Michael Gove’s new GCSE exams to help young British teenagers compete with the best in the world, according to the Daily Mail…
The Education Secretary unveiled the biggest schools shake-up in a generation, putting a new emphasis on tougher testing for 16-year-olds, with less coursework and more focus on exams at the end of two-year courses.
Teenagers will have to study more Dickens, poetry, algebra, genetics and ecology to acheive the best grades to bring an end to ‘discredited’ qualifications.
Mr Gove told the Commons the new exams will be ‘more challenging, more ambitious and more rigorous’.
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 – high expectations.
‘Today’s reforms are essential to achieve this goal.
‘By making GCSEs more demanding, more fulfilling, and more stretching we can give our young people the broad, deep and balanced education which will equip them to win in the global race.’
Pupils in England will start studying in September 2015 for new GCSEs in English language, English literature, maths, biology, chemistry, physics, combined science, geography and history. They are due sit the first exams in the summer of 2017.
In English literature, pupils will be asked to study at least one play by Shakespeare, Romantic poetry, a 19th century novel, poetry from the 1850s onwards, and fiction or drama since the First World War, according to documents published by the Department for Education.
The new maths GCSE features advanced algebra, statistics, ratio, probability and geometry, while those students who choose to take geography will undertake two different types of fieldwork which will be assessed in an exam.
And in history, pupils will have to complete an in-depth study based on one of three periods – Medieval (500-1500), Early Modern (1450-1750) or Modern (1700 to present day). The new GCSE history course also contains no controlled assessment – coursework completed in the classroom – with exams based on extended essays and short answers.
New science GCSEs contain practical experiments and extended work on topics such as genetics, ecology, energy and space.
Mr Gove said the changes mean ‘more extended writing in subjects like English and history; more testing of advanced problem-solving skills in mathematics and science; more testing of mathematics in science GCSEs, to improve progression to A Levels.
‘More challenging mechanics problems in physics; a stronger focus on evolution and genetics in biology; and a greater focus on foreign language composition, so that pupils require deeper language skills.
‘This higher level of demand will equip our children to go onto higher education or a good apprenticeship – and we can raise the bar knowing that we have the best generation of teachers ever in our schools to help students achieve more than ever before.’