Resources to support new GCSEs and A levels

Overview of available and planned support for new GCSEs and A levels being introduced in September 2017.

We have been working with WJEC, Welsh Government and the Regional Consortia, to facilitate and clarify the availability of the training and resources that they will be offering to support the introduction of the new qualifications.

 

For each of the qualifications being introduced this year, we have produced an overview of the training and resources that we understand are, or will, be available to help teachers prepare for and teach the new qualifications.

 

For an update on progress about Welsh-medium resources to support the qualifications introduced in 2015 and 2016 please see here

 

GCSE Business

GCSE Business

Approval Criteria

Available on the Qualifications Wales website, here.

Summary of changes

- Additional subject aims and objectives have been specified.

- Assessment objectives and weightings have been amended

- Assessment is by examination only, the controlled assessment element has been removed.

- 10% of marks are allocated for quantitative skills which includes calculations and interpretation of quantitative data.

- Some aspects of the content to be assessed have been updated.

- The new specification is linear, with all assessment taking place at the end of the course. Learners wishing to resit must retake all units.

Status

 

Specification

Available on WJEC’s website, here.

Sample assessment material

Available on WJEC’s website, here.

Guidance for teachers

Will be available on WJEC’s website by mid-May 2017

Prepare to teach training

Taking place on 20, 22 and 24 March.

One free place available per centre.

Register via WJEC website here

CPD materials can be viewed and downloaded at the end of the series of events here.

 

Teaching and learning resources

WJEC is updating online digital resources to reflect the updated content for the qualification.

These will be produced bilingually and will include:

  • 6 principle packs for each sub-section of the specification. Units will be delivered one at a time.
  • Updates and additions to 51 classroom activities to support the new qualification.

WJEC is also producing a support pack for teachers on how to teach quantitative skills and mathematical techniques. (Available now).

Welsh Government’s Welsh in Education Resources  Branch has commissioned Cynnal to produce a general Business Management resource that will include Welsh-medium video clips and online activities. This resource will be available on Hwb.

(Available: November2017)

Hodder has confirmed an intention to produce a textbook specifically for this qualification covering both WJEC and Eduqas specifications.

This will be available in English during August 2017 at the earliest. The Welsh version will follow within approx. 6 months.

 

GCSE Computer Science

GCSE Computer Science

Approval Criteria

Available on the Qualifications Wales website, here.

Summary of changes

- Subject aims and objectives have been amended

- Assessment objectives and weightings have been amended

- Some aspects of content have been updated

- Assessment structure is similar to the previous qualification, consisting of three units: a written examination, an onscreen examination and a non-exam assessment.

- The weighting of the non-exam assessment component is reduced from 25% to 20% of the overall qualification.

- The new specification is linear, with all assessment taking place at the end of the course. Learners wishing to resit must retake all examined units, marks from the non-exam assessment can be carried forward.

Status

Approved

Specification

Available on WJEC’s website here

Sample assessment material

Available on WJEC’s website here

Guidance for teachers

Will be available on WJEC’s website by the end of March 2017.

Prepare to teach training

Preparing to Teach CPD held in late February and March 2017.

Training materials used at the events can be viewed and downloaded from WJEC website here

Teaching and learning resources

WJEC is producing an e-text book to include updated digital resources relating to the new content areas. This will be available on WJEC’s website during June 2017.

GCSE Design and Technology

GCSE Design and Technology

Approval Criteria

Available on the Qualifications Wales website, here.

Summary of changes

- Single specification encompassing all three areas of design; a move away from separate specifications for each of the six areas in the legacy qualification.

- Focus areas redefined as: engineering design; fashion and textiles; and product design.

- Refined assessment objectives and weightings.

- Recommended hours to be spent on non-exam assessment tasks increased from 30 to 35 hours

- Contribution of the non-exam assessed work reduced from 60% to 50%.

- The new specification is linear, with all assessment taking place at the end of the course. Learners wishing to resit must retake all components.

Projected Approval date

Week commencing 13 March 2017

Specification

Draft specification available here

Approved specification expected week commencing 27 March 2017.

Sample assessment material

Will be available on WJEC’s website week commencing 10 April 2017.

Guidance for teachers

Teacher Guidance will be available on WJEC’s website by mid-June 2017. This will include guidance on incorporating quantitative skills into learning and for delivering the non-exam assessment.

Prepare to teach training

Taking place on 3, 14 and 17 March 2017.

A maximum of 3 free places available per centre.

Register via WJEC website here

CPD materials can be viewed and downloaded at the end of the series of events here.

