CCEA GCSEs Shaping the future together

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1 CCEA GCSEs Shaping the future together

2 Contents A Message from CCEA s Chief Executive 1 GCSE Background to The ReVision 2 CCEA s Commitment 3 GCSEs The Big Picture 4 GCSE Grading in Northern Ireland 5 GCSEs Make the CCEA choice 6 GCSEs The ReVision Timeline 8 Supporting you throughout The ReVision 10 A Collaborative Approach 12 Why Choose CCEA 13 Keeping you informed 14 Get in Touch 15

3 Welcome to your guide to The ReVision GCSE. This guide aims to keep you informed about the process and timeframes for the revision of CCEA s GCSE specifications and the support that we will provide to accompany any new qualifications. Throughout the revision of GCSE specifications, we will ensure that these qualifications continue to be highly valued by universities and employers and comparable to GCSEs offered in England and Wales. You can find further information on this work on pages 3 5. We ve also included a timeline that details key dates and phase information for the revision of GCSE specifications. During this process, we want to keep you up to date and informed. Please register for these digital updates and the e-vision online newsletter by ing subscribing online via The ReVision microsite: or completing the reply slip attached. As always, we welcome any comments that you may have on this guide or any feedback on The ReVision. Please with your ideas. Best wishes Justin Edwards CCEA Chief Executive 1

4 GCSE Background to The ReVision Oct 2012 In October 2012, the Minister for Education, John O Dowd MLA, commissioned CCEA (Regulator) to carry out a review to ensure that GCSE and A level qualifications are capable of: testing and rewarding the learning and attainment of pupils at the end of compulsory schooling and at the end of sixth form. June 2013 Mar 2014 CCEA (Regulator) submitted the final report and recommendations to the Minister at the end of June In March 2014, the Minister accepted all of the recommendations from the review. 2 CCEA Awarding Organisation (AO) embarked on The ReVision journey to revise A level and GCSE specifications and accompanying specimen assessment materials (SAMS).

5 CCEA s Commitment We are committed to ensuring that our GCSE qualifications: undergo a rigorous process of accreditation comparable with that in England and Wales, giving confidence in standards; are transportable and have currency across nations; reflect the needs of our economy and respond to the demands of an evolving digital age; and remain highly regarded by further and higher education and employers through continued consultation. 3

6 GCSEs The Big Picture It is essential for learners in Northern Ireland that CCEA develops robust, relevant and future-proofed GCSE qualifications to meet learners needs as they progress to further and higher education and to employment. CCEA s GCSEs will continue to: offer modular and linear assessment opportunities; retain speaking and listening as an integral part of GCSE English Language; be aligned to the Northern Ireland Curriculum and provide progression from Key Stage 3; and reflect your viewpoints and those of other key stakeholders, including learners, higher education and industry. 4

7 GCSE Grading in Northern Ireland A * -G From 2017, GCSEs taken by learners in England will be graded 9 1. In Northern Ireland and Wales, GCSEs will continue to be graded using the alphabetical grades A* to G. CCEA is working with universities and employers to ensure that: there is a clear understanding of the differences in GCSE grading across England, Wales and Northern Ireland; GCSEs in Northern Ireland remain highly valued by universities and employers; and GCSEs in Northern Ireland are comparable to those offered in England and Wales. Comparability between lettered and numbered grades In moving to the number grade scale in England, Ofqual will anchor the new Grade 4 to Grade C and the new Grade 7 to Grade A. There will, therefore, be equivalence points across the two scales at the important grades of C (4) and A (7). In our discussions with universities and other key stakeholders (including employers) we are highlighting this equivalence. Grade Grade Grade 4 C 7 Grade A 5

8 GCSEs Make the CCEA choice Communications and Languages English Literature English Language French Gaeilge German Irish Spanish Health and The Arts Art and Design Child Development Drama Food and Nutrition Health and Social Care Hospitality Journalism Moving Image Arts Music Are you new to CCEA? If so, call us today to have a more general discussion on how we can meet your needs. Contact Marion Wilcox on or Society, Economy and the Environment Business Studies Business Communication Systems Economics Geography Government and Politics History Learning for Life and Work Leisure and Tourism Motor Vehicle and Road User Studies Physical Education Religious Studies 6

9 CCEA offers a diverse range of GCSE qualifications. We will deliver each of these qualifications to schools in time for first teaching in September Did You Know? STEM Biology Chemistry Construction Digital Technology Further Mathematics Manufacturing and Engineering Mathematics Physics Science: Double Award Science: Single Award Technology and Design CCEA also offers GCSE qualifications in Agriculture and Land Use, Contemporary Crafts and Moving Image Arts.* * These GCSE qualifications were accredited in 2013 and 2014 (Moving Image Arts). New for 2017 Digital Technology 7

10 GCSEs The ReVision Timeline Jan Mar Apr June July Sept Oct Dec Jan Mar Apr June July Sept Oct Dec Apr to Oct 2016 Unaccredited Specifications and SAMs online Sept 2017 First teaching of new GCSEs Oct 2016 to Apr 2017 Accredited Specifications and SAMs online Dec 2016 to June 2017 Printed Specifications delivered to your school 8 Dec 2016 to June 2017 Delivery of support materials and events

11 Jan Mar Apr June July Sept Oct Dec Jan Mar Apr June July Sept May to June 2018 First exams for new modular GCSEs May to June 2019 First exams for full GCSEs For updates please check the CCEA website Timeline correct at the time of print January

12 Supporting you throughout The ReVision Our Support Commitment We will support you... before the first teaching year with visits to schools on request throughout the lifetime of the specifications ONGOING SUPPORT with free training seminars and workshop events during the first teaching of the qualification with innovative online and printed materials 10 Working Together listening to teachers, students, parents and employers supporting teachers and learners with shared experiences and best practice.

