English Baccalaureate – would you have got it?

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  • English Baccalaureate – would you have got it?
  • Premier Icon miketually
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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-12163929

    The measure is of how many children achieve good passes in English, maths, a language, geography or history and two science qualifications.

    I find it amusing that with my relatively poor GCSE results I would have achieved this but my wife, who did considerably better, would not; my B in Geography trumping her A* in RE.

    This sums it up for me: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-12171281

    cranberry
    Member

    If a good pass is C and above, then yes.

    <Four Yorkshiremen>
    and back in the day… we were the first year to do GCSE and often didn’t have text books to cover the subjects.
    </Four Yorkshiremen>

    soobalias
    Member

    a C is no longer a good pass, since they re-titled the grades and made A* the top one.

    that said, your C, was a good C, a C this year is really a D.

    Premier Icon CHB
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    Yes I would have got it.
    It’s slightly crazy though that GCSE’s like English Lit, Music and Art are not counted. Surely these are as valid as Geography or History or even a Language.

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
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    Yup, GCEs though, 1980/1, so bit older than cranberry. French didn’t fit in with the options though so the French teacher came in on Sunday mornings and we had the lessons in the staff room so he could chain smoke small cigars, he wasn’t allowed them in his classroom. Top bloke.

    Premier Icon Blackhound
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    I got it in the mid 70’s. We were encouraged to do just this, though no fancy name in my comprehensive!

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
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    Nae history here, so nae baccalaureate for me.

    Gove is taking the piss out of that caller on radio 5 to my ears, which is a shame as the baccalaureate sounds half-baked and Gove deserves to be put under pressure for it. Agitated gaylords ringing up and mewling about all subjects being equal puts him under no pressure at all.

    Premier Icon sadmadalan
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    Would have failed the English Bacc. Did the trial versions of the GCSE called 16+. You got a GCE and a CSE – so I have GCE E and a CSE Level 2 in French. Got all the rest.

    I actually agree with what Michael Gove has done. Never ever thought I would say that! Ensuring that pupils have a range of GCSEs is good and will show schools which encourage a broad range of key skills (English, Maths, Modern Language, Science and Humanities) rather than looking purely at any old qualification.

    Premier Icon StirlingCrispin
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    Not me – don’t have a foreign language (CSE 2) or history (dropped).

    But then the emphasis at school would have been doing well in a few subjects rather than being mediocre in a large number and pushing one or two into Oxbridge.

    SamB
    Member

    Would have passed the bacc. Although the range of subjects required is very similar to what my school prescribed as core subjects – at GCSE, everyone did Maths, English Lit, English Lang, double/triple science and a foreign language (so only the geography/history missing).

    That Radio 5 caller is terrible though – it’s fine to be passionate about something but you need to be able to articulate your point if you want to argue about it. I think Gove comes off quite well from that interview, although I don’t necessarily agree with his policies.

    Premier Icon miketually
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    a C is no longer a good pass, since they re-titled the grades and made A* the top one.

    that said, your C, was a good C, a C this year is really a D.
    Did a bloke in the pub tell you that? He’s wrong.

    Premier Icon miketually
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    I actually agree with what Michael Gove has done. Never ever thought I would say that! Ensuring that pupils have a range of GCSEs is good and will show schools which encourage a broad range of key skills (English, Maths, Modern Language, Science and Humanities) rather than looking purely at any old qualification.

    What he’s proposing isn’t a broad range: humanities is more than geography or history; no arts or creative subjects; no IT, computing or technology.

    julianwilson
    Member

    I remember even in 1993 my school getting hung up on ‘c or above for 5 ‘core’ gcse’s’. As I remember our headmaster got really shirty as loads of girls did this, and only 3 or 4 lads. I don’t think anyone was suprised about that though.

    Premier Icon vinnyeh
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    What’s the purpose of this award- is it targeted at employers, for use in university selection, or at measuring school attainment?

    Premier Icon miketually
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    What’s the purpose of this award- is it targeted at employers, for use in university selection, or at measuring school attainment?

