Context and research headlines
Since the introduction of the reformed, decoupled AS and A level qualifications, we’ve become aware of an increasing preference within schools for a two-year linear A level delivery model. This has been especially true in particular subjects and our research to date tells us that this movement towards A level is likely to continue.
In looking into this, we’ve heard a number of common reasons for the shift away from AS qualifications. These include:
- AS ‘not counting’ towards an A level grade
- distinct coursework (or speaking assessments) at AS and A level
- the volume of content of the reformed A levels
- time and budgetary constraints.
Teachers have also told us that they have seen the following benefits for students in focusing on a two-year A level-only course in these particular subjects:
- more time for students to engage with their subject
- more space to consider the content more deeply
- a longer development time for the necessary skills
- the opportunity to develop both breadth and depth of subject coverage
- less exam and/or coursework preparation and revision throughout the first year of the A level course.