AS and A Level Geography Specification Updates | Pearson qualifications

AS and A Level Geography Specification Updates

Thu Feb 29 17:29:00 UTC 2024

The geography team at Pearson has worked with independent experts to review our GCSE and GCE qualifications, including geography.  

An immediate outcome of these reviews was to look at how we could change language or place contexts (indicated by globe symbols) in our specifications that are seen to be problematic or potentially offensive.

Our review of A level Geography aimed to show any instances of geographical terms, examples or place contexts that could be considered problematic, offensive or could cause harm to students.  We worked with two practitioners who currently teach Pearson Edexcel A Level Geography and are members of the Decolonising Geography teacher collective, together with our senior examining team.  

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We asked the review team to indicate: 

  1. immediate changes along with a recommended alternative to remove or replace problematic language or place contexts,
  2. minor updates to bring the specification content in line with current geographical theory and thinking,   
  3. clarification of the specification content to respond to your queries.  

Summary of the improvements to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 

  • They identified immediate changes to the specification language that could cause harm to students by perpetuating stereotypes.  
  • They  included a better balance of place examples to give students a more nuanced perspective on issues.  
  • They added locational or historical context where they felt it is an important part of the issues explored.  
  • They also identified opportunities to include the perspectives of marginalised voices. 

Please see our topic-by-topic summary of what’s changing:


AS and A Level Geography Specification Updates

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When is first teaching and first assessment of the changes? 

The updated specifications are for first teaching September 2024 and first assessment summer 2026. 

How do I find out more?

We will be joined by Hamda Sheikh and Nona Anderson, two of the reviewers and teachers of the specification, on Tuesday 26th March at 4pm for a PD event about understanding the specification updates.

  • The updated specifications will be available later in March.

  • Please make sure you’re signed up to receive my updates as I will let you know when the updated specifications are available. 
  • The geography team will be at the Geographical Association conference, 4-6th April, and we will be running a workshop for teachers about our specification updates on Friday 5th April at 9am.

  • We’ll also be working with Hamda and Nona to bring you updated schemes of work together with another PD event in June about supporting you with the specification updates. 

  • Don’t forget to look at our new A Level Geography place contexts



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