KEY STAGE 3 EDUCATIONAL TERMS & JARGON:
A GUIDE FOR PARENTS
EDUCATIONAL TERMS & JARGON:
A GUIDE FOR PARENTS
We have produced this guide in response to questions from parents/carers.
The guide aims to:
· help you understand the educational journey that your child is taking
· explain common terms and jargon you may read or hear
The majority of the information within this document has been taken from some helpful UK government websites. You can find out more detail by following the links provided in this guide.
We are always very happy to answer any questions you may have. Please contact the school if you need more information, clarification or guidance.
Not all courses or subjects referred to in this guide are available at Le Rocquier School.
Common Acronyms and Links
DFESC Education, Sport & Culture www.gov.je/esc
QCA Qualifications & Curriculum Authority www.qca.org.uk
DFES Department for Education & Skills www.dfes.gov.uk
OFSTED Office for Standards in Education www.ofsted.gov.uk
NAA National Assessment Agency www.naa.org.uk
Ages, Year Groups, Key Stages and Testing Times
The table below shows the Stage and year group that your child will be in between the ages of 3 and 18. All children must attend school until the end of the academic year in which they reach 16.
5 to 6
Key Stage 1
Key Stage 2
GCSE General Certificate of Secondary Education
AS Advanced Subsidiary (Year 1 of Advanced level course)
A LEVEL Advanced Level ) Not taken at Le Rocquier
IB International Baccalaureate )
THE JERSEY CURRICULUM
What is the Jersey Curriculum?
The National Curriculum is used by schools to ensure that teaching standards are consistent. Schools are free to plan how the Curriculum fits with their particular strengths and introduce other activities that extend the learning experience for their students. The Jersey Curriculum:
· sets out the most important knowledge and skills that every child has a right to learn
· is a flexible framework ensuring that all school children are taught in a way that is balanced and manageable, but stretching enough to challenge them and meet their diverse needs
· gives standards that measure how well children are doing in each subject so that teachers can monitor achievement and plan to help them do even better.
What National Curriculum Levels is my child expected to achieve?
The table below shows the range of levels and the expected level for most children at each Key Stage.
National Curriculum levels measure your child's progress in each subject. They are like the rungs of a ladder: children move up through the levels, year by year.
|Key stage 1
(ages 5 - 7)
|Key stage 2
(ages 7 - 11)
|Key stage 3
(ages 11 - 14)
During the key stage, most children will work within this range of levels by the end of the key stage, most children reach the target (see below)
Note: the National Curriculum levels are not used for assessment at key stage 4
In September 2008, all Year 7 students will be following the new National Curriculum which focuses on Personal, Learning and Thinking skills (PLTs).
What is a GCSE?
GCSE stands for General Certificate for Secondary Education. It is a qualification that replaced O levels and CSEs in 1988. New vocational GCSEs have been introduced and are explained below:
· Most students take GCSEs
· It usually takes two years to study for a GCSE. Coursework is part of most GCSEs: work over an extended period, which could include essays, field work reports, art work, making products or investigations.
· GCSEs are graded A* to G. The grade your child gets will depend on coursework and exam marks.
· Students might take exams only once (at the end of year 11, aged 16) or students are assessed during Year 10 & 11 on parts of the course they are studying. These tests are called modular tests.
At some time during year 9, 10 or 11, when your child is aged 14-16, teachers will provisionally decide which tier they should enter in each of their GCSE subjects.
Each tier has a target range of grades that can be awarded and involves sitting a different exam paper. The aim is for your child to take an exam in which their ability will be tested, without being thrown off course by questions that are much too difficult or much too easy. Some GCSE subjects such as art and design, history, music, PE and religious studies are not tiered. All other GCSEs have tiers.
The tiers of entry are:
Higher tier Grades A* - D
Foundation tier Grades C - G
Students who take a GCSE at Foundation Tier will only be tested on content up to Grade C level. This means that they can achieve a highest grade of C even if they score 100%.
Most schools will finally decide which tier is right for each student around the January before the final exam, after the bulk of work has been covered and they have the results of a mock examination. Students can only be entered at one tier in any subject.
There are three ways to take GCSEs in science. Students can:
· take three separate GCSEs in each of biology, chemistry and physics
· take a core award, which covers the three areas and is equal to one GCSE
· take a further additional award GCSE, which covers all three areas. It is equal to one GCSE
Not all schools offer all three ways. Some Le Rocquier students have the option to choose separate science GCSE courses.
GCSEs in vocational subjects
If your child learns better when subjects have a clear practical aim, he/she may want to consider GCSEs in vocational subjects. These are taught to the same standard as traditional GCSEs, but they offer students the opportunity to experience the real world of work.
At Le Rocquier, courses are available in the following subjects:
· Health and Social Care
· Leisure and Tourism
. Child Development
GCSE short courses
A GCSE short course takes half the study time of a full GCSE, so students sometimes complete it after one year. GCSE short courses call for students to do coursework and exams to the same standards as a full GCSE, but they cover only half the content. GCSE short courses are graded A* to G, and each one counts as half a GCSE.
GCSE short courses are helpful for students who:
· want to study the subject, but don't have time to do the full GCSE. They do substantial study of the subject and keep their options open for later - for example, to take an A level in the subject.
· currently we offer a short course GCSE in PE.
Short courses aren't an easy option. Doing a short course is a bit like doing a half-time job - even though it is meant to take up just half the time, it usually ends up stretching you more than that. Employers see GCSE short courses as equal to half a GCSE adding breadth to your child's achievements.
Entry level certificates
What are entry level certificates?
These qualifications represent the first tier of the National Qualifications Framework. They provide progression to GCSEs, foundation GNVQs or NVQ level 1. There are entry level qualifications in the subjects that students will have studied up to the age of 14 and also in broader vocational areas that are more like the GNQV areas.
Students can achieve entry level qualifications at three different levels, broadly in line with National Curriculum levels 1-3. Students can take entry level qualifications alongside GCSEs, GNVQs, vocational GCSEs or NVQs. Students are assessed in tasks, which may be written, spoken or practical.
This course aims to provide a framework for the development, assessment and accreditation of personal and social skills in preparation for adult life, through an activity based curriculum. Successful completion of any of the awards can be used to gain entry to college or employment. At Le Rocquier, students can undertake the Bronze, Silver or Certificate of Personal Effectiveness COPE which is the equivalent to a GCSE.