New GCSE specification and controlled assessment tasks | Pearson qualifications

New GCSE specification and controlled assessment tasks

8 August 2014

The final accredited version of the new GCSE History specifications is now available.

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Last year Ofqual asked all awarding bodies to take steps to strengthen their current GCSEs in History. The changes focus on strengthening the demands of the GCSE qualification and ensuring that candidates achieving this qualification are well prepared for progression to further study.

Our GCSE Modern World and SHP History specifications have been accredited by Ofqual for first teaching September 2013, first exam summer 2015. You can download the final versions from the relevant qualification page:

GCSE History A: The Making of the Modern World

GCSE History B: Schools History Project

Please note that summer 2014 will be the last assessment series for the 'old' 2012 linear specifications.

New controlled assessment tasks for submission in summer 2015

You can now download several of the new controlled assessment tasks for submission in summer 2015 from the relevant qualification page.

Unfortunately, they aren't all available but we'll aim to get the remaining tasks uploaded for the start of the new term. Please accept our sincerest apologies for the delay in uploading these tasks. They could not be published until the new specifications were accredited, and our senior examiners and assessment team then had to focus on this summer's examination series before the tasks could be finalised.

Location of new controlled assessment tasks

The new GCSE controlled assessment tasks valid for submission in summer 2015 can be downloaded from the History A or History B qualification pages.

To download the live tasks, select 'Controlled Assessment' then 'Tasks' and look for the 'May 2015 submission' tasks.

Please remember that only your exams officer/centre administrator can download the live tasks.

Once the secure controlled assessment documents have been downloaded, you must ensure they are stored securely so that they cannot be viewed or accessed by students until the appointed time (see the specification for more details on timing).

Should your exams officer experience difficulties in accessing the secure content, please ask them to contact us on 0844 463 2535 to report the problem.

Representation Bank for Representation 3

Once you have downloaded the live tasks you will need to decide which representation you want to use for Representation 3 in part C (old part Bii).

For controlled assessment submitted in summer 2015, Representation 3 must be selected from Edexcel's 'Controlled Assessment Representation Bank'. We hope to make this available to teachers in September. Only centres offering local history options may select their own Representation 3.

Changes to controlled assessment for submission in summer 2015

As a result of Ofqual's strengthening process, we've had to make changes to the controlled assessment unit - both in the way it is assessed and in terms of some topic content - to make options more comparable.

The 'old' 2012 specifications had controlled assessment tasks which were valid for 2 years to enable teachers to run the controlled assessment at any time during a two-year course. Because the courses were modular, tasks were valid for submission in 2  examination series. We also released a new task every year so that there was effectively a 'rolling choice' of tasks each year.

Because of the specification changes, we can no longer offer a 'rolling choice' of controlled assessment tasks each year. New controlled assessment tasks will be published each year, and will still be valid for two years, but they will only be valid for submission in 1 series.

The latest tasks will be available for teachers to use from September 2013, but they can only be submitted for assessment in summer 2015. 

Students who are certificating in summer 2014 are not permitted to use the new 2015 tasks, as they have been written for the new specification. These students must use the older 2012-14 tasks and will not have a choice of tasks as in previous series.

A new set of tasks will be published in July 2014 for submission in summer 2016. These tasks will be for students certificating in summer 2016.

Please note that there have been changes to the assessment and rules surrounding the teaching and submission of controlled assessment. These are detailed in the new specifications and sample assessment materials, which can be found on the following support pages:

GCSE History A: The Making of the Modern World

GCSE History B: Schools History Project

Here's a summary of key changes to controlled assessment:

  • Specification content has been restructured into 3 bullet points and there will be 1 question on each.
  • All specification content for a particular topic must be taught and the complete folder of work for one student (second highest scoring in sample) must be sent along with the moderation sample to check this.
  • The chosen questions must not be given to students until the specified content has been delivered.
  • Old Part B(i) has been replaced with a new Part A question requiring historical explanation worth 10 marks.
  • Representation 3 must be chosen from the representation bank on the Edexcel website (available in September) unless a local history option is chosen.
  • The dates and content of some topics has changed to ensure comparability.
  • Modern World centres can no longer satisfy the requirement to study 25 per cent British History in the controlled assessment unit.

Controlled assessment: Frequently Asked Questions

Will you be updating the free Controlled Assessment Teacher Support Books?

Yes - we plan to update to update these in line with the new specification and hope to make the amended versions available in the autumn term.

Will you be updating the Pearson published textbooks for controlled assessment?

No - we have no plans to update the current controlled assessment student books as we have chosen to focus on updating the examined unit student books for the new specification.

Where is the mark scheme for my controlled assessment topic?

There are no topic-specific mark schemes. You can find the generic mark scheme in the new specification.

Can students resit controlled assessment tasks?

In the 'old' modular specification, students who had not submitted work early for moderation could still resit controlled assessment by attempting a different Part A enquiry (same task) or by doing an entirely different task (a choice of tasks was always available).

With two-year linear courses that started in September 2012, students who are certificating in summer 2014 will not have a choice of tasks in order to retake (if necessary). They can therefore still attempt a different Part A enquiry (same task), but will also be able to retake Part B from the same task but using a different Representation 3.

Students who are starting a two-year linear course from September 2013 and are therefore following the new specification will be able to retake their controlled assessment (if necessary) by attempting a different Part A historical explanation, a different Part B historical enquiry and/or the same Part C representations question but using a different Representation 3.

Is SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) included in controlled assessment?

No - SPaG is only assessed in the examined units. You do not need to add any additional marks for SPaG and should just use the generic mark scheme published in the specification.

I hope you found this update useful. If you have any further queries please don't hesitate to contact me.




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