September 2021
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So now we know why Geography is so much easier than history

One of the more unfortunate revelations unearthed by the Daily Telegraph’s investigation into GCSE exam ‘cheating’ was a comment made about GCSE Geography. Steph Warren, a senior official at Edexcel, one of the biggest exam boards, was recorded by an undercover Daily Telegraph reporter claiming that “you don’t have to teach a lot” and that [...]

How hard is GCSE history?

I have always fervently believed that GCSE history is harder for lower-attaining students than most other subjects. When I tackled QCA about they squirmed and fudged. I pointed out that the idea of subjects having negative residuals was appalling, especially as neither most students starting the course, nor their parents, were aware of this at the start [...]

GCSE history and 'cheating' exam boards

I have blogged several times on the unethical system that allows examination boards to set the papers, write the books and train the teachers in how to get their kids to pass the exam. The reason this stinks, and why other people are now up in arms is simple. If you pay £200 to attend [...]

English Baccalaureate-how many more will be studying GCSE history?

On announcing this year’s GCSE’s results Nick Gibb was at pains to point out the decline in numbers taking a humanity GCSE this summer. History’s numbers were down by 1.2%, but pity the poor geographers with a drop of 7%. So what will happen now? In how many schools will history and geography be alternatives? [...]

GCSE history results for 2009

GCSE history results

As we await the all-important detail of the national ‘residual’ figure for history ( i.e. compared with other subjects) I thought you might like to ponder the final raw scores. The figures are given in percentages with last year’s in brackets. Interesting gap [...]

Erratic GCSE history results

I wonder whether the new GCSE history courses which started, for most, last week will yeild more reliable results than this year’s. Am I alone in finding it incredible that students who scored A or A* on one paper score a U on the other? When teachers work so hard over two years and give [...]

New interpretations of Nazi-Soviet pact

Fascinating events at Gdansk yesterday, Sepetember 1st,  provide excellent raw material for work on interpretations of events of 1939. For detailed account see In the News section. Good link too with Putin and Medevedev’s attempt to rehabilitate the reputation of Stalin, not least by rewriting the history textbooks.

Is GCSE history still as hard as ever? What 2009 results tell us

Is GCSE history still as hard as ever? What 2009 results tell us

In advance of publication of the Subject Performance Indicator for GCSE history ( the residuals comparing students’ performance in history with their other subjects, I wonder how [...]

2009 GCSE history results

The GCSE History results released yesterady show that History remains one of the most popular subjects behind English, Maths, Science and Design & Technology.

GCSE history: should exam boards train teachers?

In a thoughtful Guardian article yesterday morning, Warwick Mansell raised the unspoken question: should the people who set history exams profit from it by training teachers how to pass them?

The question needs to be taken seriously. Undercover recordings for Radio 5 Live have lifted the lid on examiners charging teachers over £200 a day to [...]