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Surrey’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine
July 2017

Rebecca Evans from St John’s School, Leatherhead, discusses the new 1-9 grading system for GCSE

This year sees the first step in the phased introduction of the new GCSE grading system. This is the first major change to GCSE grading since the introduction of the A* grade in 1994.

The new GCSEs will be graded 9–1, rather than A*–G. Grade 9 is the highest grade, set above the current A*. The intention of the new system is to provide more differentiation, particularly among higher achieving pupils.

Which subjects are affected and when?
The new reformed GCSEs in English language, English literature and mathematics were first taught in September 2015 and the first results using the new grading system will be published this August.

The second phase started in September 2016 with more subjects moving across to the new specifications including science (including separate sciences), languages, history, geography, art and design, physical education, computer science, food preparation and nutrition, design and technology, religious studies, music and drama. These subjects will be examined under the new system in summer 2018

The majority of other subjects will follow in the third tranche of changes and these will first be taught in September 2017 and examined in summer 2019. This also includes several IGCSE qualifications.

The phased introduction of the grading system means that your child might have a mixture of lettered and numbered grades if they are taking GCSEs in 2017 and 2018.

Why change the system?
The new GCSE grading scheme is part of a new curriculum which was introduced in England's schools in 2014 by Michael Gove, the Education Secretary at that time. He wanted pupils to study a wider and more demanding syllabus.

He called for a more traditional format, with less coursework than before and a greater weight on final examinations taken after two years of study.

How will it work?
The table shows how the old and new grades equate.

The lower end of the new grade 4 will be equivalent to the lower end of grade C. Approximately the same proportion of students will get a grade 4 or above who currently get a grade C or above.

The lower end of the new grade 7 will be equivalent to the lower end of grade A. Approximately the same proportion of students will get a grade 7 and above as currently get a grade A and above in any particular subject.

Although there are fewer numerical grades for the lower ability students, there are more for the higher ability allowing for greater differentiation at the mid to high ability range. Close to 20% of students across all subjects who achieve a grade 7 or above will be awarded the grade 9.
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There are two areas which parents and employers should give careful consideration to. Firstly, the old and new grades are not exactly equivalent. A grade 9 will be more difficult to achieve than an A* in the current system. However, this ensures that the top possible grade truly represents the most able students.

Secondly, five C grades has traditionally been the benchmark to many opportunities. The C grade is now split between levels 4 and 5. This is to align the UK with the average PISA performance in countries such as Finland, Canada, the Netherlands and Switzerland which are often taken as a benchmark of academic excellence.

However, universities are now setting different "pass" grade equivalents. University College London says a C is now a grade 5, while already, Manchester and Liverpool have set the benchmark at grade 4.

Education Secretary Justine Greening says that for school performance tables, the government will publish "standard passes" (grade 4 and above) but also the "strong passes" (at grade 5 and above). It is yet to become clear how universities will view the new grading system.

Ofqual's view
• Broadly the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 4 and above as currently achieve a grade C and above
• Broadly the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 7 and above as currently achieve an A and above
• The aim is that, across all subjects, around 20% of those achieving grade 7 and above will be awarded grade 9, although the percentage will vary between subjects.
• The bottom of grade 1 will be aligned with the bottom of grade G
• Grade 5 will be positioned in the top third of the marks for a current Grade C and bottom third of the marks for a current Grade B.

Chief regulator Sally Collier says students who get a nine will have "performed exceptionally".

Making sure the system runs smoothly
Parents may worry that children taking GCSEs this year and next will be guinea pigs for the new grading system.

Ofqual has taken these concerns seriously and says that these students will not be disadvantaged. In 2016, in English and in maths, about 70% of 16-year-old students achieved a grade C or above and it expects a similar percentage to achieve a 4 and above in this summer's exams.

The full effect of the changes will not be known until 2020 but we can be certain that the new curriculum and grading system are designed to make sure all our students are fully stretched and to raise standards across the board.

For more information, see New GCSE 9 to 1 grades coming soon www.gov.uk/government/news

Website: www.stjohnsleatherhead.co.uk

EMERGING SINGER-SONGWRITER GRACE MONROE RELEASES DEBUT SINGLE PAPER HEART

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24-year-old emerging singer-songwriter Grace Monroe is delighted to announce the release of her debut single Paper Heart ahead of her first studio album The Truth About Love, due for release this autumn

Written by Sussex born Grace, alongside producers OJ (OFER SHABI) and Yaniv Fridel at Soho Sonic Studios, Paper Heart is Grace’s first foray into the industry. The track reflects her ‘all consuming’ experience of love and is melodically influenced by her passion for original material with old school jazz and soul undertones.

With lyrical maturity beyond her years, the young but talented artist takes her inspiration from great musicians past and present, including Etta James, Stevie Wonder, Donnie Hathaway, Bruno Mars, Paloma Faith and Corinne Bailey Rae to name but a few, all of whom have all shaped her sound today.



