Bad GCSE results in English and maths blamed on new marking system

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Some students today blamed the controversial new marking system and tougher exam papers after suffering “disappointing” GCSE grades.

Pupils this year were the first to face harder papers in maths and English marked with the new 9-1 grading system.

This morning at the Ark Burlington Danes Academy in White City, 16-year-old Mohamed Warsame said he felt “hard done by” as he’d got a 7 in mathematics, his favourite subject.

“The exams in previous years were easier,” he said. “I think it’s down to the new grading system.”

Mohamed — who got an 8 in English literature, a 5 in English language and one A*, 5 As, a B and a C in his other results — added: “I want to do maths at university so it is disappointing and I am not happy with it. I feel like I could have done better in the old system.”

At the Harris City Academy in Crystal Palace, Robert Byrne was inquiring about re-marking after getting 5s in maths and English.

He said: “The system is bit weird this year even though I think it will work out in the next few years. This is the first year and it feels like they have had a few problems. It’s difficult with these new 9s and 8s. I would rather have had an A to be honest.”

But other students were pleased with the new system. Burlington Danes student Riannah Audain, 16, burst into tears when she received a grade 9 in English Literature — but admitted her 6 in maths was a little lower than she’d hoped. 

“I am so shocked with my English result,” she said. “I thought I would get a 5 so that is a huge surprise and I am so happy. It was tough getting used to the new system and some of my grades are unexpected the other way too, like maths.”

Burlington Danes headteacher Michael Gibson paid tribute to his pupils who he said did “exceptionally well” despite major changes to the curriculum. He added a number of students had been in “very close proximity” to the Grenfell Tower fire, adding: “Their determination to continue with their study despite everything has been awe-inspiring.” 

At the Harris City Academy, Jasmine Clarke-Terrelonge, 16, was also celebrating three 9 grades in maths, English literature and English language as well as six A* and two As.

Just months ago Ms Clarke-Terrelonge, who lives in Croydon, was being seen by doctors in Harley Street and travelling to Hungary in search of a cure for her “devastating” autoimmune-related disease. She said: “I didn’t think I would get better before, but feeling a bit better in the past year helped me revise and get these grades. 

“I feel relieved because I wasn’t quite sure how the 9s would work out and I did not expect them in English as it is my worst subject.

“Back in year eight I got really ill. I had heart palpitations and pains in all my joints.”

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