Teenagers on the island will be switching to a different science and history examination system from September, following a review of IGCSE and GCSE courses.

This review follows the Beamans report in 2020 which saw the current Cambridge Board IGCSEs branded ‘inappropriate’ by teachers.

The new science and history specifications introduced will be graded from 9-1, rather than A*-G, and schools are currently in the process of developing schemes of learning and identifying supporting resources for students starting Year 10 in September 2022. 

Education Minister Julie Edge said: ‘The opportunity for regular review whilst maintaining stability across our education system, will empower schools to make the best decisions for their students based on learners’ needs, interests and aspirations.  Major changes are expected in England and Wales over the next five years and schools must be agile and ready to react quickly and effectively, so their students achieve the best outcomes.’

Following the review it has been agreed that any exam board changes to the core subjects of English language, maths and science must be implemented across all schools.  However, each secondary setting can choose what works best for them in non-core subjects such as geography, history and art.

Science is moving to a course set by Pearson Edexcel. While History is moving to a course set by Pearson Edexcel IGCSE in four high schools and a course set OCR in St Ninian’s High School.

Future

While the DESC has announced changes in these areas, most subject will keep the current IGCSE/GCSE offers in the short term. However, the department has said: ‘As specification changes are announced in the next few years, schools will have an opportunity to review new options and determine if a change to a new specification will be advantageous to our island’s students.’