Teaching and learning resources

WJEC is providing online digital resources to support the new qualification. These will be produced bilingually and will include:

- Additional NEA materials

- General scheme of learning

- Maths and science skills materials

- These resources will be published with the Welsh Government funded resource below.

Welsh Government’s Welsh in Education Resources Branch has commissionedCynnal to update previously developed bilingual resources.

(Available: September 2017)

GCSE Media Studies

GCSE Media Studies

Approval Criteria

Available on the Qualifications Wales website,  here.

Summary of changes

- Some minor amendments to the subject aims and objectives

- Assessment objectives and weightings have been amended

- A few changes to the knowledge, understanding and skills requirements

- Contribution of the non-exam assessed component to the overall grade reduced from 60% to 40%

- Increase from one to two written examinations

- Learners required to be familiar with a wider range of media forms including online media and television programmes, incorporating a Welsh perspective where appropriate

- Learners must study three contrasting media forms in depth

- The new specification is linear, with all assessment taking place at the end of the course. Learners wishing to resit must retake all components.

Projected Approval date

Week commencing 10 April 2017

Specification

Draft specification available here .

Approved specification will be available by week commencing 17 April 2017.

Sample assessment material

Will be available on WJEC’s website week commencing 8 May 2017.

Guidance for teachers

Will be available on WJEC’s websiteby mid-June 2017.

Prepare to teach training

These events have been rescheduled to coincide with the expected approval date. They will be taking place on 25 April (Cardiff) and 27 April (North Wales).  One free place available per centre.

Register via WJEC website here

CPD materials can be viewed and downloaded at the end of the series of events here.

Teaching and learning resources

WJEC is updating its online digital resources to support the new qualification. These will be produced bilingually and will include specific resources to support in-depth study of each media form included in the specification. These will be available from July 2017 onwards.

Wales on TV: Rownd a rownd

                      Pobol Port Talbot

                      Weatherman walking

                      Gavin and Stacey

News (available here)

Music

Representation

Hollywood film

GCSE Welsh Second Language

GCSE Welsh Second Language

Approval Criteria

Available on the Qualifications Wales website,  here.

Summary of changes

More detailed information for schools, parents and learners about the changes to GCSE Welsh Second Language and their implications is available on Qualifications Wales’s website. Available here.

- The new GCSE Welsh Second Language will not be available as a short course

- Content is structured around three broad contexts, replacing the narrowly defined topic areas of the previous specifications

- Assessment objectives and their weightings have been updated

- There is greater emphasis on speaking and listening, which now contributes 50% towards the final grade, rather than 40%;

- There is also more emphasis on use of language patterns rather than a prescribed vocabulary list.

- The specification is composed of four equally weighted units, the first and second assessing speaking and listening (oracy), the third and fourth assessing reading and writing.

- Speaking and listening is assessed through a teacher-led oral exam, controlled assessment tasks have been removed

- Learners must demonstrate an ability to interact spontaneously when speaking and listening

- The new specification is unitised, which allows for an element of staged assessment, but with most assessment taking place at the end of the course.

- At least 75% of assessment (three of the units) must be taken in the final year of the course, these must include both of the reading and writing units, which are assessed by examination

Projected Approval date

Week commencing 20 March 2017

Specification

Draft specification available here

Approved specification will be available week commencing 3 April 2017.

Sample assessment material

Will be available on WJEC’s website in the week commencing 17 April 2017.

Guidance for teachers

Will be available on WJEC’s website by end of May 2017.

This will include ideas for how to prepare learners for the new speaking and listening assessments. It will also explore the contexts specified in the new specification an how these could be applied in the classroom.

Prepare to teach training

Taking place on 20, 24 March (fully booked), 27 and 30 March (additional South Wales date), 2017

One free place available per centre.

Register via WJEC website here

Further training is planned for autumn term 2017. 

WJEC is hosting a conference on Welsh Second Language on June 30th 2017, which will include practical advice on how to approach teaching the subject. Further details will be published and online registration opened in late March.

CPD materials can be viewed and downloaded at the end of the series of events here.

Teaching and learning resources

Many language and grammar resources are already available. Re-print agreements are in place with publishers for resources currently out of print. The specification, teachers’ guide and WJEC’s website will list those resources that could be used to help deliver the course.

WJEC will provide additional examples of the kinds of stimulus materials to which learners will be expected to respond in the oracy assessment.

WJEC will also provide video clips of speaking and listening assessments being conducted, with authentic responses from candidates being assessed.

Illuminate Publishing are producing a book for this specification (earliest publication date October 2017 – very early stages of authoring at the moment).

