Glossary of keywords and terms

Browse our table of keywords and terms or select a letter below to jump to what you're looking for.

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Keyword / Term Definition Useful Links
9-1 Grading  The 9-1 grading and awarding system replaced the previous A*-G awarding system in 2016. The new linear examinations mean students will take their exams at the end of the course with grade 4 being a 'standard pass'.  
Academies Academies are publically-funded schools that receive funding directly from the Department for Education. They differ from other state schools, who receive funding from their local councils, in that academies are not required to follow the National Curriculum and they are run by a trust. Academies are required to follow the same standards for admissions and special educational needs.   
Achievement Achievement denotes the standard of attaiment reached by pupils and the progress they have made to reach that standard. Attainment is typically defined by test and examination results.  
Aiming for an A Aiming for an A is a series for students aiming to improve their performance at A-level Discover the Aiming for an A series
A-level / Level 2 The term A-level refers to the examinations taken in England, Northern Ireland and Wales after GCSE, typically between the ages of 16-18 after two years of study.  
AQA AQA is an independent education charity and the largest provider of academic qualifications taught in schools and colleges. AQA set and mark the papers for around half of all GCSEs and A-levels taken every year. At Hodder Education we work in partnership with AQA to produce  approved textbooks and eTextbooks. View our AQA approved resources
AS level / Level 1 The term AS-level refers to the first year of A-levels. It is possible to study a subject for one year and achieve an AS-level qualificaiton.  
Attainment 8 Attainment 8 is used in secondary schools and records a pupil's achievement across eight qualifications, including Maths and English.  
Awarding bodies Awarding bodies, also known as exam boards, develop and award qualifications. These bodies must be recognised by and adhere to the conditions and principles of Ofqual (England), CCEA (Northern Ireland), Welsh Government (Wales) and SQA (Scotland).  
BTEC BTEC offer professional qualifications for anyone taking their first steps into the world of work, progressing through their careers, or planning to enter university. Visit website
Cambridge Assessment International Education   Cambridge Assessment International Examinations is part of the University of Cambridge. They offer qualifications for 10,000 schools in 160 countries from Cambridge Primary to Cambridge Advanced. 
Cambridge Advanced – Cambridge Internationals InterNational Curriculum, typically for learners aged 16-19, including Cambridge International AS & A Level Qualifications and Cambridge Pre-U.
Cambridge Upper Secondary – Cambridge International’s InterNational Curriculum typically for learners aged 14-16, including Cambridge IGCSE® and O Levels.
Cambridge Lower Secondary – Cambridge International’s InterNational Curriculum, typically for learners aged 11-14
Cambridge Primary – Cambridge International’s InterNational Curriculum, typically for learners aged 5-11.
Hodder Education is one of their core publishing partners which means we provide endorsed textbooks and a number of supporing resources. 
View our Cambridge Assessment International Education resources
CCEA CCEA is a unique educational body in the UK, bringing together the three areas of curriculum, examinations and assessment.
1. Advising Government on what should be taught in Northern Ireland’s schools and colleges.
2. Monitoring Standards and ensuring that the qualifications and examinations offered by awarding bodies in Northern Ireland are of an appropriate quality and standard.
3. Awarding Qualifications – as Northern Ireland’s leading awarding body, CCEA offer a diverse range of qualifications, such as GCSEs, GCE A and AS levels, Entry Level Qualifications and Vocational Qualifications.
View our CCEA endorsed resources
City and Guilds City and Guilds are the leading skills development organisation, providing services to training providers, employers, and trainees across a variety of sectors to meet the needs of today’s workplace. Our qualifications are valued by employers across the world, helping individuals develop their talents and abilities for career progression. 
Hodder Education produce vocational resources with City and Guilds.
View our City and Guild vocational resources
Curriculum The term curriculum refers to the academic content taught in a school for a specific course or subject. Your child will follow a specific curriculum for each subject, which is dependent on the awarding bodies that their school uses. Ask your school to find out which curriculum your child follows.  
DfE (Department for Education) The Department for Education is responsible for children’s services and education, including early years, schools, higher and further education policy, apprenticeships and wider skills in England.
DfE is a ministerial department, supported by 19 agencies and public bodies.
Read more
Dynamic Learning Dynamic Learning is an online platform from Hodder Education for schools and FE colleges that offers a range of subscription products for teaching and learning. Find out more
Edexcel Edexcel qualifications are world-class academic and general qualifications from Pearson, including GCSEs, A-levels and International GCSEs, as well as NVQs and Functional Skills.
Hodder Education produce Edexcel endorsed textbooks and eTextbooks.
View our Edexcel endorsed resources
