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WIKIBOOKS
DISPONIBILI
•••••••••

ART
- Great Painters
BUSINESS&LAW
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- Marketing
- Shorthand
CARS
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GAMES&SPORT
- Videogames
- The World of Sports

COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY
- Blogs
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- PHP Language and Applications
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EDUCATION
- Education
LITERATURE
- Masterpieces of English Literature
LINGUISTICS
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- English Dictionaries
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MEDICINE
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MUSIC&DANCE
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SCIENCE
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LIFESTYLE
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TRADITIONS
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NATURE
- Animals

- Fruits And Vegetables



ARTICLES IN THE BOOK

  1. Academic degree
  2. Academics
  3. Academy
  4. Accreditation mill
  5. Adult education
  6. Advanced Distributed Learning
  7. Alternative education
  8. Alternative school
  9. Apprenticeship
  10. Assessment
  11. Associate's degree
  12. Autodidacticism
  13. Bachelor's degree
  14. Boarding schools
  15. Bologna process
  16. British undergraduate degree classification
  17. Bullying
  18. Charter schools
  19. City academy
  20. Classical education
  21. Classroom
  22. Collaborative learning
  23. Community college
  24. Comparative education
  25. Compulsory education
  26. Computer-assisted language learning
  27. Computer based training
  28. Core curriculum
  29. Course evaluation
  30. Curriculum
  31. Degrees of the University of Oxford
  32. Department for Education and Skills
  33. Description of a Career
  34. Diploma mill
  35. Distance education
  36. Doctorate
  37. Dottorato di ricerca
  38. Double degree
  39. Dual education system
  40. Edublog
  41. Education
  42. Educational philosophies
  43. Educational psychology
  44. Educational technology
  45. Education in England
  46. Education in Finland
  47. Education in France
  48. Education in Germany
  49. Education in Italy
  50. Education in Scotland
  51. Education in the People%27s Republic of China
  52. Education in the Republic of Ireland
  53. Education in the United States
  54. Education in Wales
  55. Education reform
  56. E-learning
  57. E-learning glossary
  58. ELML
  59. Engineer's degree
  60. Essay
  61. Evaluation
  62. Examination
  63. External degree
  64. Extracurricular activity
  65. Feeder school
  66. First School
  67. Free school
  68. GCSE
  69. Gifted education
  70. Glossary of education-related terms
  71. Grade
  72. Graduate student
  73. Gymnasium
  74. Habilitation
  75. Hidden curriculum
  76. History of education
  77. History of virtual learning environments
  78. Homeschooling
  79. Homework
  80. Honorary degree
  81. Independent school
  82. Instructional design
  83. Instructional technology
  84. Instructional theory
  85. International Baccalaureate
  86. K-12
  87. Key Stage 3
  88. Laurea
  89. Learning
  90. Learning by teaching
  91. Learning content management system
  92. Learning management system
  93. Learning object metadata
  94. Learning Objects
  95. Learning theory
  96. Lesson
  97. Lesson plan
  98. Liberal arts
  99. Liberal arts college
  100. Liceo scientifico
  101. List of education topics
  102. List of recognized accreditation associations of higher learning
  103. List of unaccredited institutions of higher learning
  104. Magnet school
  105. Maria Montessori
  106. Masters degree
  107. Medical education
  108. Mickey Mouse degrees
  109. Microlearning
  110. M-learning
  111. Montessori method
  112. National Curriculum
  113. Networked learning
  114. One-room school
  115. Online deliberation
  116. Online MBA Programs
  117. Online tutoring
  118. Open classroom
  119. OpenCourseWare
  120. Over-education
  121. Preschool
  122. Primary education
  123. Private school
  124. Problem-based learning
  125. Professor
  126. Public education
  127. Public schools
  128. Questionnaire
  129. School
  130. School accreditation
  131. School bus
  132. School choice
  133. School district
  134. School governor
  135. School health services
  136. Schools Interoperability Framework
  137. SCORM
  138. Secondary school
  139. Senior high school
  140. Sixth Form
  141. Snow day
  142. Special education
  143. Specialist degree
  144. State schools
  145. Student voice
  146. Study guide
  147. Syllabus
  148. Teacher
  149. Teaching method
  150. Technology Integration
  151. Tertiary education
  152. The Hidden Curriculum
  153. Traditional education
  154. Undergraduate
  155. University
  156. Unschooling
  157. Videobooks
  158. Virtual Campus
  159. Virtual learning environment
  160. Virtual school
  161. Vocational education
  162. Vocational school
  163. Vocational university
 



