Over the past year, we have consulted with teachers, higher education representatives, subject expert groups and other key stakeholders to gain feedback on our suite of Edexcel International GCSE qualifications.

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Your feedback

The feedback we received through the consultation process highlighted that International GCSEs are valued by teachers and learners in the UK and across the world. It indicated that you would welcome some updates to the qualification suite, rather than large scale changes to the existing International GCSEs you are familiar with. The updates we will be making to our International GCSE qualifications suite are outlined below.

Updated International GCSE qualifications

Reassuringly familiar with refreshed content to ensure qualifications continue to be comparable to GCSEs

We plan to introduce more up-to-date content so it reflects the latest thinking in each subject and to ensure that the content and assessment standards are comparable to the new GCSEs. This is to ensure that these qualifications are even more relevant and engaging for students, and that they are of comparable demand to the new reformed GCSEs.

Supporting progression to further study

Our Edexcel International GCSEs have been designed to support progression to further study, including A levels and beyond. With up-to-date content reflecting the latest thinking in each subject, our qualifications meet the needs of today’s students.

Rewarding outstanding academic achievement

With the introduction of a new 9-1 grading scale for GCSEs in England, the A* grade available for the current International GCSEs does not neatly align with the top grade 9. Grade 9 represents a higher level of attainment than the current A* grade. After extensive consultation with schools and wider stakeholders, we have taken the decision to introduce the 9-1 grading scale for the updated suite of International GCSEs. This is to give the very highest performers the opportunity to achieve a grade 9, rewarding outstanding academic achievement.

With 9 levels of performance rather than 8, there is greater differentiation of the most able at the top end of the grading scale, which better identifies students’ potential, putting you in a stronger position to help students make informed decisions about their A level and university choices.

Better technology. Better support.

We will provide you with a wider range of teaching and learning materials, resources and training to support the best possible learner outcomes, in advance of first teaching. This support includes schemes of work, exemplar student work, textbooks, digital services and tailored Edexcel International GCSE teacher training. This will complement the wider Pearson support available for Edexcel qualifications, such as ResultsPlus, ResultsPlus Direct, and Exam Wizard.

Subject update

At this stage, we can confirm that the following International GCSE subjects will be updated and available for first teaching in the UK from September 2016 and 2017:

First teaching from September 2016 (first assessment May/June 2018)
English Language A Mathematics A
English Language B Mathematics B
English Literature  
First teaching from September 2017 (first assessment May/June 2019)
Chinese Geography Biology*
French History Chemistry*
Further Pure Mathematics Physics*
Spanish   Human Biology*
English as a Second Language   Science (Double Award) *
Further Pure Mathematics
Further Pure Mathematics

* Specifications and sample assessment materials for these subjects will be available in summer 2016, which would allow schools in the UK who wish to continue to teach the specifications over three years to do so from September 2016 onwards.

In addition to this list, we are currently researching all remaining International GCSE subjects, as well as some new subjects. We will be able to confirm the full International GCSE subject list for first teaching in September 2017 with you by the end of this year. We are taking the time to complete this research to make sure that we offer the complete range of subjects your learners need to progress seamlessly to the next level of learning.

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