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Daily News Summary
20 Aug 2015

image 'GCSEs are important – this negativity isn't helpful'
image Inside the schools breaking free from the national curriculum
image How a higher leaving age and Michael Gove's reforms mean the GCSE is struggling for relevance
image 'Do we really need GCSEs anymore?'
image GCSE results 2015: pass rate rises but A* grades dip
image Schools using community languages such as Urdu and Polish to boost their rankings in league tables, says leading academic
image GCSE results: 'Focus on academic success is too narrow'
image PE teachers give maths lessons in school crisis
image We are slaves to the printed word, but only handwriting conveys real beauty

'GCSEs are important – this negativity isn't helpful'

 

We all want our exam system to be as effective as possible, but it is not helpful to question – and thereby devalue – the GCSE so publicly, argues Alun Jones, principal of St Gabriel’s, Newbury and president of the Girls’ Schools Association. The Telegraph.

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Telegraph

Inside the schools breaking free from the national curriculum

 

From students designing utopias to creating Spanish films – there’s no end to teaching and learning when you shake off the shackles of the syllabus. By Zofia Niemtus, The Guardian. Quotes Clare Jarmy, Bedales School’s head of religious studies and philosophy and maths teacher Martin Jones. Also quotes Richard Alvers, a language teacher at Brighton College.

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Guardian

How a higher leaving age and Michael Gove's reforms mean the GCSE is struggling for relevance

 

Schools are turning their backs on the O-level replacement - Richard Garner reports on a test that may have had its day. The Independent. Quotes Keith Budge, head of Bedales School in Hampshire.

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Independent

'Do we really need GCSEs anymore?'

 

It’s a battery of tests that distract and distort learning, at a point that no longer marks the end of compulsory education, writes Kevin Stannard, Director of Innovation and Learning at the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST). The Telegraph.

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Telegraph

GCSE results 2015: pass rate rises but A* grades dip

 

Almost seven in 10 entries achieve at least a grade C, with English results reversing last year’s fall in pass rates. By Richard Adams, The Guardian. Also reported by The Telegraph, The Independent and The Times.

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Guardian
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Telegraph
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Independent
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Times

Schools using community languages such as Urdu and Polish to boost their rankings in league tables, says leading academic

 

Figures show that more than one in three candidates who sit GCSEs in community languages obtain an A* grade - the highest figure for any subject. By Richard Garner, The Independent.

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Independent

GCSE results: 'Focus on academic success is too narrow'

 

Devoting so much time to academic subjects will restrict the time available for creative and technical disciplines, writes Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders. The Telegraph.

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Telegraph

PE teachers give maths lessons in school crisis

 

Maths lessons are being taught in some schools by teachers with only a GCSE qualification in the subject because of an acute shortage of mathematicians. By Greg Hurst, The Times. The issue is also the subject of a Leader in The Times.

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Times
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Times

We are slaves to the printed word, but only handwriting conveys real beauty

 

The curriculum downgrades cursive writing. But the pen can communicate meaning lost on a screen. By Simon Jenkins, The Guardian.

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Guardian

 

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