16 August 2018

With further changes to the GCSE grading system this year - our pupils have been working with Teesside University to analyse the impact on pupils and parents.


The new GCSE system, which was introduced in 2017 with changes to Maths and English being graded under a 9-1 system rather than A*-G, and a focus on examinations rather than coursework, has this year been expanded to a further 20 subjects.


The group of young researchers from Norham, known as Team-Talent, have been working with academics from Teesside University for the last two years in an ongoing project to carry out in-depth research and analysis about how the changes to GCSE format affects students and school staff.


They carried out a series of in-depth interviews then met regularly with their teachers and academics from Teesside University to analyse and write up their findings. 


Their research found that the main change that their peers were worried about was the move to more examinations and the need to prepare for them. They also found that teachers put plans in place to help their pupils deal with the changes.


Their work is now set to form part of a book edited by Professor Newbury-Birch from Teesside University, who is a former Norham High School pupil herself.


Professor Newbury-Birch has described her experience of working with the Norham pupils as ‘fantastic’. She said: “This is without question the most satisfying piece of work I have ever been involved in.


“It was fantastic to work with a group of motivated young people on a piece of research that not only directly affected them, but which they were also extremely passionate about.


“We have worked together for two years and throughout the whole project the students have been extremely committed and enthusiastic. To finally have their work published in a book chapter will be a great achievement for them and something they can carry forward into their future studies and careers.”


Lucy Roderick, Head of School at Norham High School, added: “This ongoing partnership with Teesside University offers exceptional and unique learning opportunities for our pupils. This first group has been able to develop extremely high-level research skills as well experience academia first hand. To have their work published in this book is also exceptional. We are extremely proud of them.”


Daniel Barber, 16, one of the students on Team-Talent, said: “We have all learnt a lot about how to carry out a thorough piece of research and it is really pleasing that we will be able to have our names added to a published piece of work.”


Professor Newbury-Birch will begin working with the next group of young people at Norham High School, Team-Talent 2, in September 2018. This work will involve the young people carrying out a piece of work to gain an AQA Certificate.