Teachers ace 'harsh' GCSE exams

PUBLISHED: 12:30 19 January 2015 | UPDATED: 14:13 19 January 2015

Priory Community School, head teacher Neville Coles, Jacqui Scott assistant principle and Jason Edwards vice principle holding their GCSE exam papers.

Priory Community School, head teacher Neville Coles, Jacqui Scott assistant principle and Jason Edwards vice principle holding their GCSE exam papers.

Archant

SORE fingers and a difficulty concentrating - just some of the side effects a group of teachers experienced when taking a set of GCSE exams.

Teachers from Priory Community School in Worle have stepped into their students’ shoes and put their knowledge to the test by tackling a number of GCSE tests.

The school’s headteacher Neville Coles and deputy headteacher Jason Edwards wanted to experience firsthand what is asked of modern day pupils.

Both teachers gained A*s in religious education, with Mr Edwards scoring an impressive 199 out of 200 in the exam.

Jacquie Scott, head of the school’s Sir Richard Branson Centre, also got an A grade in the subject.

Mr Coles said the experience taught them some ‘harsh home truths’ about the exam process and he is now planning to try to change the process of back-to-back exams by taking the issue to the exam boards.

He said: “Taking part in this GCSE course provided us with a great opportunity to understand exactly what is asked of our students and recognise the increasing role that mobile technology is playing in the learning environment.”

The school has recently introduced GCSEPod into its classrooms, an audio and visual mobile learning tool.

Mr Coles said: “While my generation may not typically be quite as reliant upon mobile phones as today’s 15 and 16-year-olds are, I could quite quickly see why this style of learning would appeal.

“I listened to the podcasts in the car on the drive to and from work so can definitely see how convenient it is to have access to education content on mobile devices.

“While the use of mobile technology undoubtedly enhances our students’ learning, I did discover a few harsh home truths about GCSE examinations and what we ask of our youngsters.”

The teachers found it particularly difficult to cope with having to sit exams one after the other. Mr Coles said: “We sat back-to-back exams, quite a common practice among the exam boards, and we both really struggled to maintain focus over such a long period and, as we have become far less accustomed to writing with a pen for such a sustained period, the pain in our finger joints was quite intense.

“Armed with this experience we will be meeting with the exam boards to discuss the practice of back to back examinations.”

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