DfE announces ‘high-quality and more rigorous’ arts-based GCSEs and A levels

The DfE is reporting that Nicky Morgan has announced final content for more rigorous and demanding arts GCSEs and A levels, and GCSE computer science…

Final content for more rigorous and demanding GCSEs in music, art and design, dance and physical education (PE), and A levels in dance, music and PE, has been published today (26 January 2015) as part of a commitment to raise the quality of arts education.

The new content will allow pupils to develop their creativity and self-expression, and broaden their understanding of Britain’s cultural heritage, while equipping them with the underlying knowledge and technical skills they will need to compete in the arts.

Key changes in the new content include in:

  • music: a greater focus on knowledge and critical engagement with a wide range of music. The level of demand has been increased at GCSE, with students expected to write (as well as read) staff notation, understand chord symbols and analyse unfamiliar music
  • art and design: a new emphasis on drawing, with students required to demonstrate an ability to draw for different purposes
  • dance: new theoretical content requiring critical appreciation and understanding of professional works at GCSE, and critical engagement and embodied knowledge at A level
  • PE: a greater emphasis on theory and use of data to evaluate physical activity. At GCSE students will need to be assessed in the role of player/performer in 3 activities, including at least 1 team sport

Also published today is a new, more challenging GCSE in computer science, which will teach pupils how to write code, design programs and understand the ethical and legal impacts of digital technology.

The new, rigorous computer science GCSE, which will be taught from 2016, includes up-to-date content on issues such as cybersecurity, and will provide young people with the knowledge and tangible skills they need to go on to further education and successful jobs.

The new GCSE in computer science builds upon changes made to computing teaching within the new national curriculum. More than 4 million children have already received crucial computing lessons since the introduction of the new national curriculum introduced in September 2014…

More (including links to specific subject details) at: High-quality and more rigorous arts-based GCSEs and A levels


See also from the DfE: Decisions following consultation on GCSEs and A levels


Thoughts, feedback and reactions to the changes to these subjects and the ‘more rigorous and demanding’ claims? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


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