THE BOOK OF EDUCATION
This article is from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GCSE

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_the_GNU_Free_Documentation_License 

General Certificate of Secondary Education

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from GCSE)

The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is the name of a set of British qualifications, taken by secondary school students, at age of 14-16 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (in Scotland, the equivalent is the Standard Grade). The education systems of other British territories, such as Gibraltar and ex-British (influenced) territory South Africa, also use the qualifications as supplied by the same examination boards.

Structure

GCSE courses are taken in a variety of subjects, which are usually decided by the students themselves between the ages of 13 and 14 (called Year 9 in England and Wales and Year 10 in Northern Ireland). Study of chosen subjects begins at age 14 (Year 10/Year 11), and final examinations are then taken at age 16 (Year 11/Year 12).

Contrary to popular belief, GCSEs are not compulsory, but they are by far the most common qualification taken by 14-16-year-old students. The only legal requirement is that English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education and Physical Education are studied during Key Stage 4 (the GCSE years of school); in England, some form of ICT and Citizenship must also be studied and, in Wales, Welsh must also be studied. These subjects do not have to be taught for any examination (or even be discrete lessons), though it is normal for at least English, Mathematics and Science to be studied to GCSE level.

For the reasons above, virtually all candidates take GCSEs in English, Mathematics and Science. In addition, many schools also require that students take English Literature, at least one Modern Foreign Language, at least one Design and Technology subject, Religious Education, (often a short, or 'half', course) and ICT (though increasingly this is the DiDA, rather than the GCSE). Students can then fill the remainder of their timetable (normally totalling nine different subjects) with their own choice of subjects (see list below). Short Course GCSEs (worth half a regular GCSE) or other qualifications, such as BTECs, can also be taken.

At the end of the two-year GCSE course, each student receives a grade for each subject. These grades, from best to worst, are:

  • A* (pronounced 'A-star')
  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G

Those who fail a course are given a U (ungraded) and that subject is not included on their certificates. Receiving five or more A*-C grades is often a requirement for taking A-levels in the school sixth form, at a sixth form college or at a further education college after leaving secondary school. Most universities typically require a C or better in English and Mathematics, regardless of a student's performance in their A-level or Foundation Degree course after leaving school. Many students who fail to get a C in English and Mathematics (and, increasingly, ICT) will retake their GCSEs in those subjects at a later date.

In most subjects, one or more coursework assignments may also be completed. Coursework can contribute to anything from 20-60% of a student's final grade, with more practical subjects, such as Design and Technology and Music, often having a heavier coursework element. The rest of a student's grade (normally the majority) is determined by their performance in examinations. These exams may either be terminal exams at the end of Year 11, a series of modular examinations taken throughout the course, or a combination of the two. Students can sometimes resit modular examinations later in the course and attempt to improve their grade.

In many subjects, there are two different 'tiers' of examination offered: Higher, where students can achieve grades A*-D, and Foundation, where they can achieve grades C-G. If a candidate fails to obtain a G on the Foundation tier or a D on the Higher tier they will fail the course and receive a U (though there is a safety net allowing those who narrowly miss a D on the Higher tier to receive an E). Candidates are entered for the tier felt best suited for them by themselves and their teachers. In non-tiered subjects, the examination paper allows candidates to achieve any grade. Coursework also always allows candidates to achieve any grade.

Some subjects, such as Science, can be split up into several different subjects: it is possible to be examined on Science as a whole, with one, or more often two, GCSEs (typically known as Double Award Science), or with Biology, Chemistry, and Physics separately (where three GCSEs are awarded, one for each science - also known as Triple Award, or separate, Science).

