A level reform update: subject content and assessment for new AS and A level Geography from 2016

Wed Jul 16 08:38:21 UTC 2014

The DfE is consulting on the proposed subject content for AS and A level Geography from 2016 and the full content consultation will close on 19 September. I would encourage you to have your say.

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Key areas

  • 60 per cent of the qualification on 4 specified core themes common to all A level specifications:
    • Physical - Water and carbon cycles; Landscape systems (a minimum of 1 core theme for AS level)
    • Human - Global systems and global governance; Changing place/changing places (a minimum of 1 core theme for AS level)
  • 40 per cent of the qualification on non-core content chosen by the exam board that maintains the overall balance between human and physical geography and at least half of which addresses people-environment questions and issues
  • a balance of quantitative and qualitative methods and skills
  • fieldwork to be assessed within one independent student investigation (see Ofqual consultation below) and within appropriate exam questions for A level only
  • fieldwork to be assessed by exam only for AS level.

Ofqual is consulting on its assessment arrangements for Geography and their Consultation will close on 22 September. Again, I would encourage you to have your say.

Key areas

  • exam-only assessment (including that of fieldwork) for AS level
  • 20 per cent weighing on a non-exam assessment of fieldwork for A level, marked by teachers and moderated by exam boards
  • assessment objectives specify more clearly than the current ones the abilities required in the subject. The proposed ranges are narrower than those in the current assessment objectives for greater comparability between specifications.

You may have seen that the A level Content Advisory Board (ALCAB) was set up to provide advice to the DfE and Ofqual on the content of new GCE Geography qualifications. ALCAB has published the report from its geography panel.

All the best,



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