As part of AQA’s consultation on exam changes, and particularly the move from modular to linear forms of assessment at A-level, the board invited the school’s Aim Higher Manager, Mr Mitchell, to contribute to the national debate. Mr Mitchell was recommended by the AQA Developer for A-level Law based on his work in founding and editing Philip Allan’s ‘A-level Law Review’ magazine, which contributes “stretch and challenge” materials for Law students and encourages a deeper engagement with the subject. For the purposes of the AQA video, he was asked to think about the prospect of teaching A-level subjects on a linear basis and to suggest ways in which classroom teaching could be adapted for students of all abilities to ensure engagement with their A-level subjects over two years.
Asked about his involvement in the project, Mr Mitchell said that he was pleased to be invited as he was of a generation that had experienced linear A-level assessment and that he could see both challenges and opportunities ahead for teachers and students in negotiating the reforms. “I think it is important that we have this debate now so that we can prepare fully for the changes, which begin in 2015 for some A-level subjects. Teachers have an opportunity to shape the design of new specifications and offer feedback to the examination boards. There are implications for the Sixth Form in managing and teaching A-level students, both in tracking and monitoring progress and maintaining momentum and engagement over the two year period. Although change can bring with it some apprehension and anxiety, it presents an exciting challenge for teachers at the school. It is fortunate that we can draw on a culture at Kingsbury of sharing good practice, and talking about teaching and learning, when planning to implement these reforms.”