Outdoor Education

House of Lords written question – answered on 16th December 2014.

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Photo of Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the revised curricula for GCSE and GCE Geography, Science and Biology, practical fieldwork is an essential, assessed component.

Photo of Lord Nash Lord Nash The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): Fieldwork is an essential component of geography. The new reformed GCSE in geography will require pupils to undertake at least two fieldwork activities in contrasting environments. We recently consulted on new content for geography A level, based on recommendations from the A level Content Advisory Board. The proposed content requires A level students to undertake one independent student investigation involving fieldwork. AS students are also required to undertake fieldwork.

The new content for combined science and biology GCSEs sets clear expectations that students should undertake fieldwork. The content for A level biology sets out the practical skills and techniques needed for biology, including a specific reference to using sampling techniques in fieldwork.

Assessment arrangements are a matter for Ofqual, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation and I have asked its Chief Regulator, Glenys Stacey, to write directly to Baroness Miller. A copy of her reply will be placed in the House Library.

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