Combined Geography / History GCSE

I have just read the folloiwng story in the Times Educational Supplement:

I have to agree with Dr. Gardner and the Royal Geographical Society that this would be a bad move for the subject. I think that some of her quotes in the article make the .

“Subject disciplines exist to provide essential knowledge and skills; not for timetabling and administrative convenience.”

“A combined, single GCSE can only be achieved by substantially watering down the range and depth of content, neither allowing pupils to get to grips with the subject nor preparing them for separate study at A-level.”

Personally I am against a combined Geography / History GCSE as it would weaken the case for geography as a discrete subject.

There are already options for pupils to do a short course GCSE in Geography; and a short course GCSE in History; if schools choose to offer that as an option.

However if this was in place of the current humanities GCSE I think this would be a very different debate, by producing too many different courses at GCSE the number of students taking each will be less and this will therefore negatively effect the development and quality of the qualifications on offer.

I think that schools should be looking at constructing timetables to allow pupils to study both Geography and History to GCSE level. However timetabling at A’Level is often more flexible and the GCSE is not a prerequisite to the A Level course. Each year we have one or two A Level geographers who did not study Geography GCSE, and I know the same is true for history at my school. Therefore not studying geography or history at age 14 does not rule out any further study.

This is just my personal opinion on the debate.


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