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GA Conference, Guildford, March 2008 The New Sixth-Form Geography Viv Pointon.

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Presentation on theme: "GA Conference, Guildford, March 2008 The New Sixth-Form Geography Viv Pointon."— Presentation transcript:

1 GA Conference, Guildford, March 2008 The New Sixth-Form Geography Viv Pointon

2 2 The role of the sixth-form Prepare students for university Prepare students for work The sixth-form is a bridge…

3 3 Changes… September 2008: New AS courses Diplomas Cambridge Pre-U September 2009: New A2 courses New GCSEs

4 4 Reasons for A level change Reduction in exam time Reduction from six to four assessment units Removal of coursework Stretch and challenge Differentiation

5 5 Consequences of A level change Less and different content No coursework per se but… Questions on fieldwork Fewer modules New A* grade

6 6 The new A levels: content Hazards Climate change Meteorology Rivers & coasts Hot & cold environments Some ecology Urban studies Globalisation Development Population & migration

7 7 The new A levels: content Newer themes: Conflict Inequality Food supply Health Energy Pollution

8 8 The new A levels: schools perspective Familiar topics can recycle old notes and handouts schemes of work can be tweaked Some refreshingly new ideas opportunity to update materials can introduce new topics Wide choice of specification from rather traditional to radically new

9 9 Content continuum traditional innovative OCR AQA Edexcel CCEA WJEC

10 10 Comparison of content: The development gap CCEA AS: Students should be able to identify and explain regional contrasts in development (with) one case study at the national scale which demonstrates distinct regional variations in development. [in AS human geography unit] OCR A2: To what extent is the development gap increasing or decreasing? [in option on development and inequalities] Recommends study of countries at different stages on the development continuum. WJEC A2: What is the development gap? What hinders the closing of the development gap? What types of strategies exist for reducing the development gap and how effective are these strategies? [in option on development] AQA A2: The concept of the North/South divide, and its relationship to the development continuum. [in option on development and globalisation] Edexcel A2: Whole topic on Bridging the development gap – causes, consequences, and reduction.

11 11 The new A levels: HE perspective In physical geography: will find little new learning possibly less basic geomorphology and scientific analysis In human geography: will find aspects of cultural turn greater awareness of issues better preparation

12 12 The new A levels: assessment Some very traditional styles and some new approaches Issues analysis or DME papers No coursework but fieldwork required (by QCA) at both AS and A2 Fieldwork questions are likely to be predictable and answers learned Limited research opportunities

13 13 The new A levels: assessment AQACCEEDXOCRWJE Compulsory AS questions somemostsomenoneall Compulsory A2 questions some nonesome Multiple choicexxxx Data response questions Short mark questions (1 or 2 marks) few x Longer mark questions (c. 10 marks) Decision-making or issue analysisx Individual research – field based Individual research – secondary datax opt. x Number of essays (30 minutes or more) 1 dme 2+44 Pre-release informationxx

14 14 Assessment continuum straight-forward challenging OCR AQA Edexcel CCEA WJEC

15 15 The new A levels: assessment Schools perspective: continuing or greater teaching to the exam questions may require narrower range of skills HE perspective: students may be less prepared for independent learning fewer research skills less understanding of referencing

16 16 Comparison of assessment: coasts With reference to one or more named examples, explain how management schemes in coastal areas can provide protection from coastal processes. (9) OCR AS With reference to one or more case studies of coastal management, discuss whether the benefits outweigh the costs. (15) AQA AS Using names examples, examine the environmental costs of coastal development such as those shown in Florida. (10) Edexcel AS With reference to named examples, explain the ways in which human activities might lead to conflicts in coastal areas, and examine what is being done to reduce such conflicts. (25) OCR AS With reference to a regional case study, describe the nature of the hard and soft engineering strategies used to protect coastal areas and evaluate the impact of these strategies on the human and physical environment. (15) CCEA A2 Use examples to assess the success of strategies used to manage the impact of human activity on the coastal environment. (25) WJEC A2

17 17 Decision-making and issues analysis Four ABs include DMEs or issues analysis assessment Three ABs base this upon pre-released data CCEA: DME with 30 minutes reading time in exam WJEC: DME resource folder released c. 6 weeks before exam AQA: Issue Evaluation advance information released 2½ months before exam + more in exam Edexcel: Issue Analysis advanced information released 4 weeks before exam + more in exam OCR: No DME or similar - simple resource-based skills questions in exam

