The first GCSE exams were taken in 1988 and since then has undergone much change and criticism. I’m sure after so many exams in such a short space of time, many students, teachers and parents will be asking: what’s the point of GCSEs? This seems like such a big, obvious but scarily relevant question that proves no easy feat to answer. A school’s GCSE performance data tells us how good the school is at getting students through exams rather than how good a school is at helping students learn. It is strange, but understandable that the two do not always equate. Ironically GCSEs can sometimes act as a distraction to deep learning, adding time and content pressure and forcing many to ‘teach for the exam’. Are we too focused on competition that we are compromising on competency?
Rob Wall (head of education and employment policy at the Confederation of British Industry) sums it up perfectly: ‘Employers do value GCSEs because they’re a recognised qualification and an indication of ability, but they’re not the be-all and end-all. Actually, what employers value isn’t qualifications or academic results, it’s character and resilience. They want curious and creative people – we would like a curriculum better aligned to those outcomes.’ So perhaps the point of GCSEs should be to help foster the development of the curiosity, creativity and character that young people need to succeed in their lives.
We know that providing effective educational resources for your child can sometimes be bloodcurdling, but don't be too petrified! Let us help you blow those cobwebs away with a spooktacular subscription to Get My Grades.
With over 1,000 Learn pages and 75,000 questions in English, Maths and Science, mapped to your childs year group or exam board, we think this is an absolutely fangtastic offer.
Use code SPOOKYPOUND when purchasing a monthly subscription to get your first month's subscription for only £1.