Due to the destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, England has decided to allow The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) students to drop subjects like English Literature and History as they may not be fully prepared to sit for these exams.
After the exams board officials sat for a meeting, they came out with a verdict that they thought would be best for both students and teachers in schools. Summer exams were cancelled citing public health concerns.
Exam boards decided to issue out results based on the students predicted grades, the previous grades and the performance of the students in the previous years. Statistics say that about 138 000 students in Scotland are first to have their results calculated in this way for their Nationals, Highers and Advanced Higher courses.
Noting that schools will not be able to cover all areas of learning due to the lockdown, exam boards have also made poetry optional. Students will have the privilege of choosing which plays they would like to write,something that has never been done before.
“While there was some support for doing his to provide an extra couple weeks of teaching time, there was concern about the knock-on effect it would have on the marking process,” said Ofqual the examination watchdog.
Ofqual also said students will also choose what they can write in the GCSE History and Ancient History to allow schools more variety over the content they teach. Initially, Ofqual had stated that there would be no changes to the English Literature and History exams in 2021 but it has further stated that it would be unreasonable not to think of the students.
“The changes of exams amount only to tinkering at the edges when it is clear that students could experience widespread on-going disruption over the course the next academic year,” said Duncan Baldwin the Deputy Director of policy at the Association of School and College Leaders.
Baldwin also added that , “Everyone can see that the situation with coronavirus remains precarious. Schools may partially close in response to local outbreaks over the next year and students may need to self-isolate. It would be extremely challenging to teach all content for GCSEs and A levels on top of the disruption that has already taken place.”
In-order to give teachers a little more time to prepare the students, Ofqual has decided to delay the 2021 exams.