AS / A level Design & Technology

AS / A level Design & Technology

Approval Criteria

Available on the Qualifications Wales website, here

Summary of changes

- The subject aims and content have changed, placing more emphasis on mathematics, science, technical principles and principles of designing and making.

- Assessment objectives and weightings have been amended.

- The previous endorsed areas of design have been replaced by: Product Design; Fashion and Textiles; and Engineering Design. Learners must choose which one of these to specialise in.

- Contribution of the non-exam assessed work reduced from 60%to 50%.

Projected Approval date

Week commencing 13 March 2017

Specification

Draft specification available here

Approved specification will be available week commencing 27 March 2017.

Sample assessment material

Will be available on WJEC’s website week commencing 10 April 2017.

Guidance for teachers

Will be available on WJEC’s website by mid-June 2017. This will include guidance on incorporating quantitative skills into learning and for delivering the non-exam assessment.

Prepare to teach training

Taking place on 2, 15 and 16 March 2017

A maximum of 3 free places available per centre. Register for upcoming events via WJEC website here

CPD materials can be viewed and downloaded at the end of the series of events here.

Teaching and learning resources

WJEC is updating a selection of online digital resources, relevant to the content of the reformed qualification. These will be produced bilingually and will include:

- Developing further the Datrus pack with updated materials for the endorsed areas of:

- Product design

- Fashion and textiles

AS / A level Government and Politics

AS / A level Government and Politics

Approval Criteria

Available on the Qualifications Wales website, here

Summary of changes

- The subject aims, its assessment objectives and their weightings have been amended.

- Learners can no longer choose between optional units of study, they will be assessed on all of the content included in the specification.

- A new unit has been introduced at AS Welsh Politics and the role of Devolution.

- New content on global politics has also been added to the new specification.

Status

Approved

Specification

Available on WJEC’s website, here

Sample assessment material

Available on WJEC’s website, here

Guidance for teachers

Will be available on WJEC’s website early in April 2017.

Prepare to teach training

Taking place on 3 and 10 March 2017

One free place available per centre. Register for upcoming events via WJEC website here

CPD materials can be viewed and downloaded at the end of the series of events here.

Teaching and learning resources

WJEC is updating online digital resources to support the new qualification. These will be produced bilingually.

Welsh Government’s Welsh in Education Resources Branch has commissioned the WJEc to produce a new  resource on Politics in the United States. (Unit 4) (Available on Hwb in September 2017)

Welsh Government’s Welsh in Education Resource Branch isplanning to commission  a new resource on political concepts and theories (Unit 3).

WJEC hosts a bilingual teacher networking group on Facebook to help share of articles and resources. Visit the group’s page here.

AS / A level Mathematics

AS / A level Mathematics

Approval Criteria

Available on the Qualifications Wales website, here

Summary of changes

- Learners can no longer choose between optional units of study, they will be assessed on all of the content included in the specification.

- All learners must study statistics and mechanics. 

- Learners must explore large data sets through diagrams, interpretation of data, and use of technology.

- Certain types of calculators are permitted to be used in the assessment, the specific types permitted are listed in the specification

- Assessment objectives have been reduced from five to three with amendments to the wording.

Status

Approved

Specification

Available on WJEC’s website, here

Sample assessment material

Available on WJEC’s website, here

Guidance for teachers

Will be available on WJEC’s website early in May 2017.

Prepare to teach training

½ day WJEC briefings delivered to centres in November 2016.

A series of full-day training events took place in January and February 2017, with one place available free to each centre.

Materials shared at Briefings and Preparing to Teach CPD can be viewed and downloaded from WJEC website here

 

Teaching and learning resources

A comprehensive text book is due to be published by Hodder. Currently, hard copies of the English version are expected to be available in September 2017, when Welsh-medium printing proofs will be available online on WJEC’s website. Hard copies of the Welsh-medium textbook are expected to follow by December 2017.

The publisher Illuminate has stated an intention to produce four course books to support the WJEC qualification. Two books each for the AS and A2, one focusing on Pure Mathematics and the other on Applied Mathematics. These will be produced in English and in Welsh. Illuminate has not confirmed the publication timeline for these books.

Hodder are also investigating the possibility of providing a book covering both AS and A2, but this has not been confirmed as yet.

WJEC is updating its online question bank with tagged questions for centres to be able to create practice question papers. [Available May 2017]

WJEC is producing resources and activities to be used for statistics and large data sets.

Welsh Government’s Welsh in Education Resources Branch is planning to commission a structured set of resources that will support progression through the specifications and develop independent learning.