    I think it’s for league tables.

    uplink
    Member

    I didn’t do GCSE, it were all O levels when I were a lad

    yeah, we would have passed or been beaten until we did 🙂

    Premier Icon vinnyeh
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    I think it’s for league tables.

    Are you serious? (I’m foreign, and still getting to grips with education here)

    djglover
    Member

    I would have I think. I am totally in favor of this and think it was surprising the number of teachers opposing it on question time last night. Gove is not devaluing other subjects and I think its right that a core number of subjects are required by the jobs market in general, there is still plenty of scope to study other subjects, I got 10 or 11 GCSEs and studied one in the evening. Gove is one of the few MPs that comes across as genuinely passionate about his role and no one is ever going to agree 100% with him. Want to study sport music and art then do as well….

    Caller sounds fanatical and unable to engage in a sensible debate to me Miketually..

    parkedtiger
    Member

    From the recent White Paper:

    ‘…The English Baccalaureate will encourage schools to offer a broad set of
    academic subjects to age 16…we will introduce a new award – the English
    Baccalaureate – for any student who secures good GCSE or iGCSE passes in
    English, mathematics, the sciences, a modern or ancient foreign language and a
    humanity such as history or geography…At the
    moment only around 15 per cent of students secure this basic suite of academic
    qualifications…So to encourage the take-up of this combination of subjects we will
    give special recognition in performance tables to those schools which are helping
    their pupils to attain this breadth of study…The English Baccalaureate will be only one measure of performance, and should not be the limit of schools’ ambitions for their pupils. Schools will retain the freedom to innovate and offer the GCSEs, iGCSEs and other qualifications which best meet the needs of their pupils. Pupils will of course be able to achieve vocational qualifications alongside the English Baccalaureate…’

    ourkidsam
    Member

    I would have – all mine were C and above 😉

    Premier Icon miketually
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    it was surprising the number of teachers opposing it on question time last night

    I think the hostility comes from changing the metric by which they’re to be judged without prior warning. It’s also pretty unfair to the students, who made their decision on which GCSEs to study in year 9 and suddenly have had the goalposts moved.

    There are schools who have got very good at getting students their 5 Cs by putting them in for a couple of BTECs in art and PE so some change is needed, but the management of the change needs to be much better than this.

    I also think that the range of subjects included is also pretty questionable in the 21st century: history over ICT, for example.

    Caller sounds fanatical and unable to engage in a sensible debate to me Miketually.

    The caller had phoned in from the side of the road in response to a topic on a radio show. Not really ideal conditions in which to put across your point in a calm manner.

    Premier Icon miketually
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    I would have – all mine were C and above

    In the ‘correct’ subjects?

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
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    I also think that the range of subjects included is also pretty questionable in the 21st century: history over ICT, for example.

    2 sciences required though… which I *assumed* would include ICT, although I’ll admit I’ve not read the exact criteria.

    Would assume that shed loads of people do the numpty combined science?

    I’d have passed, I think – just. But then our school made it compulsory to do Maths, English, at least 1 “proper” Science (Phys/Chem/Bio – not numpty science), at least 1 humanities (History/Geog), at least 1 foregin language (French/German). But then the last govt. (afaik) removed the compulsory foreign language 🙄 instead of making it compulsory from age 6 (like in many other places in .eu).

    Premier Icon miketually
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    ICT’s not counted as a science.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
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    What’s the problem again? Schools have been requiring students to sit core qualifications since the days of Aristotle – there is really nothing new or alarming about formalising that with the Baccalaureate. Its problems are more administrative – rushing it in on the hoof without proper consultation with teachers, there’s nothing wrong with it at a fundamental level IMO.

    As noted, GCSE level is a big canvas – sitting 10 would be bog standard amongst students considering the baccalaureate, academically industrious kids can knock out 15 these days. Miles of room to dick around with whatever subject you like. It’s hardly a Soviet-style initiative to get everyone to take Maths A level because we need to engineer more locomotives.

