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How does the International Baccalaureate (I.B) work?

September 12, 2012

,,An increasing number of private and grammar schools are now offering the IB programme.

Students undertaking the IB need to have strong subject knowledge in humanities and sciences.

Private tutoring can help identify and boost students weaknesses. At tutor house we can help with Essay writing, Languages, Social and Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
Contact tutor house for assistance.

The IB Curriculum:

Students choose from one subject from each of the six compulsory groups. In addition, the IB programme includes Extended essay writing (in-depth essay of one of the subjects the student has chosen) Theory of knowledge (students reflect on the nature of knowledge by examining areas including perception, emotion and artistic and historical aspects) and Creativity, action and service (completing tasks outside of the classroom.)

The six groups are:

1: Studies in Lauguage and Literature

2: Lauguage acquisition

3: Indiviuals and societies

4: Experimaental science

5: Mathematics and computer science

6: The arts

N.B- The sixth subject chosen by students may be a arts subject (group 6) or another subject from group 1-5.

Pre-U

The Cambridge Pre-U course helps prepare students for university. The course has become popular in recent times as an alternative to A-Levels. The Pre-U course follows on from IGCSE and Cambridge Secondary 2 qualifications.
The Pre-U course is available in 27 subjects, students choose from three.

Tutors at tutor house have experience in teaching Pre-U and can help all students via private tuition and support.

Pre-U courses at tutor house

Home Schooling

At tutor house we provide short and long-term home schooling. We listen to the student’s requirement and devise a programme most suited to them. This can include private tuition, one-on-one support, special educational support and residential tuition, both in the U.K and abroad.

Contact tutor house for more information.

GCSE results today: Have they been tampered? Or is it just a coincidence?

August 23, 2012

GCSE results today: Have they been tampered? Goal posts moved? Or is it just a coincidence?

A spokesman from the Department for Education said, “It’s right that minimum expectations of schools should continue to rise.” In addition Michael Gove, the Education Secretary has said in the past that he wants to abolish GCSE’s and introduce ‘explicitly harder’ O-Levels.

Tampering 1 – Coincidence 0.

Around 650,000 teenagers throughout Britain will have opened their GCSE results this morning. Usually some will be in shock, this year however, most may well be in shock. Results have fallen for the first time in 23 years! That is significant. Many teachers, especially English teachers have voiced their concerns that the exams were marked far too harshly leaving pupils a grade or so short of what they were predicted. Simply, the powers that be have significantly increased the grade boundaries.

Goal posts moving 1 – Coincidence 0.

The counter argument is of course that GCSE exams are easier, take a question from a Physical Education paper, ‘which is not an invasion game? Football, Netball, Hockey, Tennis?’ I teach P.E as well as Psychology, but that question is a bit ridiculous. That is more or less giving marks away. However, (I’m not sitting on the fence) P.E is regarded as a soft subject whereas Mathematics and English are not, so you wouldn’t expect to see questions like that in ‘academic’ subjects.

For schools, these results have serious consequences. Some face closure, others takeover whilst others could be turned into academies. This seems harsh, seeing as the government has, as the scores above show, augmented the grade boundaries. For the first time this year, schools have been ‘forced’ to ensure that 40% of pupils gain five ‘good’ grades, including high grades in English and Mathematics. That is a big ask, up from 35% last year!

For teachers, these results also have potential detrimental consequences. At best, a change in the head of school and perhaps new management appointments but at worst searching for a new job. It’s difficult– obviously teachers want to put faith in their Schools, their pupil’s and the government, but with this drop, this shifting of the goal posts, how can they?

Let’s not forget what Gove said back in July this year, “teachers are born, not made.” That I’m afraid is what teachers are up against. In other words ‘you failed this year, you will next.’

What do you think?

As a teacher of 7 years I’m a bit angry, a bit confused really. Teachers seem to be working harder than ever. Working towards days like today, only to feel upset and unsure what the next step will be! Confidence is a huge thing; I personally don’t have a lot in Gove.

For pupils getting their results today the first thing I would say is don’t be disheartened. Why? Well firstly the boundaries have moved, yes and yes you’re a grade shy of what you thought you would get, but so is the whole country! The boundaries go down for every single student. If you were on the B/C boundary and you received a C, so did the next person so don’t worry. On paper is doesn’t look fantastic, but schools and colleges will be a little more lenient this year, well they should be.
You will now need to focus on your A-Level choices following your GCSE results; you need to look forwards onto University and beyond.

I saw a great tweet today: “To the 640,000 sixteen-year-olds who have just had their GCSE results tampered with by Michael Gove: use your votes wisely in 2015.”

I hope everyone achieved the grades they wanted today.