FMSP (Further Maths Support Programme) provides access for teachers to the Integral tool and its support resources. Training events are available as follows:

- Further Maths: October to March 2017

- Mechanics: February to July 2017

- Summer courses - for teachers new to teaching statistics or mechanics content at AS/A level.

AS / A level Further Mathematics

AS / A level Further Mathematics

Approval Criteria

Available on the Qualifications Wales website, here

Summary of changes

- At AS, all units are compulsory.

- Learners will sit three units (Unit 1, Unit 2 and Unit 3) with an equal weighting on pure mathematics, statistics and mechanics.

- At A2, candidates will sit a further two units. Unit 4 is compulsory, and candidates will choose between Unit 5 and Unit 6.

- Assessment objectives have been reduced from five to three with amendments to the wording.

- Learners must explore large data sets through diagrams, interpretation of data, and use of technology.

- Certain types of calculators are permitted to be used in the assessment, the specific types permitted are listed in the specification

Status

Approved

Specification

Available on WJEC’s website, here

Sample assessment material

Available on WJEC’s website, here

Guidance for teachers

Will be available on WJEC’s website early in June 2017.

Prepare to teach training

½ day WJEC briefings delivered to centres in November 2016.

A series of full-day training events took place in January and February 2017, with one place available free to each centre.

Materials shared at Briefings and Preparing to Teach CPD can be viewed and downloaded from WJEC website here

Teaching and learning resources

WJEC is updating its online question bank with tagged questions for centres to be able to create practice question papers.

WJEC is producing resources and activities to be used for statistics and large data sets.

Welsh Government’s Welsh in Education Resources Branch is planning to commission  a structured set of resources that will support progression through the specifications and develop independent learning.

FMSP (Further Maths Support Programme) provides access for teachers to the Integral tool and its support resources. Training events are available as follows:

- Further Maths: October to March 2017

- Mechanics: February to July 2017

- Summer courses - for teachers new to teaching statistics or mechanics content at AS/A level.

AS / A level Media Studies

AS / A level Media Studies

Approval Criteria

Available on the Qualifications Wales website, here

Summary of changes

- Subject aims and objectives have been amended.

- New subject content has been added including a requirement for learners to study key theories, specific media forms, and set products.

- A learner must study a media product which includes a Welsh perspective.

- Learners must study in depth three contrasting media forms.

Projected Approval date

10 April 2017

Specification

Draft specification available here

Approved specification will be available week commencing 24 April 2017.

Sample assessment material

Will be available on WJEC’s website week commencing 8 May 2017.

Guidance for teachers

Will be available on WJEC’s website by mid-June 2017.

Prepare to teach training

These events have been rescheduled to coincide with the expected approval date. They will be taking place on 26 April (Cardiff) and 28 April (North Wales). One free place available per centre.

Register via WJEC website here

CPD materials can be viewed and downloaded at the end of the series of events here.

Teaching and learning resources

WJEC is updating its online digital resources to support the new qualification. These will be produced bilingually and will include specific resources to support in-depth study of each media form included in the specification. These will be available during July 2017.

Set Products:

Music video – Reformation

2 further music video fact-sheets TBC

Tide advert

Water Aid

2 further advertising factsheets TBC

Video games

Music

Television: Hinterland

                  The Bridge

Magazines

News

Film industries – From Wales to Hollywood

Illuminate Publishing are producing books for both AS and A2, both are scheduled to be available September 2017 in English – Welsh versions will be available approx. 6 months later.

AS / A level Law

AS / A level Law

Approval Criteria

Available on the Qualifications Wales website, here

Summary of changes

- Revised subject aims and objectives

- Three areas of study at AS, reflecting an increased focus on the Welsh legal system and on the implications of devolution.

- Amended objectives and weightings.

Approval Status

Approved

Specification

Draft specification available here

Approved specification will be available week commencing 20 February 2017

Sample assessment material

Will be available on WJEC’s website week commencing 6 March 2017.

Guidance for teachers

Will be available on WJEC’s website by mid-April 2017.

Prepare to teach training

Training took place in February 2017 with one free place available per centre.

Materials shared at Preparing to Teach CPD held in February / early March can be viewed and downloaded from WJEC website here

Teaching and learning resources

WJEC is updating the digital resources available on its website, these will include additional materials on the Welsh legal system, which the Welsh Government has commissioned.

Welsh Government’s Welsh in Education Resources Branch has commissioned a series of information posters (digital and printed versions) conveying the principles of the legal system.

(Available July 2017)

 

We will update this information in the next month with details of additional support that will be provided by Regional Consortia.