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From 2015, A Level History students will get an opportunity to study history that goes back more than one and half millennia (to 400 AD) and spans four continents including Africa.
Just days after OCR’s new 'broader view' History AS/A Levels were accredited, historian and Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt (pictured left) attended the OCR History Forum to learn more about its role.
At the Forum on 15 October, forum members consisting of history teachers, university academics and subject associations, as well as special guest Tristram Hunt, heard OCR Chief Executive Mark Dawe (right), confirm OCR’s approach to creating new qualifications.
Mark Dawe, OCR Chief Executive, said: "With the encouragement of our Forum members who advised us to include more non-European topics, we made our History A Level broader in geography and further back in time to help young people to become more sophisticated global citizens. As well as retaining plenty of British history – including favourites such as the Tudors and modern European history – we have introduced new units about India and Japan and we are the only exam board to offer pre-colonial African kingdoms.”
Tristram Hunt commented: "This OCR History Forum is exactly the kind of professional engagement across the education community that is needed to create exciting new qualifications."
Uniquely among exam boards, OCR has established 17 subject forums where over 800 external stakeholders with subject expertise are invited to meet with the board to exchange views on syllabus content. Subjects covered range from Maths to Geography and Psychology to Economics. OCR’s History Forum members will now be embarking on helping OCR to develop new History GCSEs for 2016.
The new strands on offer for A Level History students include:
Mike Goddard, Head of History at OCR said: "We pay particular attention to asking what universities want their potential students to have studied, and how, to ensure our qualifications are fit for purpose. Many universities are concerned by the narrow topics that incoming students have taken at school. We wish to encourage schools to be brave and branch out by trying one new topic. We now offer 58 subject options and have already heard from many schools that they are very excited about our new topics."
OCR's newly-accredited AS/A Level History specifications are here
Take a look at our History page for information about the resources and CPD events we are offering to help teachers prepare for new qualifications. You can also watch OCR's video about how A Level History is changing and about the new African Kingdoms topic in OCR's new qualification.