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.
- A huge range of resources and online textbook content, arranged into units, topics and subtopics.
- Over 75,000 practice questions of varying types, like those on exams - not just multiple choice - written by experienced teachers.
- Instant feedback after each question, with student-friendly mark schemes and explanations.
- Automated tracking, so that you can see where they are doing well and where they are struggling - which you just can't get from a traditional textbook or revision guide!
Get My Grades subscriptions cost just £9 per student per month, or £75 per student for access for the year - with all our subjects and qualifications included, including many of the most common GCSE and IGCSE courses.
Sign up now to explore the platform - and, to give you a chance to start making the most of Get My Grades, use discount code MONTH1 to get your first month for just £1!