCSE grades will be awarded at the end of the GCSE course(s)?

  • Year 11 (class of 2015) = GCSE grades A*-G.
  • Year 10 (class of 2016) = GCSE grades A*-G.
  • Year 9 (class of 2017) will receive two grading structures;

English Language, English Literature and Mathematics = 1-9 GCSE grades.
All other subjects will receive GCSE grades A*-G.

  • Year 8 (class of 2018) = GCSE grades 1-9.
  • Year 7 (class of 2019) = GCSE grades 1-9.