Skip to content ↓
Enfield Learning Trust
''

GCSE Pathway

If you have children in year 11 taking GCSEs this year, many of their results will be reported on the new grade scale which runs from 9 (the highest grade) to 1 (the lowest grade).

Why do we need a new grade scale for GCSEs?

GCSEs in England have been reformed to keep pace with universities’ and employers’ demands. They are based on new and more demanding subject

content but are still suitable for the same wide range of abilities. The new grade scale makes it clear to everyone that students have studied the new GCSEs. It also has more higher grades compared to the old A* to G grades, to give sixth forms, colleges, universities and employers the opportunity to better distinguish between students of different abilities.

Do all GCSE subjects use the new grade scale?

The reform has been phased over a number of years and it will take until summer 2020 for all reformed GCSE subjects to move to the new grade scale.

How do the new grades relate to the old ones?

We have designed the grading so that there are comparable points at key grades. The bottom of a grade 7 is comparable to the bottom of the old grade A, the bottom of a new grade 4 is comparable to the bottom of the old grade C, and the bottom of the new grade 1 is comparable to the bottom of the old grade G. We have been clear to employers, universities and others that if they previously set entry requirements of at least a grade C, then the equivalent now would be to require at least grade 4.

Will my child be disadvantaged taking these new exams?

In short, no. We know that it takes a few years for teachers and students to get used to new qualifications. There are fewer past exam papers for students to practise on, fewer teaching resources available, and teachers are not as familiar with the new qualifications as they were with the old ones. We recognise that it would not be fair to penalise students for this, so the exam boards use statistics to help set grade boundaries, so that, for example, a student who would have previously got a grade C or above would be expected to get a grade 4 or above in the new GCSEs. So while the content and assessment have changed, don’t worry, we’ll make sure that grades are awarded fairly and your child will not be disadvantaged by the changes.