First Learning Challenge winner

This excellent piece of writing is the winner of our first Learning Challenge. 

The task we set was to produce a piece of writing expressing your own views on the government's plans to change the GCSE system.

Well done Amy.

HideShow resource information
Preview of First Learning Challenge winner

First 603 words of the document:

I want to start off by making it clear that I believe that key stage 4 qualifications in this country need
to be reformed. However, I also wish to make it clear that I disagree with the changes outlined by
Mr. Gove for a range of reasons.
These qualifications alone will not help students to attain the results they deserve. Primarily, this
must be achieved with smaller class sizes1, more teachers, more teacher training, the use of a variety
of teaching methods2, and one-to-one student support by professionals who want to help students
to achieve the best they can. Without these changes, the proposed reforms will be useless, having
only a negative effect on the majority of young people. For too long, the government has provided a
one-size-fits-all approach to education, without wishing to nurture each learner by identifying their
strengths and weaknesses; helping to foster their strengths and improve on their weaknesses. A
report carried out on behalf of the Sutton Trust in 2009 found that about 1 in 5 pupils have received
private home tuition ­ a 4% increase from 20053. Whilst the reasons behind this are unclear, what is
clear is that one-to-one help is being increasingly sought by the parents of key stage 4 students. This
suggests that large classes are detracting from the learning of children, and lack of teaching in these
classes mean that it is difficult for them to be able to rely on the help of their teachers. This may not
be a problem for advantaged children whose parents can afford a private teacher (or those with the
time to tutor their children), but unfairly disadvantages those from families who are not so well off.
For these reasons, new qualifications alone will not make the education system of this country any
I wasn't quite sure what Mr Gove meant when he claimed that GCSEs were "the 80s model". I
thought this statement was very misleading, as it seems to suggest that GCSEs are identical now to
how they were when they were introduced, back when fewer students stayed on in higher
education. Exam boards are constantly re-evaluating the topics covered in their courses, taking into
account advancements in science and computing, and making the curriculum more relevant to
today's world.
He then went on to say that teachers were being made to "teach to the test" in the current system,
despite the new proposals doing nothing to try to change this. In fact, if they are to be solely tested
with a singular exam at the end of the each course, I see no reason why teachers would be willing to
teach anything other than what is in the test.
This leads on to my next point ­ what is wrong with coursework and modules? Many students do
poorly in exams due to the pressure that is piled on during the exam period, rather than any lack of
The center for public education (2011). Class size and student achievement: research review. Retrieved from
the center for public education:
Learning styles online (2012). Overview of learning styles. Retrieved from Learning styles
The tutor website (2012). A parent's guide to private tuition. Retrieved from the tutor website:'s%20Guide%20to%20Private%20Tuition.pdf

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

If modules and coursework are taken away, then these students will
perform even more poorly. This is unfair because it simply doesn't accurately reflect their
understanding of the subject. I'm not saying that exams should be taken away, or that the point of
education is to make all students pass.…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar Learning challenge resources:

See all Learning challenge resources »See all resources »