Grace said: “Paper Heart reflects drowning in someone else's needs of you and just losing your whole being. But not being able to let that person go. My first true experience of love.” The album The Truth About Love focuses on the personal trials and tribulations Grace has been through, expressing her loves, the losses in life, the people she surrounds herself with and her upbringing. “I write songs about my best friend, my partner and anyone else who has had an effect on me - almost a love letter to them with advice and admiration,” added Grace.

Paper Heart is available for download from all major platforms including iTunes, Spotify and Deezer. Plans for a UK tour are currently underway.

Website: www.gracemonroemusic.com

Turn up the heat for the Summer’s hottest festival, awardwinning Chilli Fiesta

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Three-day family-friendly festival with camping

11, 12 & 13 August 2017 - 10am – 9pm Fri, 10am-10pm Sat, 10am-7pm Sun
West Dean Gardens, Near Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0RX

West Dean Gardens award-winning Chilli Fiesta returns with a creative flair for its 22nd Year (11, 12, &13 August). The UK’s biggest chilli festival attracts 25,000 visitors who come to enjoy the three-day programme full of food, live music and entertainment. The family-friendly festival takes place in the spectacular grounds of West Dean Estate, in the heart of the South Downs National Park, home to West
Dean College, acclaimed for arts and conservation, and glorious West Dean Gardens. With a sizzling selection of live performances, 140 market stalls, cookery demos by top chefs, garden tours, visitors can expect to party and dance to live Latin music, watch cookery and gardening demonstrations, and dine on delicious chilli foods.

Live Latino music and dance performances throughout the weekend start at 10am on all three days and finish at 9pm on Friday, 10.30pm on Saturday and 9pm on Sunday. Some notable performances for 2017 will include: Andalus; the leading Gipsy Kings tribute band, Kongo Dia Ntoltila, the rumba, afro-jazz band, all girl Rock ‘n’ Roll band; The Daisy Chains as well as The Fontana’s – the Afro Brazilian live band. Big Noise Band, the community Samba Band will be returning by popular demand, as will the steel pan, acoustic guitar and percussion trio - Steel Strum.
West Dean Chilli Fiesta celebrating 20 years in 2015 (9)
Festival-goers will be dazzled by the legendary Latino Strictly Come Dancing professional, Oti Mabuse, as she takes centre stage on Sunday 13th August at 13:15, 14.45 and 16.30. Salsa dancers Debbi and Francisco will be turning up the heat with interactive dance workshops and reigning UK Latin American Dance Champions Ryan and Ksenia will be returning this year to perform throughout the weekend. Visitors can pick up new culinary skills in the Cookery Theatre as they experience live food demonstrations by a host of incredible top chefs and food influencers. Recognisable faces such as Dragons Den’s most renowned entrepreneur Levi Roots, the most recent MasterChef winner Saliha Mahmood- Ahmed and previous Professional MasterChef champion Steven Edwards will be among those offering top tips and demonstrating their culinary skills.

Dan Doherty will be taking the weekend off from London’s renowned Duck and Waffle, where he is the Chef Director, to join in with the Chilli festivities to talk about his latest book ‘Toast Hash Roast Mash’, as well as offering advice to budding chefs and food enthusiasts. Country pub and the Earl of March (in Lavant), along with Henry Herbert from The Fabulous Baker Brothers and West Dean’s Head Chef Dan Frowen, will be revealing their culinary secrets and answering questions during their demonstrations in the Cookery Theatre. Giles Thomson, formally Executive Head Chef at the Ritz London and now owner and Head Chef of The Earl of March will be compering the Cookery Theatre throughout the weekend. Rosie Birkett, chef, food stylist and journalist will also be in the Cookery Theatre and will be putting on interactive workshops in the Workshop Tent as will Kate Morris, who specializes in cookery skills for children. Kate is a co-devisor of CBeebies’ ‘I Can Cook’. Using ingredients from all over the world, these chefs will be sharing their knowledge in an easy and relatable manner, ensuring visitors take away new skills to recreate at home.

Learn the true art of growing chillies with West Dean Gardens’ very own Gardens Supervisor and chilli expert Sarah Wain. Sarah along with her husband, Gardens Manager Jim Buckland, have managed the award-wining gardens for the last 26 years. In their Victorian glasshouses 150 chilli varieties will be on display. In the Garden Theatre Sarah will be joined by another chilli expert from the Chilli Alchemist, who make unique chilli products to compliment all types of taste buds. They will be revealing information about how and why our bodies react to the fiery fruits. Edible Ornaments, the team behind The Cherwood Chilli Ranch, will also be taking to the Gardening Theatre stage along with Sea Spring Seeds, who will be teaching the audience how to pick the perfect pepper. Mark Diacono, award-winning food writer, grower and photographer will be talking about life on Otter Farm and Emily Rae will be giving her top gardening tips. Rachel Seigfried will be in the Gardening Theatre on Sunday at 13:45 and she will be advising the best flowers to grow for intense colour in late summer.