18 18 Fieldwork & skills assessment There are predictable questions in all: aims & hypotheses data collection methods sampling methods data presentation techniques data analysis techniques Edexcel, OCR & WJEC probably require less – could get away with two days AQA & CCEA most solidly examined in both AS & A2 but could get away with one good week of fieldwork OCR is most basic: fieldwork only really needed for A2 Edexcel may be most challenging: 90-minute question based upon own research AQA & CCEA are most thorough in testing skills CCEA requires submission of field report & data table with exam

19 19 A level: stretch and challenge A* will differentiate top candidates Summer 2007: Edexcel A 33.1% OCR A 29.8% AQA B 29.6% AQA A 28.6% WJEC 27.2% CCEA 26.0% Edexcel B 22.8%

20 20 A level: stretch and challenge AQA, Edexcel, and CCEA address this in discrete sections in their specifications WJEC refers to its demands in five separate places OCR has one reference but flags up opportunities in its support material. CCEA: This will be achieved by: using a variety of command words, for example analyse, evaluate, discuss, compare, to elicit a full range of response types the use of case studies the use of open-ended questions the use of resource materials AQA add: connectivity between sections of questions and extended writing Edexcel add: development of synoptic assessment to include a research component

21 21 A level: stretch and challenge OCR: say that Unit Content gives a minimum list of topics/concepts that can be expected to be studied in the time available. These topics/concepts are not exclusive and centres are encouraged to go beyond this minimum to enable candidates to better meet the needs of stretch and challenge. WJEC say: In A2 the decision-making/problem- solving/issues-evaluation exercises require candidates to draw together relevant knowledge, understanding and skills of the specification to tackle a decision, problem or issue that is new to them. The final question will provide stretch and challenge.

22 22 Alternatives to AS/A level International Baccalaureate Cambridge Pre-U Diploma Welsh Bacc Diplomas GNVQs, etc.

23 23 International Baccalaureate a challenging two-year curriculum Compulsory elements Geography is one of nine subjects in Group 3

24 24 Cambridge Pre-U Intended to be more academically rigorous Linear course Geography is one of 22 subjects Candidates choose three principal subjects Parallel course on Global Perspectives used to deliver thinking skills and research skills Independent research report completes Diploma Working towards full QCA accreditation Cambridge Pre-U

25 25 Pre-U Geography Can be taken as a stand-alone certificate Geographical Issues (40%) hydrological and tectonic hazards, weather crime, spatial inequality, health & disease Global Environments (20%) arid & semi-arid, glacial & periglacial, coastal tropical, temperate, atmospheric Global Themes (20%) migration & urban change, trade, aid & debt, work food, tourism, energy & mineral resources Research Topic (20%) one of three prescribed topics Cambridge Pre-U

26 26 Welsh Baccalaureate Consists of three parts: The Core - consisting of four components: Key Skills Wales, Europe and the World Work-related Education Personal and Social Education. Options selected from existing courses or programmes – GCSE, VGCSE, AS/A levels, AVCE, NVQ, or BTEC An individual investigation Offered at Advanced, Intermediate and Foundation levels

27 Diplomas From September 2008: Information Technology Society, Health & Development Engineering Creative & Media Construction & the Built Environment From September 2009: Environmental & Land-Based Studies Manufacturing & Product Design Hair & Beauty Studies Business Administration & Finance Hospitality From September 2010: Travel & Tourism Public Services Sport & Leisure Retail From September 2011: Humanities Languages Science

28 Diplomas General geography content: Sustainability Resource use Environmental impact Environmental and Land-Based Studies (2009) Travel and Tourism (2010) Humanities (2011) Science (2011)

29 29 Bridging the gorge… Sixth-form HE

30 30 Building the bridge… Schools/colleges priority is to get students through sixth-form successfully HE wants well-prepared students but must recognise constraints on teachers Teachers want up-to-date material but rely on HE to supply this Teachers must recognise constraints on HE re research priorities BUT need to communicate more as both rely on each other

31 31 Two-way transport is needed… Develop & use local GA branches Visit each other Get HE students into schools & A level candidates into universities Set up training days for teachers & for lecturers Publish accessible material Work with awarding bodies Research best practice

32 32 …but it is not an unbridgeable divide…

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