Edexcel International The Edexcel International qualifications are written with the global learner in mind, and are recognised by universities across the world. They offer examinations at GCSE and A-level.
Hodder Education work closely with Edexcel International to produce endorsed textbooks and eTextbooks.
View our Edexcel endorsed resources
Eduqas Eduqas is WJEC's new brand, offering Ofqual reformed qualifications to secondary schools and colleges. With over 65 years’ experience in delivering qualifications, WJEC is a leading provider of GCSE, AS, A level and vocational qualifications in the UK. 
Hodder Education work closely with WJEC/Eduqas to produce endorsed resources.
View our WJEC/Eduqas endorsed resouces
Exam board See Awarding Bodies.  
Extended Project Qualifications (EPQ) An Extended Project Qualification is a qualification taken by some students in England and Wales, where it is equivalent to an A-level. It is offered by AQA, Edexcel, OCR and WJEC.  
Foundation tier Foundation Tier is the term used to describe pupils who are entered for grades 1-5 GCSE, with grade 5 being the highest mark acheivable as a 'strong pass'.  
FSMQ Free-standing Mathematics Qualifications are run by OCR and include:
The Advanced FSMQ, Additional Mathematics, introducing students to advanced mathematics
The Intermediate FSMQ, Foundations of Advanced Mathematics (MEI), designed to provide access to AS/A Level GCE mathematics, bridging the gap between GCSE and A-level.
Hodder Education produce endorsed resources for OCR Additional Mathematics.
Find out more
GCSE GCSE stands for General Certificate of Secondary Edication and are public qualifications undertaken at Key Stage 4, typically between the ages of 14-16.  
Gifted and Talented 'Gifted and Talented' is a phrase used to describe high ability children. The gifted are those with high ability in one or more academic subject, and the talented are those with high ability in sport, music, visual arts and/or performing arts.  
Higher Tier Higher Tier is the term used to describe pupils who are entered for grades 4-9 GCSE, with grade 4 being a 'standard pass' and grade 9 being the highest grade achievable.  
Highers Highers are public qualifications in Scotland typically undertaken between the ages of 16-18.  
Independent Schools Independent schools are privately funded by a mixture of tuition fees and donations. They are not subject to the National Curriculum and managed by a board of trustees or governors.  
International Baccalaureate (IB) An international qualification provider for students aged 3-19, comprised of 4 programmes.
PYP – International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme, for students aged 3-12
MYP – International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Programme, for students aged 11-16
DP – International Baccalaureate’s Diploma Programme, for students aged 16-19
Career-Related Programme – International Baccalaureate’s Career-Related programme for students aged 16-19
View our IB resources
Key Stage The National Curriculum in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is divded into five key stages
Key Stage 1 - Age 5-7
Key Stage 2 - Age 7-11
Key Stage 3 - Age 11-14
Key Stage 4 (GCSE) - Age 14-16
Key Stage 5 (A-level) - Age 16-18
Key Stage 3 (KS3) Key Stage 3 is taught between the ages of 11-14. There are no official examinations at this level as students prepare for their GCSE courses.  
Key Stage 4 (KS4) Key Stage 4 is the legal term for the two years, commonly known as Year 10 and Year 11, when students are studying for their GCSEs.  
Key Stage 5 (KS5) Key Stage 5 is the legal term for the two years, commonly known as Year 12 and Year 13, when students are studying for their A-levels, typically between the ages of 16-18.  
Mastery Mastery describes an approach to learning which focuses on students being able to understand and apply their knowledge.  
My Revision Notes My Revision Notes is a series of revision guides from Hodder Education, that use proven formulas to provide effective, structured revision that students can rely on to review, strengthen and test their knowledge. Discover My Revision Notes
National 4/5 National 4/5s have replaced Standard Grades stands and are public qualifications in Scotland, typically undertaken between the ages of 14-16.  
Need to Know These year-round course companions enable students to check content and review their understanding throughout their A-levels, with quick tips for success and improving exam performance. Discover the Need to Know series
NQT NQT stands for Newly Qualified Teachers. These are teachers who are qualified but are still completing their twelve month statutory programme.  
OCR OCR is an awarding body and not-for-profit organisation which works in partnership with others to provide qualifications that support education in ways which enable all learners to reach their full potential. They provide qualifications for all subjects at GCSE and A-level.
Hodder Education work closely with OCR to produce OCR endorsed textbooks and eTextbooks.
View our OCR endorsed resources
OCR B (MEI) MEI is a registered charity that takes responsibility for the OCR B (MEI) curriculum which is administered by OCR, and provides A-level course textbooks published by Hodder Education as well as Core Maths online resources which are sponsored by OCR. View our OCR B (MEI) endorsed resources
Ofqual The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England. Ofqual is a non-ministerial department. Read more
Ofsted Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. We inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages.
Ofsted is a non-ministerial department.
Read more
Performance Tables (also known as acheivement and attainment tables) The Department for Education publishes performance tables that report achievements for students from Key Stage 2 to A-level. 

