Many centres are entering students for our new Entry Level history qualification, but every time I go out and speak to teachers at network events and conferences, there are still many people who do not know about this fantastic opportunity.
In this blog, I answer five key questions about Entry Level history to help you decide if it’s for your students.
Entry Level is a qualification for students who would not be able to get a grade 1 at GCSE.
We have many different types of students and schools that take this qualification because of the nature of Entry Level history. It comes with lots of choice of topic, and easy to use and understand assessments that can be taken in class, hence why almost any student with keen interest in history can take this qualification.
It’s very popular in special schools, pupil referral units and prisons, as well as in state and independent schools where typically a handful of students in each class take it.
Our Entry Level history mirrors the topics and structure of our GCSEs, so if you are in a centre teaching GCSE History (with any board) you can easily co-teach the entry level qualification.
It’s also easy to switch pupils on to Entry Level if they are struggling with the GCSE course, as some centres do. Even if you’re not teaching GCSE, the choice of options and topics is wide and varied.
Entry Level history has three parts:
You do not have to teach the whole specification content, and many centres choose to focus on one or more areas of interest in the thematic and depth studies.
So for instance, a school teaching the ‘War’ theme might choose just to focus on the First and Second World Wars rather than the entire theme. This really helps students whose interests in history are very particular, and also with the expertise and resourcing of each individual history teacher or department.
All of the content from the Hodder GCSE textbooks is relevant for Entry level history, and centres are free to undertake mini mocks during the year if they wish, and complete the internal assessments at any time.
The History team at OCR is always on hand to answer any questions you have.
The assessment of Entry Level history is very simple and straightforward, but there is some choice and freedom too.
Most commonly (and easily) centres use the exemplar tasks for the thematic and depth studies that we have created and put on Interchange (the secure area of our website). These can be reused every year so there is no need to create your own exams or questions.
The third component also allows students to present their work in a variety of ways – traditional essay, poster, PowerPoint and the like. These three pieces of work are internally set, marked and moderated, and a sample sent off to a moderator to check the accuracy of your marking.
Students will then receive a grade, Entry Level 1, 2 or 3, depending on how many marks they have scored.
The Entry Level specification goes through all aspects of this blog in far more detail. You will see the choice of options, the structure of the course, and more information about how it’s assessed.
You can also access the exemplar material and mark schemes on Interchange.
One great feature of Entry Level is that you can print off and use these as live material every year you teach it. Or you can design your own assessments (provided they meet the criteria in the specification).
Finally the examiners’ report for Entry Level from 2017 shows you how students performed in the first year of this qualification.
Hopefully you are now thinking which students this great qualification might be appropriate for. If you have any questions about Entry level History, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Asher Goodenough - Subject Specialist - History
Asher has worked at OCR since September 2015, and is a History Subject Specialist and also looks after Critical Thinking. His degree is in Modern History with a focus on British and American history since the 19th century. Previously, Asher was a teacher of History, Co-ordinator of Critical Thinking, and Head of History, working in schools in England and Germany. In his spare time he is an avid cricket, travel and cooking enthusiast.