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Cambridge Pre-U Geography: The Way Forward? Peter Price & Claire Sladden Geographical Association Annual Conference and Exhibition University of Surrey,

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Presentation on theme: "Cambridge Pre-U Geography: The Way Forward? Peter Price & Claire Sladden Geographical Association Annual Conference and Exhibition University of Surrey,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Cambridge Pre-U Geography: The Way Forward? Peter Price & Claire Sladden Geographical Association Annual Conference and Exhibition University of Surrey, 16 April 2011

2 Introducing Peter Price HOD Charterhouse Teaching Pre-U CGeog Member GA ISSIG and Post-16/HE Committees

3 Pre-16 and post-16 almost entirely linear Ethos aiming to maximise learning time and minimise examination disruption Geography Department traditionally offered OCR GCE and OCR C GCSE Pre-16: majority of subjects offer IGCSE Post-16: majority offer Pre-U (only 3 offer A Level) From September 2011, Charterhouse will also offer IB The Charterhouse Curriculum

4 Introducing Claire Sladden Geographer and assessment specialist CGeog, FRGS, FCIEA Chief Examiner, Pre-U Principal Examiner, Pre-U Paper 3 Global Themes The Avenue, Trinity College, Cambridge, in spring

5 Aims for this Lecture Plus: introduce the Pre-U syllabus offer some reflections from the points of view of a teacher and an assessor provide the opportunity to ask questions and discuss classroom implications

6 Introduction The Cambridge Pre-U Certificate in GEOGRAPHY is assessed through 4 compulsory components. The assessments all take place at the end of the two-year course and a single grade is awarded.

7 A flexible qualification Cambridge Pre-U Certificate –27 subject syllabuses and core Cambridge Pre-U Diploma –Builds on subject strength –Freedom of subject choice –Core components Global Perspectives Portfolio Individual Research Report

8 Syllabus characteristics Linearity –Avoids fragmentation –Reclaims teaching time –No component retakes Authentic stretch and challenge –Informed syllabus development –Genuine synopticity –Greater discrimination at the top end (addition of D1)

9 Cambridge Pre-U Diploma Principal Subject Global Perspectives Independent Research Report Optional Short Course, Additional Principal Subjects Global Perspectives and Research Completely free choice of subjects Guarantees breadth Opportunities for greater depth Stand alone learning pathways


11 Supporting progression to university

12 UCAS Tariff Cambridge Pre-U Band Cambridge Pre-U Grade Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subject Tariff A Level Equivalent Grade A Level Equivalent Tariff Cambridge Pre-U GPR Tariff Cambridge Pre-U Short Course Tariff DistinctionD1tbcn/a tbc D2145(A*)140tbc D3130A MeritM M M PassP P P346E404220

13 That the core concern of the subject is the interaction of people with the environment The importance of maintaining a clear and strong physical geography component Flexibility, opening up choices for teachers, to reflect the interests and resources of Geography departments The introduction of some new topics and of new angles on others More opportunities for extended writing (essays) The need to develop enquiry skills Principles underlying the Geography syllabus

14 Assessment Objectives AO1 show knowledge and understanding of the places, concepts, processes and principles of the syllabus content AO2 select and use appropriate skills and techniques (including the use of fieldwork and information technology) to investigate questions and issues and communicate findings AO3 analyse and evaluate geographical information, issues and viewpoints; apply understanding in unfamiliar contexts; draw conclusions from evidence presented

15 Syllabus content: 1 Geographical Issues Section A (choose 2) Tectonic Hazards Hazardous Weather Hydrological Hazards Section B (choose 2) The Geography of Crime Health and Disease Spatial Inequality and Poverty Section C (synoptic; minimal teaching) Multiple hazards and issues

16 Syllabus content: 2 Global Environments Section A (choose 1) Arid and Semi-Arid Environments Glacial and Periglacial Environments Coastal Environments Section B (choose 1) Tropical Environments Temperate Grassland and Forest Environments The Atmospheric Environment

17 Syllabus content: 3 Global Themes Section A (choose 1) Migration and Urban Change Trade, Debt and Aid The World of Work Section B (choose 1) Energy and Mineral Resources The Provision of Food Tourism Spaces

18 Paper 4 Research Topic One of three prescribed topics each year for a research investigation involving fieldwork. For examination in 2011 the topics are: Microclimates Environmental Degradation Deprivation Topics for 2012–15 have been published.

19 Programme of study from Charterhouse SequencePhysicalHuman 1Coastal Environments Spatial Inequality and Poverty 2The Atmospheric EnvironmentHealth and Disease Year 12 end of year examinations 3Climatic HazardsTrade, Debt and Aid Year 13 Mocks 4Hydrological HazardsThe Provision of Food -Paper 4 fieldwork and research throughout 2 & 3 (Microclimates) 5Revision (extended)

20 CIE Support Essential materials online (syllabus, specimen papers and Teacher Guide) Past examination material, including interim papers Small, so personal contacts with CIE (excellent access to Chief Examiner and Product Manager; example of examination dates) and other departments teaching Pre-U Through the Online Community, administered by one of the PEs No tied textbooks – blessing or curse? Pre-U: Support

21 A teachers reflections on Pre-U: The Way Forward? In-built linearity is liberating Academic liberation of open-ended content v more prescribed GCE content Challenging contemporary content (for teachers and pupils) I have read more in 8 months preparation for Pre-U than in the past 14 years of A Level teaching Bridging the gap to HE? Evolving – get involved in shaping the qualification BUT Linearity in a modular curriculum Resourcing? International board on a learning curve about servicing increased centres in their home country Recognition (UCAS and beyond?); case of IB

22 Examiner feedback from first examination in May/June 2010 Small cohort Established practices and procedures Benchmarked against OCR 2009 Experience of awarding D1 Archived standards

23 Further questions? Read Peters article in ISSIG Notes & Queries and Post-16/HE Committee newsletter Go to making sure that you indicate Pre-U Geography Product Manager, Pre-U Geography, CIE Tim Kendrick-Jones


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