Just a quick update on the work of one of our new Committee members, Mike Bramhall, on behalf of the Engineering Professors’ Council….
The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) has drawn together a Higher Education Expert Panel of representatives to act as a reference group with specialist knowledge of the subject and/ or undergraduate programmes to support the AQA in the redevelopment of their A levels. I was nominated by the Engineering Professors’ Council to be a member of the group looking at the A Level in Physics. The role of the first group meeting back in February 2013 was to review the existing A level Physics specifications to help inform their development in terms of the needs of higher education and the transition needs of students into Higher Education. Other groups have been looking at the A levels in Biology and in Chemistry. The initial thoughts of the group were that the content was about right, but that students did not always have the right range of skills, or the ability to apply their knowledge to different situations. The Panel has subsequently been involved with a review of the Subject Criteria which sets out the knowledge, understanding and skills, and assessment objectives common to all AS and A level specifications in a given subject. Further meetings are to be held in the Autumn to progress the Physics review after concept testing changes with schools, followed by the HE Expert Panel agreeing the final specifications in spring 2014. Following Ofqual accreditation in the summer of 2014 the new specifications will be sent to schools by September 2014 and taught from September 2015.
Professor Mike Bramhall