A-levels

Brexit ‘putting pupils off modern foreign languages’ | Education

The aftermath of Brexit and the difficulty of new GCSE and A-level exams have combined to put off young people from studying modern foreign languages (MFL) at school, according to a new report by the British Council. While more than two-thirds of teachers surveyed by the British Council said the difficulty of the exams was causing concern, one in four said Brexit had “cast a pall” over pupils learning any foreign languages, with some parents actively discouraging their children. Teachers…

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Russell Group scraps preferred A-levels list after arts subjects hit | Education

Arts education organisations have welcomed a decision by the Russell Group of research-led universities to scrap its controversial list of preferred A-levels, after long-running criticism that it has contributed to a devaluation of arts subjects. The group’s list of so-called “facilitating subjects”, including maths, English, sciences, languages, history and geography, was originally drawn up to help pupils choose A-levels that would open doors to more degrees at the most selective universities. Critics claim it has resulted in a narrowing of…

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Postcode lottery denies poor A-level students a musical career | Education

Musicians and academics are warning of a crisis in music education as research reveals that in some of the UK’s most-deprived areas not a single student is taking A-level music. The study found a distinct correlation between schools not offering music A-level and wider social deprivation. It says: “The most-deprived areas in the country face significant difficulties as A-level music provision continues to shrink, while across a number of large regions there is no provision at all.” Knowsley, Tower Hamlets…

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Ofqual is killing off modern foreign language education | Letters | Education

The education secretary is right that exams are “inherently stressful” – but for students taking a modern foreign language (MFL), the stress is disproportionate. They will have to sit excessively difficult exams and accept that their grade may well end up lower than their performance deserves. In a recent BBC survey, 76% of English schools reported that the perception of languages as “difficult” was the main reason behind the drop in pupils studying for MFL exams. Where’s the incentive to…

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Modern language teaching ‘under threat from tough exams’ | Education

The exams regulator in England, Ofqual, is “killing off” modern languages by failing to address the excessive difficulty of language GCSE and A-level exams, according to more than 150 academics. In a letter published in the Guardian, the 152 academics – from 36 universities – warn that the exams are graded too severely and the stress for pupils is “disproportionate”. “They will have to sit excessively difficult exams and accept that their grade may well end up lower than their…

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