    Premier Icon sadmadalan
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    We are always going to argue about which subjects are core. English, Maths, Modern Language are all in. We need at least one science and one other humanity or arts.

    Specialist subjects – e.g. IT, ICT, PE should not be included. History is more important than learning how to use MS Office. (I have a computer science degree and work for a large IT company)

    Premier Icon miketually
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    Schools have been requiring students to sit core qualifications since the days of Aristotle – there is really nothing new or alarming about formalising that with the Baccalaureate.

    Student 1 leaves school with A* grades in English, maths, physics, French, art, BTEC ICT, music, grade 8 piano, dance and PE. They don’t get the award.

    Student 2 leaves school with C grades in English, maths, double science, French, and geography. They get the award.

    History is more important than learning how to use MS Office.

    I have never needed to know which of Henry VIII’s wives survived, but use Office every day.

    Mrs Toast
    Member

    I would have, 4 Bs, 2 As and 2A*s. Would have gotten 3A* if I hadn’t have botched my German spoken test. Not that I’m still bitter, it was 14 years ago…

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    I would have, 4 Bs, 2 As and 2A*s. Would have gotten 3A* if I hadn’t have botched my German spoken test. Not that I’m still bitter, it was 14 years ago…

    In the correct subjects?

    I got A, B, 5 Cs and a D. I’d have got it.

    My wife got 3 A*s, 2 As and 4 Bs. She’d not have got it.

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    Is the criteria simply “good passes in English, maths, a language, geography or history and two science qualifications” or have I missed something?

    Like Cranberry I was in the first year that sat GCSE’s. I have ‘good passes’ in English (lang and lit), Maths, a language (French), and two sciences (Physics and Electronics). So presumably I’d fail the Baccarat or whatever it is due to a lack of History and Geography – I dropped both of those as soon as I could.

    Premier Icon miketually
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    Is the criteria simply “good passes in English, maths, a language, geography or history and two science qualifications” or have I missed something?

    Yes.

    Actually, I’ve seen put as “a humanity, such as geography or history”, which is a bit wider.

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    Oh, the humanities!

    I’m not wholly sure that helps me much, unless Accounts or CDT Tech count as humanities.

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    Waaaaait a cotton pickin’ minute… Does that include English Literature?

    uluru
    Member

    Yes, would have got it. The way our gcse options were set up mean that nearly everyone would have done the combination of subjects needed.

    I wouldnt have got it, I was considered too disruptive to be let loose on the history or geography teachers 😀

    I actually agree with what Michael Gove has done. Never ever thought I would say that! Ensuring that pupils have a range of GCSEs is good and will show schools which encourage a broad range of key skills (English, Maths, Modern Language, Science and Humanities) rather than looking purely at any old qualification.

    I dont agree with Gove, certainly people should do a range of subjects and thats a good thing but this has been introduced to ensure schools from lower socio economic areas dont get too high up the league tables. The lack of considerat5ion of CVA (contextualised value added, or how much progress they make given what they arrive to secondary school with) should be a major part of ranking schools for how good they are. This is just a new measure that is overly simplistic and allows selective schools to look good when they might not be actually any good.

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    From the horse’s mouth.

    http://www.education.gov.uk/performancetables/Statement-of-Intent-2010-Addendum.pdf

    “The English Baccalaureate will cover achievement in English, mathematics, sciences, a language and a humanities subject.”

    It then goes into detail about each one. The science one is interesting; it requires you to either take “all three” sciences – biology, chemistry, physics – and pass two of them, or to take and pass “science” and another science discipline.

    So, I’m buggered either way.

    ebygomm
    Member

    Mrstoast’s post has made of realise that my gcses were 15 years ago too. Feel old now.

    Would have got the baccalaureate with a science and language to spare.

    Mrs Toast
    Member

    In the correct subjects?

    Yep, did Art, English, History, Geography, German, Maths and double science.

    I’m not sure, but I think when I was at school we had to do at least one modern language, one of the humanities alongside English, Maths and single science.

    from what I gather the double award GCSE science only counts as one of the five and you need all 3 triple sciences at c or above to count as one

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