King’s Lynn school looks to pause early exam scheme

Education news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
Education news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
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Lynn’s King Edward VII Academy is considering “pausing” a scheme in which pupils take a GCSE two years early.

Principal Craig Morrison will be discussing the scheme’s future with parents during a meeting at the school tomorrow after a mixed set of mock results.

From September, Year 9 pupils, began to study two GCSE courses for exams to be taken in the summer with the aim of concentrating on other subjects later.

The proposal to pause the scheme received some feedback from parents and pupils over social media.

A letter was sent out to parents on Friday last week and some youngsters may be able to proceed with the exam.

Mr Morrison, who says the decision to introduce this was taken prior to his arrival at the school, is keen to hear parents’ views.

He said: “On balance I think it is a good idea to pause the majority of courses for the majority of students but that is only my take on it so far without hearing the views of parents.

“The system is very new and has not had the benefit of being piloted here and what it shows us is that, as you would expect, some students take this with different degrees of success. What it has shown, which is no surprise, is a very mixed picture of results.”

Previously, pupils who had not received strong grades could have re-sat but exam boards are now reducing these opportunities.

Mr Morrison says one of the drawbacks of the current system is that Year 9 pupils are not getting the chance to study subjects like business, art and drama, which they ordinarily would have.

He is also looking to introduce a traditional system of options.”

Mr Morrison says the decision is not down to the effect of the school’s position on the league tables. The results would be carried over until the pupils reach 16.

Mr Morrison said: “I am more concerned about the effect that it could have on pupils’ confidence were they to take the exam early and not reach the grade they are happy with.”

One concerned parent says his stepdaughter has been working hard and is worried that she will lose motivation if the exam is not taken in the summer.

He said: “The children aren’t dumb – they know they are taking exams a year early and the results would be different in the future.

“If they fail, they fail but it is kind of an experiment isn’t it? But getting one or two in the bag early is well worth having.”