Teenagers in England will today learn what topics they will be tested on in this summer’s GCSE and A-Level exams.
This summer, for the first time since 2019, GCSE and A-Level exams will be sat after they were cancelled for the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now it’s been announced that pupils will today receive advance information on the topics that will appear on the exams to help them prepare for and focus on their revision.
But what exactly does this mean?
Well, for some text-based subjects, such as English Language, the advanced information may include the genre or period that unseen texts used during exams will be drawn from, and then for subjects such as Maths, Combined Science, and Physics, equation sheets will be provided to reduce the number of formulas students need to memorise.
Subjects such as Art and Design – which are only assessed through coursework – will not feature any advanced information, however, and then in humanities subjects such as English Literature, History, Ancient History, and Geography, advanced information will not be released, but students will instead students will be assessed on fewer topics.
The information covers about 300 specifications across GCSE, AS and A-Levels, and will appear on different exam board websites from this morning.
The Department for Education (DfE) said the change – which was announced last year – is not intended to reduce the range of content pupils need to be taught, however, and exam boards also decided they would release information in February rather than earlier in the academic year, as headteachers had called for, so that pupils would continue to learn the entire curriculum.
The measure is said to be more focused on helping build students’ confidence.
Speaking ahead of the topics being released in advance today, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “Exams are the best and fairest form of assessment, and we firmly intend for them to take place this summer, giving students a fair chance to show what they know.
“We know students have faced challenges during the pandemic, which is why we’ve put fairness for them at the forefront of our plans.
“The information to help with their revision published today, as well as the range of other adaptations, will make sure they can do themselves justice in their exams this summer.”
In addition to the advance publishing of topics, exam papers will also be graded more generously this summer than in a normal exam year, although they will not with the assessment watchdog Ofqual setting grade boundaries at a “midway point” between 2021 and when exams were last sat in 2019.
Also speaking ahead of the announcements this morning, Geoff Barton – the General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders – said: “We look forward to seeing the information being published to help students focus their revision for this summer’s exams [and] it is extremely important that this really does help to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on learning.”
“We will be studying it in detail to ensure that it provides fairness to students of all ability levels,” he added.
Featured Image – Unsplash (MChe Lee)
Yellow weather warning could bring ‘winds of up to 80mph’ and heavy rain to North West
Autumn is well and truly underway as colder temperatures have already started to descend on the UK. Now, though, high winds and heavy rain are expected to hit various regions across the nation.
The Met Office announced a yellow weather warning on Monday afternoon, predicting that strong gusts of winds exceeding 55mph are set to affect northern and western parts of the UK on Wednesday.
Meteorologist Alex Deakin said Brits should prepare for a “blusterous and boisterous” week ahead.
A yellow weather warning can encompass everything from injuries and danger to life caused by flying debris, to structural damage, disruption to travel and public transport, as well power cuts and more.
‘Persistent rain and stronger winds’ are already said to be battering parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland, before beginning to sink into more central areas of the UK from Tuesday onwards.
With rainfall expected to measure in at between 30-50mm across western Scotland – as much as 80mm across some mountainous areas – the low pressure is due to hit the northern and western parts of England on Tuesday night.
Experts have warned that while they are yet to nail down the exact details of peak wind strengths, they could easily surpass 55-65mph.
“There is a chance the deep low pressure system will bring gusts of 70 to 80 mph to northern parts of the UK on Wednesday”, says Sherwin, warning that “should this develop, disruption to travel and wind damage would be more likely. In addition, heavy rain in the northwest may make travelling more difficult.”
Stronger gales will remain on the cards for the North West as well as some significant rain, with the heaviest showers expected to fall on more western regions.
Best get weighing those bins down and preparing for a potential work-from-home day.
In just seconds, the entire ceiling is ablaze, with terrified customers scrambling for the exit.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue service released the video in a bid to raise awareness and prevent any similar incidents at hospitality venues in the city-region.
The shocking incident occurred in a shisha bar in Rusholme, in May this year.
Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, but several people were taken to hospital with suspected burns.
In both this instance and in the One Eight Six incident, the cause of the blaze was determined as being ‘indoor fireworks igniting decorations, which then burned rapidly allowing the fire to spread’.
GMFRS is now working with licensing teams from the 10 councils in Greater Manchester to offer free information and advice sessions to owners and managers of cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants in advance of the Halloween, World Cup and the Christmas party season.
Leon Parkes, GMFRS’s director of prevention and protection, said: “Hospitality venues have a responsibility to keep their customers and staff safe and at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service we want to help businesses to understand their legal responsibilities and take action to protect their property, staff and customers from fire.
“We have seen a couple of instances in the past year in Manchester where fires have broken out in venues caused by indoor fireworks setting light to decorations.
“While fortunately fires don’t occur very often, the impact of a fire can be devastating and many businesses don’t recover.
“Pubs, bars and other venues will be very, very busy during October, November and December. It’s important that staff prepare by getting trained in what they need to do and that they don’t inadvertently create a fire risk.
“We know that the last two years have been really difficult for hospitality businesses and hopefully the forthcoming World Cup and Christmas period will be a boost for them. We gave out fire safety advice in May last year as Covid-19 restrictions eased and we are now working with our partners to help hospitality businesses be safe and stay safe.”