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Early Entry Policy - Key Stage 4

What is early entry?

The government, for the purposes of performance tables, defines this as students taking GCSE examinations which result in a GCSE grade before the summer exam season in Year 11

The government intends to take the result from this first entry as the result to be considered in any performance table analysis. They ignore later/higher grades for this purpose even though these higher grades will be taken before the end of KS4. 

Implications for the school and the individual student

Early entry, as part of a considered strategy to support more students to achieve higher grades in the long term, therefore:

  • Disadvantages the school in National Performance Tables since the first grade is counted, ignoring any later improvement by those who retake.

  • Advantages borderline C/D grade students who can benefit from more than one chance to improve their grade (Note that any grade improvements will not be counted in school performance tables).

  • Advantages the following groups of students who will not necessarily re-take the examination:

    -- students who suffer from the stress of examinations and who may find taking certain examinations early, beneficial to their own mental health, as well as to the grade they obtained.

    -- students who are at risk of failing to complete Year 11 successfully, e.g. school refusers, those with serious medical issues that need extensive treatment.

    -- students following courses which have more than one examination, e.g. Core and Additional Science as part of Double/Triple Science options - which are hierarchical in nature and have different content.

grades in English and Mathematics

The student can use the best grade achieved in a given examination in terms of their future career and choice options.  Those students who do not achieve a grade C in English or Mathematics are expected to continue studying the subject(s) for the next two years as part of any college, school, or apprenticeship provision.  The gaining of a grade C is seen as a necessary qualification for future progression. 

Which courses might be subject to early entry?

The school considers early entry in the following subjects:

  • English Language GCSE
  • Mathematics GCSE
  • Science GCSE