GCSE English 2015 Onwards

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1 GCSE English 2015 Onwards

2 Changes to the Curriculum Changes that have cross party agreement: More demanding in examination (end of course only) Consistent in standard between all examination boards (AQA, CIE, WJEC, EdExcel) Internationally referenced to standards in more successful authorities Referenced to national standards over time by national reference tests in English and Maths

3 Changes to the Curriculum All pupils will study English Language and English Literature (two separate grades) All pupils must complete oral presentations / assessments in front of an audience Texts that pupils will study are significantly more challenging (old = Of Mice and Men, new = Frankenstein / Jekyll & Hyde) Exams will not be tiered (no higher or foundation all pupils sit the same paper)

4 Curriculum Content English Language No Coursework Two final exams (end of year 11) Pupils will achieve grades in number 1-9, not A*-G (4 = C in 2017; 5 = C from 2018 onwards) Only the top 16% of pupils, nationally, will be awarded 7-9 = competition All exam extract will be unseen Exams will assess reading and writing skills Exams include: 19 th, 20 th and 21 st Century fiction and non-fiction Imaginative writing Transactional writing

5 Curriculum Content English Literature No Coursework Two final exams (end of year 11) Literature exams will be closed book (the whole text will be studied, an extract will be printed for pupils to answer from) Pupils must study: A play by Shakespeare A novel written in the 19 th Century by an English writer A selection of poetry (an anthology collated by the exam board) including Romantic poetry A 20 th Century text (play or prose) written by an English writer

6 The new GCSE (regardless of exam board selected) LANGUAGE Reading: 3 unseen literary fiction and non-fiction texts, one of which is 19 th Century 80% of reading mark is for analysis, comparison and evaluation Writing: Spelling, punctuation and grammar is 20% of writing mark LITERATURE Closed book exams 1 compulsory Victorian novel Compulsory Romantic poetry Compulsory unseen poetry Increase in British literary heritage Spelling, punctuation and grammar 5%

7 What will pupils need to be able to succeed? Higher-order reading skills including the ability to make reasonable deductions and inferences when faced with complex or unfamiliar language Cultural capital enough experience of a variety of texts to place unseen texts historically and draw on this experience when reading and writing about them Ability to analyse texts in relation to their underlying literary features (intention, genre, mood, figurative language, etc) A greater degree of accuracy, as well as the ability to make appropriate style choice, when faced with unseen writing tasks Opportunities to revisit texts and read texts more than once will allow pupils to develop their knowledge and understanding in preparation for the close book exams

8 How are we responding to these changes at Toynbee? Throughout year 9 We have been promoting reading, particularly reading of challenging texts, throughout the year Pupils have studied a whole play by Shakespeare All assessments have been unseen to prepare pupils for the rigour of the new GCSEs Most pupils have been taught in mixed ability groups to support preparation for untiered exams Assessments have been written using similar style and structure to the new GCSE exam papers When appropriate, assessments have included questions which address skills of comparison and evaluation

9 GCSE English Language and Literature Pupils will be taught in mixed ability groups* for three of four lessons each week Pupils will be set, according to ability, for one lesson a week to develop spelling, punctuation and grammar skills (20% of GCSE English Language) Texts will be selected to engage and interest pupils * Due to timetabling restrictions English are blocked against Mathematics. Maths classes are set according to ability. If a pupil is in set 1, 2 or 3 for Maths, he will be in group 1, 2 or 3 for English.

10 Why mixed ability classes? Mixed ability groups promote the use of elaboration, explanation and collaborative discussion between peers all essential ingredients for developing high level understanding and high level thinking skills. Homogenous ability groups are less likely to facilitate these forms of talk and possibly because all participants have similar understandings or assume that others already have these understanding. E. Baines in Bad Education 2012

11 Less content in more depth Pupils will study fewer texts in more depth Toynbee will supply texts for pupils to read in class If pupils have their own texts they will be able to read texts at home and make notes in them to support revision and exam preparation We recommend that pupils have their own copies of all texts studied. Teachers will let parents know the ISBN of editions that are taught in school.

12 How you can help Help to increase your children s cultural capital through a variety of activities and multi-media texts.

13 How you can help Encourage your children to read widely, and ensure that texts are challenging and varied.

14 How you can help Use the suggested reading list given to your child by their English teacher.

15 How you can help

16 How you can help Ways to provide reading support: Help your child select a book Model good reading habits - share what you are reading Ask your child questions about their reading Encourage your child to visit the school library regularly Alternate challenging books with easy reads Read the same book simultaneously and share your opinions and reactions Encourage your child to be a critical and evaluative reader What did you enjoy about it? Why was it so emotional? Watch a film or television adaptation together and compare it to the book Break reading time down into small, manageable chunks if your child is feeling overwhelmed by a text. Set them achievable targets for each day/week Read articles and non-fiction texts on the internet and discuss them with your children

17 Reinforce the use of active reading strategies:

18 Study guides for individual texts GCSE Pod Spark notes Cliffs notes

19 It s not all about GCSEs reading for pleasure is more important for children s success in and beyond school, than their family s socio-economic status Adults with low or very low literacy skills are more likely to be in low-paid jobs, unemployed, or dependent upon state benefits and less likely to have had promotion, or work-related training. Adults with low literacy levels are also more likely to be in poor housing, and to have poor health.

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