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Last update: 27/05/2012


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GCSE Specifications Revised for 2009-2010/11

Helen Myers.  Chair of ALL SIG (Secondary Interest Group)

To see the process which led up to the revision, click here.

This page is for teachers who want to look at, compare and comment on the approved specifications and specimen papers for the first teaching from 2009 and first testing from 2010 (short course) and 20011 (full course).

It contains links to key documents and discussions. On-going discussion  takes place on the various language fora, and I will try to record key advice / comments on this page. 

 I have sent the documents for checking to all boards.  As at 12/12/08, CCEA and WJEC have confirmed accuracy.

Comparison of the 5 examining boards

Version 13 edited 14/12/08

This is a working document of approx 50 sides which compares the different elements of the GCSE in the form of a table.  The first version was published on Dec 5th and I anticipate that there will be many more versions to follow!

It includes all the elements in the rows below except for the QCA regulations.

Recommendation: print out in colour for full benefit!

Please contact Helen Myers with any amendments.

PowerPoint presentation of session delivered Dec 5th at CILT's 14-19 conference, Nottingham by Helen Myers This presentation includes a  suggested process fro decision-making and 'headline differences' between the specifications.
Checklist for managers to guide decision-making This checklist is advice for HODs of any subject area.
Checklist of topics / themes / contexts covered by different boards. This indicates that here is a great deal of overlap between boards.

The key points are:

(1) Speaking and  writing tasks MUST allow for teachers and students to choose their own contexts / themes / topics.  Don't be 'put off' a board if you don't like their samples!

(2) Edexcel stands out as the most 'different' from other boards, as the topics for listening and reading are more closely defined.

QCA Grade grid broken down into strands This may help you to judge what 'grades' are targeted by the boards' speaking and writing criteria.
QCA GCSE Criteria for all subjects Non-negotiable constraint for exam boards.
QCA GCSE ML criteria Non-negotiable constraint for exam boards.
QCA GCSE controlled conditions criteria for all subjects. Non-negotiable constraint for exam boards (for ML see pages 74-78)