GCSE exam results day is this Thursday (August 12th) and by mid-morning our teens will know their results and whether they have made those all-important grades.
This is only the fifth year of reformed GCSEs in England so if you are still a bit confused here is an explanation of what your child’s grades mean.
• Reformed GCSEs contain more challenging content but they are still designed for the same range of students as in previous years.
• Reformed GCSEs are linear (no modules), so students will have taken all their exams this summer.
9 is the top grade
• GCSE’s are now awarded by number. The top grade is 9 the bottom is 1. The government are classifying Grade 5 as a good pass. To help you on the day an old A is (sort of) equivalent to a 7, a C is a 4 and a G is a 1. Make sure you prime Grandparents with this info so they can react appropriately to your kids news!
• Getting a grade 9 is rarer than getting an A* in previous years. That is deliberate. There are now three top grades (9, 8 and 7) where previously there were only two (A* and A), so if your kid gets a 9 that is really incredible. If they get grade 5s and above it is time to celebrate.
Here is an animation from AQA explaining
Be there for your kids
Don’t forget whatever grades your child gets this is only one stage on their learning journey. If you possibly can, go with your kids to school to get the results. They may well want to just go with their mates, but if they miss out on their grades they will be upset and need you. So, maybe just give them a lift and be about, just in case.
Although it might be tempting, if your child has done well, to do a shout out on social media remember that your kids classmates will see your post. If they haven’t quite made their grades, having their feeds filled with boasting parents, can be unbearable pressure. So maybe keep your celebrations offline.
Help! My kids grades aren’t great
Tell them you are proud of them whatever grades they got. If they did their best that is good enough for you. If they are slow to share their results with you, that is normal (especially if the result isn’t what they wanted). If they are horrible to you, that is normal too, they are hurting, they don’t hate you! Let them take their time, don’t pester to know the details. Once you do know their results take some time to think through options. There are lots of them… even if your child is going to take a different route to the one you have planned. Resits, apprenticeships, volunteering, a different college. Don’t rule anything out, explore options. Most importantly don’t compare grades between your children.
Good luck on Thursday.
(article updated – 12/08/2021)