13 A new comprehensive and innovative support programme Following our A level and GCSE consultations, we ve taken your views on board and developed new innovative ways to support you in the teaching of the revised specifications. Online Specifications Each specification will have hyperlinks, directly linking you to the relevant schemes of work. Textbook Mapping Maps the content of new specifications to text books that you already have in school. Art and Design GCE Student Guide This GCE qualification is available as a general Art and Design (combined studies qualification) or as a specialism qualification in Three Dimensional Design, Textiles, or Photography and Lens Based Media. Students can take the AS course as a final qualification or the AS units plus the A2 units for the full GCE A level qualification. It is designed to: continue to build on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed in GCSE Art and Design and at KS3; and provide a sound basis for progression to higher education courses in Art and Design or study related to other areas of the Creative Industries. Why study Art and Design? The study of GCE Art and Design creates a pathway to a future career in a creative industries related field. It builds on the knowledge and skills developed at GCSE and KS3 and prepares students for further study in Art and Design or related study in a creative field. The Creative industries are the fastest growing area of the economy and are key to economic success. Northern Ireland and the UK have an established global reputation in these areas. Art and Design is unique in its inherent requirement to develop key transferable skills such as: creativity, personal motivation project management and organisational skills innovation, higher level thinking skills and problem solving. This qualification is designed to broaden and deepen knowledge, skills and contextual understanding of a range of Art and Design disciplines. It encourages students to find alternative approaches and to take risks in their work. It develops independent approaches to learning, aesthetic awareness and intellectual capabilities. Art and Design allows for personal responses and therefore is key in helping students explore their identity and their philosophical and spiritual relationships to the society in which they live. Student guidance material is also available on the CCEA website CCEA S REVISED GCE Geography Specification Snapshot For first teaching from September 2016 For first award of AS Level in summer 2017 For first award of A Level in summer 2018 For first teaching from September 2016 For first award of AS Level in summer 2017 For first award of A Level in summer 2018 Alongside the new support features we will continue to provide our high quality online and face to face support that includes: the subject microsite; a Student Guide; a Specification Snapshot; Factfiles on specific aspects of the specification units; bespoke materials identified through our consultation processes and events; Specimen Assessment Materials; controlled assessment tasks, as required; past papers; mark schemes; Chief Examiners reports; Principal Moderators reports; guidance on progression from Key Stage 3; agreement trials; a resource list; exemplification of examination performance; and developing new technology based support tools. Please contact us if you have any questions about the relevance of your current texts for teaching our revised specifications. 11

14 A Collaborative Approach Throughout the GCSE ReVision journey, we have consulted with teachers, employers, learners and further and higher education providers. Feedback from our stakeholders helps us to develop relevant, robust and interesting specifications. Consultation Who do we consult with? Teachers Learners Higher Education Representatives Industry including Change Action Review Financial Manufacturing Food Processing ICT Public Sector Tourism and Leisure Retail Business Culture and the Arts 12

15 Why Choose CCEA 3 Reasons to choose CCEA for your GCSE provision We support Learners CCEA puts the learner at the centre of everything it does. We think about what learners need for life and work and then build solutions to meet those needs. We do this for the entire curriculum from Foundation and Early Years to A level and beyond. We are Local CCEA is Northern Ireland s awarding body. We understand local needs and we are focused on providing services and products for learners in Northern Ireland. This also means we re near you, should you need help or support. We are Listening CCEA listens to those who use its products and services. We listen to teachers, employers and learners and act to ensure better outcomes for learners. This approach ensures that we develop relevant, high quality and innovative specifications and support. 13

16 Keeping you informed To make sure you and your colleagues are kept up to date, register your contact details by ing or completing the reply slip attached. We are committed to making sure you are kept up to date and informed during The ReVision, by providing: The ReVision microsite visit your hub for all things relating to The ReVision, from the latest news to consultation results; from draft specifications to registering for events; The Vision our bi-annual newsletter bringing you news, articles and opinions on The ReVision; The e-vision our regular e-newsletter giving you updates on The ReVision; e-alerts instant updates tailored to your subject; Face-to-face from events to bespoke meetings with your staff, bringing you essential updates and information about the new specifications; and Social Media regular alerts, links and information updates 14

17 Get in Touch New to CCEA? If you are considering CCEA for the first time and would like to have a more general discussion on how we could meet your requirements, please contact Marion Wilcox on or If you are already teaching our specifications and have a query, please contact the support officer for your subject area below: Subject Contacts Communications and Languages Joan Jennings ext: 2552 Health and The Arts Nola Fitzsimons ext: 2235 Society, Economy and the Environment Arlene Ashfield ext: 2291 STEM Nuala Tierney ext:

18 Visit The ReVision microsite your hub for all things relating to The ReVision, from the latest news or consultation results to draft specifications or registering for events. Follow cceainfo ccea.info #therevision 16

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20 CCEA GCSEs Shaping the future together Please send us your ideas for additional support requirements via to CCEA 2016 COUNCIL FOR THE CURRICULUM, EXAMINATIONS AND ASSESSMENT 29 Clarendon Road, Clarendon Dock, Belfast BT1 3BG Tel: +44(0) Fax: +44(0) Web:

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