‘All Systems Go!’ for the new GCSE specifications

‘All Systems Go!’ for the new GCSE specifications.

We spent last year building up to these new exams by trialing our resources with Year 9 classes; we’ve refined and perfected our approach ready for the challenges of the different skills that these new exams demand. From the AQA meetings, it’s clear that, as well as the new emphasis in the AOs, there are additional qualities that must be nurtured in Year 10:

  • Greater reading stamina and resilience. Some students may find the texts for Papers 1 and 2 English Language more challenging, longer and less accessible than the legacy paper sources.
  • Time management. Even though the writing tasks are now separated and given more time, there may be a temptation for students to overwrite in the earlier Section A questions.
  • Analysing structure: Evaluating how authors internally organise an extract is a completely new approach to reading a text for some students.
  • Cultivating a critical perspective: Some students may find it intimidating to interrogate the text and to develop the confidence to have a viewpoint.
  • For Literature: Being able to construct a cohesive response to an unprepared extract is another new skill for students.

We have been asked to attend AQA Hub meetings in North and East London and we look forward to catching up with Department Heads and sharing our approaches later this term.

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