A change to the curriculum could lead to exams with more questions to choose from and less coursework during term
Anam Rizvi
Courtesy of Anam Rizvi   The National Oct 7, 2020

Headteachers in the UAE said they were closely following plans in the UK that could result in a slimmed down A-Level and GCSE curriculum.

Pupils attending British schools could have their workload reduced this year, as part of efforts to make studying more manageable during the Covid-19 pandemic.

British officials are considering new ideas, including reduced curriculum in some subjects,exam papers with more options, and limiting exam questions.

Brendon Fulton, principal at Dubai British School Jumeirah Park, said: “Reduction in content means that schools can catch up on any school time missed during school closures. Reduced content will allow pupils to focus on a narrower workload.

“We are keeping abreast of the ongoing proposed changes to the GCSE and A-Level courses for this year as a result of work missed during term three.

“For some subjects the coursework components have been reduced or removed, whilst others are looking at removing sections of work.

“As with all things currently, the situation remains quite fluid and we will adapt as required and informed by the relevant exams boards.”

Edexcel Art, for example, has removed a component of their coursework. Some poetry sections were also removed from its English Literature class.

Cambridge Physical Education has dropped requirements from four activities to one. And Cambridge Drama has reduced their typical two group assignments to just one.

While some changes have already been confirmed, more are possible.

Pupils around the world lost hundreds of hours of in-person classes as Covid-19 wreaked havoc on the educational systems last year.

By May 2020, children in the UK had already lost about 20 days of schooling, while pupils in Estonia had lost close to 60 days of in-school classes.

Last month, British researchers surveyed 2,200 schools and found the average child in England was about three months behind.

Children in the UAE underwent distance learning between March and July. While most schools returned to in-person classes in August, some schools have closed again because of isolated Covid-19 cases.

This year, the Central Board of Secondary Education In India reduced coursework for pupils in grades nine to 12 by up to 30 per cent to help children complete syllabus.