Call for 'creativity' in A-levels
Students need to be able to show their "originality and creativity" in A-level exams, a leading headmistress has warned.
Pupils now have access to online model answers, mark schemes and other information, which has taken the "mystique" out of what markers are looking for, according to Cynthia Hall, headmistress of Wycombe Abbey.
The girls' boarding school in Buckinghamshire has topped an A-level league table of private schools for the third year in a row.
More than 50% of the school's exam entries were awarded one of the new A* grades, and the girls notched up 247 A*-A grades between them.
Mrs Hall insisted A-levels are a good qualification, and prove the work done by a student.
But she said: "There's so much available now about what a student is able to do to score the marks."
If you have effective students with well-qualified teachers, there should be "very little excuse, you ought to be able to get good grades", Mrs Hall said.
She added: "There's nothing wrong with demonstrating that a student has studied and done a good job of work. The problem is that we need to have ways of demonstrating originality and creativity. I don't think that's something that's available, it does not provide that."
Students know the kinds of questions they are likely to be asked, and whereas in the past there was a "mystique" about what examiners were looking for, now students can look online for model answers.
Ten years ago, students thought they would have to be "brilliant and inventive and ready for anything", Mrs Hall said.