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As GCSE Results Day looms, you may be approached by learners who are confused by the grading scale that was introduced last year, or learners who didn’t achieve as well as they may have hoped.

The traditional GCSE grade scale of A*-G will be phased out and replaced by 9-1 grading. In August 2017, the new grading system came into play for maths and English. This year, more subjects have been added, with the phasing in process aimed to be complete for Summer 2020.

The below diagram from Ofqual shows the subjects that will be graded 9-1 for 2018:

The introduction of the grading scale is to inject more rigour into the examination system, and to allow for more differentiation among the highest achievers.

What do the new GCSE grades mean?

There is bound to be some confusion over which GCSE grades are equivalent to the old grades, especially as there is no direct comparison between the new 9-1 grades and the old A* – G grades.

For example, the top grade of A* is now covered by grades 8 and 9. And the benchmark for a “standard” pass, previously considered to be grade C and above, will now be grade 4 and above – although the Association of Colleges (AoC) has raised concerns that “some organisations and companies could look to raise this to a grade 5 “strong pass” to show their rigour.”

The Department for Education has outlined that they expect broadly the same proportion of students to get a grade 4 or above as would have got a grade C or above in the old system, at least for the first year each new GCSE subject is introduced.

Below is a diagram of the new grading structure, and grade equivalences:

For further details about the GCSE Grading scale, take a look at Ofqual’s brief guide.

Helping learners make the grades

You can positively help the progression of learners who struggled with their GCSEs by offering our bite-sized English and maths qualifications. These awards have been designed as stepping stones for learners who find that GCSEs or Functional Skills are not currently within reach.

Our bite-sized process means we have broken the content of the curriculum down into small, coherent units with assessments that are flexible and robust. This means you can offer learners a progressive route through a staged process and identify specific needs and apply certain rewards throughout the learners’ journey.

Our English and maths qualifications produce impressive outcomes as learners take highly personalised progression routes and can study and complete units at their own pace – an approach that can transform outcomes!

Click here for our free White Paper: Boosting Literacy and Numeracy Levels – a bite-sized approach

To find out more about using our bite-sized English and maths qualifications, please call 01206 911 211 or email enquiries@gatewayqualifications.org.uk.