Newquay GCSE students urge Government not to change exams
"LEAVE GCSEs as they are" – this is the message to the Government from Year 11 students in Newquay who collected their results on Thursday.
Education Secretary Michael Gove announced in June that he intends to scrap coursework and focus on tougher exams at the end of the two-year course.
The new system, which will see youngsters graded from 1 to 8 rather than A* to F, is scheduled to begin from 2015.
But students told the Cornish Guardian last week that the exams were tough enough and coursework was a valuable part of the education process.
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Harry Stallard, of Newquay Tretherras Academy, who achieved three A* grades, six As and two Bs, said: "They were hard enough. I think it's good as it is at the moment with the balance of exams and coursework."
Shauna Hubbard, who bagged an A*, two As, three Bs and two Cs, agreed, saying: "They were hard. I don't think they should be changed – I'm lucky I was in this year."
Tom Retallick, who attained six A grades, two Bs and a C at Treviglas Community College, said: "I don't agree with the changes they plan to make. GCSEs are fine as they are."
They were backed by Karen Ross and Sue Martin, the head teachers of the two secondary schools, who said last year's fiasco with the English GCSE marking should make Mr Gove think twice before making further changes.
Thousands were left fuming after grade boundaries were changed mid-year, leading to huge inconsistencies and many students failing to attain predicted grades.
The heads said: "The response in both of our schools is as it has always been – we will work hard to adapt to any changes quickly so that the students who will be taking the new examinations are excellently prepared to achieve the maximum success. Anyone who has taken GSCEs will testify that they are rigorous and testing in a positive way – it is a shame that coursework is being removed almost completely as there are subjects which really benefit from having practical and ongoing assessment.
"The teaching profession must be inspired to deliver a vision that we all share and in which the public can have full confidence. The education system in the UK is improving and is respected, although no one would deny that we should constantly aim even higher. The education provision in Newquay is judged to be outstanding in both secondary schools."
For our full GCSE coverage see pages 37-43