GCSEs are changing, should your classroom change too?

GCSEs are changing, so how do you make sure your students still get the top grade? With some tips from Utility Rentals, of course!

Published: April 18, 2017


GCSE grades are due for an overhaul. Soon there won’t be lettered grades; instead your students will be rated with numbers 1–9. It’s bound to be a bit confusing for a while, so we’re here to help you understand the change and maximise your students’ potential.

What’s going on with GCSEs?

In 1988, O-levels turned into GCSEs, and just over 30 years later GCSEs are changing once more. But don’t worry, you don’t need to remember another acronym.

The Department for Education decided it was time to scrap A–U grades, and use numbers instead.

9 will be considered the highest grade – set above the current A* – and a 1 grade will be just above a G. Anything lower than that will be ungraded.

GCSE Changes
*Diagram courtesy of
CGP books

The aim of this new system is to provide more differentiation among students, especially those who are achieving higher grades.

These numerical grades will be given for the first time in the 2017 exam results – they’ve been taught in schools since 2015. This will only be in English Literature, English Language and Maths, though by 2019 all subjects will use this grading system.

How will my students get a 9?

With a lot of hard work! Luckily, Ofqual has published a list of grade descriptors for each subject to help make sure your students are on track.

However, students will only be able to achieve these grades if they have an exciting, inspiring and effective learning environment.

Many schools feel that they do not have the budget required to reinvigorate their students’ learning environment. However, renting instead of purchasing equipment can spread the cost and improve the classroom at the same time.

Here are just a few ways you could improve your classroom, and help your students achieve that (newly) coveted grade 9:

Install LED lighting

Replacing your old fluorescent tubes with LED lighting can give your students a much needed boost.

Studies suggest a 33% increase in productivity after installing LED lights. That could just be enough to push your students up a grade or two.

Use iPads and interactive screens

Let’s face it, your students are probably better at the techy stuff than you are. So why not let them use it in class?

There are plenty of ways to integrate iPads into your classroom, and the interactive screen is a great way to encourage group thinking and let off some steam.

Promote healthy eating

Healthy eating and hydration are two important things to consider during exam time. Eating the right food can give your students the energy they need to really concentrate on their studies.

Make sure you have the right cooking equipment to provide them with delicious and nutritious meals every day. Then scatter water coolers throughout the school – keeping kids hydrated in the summer months is very important, and might give their exam scores a nudge in the right direction.

All of these methods, and more, will help your students achieve their best possible grade – whether that’s an A* or a 9!

To find out about more ways Utility Rentals can improve your classroom, get in touch!