July 2013
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AQA publishes new draft GCSE proposals

Unbelievably late in the day, we now have sight of AQA’s proposals for 2015 examination which we be teaching from September. Yes, THIS September. As they all tell us: the secret to success lies in sound preparation!
The logic behind the changes beggars belief. See if you can find it:
AQA’s proposals
To ensure that our qualification enables students to cover a ‘sufficient period of time’, as outlined by Ofqual, we have suggested the following amendments to our current specification:

1) That students study consecutive topics for History B Unit 1 (40451) International Relations.
Currently students may study any three of six topics offered but to promote a greater understanding of chronology, under the new proposals they would have to do either Topics 1, 2 and 3, alternatively Topics, 2, 3 and 4 or Topics 3, 4, 5 or Topics 4, 5, 6.
2) To ensure that a ‘sufficient period of time’ is covered, we have decided to amend the dates and reorganise the subject content slightly for Unit 1. The changes are as follows:
Topic 1: The Origins of the First World War, c1890–1914
Topic 2: Peacemaking 1918–1919 and the League of Nations
Topic 3: Hitler’s Foreign Policy and the Origins of the Second World War
Topic 4: The Origins of the Cold War, 1945–1960
Topic 5: Crises of the Cold War and Détente 1960–1980*
Topic 6: The Collapse of Communism and the Post Cold War World, 1980–2000**
* Previously, Détente and its failure was covered in Topic 6.

** A new key issue, ‘What problems face the USA and UN following the end of Cold War?’ has been introduced to reflect the fact that the topic now extends to 2000. It will focus on the role of the US and the UN in a Post Cold War World.
3) To broaden the period of history being taught, we have proposed that History B Unit 2 (40452) be split into three sections and that candidates answer a question from each section.
Section A will remain the same (Tsardom, Weimar, Roaring 20s). Section B will be (Stalin, Hitler, Depression) and Section C will be Race Relations, Vietnam, Northern Ireland and the Middle East.
4) To prevent a narrow course of study being followed it is now prohibited to study more than two of the following topics: Roaring 20s, Depression and New Deal and Race Relations in the USA.
5) We have taken this opportunity to improve our controlled assessment by reducing the number of sources students use and by offering to supply all the sources needed for controlled assessment to ensure consistency across schools and to decrease the administrative burden for teachers.

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