Countdown to Reservations End Date
The first set of English GCSEs were marked under the new numerical scale in the summer of 2017. However, significant concerns were raised in the autumn as an alarming number of student grades were reported to have changed upon re-marking. With respect to student outcomes, whilst GCSE English results dropped last year under the new 1-9 marking scheme, the proportion receiving 7 or above increased by 0.7% in 2018. It is imperative that this uptick continues year on year. Worryingly though, uptake of English as a discipline at A-Level has declined, with a survey by the English and Media Centre revealing a 16% reduction in English Literature enrolment and 17% reduction in English Language enrolment between 2016/17 and 2017/18.
Furthermore, since 2017, Government reforms meant that the GCSE English curriculum saw significant changes. Concerns have been expressed across the profession about the perceived “narrowing” of the curriculum and the marginalisation of elements such as poetry writing and teaching on the media. Further changes include a greater emphasis on spelling, punctuation and grammar, as well as a shift towards unseen 19th century prose in exams. Moreover, English Literature and Language is now assessed 100% through terminal exams, something which Kevin Courtney, the General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, has suggested “values rapid reading and rote learning above deeper understanding”.
Given the changes to GCSE English in terms of both curriculum and assessment, along with the declining numbers of students studying the subject at A-Level, it is imperative that English teachers and subject leads work together now to ensure high-quality, evidence-based and engaging teaching to successfully improve pupil attainment.
This one day forum will provide an opportunity to discuss best practice teaching and learning for both English Language and Literacy, from Key Stage 3 (KS3) to Key Stage 5 (KS5). Key stakeholders, including the English Association and the National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE), will share successful professional development methods for teaching English and discuss key issues facing the profession. In addition, a range of outstanding case studies will share proven ways of raising standards of English teaching through utilising technology, adopting innovative teaching methods, and developing outstanding curricula.
Key speakers include:
• Professor Martin Halliwell, President, English Association
• Bethan Marshall, Former Chair, National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) and Senior Lecturer, Kings College London
• Tracey Parvin, President, UKLA.
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