Crofton Academy

Exam Reforms

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Exam Changes

From September 2015, students in Year 10 will begin to take new reformed GCSEs.  The first new GCSEs to be taught from September 2015 will be ENGLISH LANGUAGE, ENGLISH LITERATURE and MATHS.   New GCSEs in other subjects will follow in September 2016 and 2017.    The first assessment of these new GCSE courses which start in September 2015, will take place in June 2017.

New Features

The Department for Education (DfE) has made a number of changes to the characteristics of the new GCSEs.  Key features include:

What’s Different?

The new GCSEs will be graded 1 – 9, with 9 being the highest and 1 being the lowest grade. Where performance is below the minimum required to pass a GCSE, students will received a U.    

The new grading scale will be used for the first time at the end of the new GCSE courses in 2017 (for English Language, English Literature and Maths).    

The chart (click link here) compares the new GCSE grading structure to the one currently used.  For example, a C sits between a 4 and 5 in the new grading structure.


Q: Are the new GCSEs going to be more challenging?

Yes – the government explains that one of the main reasons why GCSEs are being reformed is to make them more challenging.

For example, the new English Language GCSE will require better reading skills and good written English.

Q: When will all of the new GCSEs be introduced?

The last batch of new GCSEs will be introduced in September 2017; therefore if your child was in Year 7 or 8 in September 2015, he or she will sit all new GCSEs.

More Information

Contact School – If you have any questions about the changes to GCSEs and how these affect your child, please speak to your child’s form tutor or Year Leader.

External Links – Both the Government and Ofqual offer more information via the following links:

   –  The BBC and NHS provide advice on supporting your child through exams