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ASSESSMENT V EXAMS: As we celebrate GCSE results, should we rethink the way we asses pupils?

 

GCSEs Wales

Llongyfarchiadau - congratulations are in order, as Pupils across Wales have received the results of their their GCSEs.

The National Education Union has been quick to praise the youngsters who have faced an incredibly challenging 18 months.

GCSEs and A-levels have been awarded, through teacher assessment instead of exams, of course due to the pandemic.
And though some are quick to highlight the perceived problems with this method, Mary Bousted of the National Education Union can see the benefits and believes it's a more fair way of assessing our students.
In Wales, 73.6% of students achieved a grade c or above, this number was 62.8% in 2019, before changes were made due to the pandemic.
As well as the disruption to school life, the problem of digital exclusion was made very apparent when home learning began, with some families having a poor or no internet connection, and others only having one device to share between several children.
There are currently plans for exams to return for the next school year, but not everyone thinks this is a good idea.
A teacher assessment leaves room for the pupils entire schooling experience and efforts to be analysed, where as an exam Mary says, can be a serious disadvantage to some pupils.
What is alarming about this years results, is that it has shown that the gap between children from rich and poor families receiving top grades is widening.
There are a number of factors that could be contributing to this issue, such as poor nutrition and a lack of access to proper equipment and support.


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