GCSE and A level History reform

Fri Apr 25 09:15:12 UTC 2014

This update contains the latest information on qualification reform for GCSE and A level History.

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A level History reform

On 9 April 2014, the Department for Education (DfE) published the revised content requirements for A level History qualifications for first teaching from September 2015.

You can download a copy of the A level History content requirements from the DfE website.

Key changes proposed for AS and A level History 2015

From first teaching in September 2015, new A levels in History will be linear qualifications, with all assessment at the end of the course. AS will become a standalone qualification and won't contribute towards an A level.

The subject criteria for AS and A level History have been revised and therefore all awarding organisations must design new specifications which adhere to these criteria. The key changes are summarised below:

  • Both AS and A level students will be required to study the history of more than one country or state.
  • A level students will be required to study topics from a chronological range of at least 200 years.
  • A level students will be required to study at least 20 per cent British history.
  • The A level will have a 20 per cent non-examination component to assess independently researched historical enquiry.
  • The AS level will be 100 per cent examination.

A level reform timeline

Download a timeline of A level qualification reform 2015.

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Coming soon for A level History

Face-to-face and online launch events - from early May, you will be able to book onto A level History launch events, which will be held across the country in June and July. We will update you when the bookings open.

Draft A level History specifications - we'll be submitting draft specifications to Ofqual for accreditation in June. A draft copy of the specification will then be uploaded onto the website and we will notify you when it is available.

Accredited A level History specifications - these will be available in the Autumn Term 2014, for first teaching September 2015.

Planning and support - in the Autumn Term 2014, we'll provide you with support documents to help you plan for 2015 AS and A level History, including schemes of work, course planners and content mapping documents.

Getting Ready to Teach events - from the Autumn Term 2014, we’ll have a further programme of online and face-to-face launch events followed by Getting Ready to Teach events to help you plan and deliver the new specifications.

GCSE History reform

The DfE also recently published the revised content requirements for GCSE History qualifications for first teaching from September 2016.

You can download a copy of the GCSE History content requirements from the DfE website.

Key changes proposed for GCSE History 2016

From first teaching September 2016, new GCSEs in History will be 100 per cent externally assessed linear qualifications with no coursework or controlled assessment.

The subject criteria for GCSE History have been revised and, therefore, all awarding organisations must design new specifications that adhere to these criteria. The key changes are summarised below:

  • GCSE specifications should include history from three eras: Medieval (500-1500), Early Modern (1450-1750) and Modern (1700-present day).
  • GSCE specifications will be required to include history on three timescales: short (depth study), medium (period study) and long (thematic study).
  • GCSE specifications will have to cover three geographical contexts: a locality (historic environemnt), British and European / Wider World.
  • The requirement to study British History will increase to 40 per cent of the assessed content.

GCSE reform timeline

Have a look at our GCSE qualification reform timeline.

GCSE History is a 'second stage' subject for first teaching September 2016, first exam Summer 2018.

What's next for GCSE History?

We are consulting widely with teachers in order to develop new GCSE qualifications. Draft GCSE specifications will be submitted to Ofqual in Spring 2015 and we will be running a series of launch and Getting Ready to Teach events later that year.

For more information about new GCSEs and A levels please email me.

Regards,

Mark

Mark Battye, History subject advisor
Mark BattyeHistory
UK: 020 7010 2186
Intl: +44 (0)20 7010 2186
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