Further details of the content, timetable and assessment of new GCSEs and A Levels for 2015 and 2016 have been announced by the Department for Education and by the exams regulator Ofqual.
Details of the content for the new A Levels, for first teaching from 2015, in art and design, biology, business, chemistry, computer science, economics, English language, English literature, English language and literature, history, physics, psychology and sociology are now available.
The DfE has confirmed that new A Levels in D&T, dance, drama, music, PE and RS will now be developed for first teaching in 2016, alongside new A Levels in ancient languages, further maths, geography, maths and modern foreign languages which had previously been announced.
The content of new GCSEs in English language, English literature and maths, for first teaching from 2015, was announced in November 2013.
Details of the content for new GCSEs, for first teaching from 2016, in combined and single sciences, geography, history, modern and ancient languages, are now available.
The DfE also announced that GCSEs in art and design, citizenship, computer science, D&T, dance, drama, music, PE and RS will now be re-developed for first teaching from 2016, alongside the ‘EBacc’ subjects already confirmed for 2016.
Ofqual announced that the assessment of new linear GCSEs and A Levels should be by exam only, except where essential skills cannot be tested by an exam. At A Level, the amount of coursework in English, history and computer science will be reduced from 40 to 20%. The assessment of practical work in the sciences at A Level will be reported separately in an endorsed certificate. At GCSE, Ofqual is planning to re-consult on the assessment of the sciences. For other GCSEs, geography and history will be exam only. Decisions on non-exam assessment at GCSE in other subjects will be made on a subject by subject basis.
OCR welcomes today’s extensive announcements. The reform of GCSEs and A Levels offers an opportunity to develop new qualifications that compete with the best in the world. The input of experts from higher education – from Professor Smith to the 140 HE representatives on OCR’s own forums informing our development plans – is helping to realise those ambitions.
OCR is committed to building GCSEs and A Levels of international standing, and to developing the teacher-led resources needed to enable all involved to get the best out of challenging new qualifications, such as the ‘big’ Maths GCSE. We are particularly pleased to hear about the development of qualifications for 2016 in a broader range of subjects, such as music, art and design and RS, which are essential for supporting a rich and creative school curriculum.
Alongside these announcements, OCR has produced a summary of the latest changes to GCSEs, A levels and vocational qualifications, which includes a timeline of what’s happening when.