How Gove-Levels Will Put Rigour Back into GCSEs

Daily Mail (London), June 12, 2013 | Go to article overview

How Gove-Levels Will Put Rigour Back into GCSEs


Byline: James Chapman and Andrew Levy

MICHAEL Gove's new GCSEs will restore rigour and rein in 'rampant' grade inflation, he said yesterday.

Teenagers will be made to study more British history and classic literature by authors such as Austen, Dickens and Wordsworth.

And they will be expected to show a far greater grasp of punctuation and grammar.

Confirming the biggest exam shake-up for a generation, Mr Gove said new GCSEs to be taught from September 2015 will be 'more challenging, more ambitious and more rigorous'.

The Education Secretary told MPs that even Labour admitted grades had been inflated during its time in power.

There was now 'widespread consensus that we need to reform our examination system to restore public confidence,' he added. 'Young people in this country deserve an education system that can compete with the best in the world, a system which sets - and achieves - higher expectations.'

His reforms prompted complaints from teaching union leaders, while other critics expressed concern that the Government had cast doubt on the achievements of pupils who will take the current GCSE over the next two years. But Mr Gove insisted an over-reliance on coursework had 'corrupted the credibility of grades' and warned that so many students were now achieving As and A*s that employers could not differentiate between the brightest.

Labour agreed there was a need to reform exam grades, but defended the use of coursework. The new-look GCSEs, which have yet to be named but are being nicknamed 'Gove Levels', will include no coursework except in a small number of areas such as science practicals.

The focus will return to exams at the end of the course.

They will be graded from eight to one, with eight the highest, replacing the current A to G system.

In English literature, candidates will read whole texts including a Shakespeare play, Romantic poetry and modern verse, a 19th century novel and 20th century fiction.

Exams will ask candidates to evaluate seen and unseen texts.

English language will require extended writing to explain, argue and describe events and 20 per cent of marks will be awarded for spelling, punctuation and grammar, compared with 12 per cent at present.

The new history exam will feature a minimum of 40 per cent British history, up from 25 per cent at present, and require pupils to show a basic understanding of chronology.

Pupils will have to undertake at least one piece of in-depth study covering either the Medieval period (from the year 500 to 1500), Early Modern period (1450 to 1750) or Modern period (1700 to the present day). At least a quarter of the course will cover the history of the wider world.

In maths, there will be greater emphasis on solving unfamiliar problems by drawing on a range of mathematical skills and concepts.

Teenagers will have to use integers, decimal fractions and simple, proper and improper fractions as well as powers, roots and reciprocals.

In biology, students will need to demonstrate they can understand cell biology, including the growth and development of cells, as well as electron microscopy, including the nucleus, plasmids and chloroplasts.

They will also learn about stem cells, enzymes, the human circulatory system, the development of medicine, photo-synthesis, eco-systems and human reproduction.

And in chemistry, they will have to answer questions on atomic structure and the Periodic Table; the properties of metals; bulk and surface properties of matter including nanoparticles; chemical equations; acid, alkalis and the pH scale; recycling; greenhouse gases and changes to climate over time; and agricultural productivity. Education minister Elizabeth Truss said current exams were 'not fit for purpose'.

She added: 'For too long we have pretended that students' results are getting better, whereas actually all that has been happening is that exams have been getting easier and there has been a race to the bottom between exam boards.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

How Gove-Levels Will Put Rigour Back into GCSEs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.