Also new for 2017 is the Hidden Cinema with three screenings a day, including an art film and a children’s screening. Brand new workshops will offer dance, drumming, food and children’s cookery. There will be a selection of bars and restaurants onsite and a wide range of chilli-related food stalls, as well as foods to cater to all tastes, from champagne and seafood to Mediterranean delights. With over 140 stalls, visitors can expect a great variety of quirky gifts available to purchase, from hot and spicy foods of the world to chilli plants, seeds and gifts. All shopping stalls close at 6pm but there will be a range of food and drinks available into the evening as the entertainment continues.
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Camping for the weekend
Weekend family-friendly camping offers full top of the range campsite facilities (including showers, flushable toilets and running water). Camping tickets must be purchased online prior to arrival as pitches are limited. The campsite on the rolling West Dean Estate is split into three zones and is picked on the day of arrival: Jalapeno (most popular general camping area, close to the event arena and enhancing the festival atmosphere); Pimento (quiet camping area away from the main arena ideal for a good night's sleep); and Bell (family friendly and close to the toilets and showers). A limited number of pitches are available so early booking is essential.

Book online at: www.chillifiesta.co.uk

ACM announces The Keith Lowde Scholarship after another successful Lowde Fest

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In partnership with The Lowde Music Trust, the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) is proud to announce The Keith Lowde 2017 Scholarship, set up in the name and memory of Keith Lowde, the founder of ACM’s Music Business School.

Worth up to £27,000, the scholarship will fully fund a student’s journey through one of ACM’s Music Business or Technical Services programmes at ACM Guildford or ACM London, paying for their entire tuition fees for their duration of study, lasting up to 3 years.

Keith Lowde was a leading figure in the UK music industry and his sudden death in a tragic accident resulted in a collective desire by his family, friends, and colleagues to create a lasting legacy in his name. Keith’s passion had always been to help and enable other people to achieve and succeed. He cared deeply about the creative and performing arts, and was instrumental in helping people protect their intellectual property rights, and realise their potential.

Saturday 8th July saw the return of The Lowde Music Trust’s annual fundraising music festival, Lowde Fest, and ACM was thrilled to be involved, with alumni and tutors performing and running the backstage area.

ACM’s Keith Lowde Scholarship offers a life-changing experience for the recipient, enabling them to graduate with a degree qualification, completely free of tuition-fee related debt.

Alongside The Keith Lowde Scholarship, ACM offers a series of other prestigious awards to its prospective students including The Skunk Anansie Scholarship (for Performance), The Freddie Mercury Scholarship (for Artistry) and The BASCA Scholarship (for Songwriting), making their unique brand of music industry education more accessible than ever before. For more information on how to apply for one of these scholarships go to their website here: www.acm.ac.uk

Limited spaces are available for September 2017 study and applications for The Keith Lowde Scholarship are now being accepted.

SILENT POOL GIN WOWS ITS TWINS AT THE FREIBURG ‘SISTER CITIES’ MARKET

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Silent Pool Distillery flew the flag for Guildford’s dynamic entrepreneurial spirit at an international market in Germany last weekend.

The two year-old company was invited by Freiburg, Guildford’s twin town, to come to its biennial ‘Sister Cities’ Market, where representatives from its other nine ‘twins’ - Besançon, Innsbruck, Padua, Madison USA, Matsuyama, Lviv, Granada, Isfahan and Suwon, also had stands promoting their local specialities.


Guildford is one of Freiburg’s longest running twin towns. They linked nearly 40 years ago and it was through the 2016 Mayor of Guildford, Gordon Jackson, that Silent Pool Gin found its way onto the stall in the historic market square. He had taken a bottle of Silent Pool Gin as a gift for his opposite number on an earlier visit to Freiburg and it proved a popular choice!

The Guildford Twinning Committee volunteers served tea and cakes and Silent Pool Distillery director Ian McCulloch and chief bottler Joe Van den Berg presided over a Silent Pool stall laden with their full range of spirits. They even took the trouble to get all their branding and information translated into German for the occasion!

“The weather was lovely, everyone was very friendly and they really liked Silent Pool Gin,” said Ian. “Freiburg is a beautiful city and it was a great opportunity to go there and represent the best of Guildford.”

The Silent Pool Distillers is a new artisan distillery nestled under the North Downs in Albury, Surrey. It specializes in entirely hand-crafted spirits using a range of botanicals – fruits, flowers, spices, herbs – to capture the essence of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the bounty of English orchards, gardens and hedgerows. Silent Pool Gin is now exported across Europe and soon to the US, as well as available nationally and at local farmer’s markets. 

The still is powered by a wood fired boiler using logs from the Duke of Northumberland’s Albury Estate and water comes from the spring-fed Silent Pool. The pool itself, just below the distillery’s converted farm buildings, is the subject of wonderful romantic medieval legend. Visit silentpooldistillers.com