GCE AS and A level qualification principles

GCE AS and A level qualification principles
GCE AS and A level
qualification principles
August 2014
Information
Information document no: 148/2014
Date of issue: August 2014
Replaces information document no: 142/2014
GCE AS and A level qualification
principles
Audience Awarding organisations and those delivering GCE AS and A level
qualifications in Wales.
Overview This document sets out the overarching principles for all GCE AS
and A levels developed for teaching in Wales from September 2015
onwards.
Action
required
Awarding organisations must ensure that GCE AS and A levels
developed for use in Wales meet these overarching principles.
Further
Enquiries about this document should be directed to:
information Qualifications and Regulation Division
Department for Education and Skills
Welsh Government
Tŷ’r Afon
Bedwas Road
Bedwas
Caerphilly
CF83 8WT
Tel: 01443 663725
e-mail: [email protected]
Additional copies Digital ISBN 978 1 4734 1327 6
Digital ISBN 978 1 4734 1920 9
© Crown copyright 2014
WG22770
This document can be accessed from the Qualifications Wales
website at
www.qualificationswales.org/as-and-a-levels-timeline-for-change/
Contents
Introduction
2
Content
3
Titling
3
Subject matter
3
Assessment
4
Reporting
5
Introduction
1. These qualification principles set out the requirements for all new or revised
GCE AS and A level specifications developed to be taught in Wales from
September 2015.
2. These principles provide the framework and criteria within and against which
an awarding organisation or awarding organisations develop all GCE AS and
A level specifications to be presented for accreditation in Wales.
2
Content
Titling
3. The titles of GCE AS and A level qualifications must:
3.1
use the words ‘GCE AS’ or ‘GCE A level’ for single awards
3.2
use the words ‘GCE AS (double award)’ or ‘GCE A level (double
award)’ if equivalent to two separate AS or A level qualifications.
Subject matter
4. The subject matter of GCE AS and A level qualifications outlined in the
specifications must, where appropriate, support opportunities to develop the
skills that are being assessed through the Core of the Welsh Baccalaureate:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Literacy
Numeracy
Digital Literacy
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Planning and Organisation
Creativity and Innovation
Personal Effectiveness.
5. AS qualifications must:
5.1
provide an appropriate balance of knowledge, skills and understanding
to match the first year of a full A level course of study
5.2
have a total weighting of 40 per cent of the A level
5.3
for double-award specifications, have a total weighting of 40 per cent of
the A level double award
5.4
include a Welsh perspective where appropriate
5.5
ensure suitable progression from the relevant programme of study at
Key Stage 4
5.6
ensure learners achieving the qualification are well prepared for
progression to A2 units of work in the same subject
5.7
prepare learners effectively for future studies and the world of work
3
5.8
ensure that the level of demand is broadly equivalent to other GCE AS
qualifications in Wales.
6. A2 units that are combined with AS units to lead to the award of a full A level
must:
6.1
provide an appropriate balance of knowledge, skills and understanding
to ensure progression from AS studies
6.2
have a total weighting of 60 per cent of the A level qualification
6.3
for double-award specifications, have a total weighting of 60 per cent of
the A level double award qualification
6.4
include a Welsh perspective where appropriate
6.5
include a strong element of synoptic learning in the course content
6.6
ensure that the level of demand is broadly equivalent to other GCE A
level qualifications in Wales
6.7
prepare learners effectively for future studies and the world of work.
Assessment
7. The assessment arrangements for GCE AS and A level qualifications must:
7.1
offer candidates the opportunity to be assessed at the end of both the
AS and A2 courses, but only during the summer assessment period
7.2
normally have a minimum examining time for external assessments of
three hours at AS and four hours at A2
7.3
set out the relationship between the assessment objectives and the
assessment units
7.4
show the proportion of marks allocated to each assessment objective
(or group of assessment objectives) and to each assessment unit
7.5
state clearly if an assessment objective will include the assessment of
written communication
4
7.6
include sufficient synoptic assessment at A2 to test the candidates’
understanding of the connections between the different elements of the
subject and their holistic understanding of the subject
7.7
include questions that provide candidates with the opportunities to gain
marks by demonstrating their ability to:
(i)
integrate and apply their knowledge, understanding and skills
across different aspects of the subject
(ii)
construct a response that develops a sustained line of
reasoning, is coherent, relevant, comprehensive and logically
structured
7.8
ensure that the grammatical accuracy of candidates is assessed when
they are required to provide extended written responses
7.9
be comparable for all candidates, even where there are optional
assessment units or optional examination questions
7.10 allow only one resit of an assessment unit with the better result
counting towards the qualification
7.11 use internal assessment only where it is the most appropriate method
of assessing specific skills within the assessment objectives
7.12 normally contain two units at AS and at least two units at A2.
Reporting
8. There must be arrangements for the grading and reporting of GCE AS and A
level qualifications so that:
8.1
attainment that is sufficient to lead to the award of a certificate at AS is
reported on a five-grade scale from A to E, where A is the highest
grade
8.2
attainment that is sufficient to lead to the award of a certificate at A
level is reported on a six-grade scale from A* to E, where A* is the
highest grade
8.3
attainment that is insufficient to lead to the award of a certificate at AS
or A level is reported as Unclassified or U
5
8.4
the grade for the AS double award is reported in the format: AA, AB,
BB, BC, CC, CD, DD, DE, EE
8.5
the grade for the A level double award is reported in the format: A*A*,
A*A, AA, AB, BB, BC, CC, CD, DD, DE, EE.
6
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