Are you Teaching a Five-Year GCSE?

As I started writing this piece, my son’s fourth report this academic year dropped through the letterbox. That was 30 seconds ago. That’s all the time I’m giving it. That’s all the time it deserves. JL Dutaut, parent and editor of Flip the System UK: A Teachers’ Manifesto writes for Teachwire.

Until a fortnight ago, in fact, everything was rosy at secondary school. And then the Year 9 maths assessment came. Students were told results would determine sets for GCSE.

Worse, they were told GCSE classes were taught proportionately less of the curriculum as they moved down the sets. Stop. What?

“I failed the maths test. I’m going to end up in a bottom set, and I’m never going to recover because they won’t teach me the whole curriculum. I won’t get to do what I want at university.”

The assessment, it turns out, was a full GCSE paper.

Every assessment since Year 7 has been composed of GCSE questions and to an extent, that’s fine provided they’re pitched at the students’ level of understanding, but this?

Not one, but three full GCSE papers over the period of a week, including the questions on the parts of the curriculum they haven’t been taught. 

It is the height of irresponsibility. A dire lack of professionalism and a shocking lapse of ethical practice.

Accountability. The root of all evil? Read the full article including assessing ethically: Dos and don’ts for leaders Are you Teaching a Five-Year GCSE? 

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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