Reports achievements for primary school pupils at the end of Key Stage 2. 
Reports achievements at the end of Key Stage 4 (GCSE and equivalent). 
Reports achievements at A/AS level (and equivalent).

Value-added measures are included in the primary and secondary performance tables. These measures focus on the progress that pupils have made from one key stage to the next, whatever their starting points.
PUMA Progress in Understanding Mathematics Assessment (PUMA) are termly standardised maths tests to assess and predict pupil progress from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 3 from Rising Stars Assessment for Hodder Education Find out more
Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) is an organisation that overseas developments in curriculum, assessments, examinations and qualifications. They are committed to building a world-class education and training framework that meets the changing needs of individuals, business and society. Read more
Resit Resits are examinations which are taken after a pupil has not reached the expected level of a standard pass for an exam. In order to move on to further education, pupils must achieve a standard pass (grade 4) in Maths and English at GCSE (and equivalent). View our resources for resit success
SEN A child or young person has Special Educational Needs (SEN) if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.  
SPAG  SPAG is an acronym for spelling, punctuation and grammar.  
Specification The specification is the curriculum developed by each awarding body in line with the National Curriculum.  
State Schools State schools are schools which are publically funded by local councils and are required to teach the National Curriculum.  
Student Guides Student Guides are the ideal course companion from Hodder Education, enabling students  to instantly revisit content with clear topic summaries.  Students can assess their progress throughout the course with sample questions and answers, aimed at improving exam technique to achieve higher grades. Discover our Student Guides
Student Webinar Student webinars are seminars which are broadcast live across the internet. 
Hodder Education runs revision webinars for students studying for GCSE and A-level. These practical and interactive 90-minute sessions are broadcast live to your screen with the ability for students to ask questions and record the webinar to watch back later.
Find out more 
Syllabus The syllabus dictates the order in which topics will be taught over a school year, so that the entire curriculum is delivered in preparation for the exams.   
Trust A charitable organisation that supports one or more schools by holding land on trust and appointing governors. It must be an incorporated organisation, either a charitable company or a body incorporated by Royal Charter. Academies and independent schools are often run by trusts.  
WJEC WJEC is an awarding body providing qualifications and exam assessment to schools and colleges in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and independent regions. With over 65 years’ experience in delivering qualifications, WJEC is the largest provider in Wales and a leading provider in England and Northern Ireland. The organisation employs over 360 people and continues to grow. View our WJEC endorsed resources
Workbooks Workbooks are the perfect course companion to help students build understanding and develop exam skills. Students are able to put their skills into practice, using these full-colour workbooks with plenty of activities. Discover our Student Workbooks

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