Students at Formby High School study GCSE specification B and AS/A2 Geography.
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Latest news from exam board AQA (Feb 2013)
Government announces revised plans for GCSEs
Yesterday, the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, announced his revised plans for GCSEs.  A letter to the exams regulator Ofqual has been published, setting out the plans.  
GCSEs to remain but with more rigour
  • English Baccalaureate Certificates (EBCs) will not be introduced.
  • Instead, GCSEs will be reformed with more challenging content and rigorous assessment.
  • All GCSEs will be linear and tiered options in their current form won't continue.
  • The first phase of changes to GCSEs will apply to English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, a combined Science (double award), History and Geography for first teaching in 2015.
  • Other subjects, including languages will follow, with the aim of first teaching in 2016.
New draft National Curriculum
Consultation on school accountability measures
Two measures have been proposed:
  • the percentage of students who reach an attainment threshold in English and Maths
  • an average point score showing student progress between Key Stage 2 and 4 across eight subjects (English, Maths, three English Baccalaureate subjects plus three other subjects).
Proposal for a single exam board will not be pursued 
  • Proposals to make a single exam board the sole national provider of key subjects will not be pursued at this time.  
A number of changes to GCSEs, including the move to linear and the introduction of spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG), are already happening. Our specification timelines show the changes to date and we will update them when we know more. 

Latest News From AQA (January 2013...)
Introducing SPaG to GCSE Geography B
Changes will come into effect with exams taken from January 2013 onwards.

We'd like to remind you that as a result of changes introduced by Ofqual, GCSE Geography B examinations will include assessment criteria for spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG) on exams taken from January 2013 onwards.
This means that 5% of the marks in the exam will be awarded for SPaG. Both GCSE Geography B specifications (4035 and 9035) have been amended to include this change so that SPaG is assessed in Units 1 and 2.
Changes at a glance:
  • separate SPaG marks will be awarded where a sufficient level of extended writing is required
  • marks are allocated to individual questions
  • up to three marks are allocated to a single question
  • students are made aware of the questions that include marks for SPaG
  • marks allocated achieve a total weighting of 5% of the total marks for the qualification. 
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