Teaching the new GCSE specifications
As of September 2009, GCSEs have changed as part of the ongoing revision of the secondary school curriculum, following changes that previously took place at Key Stage 3 and A-level. Each Awarding Body has now revised their GCSE specifications in line with the new subject criteria specified by the QCA. This page is designed to help you teach the new specifications.
Background to the changes
For a useful, broad overview of what teachers can expect from the new GCSE, including the controlled assessments, view this Think Piece written by Phil Wood, Lecturer in Geography Education at the School of Education, University of Leicester. Although primarily aimed at teacher educators and PGCE students, it should be of interest to practising teachers as well.
You might like to view the concise overview of the specifications prepared by Secondary Phase Committee member Emma Johns. Or, for more detail, each of the specifications can be downloaded from the website of the respective Awarding Body.
Download: The New GCSE Specifications - An Overview (PDF, 32k)
Websites of Awarding Bodies:
A few teachers have set up Ning networks to support the new GCSE specifications:
Mark Ollis has set up a new NING for AQA A
Emma Johns has created a new NING FOR AQA B
Kevin Cooper and Simon Renshaw created the new NING FOR OCR A
Liz Smith created the new NING FOR OCR B
Adam Lawson created a NING for EDEXCEL A
Alan Parkinson created a NING for EDEXCEL B
Becky created a NING for WJEC
For those doing I-GCSE, Rob Morris has established a NING for the EDEXCEL I-GCSE
David Rayner has created a NING for all GCSEs which contains a range of resources.
Get your students involved
Have you thought about the potential for giving your students a say in the decision making process? Emma Johns of the Secondary Phase Committee, has created a pupil consultation exercise in which students will be asked what they would like to see from the GCSE. The following PowerPoint presentation takes you step by step through this exercise. Download and print the specification overview PDF above and hand this out to students during the exercise.
Download: Consultation Exercise Presentation (PPT, 162k)
ICT and the new GCSE
The geography subject criteria and all of the GCSE specifications emphasise the importance of wide and varied ICT opportunities. Our project site Using ICT to Enhance Teaching and Learning at Key Stage 4 contains this useful selected commentary which extracts what each of the new specifications has to say about ICT. You will also find a variety of inspirational project ideas for use in your classroom.
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