There are now five examination boards offering GCSEs: AQA, OCR, Edexcel, the WJEC and the CCEA; while all boards are regulated by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) - a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) - the boards are self-sufficient organisations. Traditionally, there were a larger number of regional exam boards, but changes in legislation allowed schools to use any board before a series of mergers reduced the number to five. The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) acts as a single voice for the Awarding Bodies, and assists them create common standards, regulations and guidance.

Students receive the results of their GCSEs in the fourth week of August (the week after A Level results). The CCEA publish their results on the Tuesday and the other examination boards publish theirs on the Thursday. Normally, students have to go to their school to collect their results.

History

GCSEs were introduced for teaching in September 1986, and replaced both the O-level GCE (Ordinary level General Certificate of Education) and the CSE (Certificate of Secondary Education) qualifications, which suffered problems due to the two-tier nature of the system. Grade C of the GCSE was set at equivalent to O Level Grade C and CSE Grade 1. The table below shows what each GCSE grade is equivalent to (note that the O Level grades are the ones used at the end of the system):[citation needed]

The basic format of the GCSE has been same since its inception, though many minor changes have been made. Initially, there were three tiers for examinations: Higher (grades A*-C), Intermediate (grades B-E) and Basic (grades D-G). Basic was soon renamed Foundation. During the 1990s, all subjects except Mathematics moved to the current two tier system (see above) and Mathematics eventually followed suit in 2006 (for the first examination in 2008).

In 1994, the A* grade was introduced to distinguish the very top end of achievement.

Introduced in 2000 was the Vocational GCSE, which encouraged students to take the work-related route and included courses such as engineering, applied business, ICT and leisure and tourism. From September 2004, the word 'Vocational' was dropped and a Vocational GCSE is now known simply as a GCSE. This is to show that the vocational side is 'on par' with the traditional academic side.

Science GCSEs were overhauled in 2006 (for first examination in 2008). The most popular course, Double Science (where students received two identical grades for a course with twice the content as the normal Science GCSE) was scrapped. Students studying for two Science GCSEs (still the vast majority), now study the single Science GCSE and then one of two complementary GCSEs: Additional Science (which has a more academic focus) or Applied Science (which has a more vocational focus). Students now receive separate grades for their Science GCSEs.

Special educational needs

For students with learning difficulties, an injury/RSI (repetitive strain injury), or a disability there is help offered in these forms:

  • Extra-time (the amount depends on the severity of the learning difficulty/disability/injury/RSI)
  • An amanuensis (somebody, (normally a teacher) types or handwrites as the student dictates, this is normally used when the student cannot write due to an injury, RSI, or disability.
  • A different format exam paper (large print, Braille, printed on coloured paper etc.)
  • A 'reader' (a teacher/exam invigilator can read out the words written on the exam, but they cannot explain their meaning)
  • A different room (sometimes due to a disability a student can be placed in a room by themselves, this also happens when an amanuensis is used, so as not to disturb the other candidates)

There are other forms of help available, but these are the most commonly used.

Criticism

Some commentators feel that the GCSE system is a dumbing down from the old GCE / O-level system (as it took the focus away from the theoretical side of many subjects and taught students about real-world implications and issues relating to ICT and Citizenship), joking that it stands for "General Certificate for Sitting an Exam".

In recent years, concern about standards has led some public schools (private schools) to go as far as to remove GCSEs from their curricula and to take their pupils straight to A-level or the International Baccalaureate. Other private schools are replacing the GCSEs with IGCSEs in which there is an option to do no coursework.

Proponents of the GCSE system contend that the exam is just as hard as the old GCE O-level system it replaced and that the recently rising numbers of top grades is due to better teaching and pupils working ever harder. The GCSE's adherents further assert that it enables the ability of the student to be assessed over the duration of the course, through coursework. Opponents of the GCSE argue that coursework offers too much scope for plagiarism and undue help from parents.

The new Science syllabus has led to many independent schools switching to the IGCSE Double Award syllabus.

List of GCSE subjects

Note: Many of the subjects in this list are not offered by every school. Also note that subjects that are extremely rare, such as minor languages or subjects taught by only one or two schools, are not listed below.

