The Department for Education has made changes to the Maths GCSE taking effect from 2015 (when the first teaching started) and leading to the first assessment against these changes in 2017. For students taking their GCSEs before that time they will continue to be taught and examined against the old syllabus. There are significant changes within this new programme of study that will challenge teachers and students alike.
Summary of Changes
The current, 2-Tier system, with a Foundation and a Higher Tier is retained but the content of these Tiers has changed substantially. In addition to a lot of new content there is also a large shift in content from the Higher Tier to the Foundation Tier. This is part of a wider pattern which sees some content coming down from A Level into GCSE and some GCSE work going down to Key Stage 3 and so on.
The grading will also change with marks awarded from 1 – 9 with 9 being the highest and the possibility of a U below the 1 so, effectively, 10 grades available. As previously there will be an overlap between Foundation and Higher Tiers with Foundation ranging from 1 – 5 and Higher ranging from 4 – 9.
There is also a greater emphasis on problem solving and mathematical reasoning than before, although at the same time there is an increase in the formulae that students will have to learn.
And last, but not least, these changes will have an impact on the decision about which Tier to take. This is an area where we have been able to advise and help students and parents previously. So don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss any concerns you have about this choice or these changes.