Resources to support new GCSEs and A levels

Overview of available support for new GCSEs and A levels introduced for first teaching 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 offered to support the introduction of the new qualifications. 

For each of the qualifications being introduced in 2017, 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, 2016 and 2017 please see here.

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.
Specification Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Sample assessment material Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Guidance for teachers Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Training

Information can be found on WJEC’s website here.

CPD materials can be viewed and downloaded from WJEC’s secure site.

Teaching and learning resources

Resources can be viewed and download from WJEC’s Digital Educational Resources here.

WJEC have produced a support pack for teachers on how to teach quantitative skills and mathematical techniques available here.

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: November 2017)

Hodder has published a textbook specifically for this qualification covering both WJEC and Eduqas specifications. The Welsh version will follow in Spring 2018.

 

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.
Specification Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Sample assessment material Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Guidance for teachers Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Training

Information can be found on WJEC’s website here.

CPD materials can be viewed and downloaded from WJEC’s secure site.

Teaching and learning resources

WJEC has produced an e-text book to include updated digital resources relating to the new content areas. This is available on WJEC’s website here.

 

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.
Specification Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Sample assessment material Available on WJEC’s website for Product Design, Product Design and EngineeringDesign
Guidance for teachers Teacher Guidance will be available on WJEC’s website soon.
Training

Information can be found on WJEC’s website here.

Some CPD materials can be viewed and downloaded from WJEC’s secure site.

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 can be found here.

 

 

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.
Specification Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Sample assessment material Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Guidance for teachers Available on WJEC's website, here.
Training

Information can be found on WJEC’s website here.

Some CPD materials can be viewed and downloaded from WJEC’s secure site.

Teaching and learning resources

WJEC have updated its online digital resources to support the new qualification. They have been produced bilingually and will include specific resources to support in-depth study of each media form included in the specification. Existing resources can be found on WJEC's website here.

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
Specification Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Sample assessment material Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Guidance for teachers Available on WJEC's website, here.
Training

Information can be found on WJEC’s website here.

CPD materials can be viewed and downloaded from WJEC’s secure site.

Teaching and learning resources

Many language and grammar resources are already available. Resources are available on WJEC's website here.

Illuminate Publishing have produced a text book which can be found here.

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%.
Specification Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Sample assessment material Available on WJEC’s website for Product Design, Fasion and Textiles and Engineering Design.
Guidance for teachers Teacher Guidance will be available on WJEC’s website soon.
Training

Information can be found on WJEC’s website here.

CPD materials can be viewed and downloaded from WJEC’s secure site.

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 can be found here.

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.
Specification Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Sample assessment material Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Guidance for teachers Available on WJEC's website, here.
Training

Information can be found on WJEC’s website here.

CPD materials can be viewed and downloaded from WJEC’s secure site.

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) which will be available on Hwb.

Welsh Government’s Welsh in Education Resource Branch Is planning 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

 
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.
Specification Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Sample assessment material Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Guidance for teachers Available on WJEC's website, here.
Training

Information can be found on WJEC’s website here.

CPD materials can be viewed and downloaded from WJEC’s secure site.

Teaching and learning resources

The publisher Illuminate is producing four course books to support the WJEC qualification out in 2018.

WJEC has updated its online question bank with tagged questions for centres to be able to create practice question papers and can be found here.

WJEC has produced resources and activities to be used for statistics and large data sets which can be found here.

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
Specification Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Sample assessment material Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Guidance for teachers Available on WJEC's website, here.
Training

Information can be found on WJEC’s website here.

CPD materials can be viewed and downloaded from WJEC’s secure site.

Teaching and learning resources

The publisher Illuminate is producing four course books to support the WJEC qualification out in 2018.

WJEC has updated its online question bank with tagged questions for centres to be able to create practice question papers and can be found here.

WJEC has produced resources and activities to be used for statistics and large data sets which can be found here.

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.
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.
Training

Information can be found on WJEC’s website here.

CPD materials can be viewed and downloaded from WJEC’s secure site.

Teaching and learning resources

The publisher Illuminate is producing four course books to support the WJEC qualification out in 2018.

WJEC has updated its online question bank with tagged questions for centres to be able to create practice question papers and can be found here.

WJEC has updated their online resources and are available here.

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.
Specification Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Sample assessment material Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Guidance for teachers Available on WJEC’s website, here.
Training

Information can be found on WJEC’s website here.

Teaching and learning resources

The publisher Illuminate is producing four course books to support the WJEC qualification out in 2018.

WJEC has updated the digital resources available on its website and can be found here.

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.