The Government and Ofqual, detailed their proposals for the new GCSEs in November 2013.
New GCSEs teaching came into practice in September 2015 in:
- English Language
- English Literature
New GCSEs in the sciences, History and Geography, as well as in languages, are scheduled for first teaching in September 2016.
Key structural features of the new GCSEs confirmed by Ofqual include:
- A new grading scale that uses the numbers 1–9 to identify levels of performance (with 9 being the top level). Where performance is below the minimum required to pass a GCSE, students will get a U.
- Tiering used only for subjects ‘where untiered papers will not allow students at the lower end of the ability range to demonstrate their knowledge and skills, or will not stretch the most able’. English Literature and English Language will be untiered. Maths will be tiered with an ‘improved overlapping tiers model’, with a foundation tier covering grades 1–5 and a higher tier covering grades 4–9.
- Linear GCSEs, with assessment to be taken at the end of the course in June. Re-sit opportunities in November for English Language and Maths only.
- Assessment by external exam only, except where non-exam assessment is the only way to provide valid assessment of the skills required. Maths, English Literature and English Language to be externally assessed. English Language to have a Speaking assessment that will be reported separately.
- The first assessment of new two-year GCSE courses that start in September 2015 will be in June 2017.
- New GCSEs in the Sciences, History and Geography, as well as languages, are scheduled for first teaching in September 2016 with first assessment in 2018.
For further information about the GCSE reform, click here
Please also visit the individual subject pages for more details about the curriculum.