On 7 February 2013, the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, announced his revised plans for changes to GCSEs from September 2015. English Baccalaureate Certificates (EBCs) will not be introduced. Instead, GCSEs will be 'comprehensively reformed', with more challenging subject content and more rigorous assessment. Michael Gove’s letter to the exams regulator Ofqual sets out the new policy direction.
The first phase of changes to GCSEs will apply to English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, a combined Science (double award), History and Geography for first teaching in 2015. Other subjects, including Languages, will follow, with the aim of first teaching in 2016.
Read Michael Gove's February 2013 statement "Curriculum, Exam and Accountability Reform" .
Read MEI's response to the December 2012 consultation.
RME provides one possibility for equipping students with problem solving skills. Originally developed in the Netherlands, this approach to teaching has also been used successfully for many years in other countries. A major collaboration took place between the Freudenthal Institute (FI) and the University of Wisconsin to produce the Mathematics in Context (MiC) curriculum. This curriculum was purchased by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) in 2003, leading to a major curriculum development project funded by the Gatsby Foundation. This curriculum was trialled initially in Manchester and later in other schools in the UK. Many of these schools then volunteered to participate in developing RME materials for KS4 students.
MEI is supporting the RME approach to Mathematics pedagogy and would like to see it used more widely. We evaluate our activities and so commissioned the Centre for Evaluating and Monitoring (CEM)at Durham University as independent evaluator of the projects at MMU. The evaluation was designed to gather evidence on the impact of the projects and the extent to which they are achieving their aims.
The Making Sense of Mathematics (MSM) project began in 2007 as an extension to the work of the Gatsby funded Key Stage 3 project. Resources for the MSM project were produced, initially by collaboration between the Freudenthal Institute and MMU, resulting in a series of 9 booklets designed to deliver the Key Stage 4 Foundation level curriculum. These booklets built upon the experiences gained from the Gatsby project and took account of difficulties highlighted by the Key Stage 3 teachers such as the need for Realistic Mathematics Education (RME) based materials which feature British contexts and are more closely linked to UK assessment systems. Read more about the finding from the Making Sense of Mathematics project.
Please use the links below to navigate to relevant pages on our website:
Realistic Mathematics Education
Making Sense of Maths textbooks
GCSE extension materials
MEI Conference 2013 (where RME is one of the session choices)
Teaching GCSE Mathematics CPD
KS4 Enrichment and Extension CPD
Keele Maths Solutions
English Baccalaureate Certificates consultation results document
Draft KS4 Programme of Study