Core subjects

  • English
    • Many schools also insist on students taking English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Science (students can take a number of different 'routes'):
    • Science as a single subject (which includes elements of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics)
    • Science as a single subject and Additional Science (a more academic course)
    • Science as a single subject and Applied Science (a more vocational course)
    • Science as separate subjects (studying one or more of Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
  • Welsh or Welsh Second Language (in schools in Wales)

Expressive Arts

  • Expressive Arts
  • Art
  • Art: Graphics
  • Art: Fine Art
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Design
  • Graphic Products
  • Applied Art and Design (Double Award)
  • Dance
  • Fashion Design
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Moving Arts
  • Photography
  • Graphics

Humanities

  • Humanities
  • History
  • History: Modern International
  • History: Social
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Religious studies (RE)
  • Philosophy and Ethics
  • Sikh Studies
  • Islamic Studies
  • Jewish Studies
  • Pakistan Studies (a combination of the history and geography of Pakistan)
  • Economics
  • Sculpture
  • Systems and Control
  • Engineering (Double Award)
  • Manufacturing (Double Award)

Others

  • Additional Maths (also known as Pure Maths)
  • Social Science
  • Science (Double Award)
  • Media Studies
  • English Literature
  • Rural Science
  • Statistics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

People and Society Related Subjects

  • Child Development
  • Citizenship
  • Sociology
  • Health and Social Care (Double Award)
  • Psychology
  • Law
  • Physical Education
  • Leisure and Tourism
  • Leisure and Tourism (Double Award)
  • Youth Award Scheme & CoPE
  • Classical Civilization

Uncommon subjects

  • Archeology
  • Astronomy (only offered by Edexcel)
  • Ceramics
  • Classical Greek
  • Nautical Studies
  • Outdoor Pursuits
  • Biblical Hebrew
  • Modern Greek
  • Modern Hebrew

Languages

  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Urdu
  • Turkish
  • Pakistani
  • Bengali
  • Arabic
  • Persian
  • Welsh
  • Russian
  • Irish
  • Latin
  • Japanese
  • Gujarati
  • Dutch
  • Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese)
  • Punjabi

Applied and Vocational Courses

  • Business (Applied)
  • Business & ICT, OCR National Level 1 Certificate
  • Health & Social (Applied)
  • ICT, OCR Level 2 National award
  • Leisure & Tourism (Applied)
  • Media, BTEC First Diploma
  • Work-Related Learning Pathways and Out School Providers
  • Business Applied (Double Award)
  • Business Studies
  • Business and Communication Systems
  • Business Studies and Economics

Technology

  • Design and Technology (in most schools, students must choose one of the following subjects)
  • Food Technology
  • Resistant Materials
  • Textiles
  • Electronics
  • Woodworks
  • Product Design
  • Product Design: Textiles
  • Product Design: Resistant Materials
  • Product Design: Electronics with Resistant Materials
  • CAD / CAM

See also

Wikibooks
Wikibooks has a book on the topic of
Category:GCSE
  • A Levels
  • IGCSE
  • Standard Grade

External links

  • GCSE Grade Analyser
  • Directgov: GCSEs
  • Directgov: GCSEs: applied and short course
  • The Guardian, 25 August 2005, "It really is that bad" - GCSE standards
  • The Guardian, 3 September 2005, "Top independent school to ditch GCSE science"

Revision

Although there are many different revision websites covering different exam board syllabuses and subjects at various skill levels, below are some of the more popular websites used by schools for student revision and coursework preparation.

  • BBC GCSE Bitesize
  • GCSE.com
  • Target Language
  • Channel 4 Learning
  • AllHonours.co.uk - A Levels & GCSE Q&A service & Nationwide Private Tutor Directory
  • [1] This is a website for help with all English Revison,GCSE and A Level.


 

Examination boards

  • Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA)
  • Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA)
  • Edexcel Limited
  • Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations (OCR)
  • Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC)
  • Cambridge International Examinations

UK government education bodies

  • Department for Education and Skills (DfES)
  • Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA)
  • National Assessment Agency (NAA)
  • Joint Council For Qualifications (JCQ)
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Certificate_of_Secondary_Education"

 


 

 
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