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To help you run exams we have provided general guidance for specific syllabuses. This may help teachers and candidates adapt their teaching and learning around the disruption caused by Covid-19.
Below is a full list of syllabuses and the guidance for components and you do not need to apply to use this. If your syllabus is not shown, we are unable to give any extra guidance.
Art & Design candidates working from home could consider various approaches. These include setting up a still life arrangement, portraits of family members, views from their home or studies of their home to develop their observational drawing skills. They could also use fabric and collage materials, for example, magazines, newspaper, packaging, textured papers or found objects, to create interesting collages based on their still life. These can then be developed into ideas for their coursework by experimenting with different layouts, choosing a section to make a repeat pattern, adding layers or lettering.
Candidates could photograph their drawings and collages, then scan them into drawing software. They could then experiment with changing the scale or colours or use them as background ideas for fashion or graphic design. Photographing and documenting their surroundings can also be a good way to develop observational and recording skills.
Candidates can also benefit from sketching and making a visual journal, in which they storyboard and document their daily life visually. Approaches such as making models out of packaging or materials in the home can be creative and lead ideas into new directions.
Several major art galleries and museums have moved their collections online. This gives candidates the chance to research the work of artists or designers and think about what influenced them. Candidates can take inspiration from established artists to adapt techniques into forms that can be used at home, for example drawing onto cardboard, mono-printing and photographing or painting scenes from daily life. Encourage candidates to use these resources if they are available. Some candidates may want to adapt or change their work depending on resources available. Candidates can access material online and use this to compare with their own practical work.
Candidates can work with first-hand sources from home by considering different approaches, for example, a still life arrangement, portraits of family members, views from their home or studies of their home to develop their observational drawing skills.
Candidates can prepare work for their coursework and supporting studies for their externally set assignment outside the centre. However, they must produce their final outcome for their coursework and their final outcome for their externally set assignment in the centre.
Candidates could research an individual or event for which online material is available. This may be better than choosing a site or object if travel is restricted. If candidates choose to research a site, they could choose an historical site that has a website, perhaps with a 360-degree video available, as this could be helpful if candidates cannot visit the site in person. Some sites might also have documentaries and books available about them, which could offer the flavour of a visit.
To help candidates know how to present their material, teachers could post examples of referencing and layouts, or schedule a skills session via a video conferencing platform before candidates draft their coursework.
We are aware candidates might not have access to the materials they need. Until they do, candidates can keep working on their sketches, drawings and photographs of stages of the development. If appropriate, they can also work on the other information needed for their coursework. For example, their reasons for choosing specific materials, tools, equipment, finishes, etc. Candidates can also use alternative materials to make a prototype of their product.
If you have not been able to complete any group devised work during the course you can apply for permission not to answer questions in Section C of the exam paper as a component adjustment. The length of the exam will be reduced to 1 hour 50 minutes.
If possible, candidates should prepare and perform their individual pieces in an appropriate performing space or studio in the centre. If this is not possible, pieces can be recorded at home.
In circumstances where group interaction is restricted due to Covid-19, it may be possible to prepare and perform drama work by observing the following guidelines:
Candidates can work alone or remotely in groups. Candidates working alone should carry out a small, simple project that allows them to complete all the activities themselves.
Candidates could consider the following:
If you follow the guidance below, please give us details of the adjustments you have made on the Supervisor’s Report (supplied in the Confidential Instructions).
You can select three (instead of five) of the eight possible test questions for your candidates, according to your candidates’ level of preparation and access to ingredients. You can schedule a candidate’s Practical Test more than a week after the Planning Session. This will support social distancing and allow more time to source the ingredients.
Encourage candidates to select dishes which will be feasible for them to make, bearing in mind the availability of ingredients. Candidates can also source relevant ingredients themselves. If replacement ingredients are needed, the Practical Examiner should note them on the Practical Test Working Mark Sheet. If an ingredient cannot be sourced or replaced, the candidate should make what they can with the ingredients available. The Practical Examiner should record details of this on the Practical Test Working Mark Sheet and on the Supervisor’s Report (supplied in the Confidential Instructions).
You should mark the Practical Test as normal following the guidance in the Practical Test Handbook. Record marks for all candidates on the forms described in the syllabus. If an ingredient cannot be sourced or replaced, mark the candidate’s work based on what they have been able to do in the circumstances. Submit the work to us so we can moderate it. Do not adjust any candidate’s mark to account for the difficulties experienced in sourcing ingredients.
Many centres undertake the same fieldwork tasks every year. If this is the case, teachers may be able to use data collected previously and discuss the data collection methodology with candidates. If candidates are unable to collect their own primary data, they can use such data to revise methodologies and explain what they would have done to collect primary data for their coursework. They can also use this for the data representation, evaluation and conclusion sections of their coursework.
Where centres cannot use previously collected data, candidates can use secondary data instead of primary data. To help them do this, candidates could use a wide range of online resources. For example, a centre could source secondary weather data from two different centre weather stations at different locations. Data from such weather stations are often shared online on the centres’ websites. Candidates could use this data (atmospheric pressure, wind speed and other weather readings) as the basis of a hypothesis, for example, 'Wind direction affects the amount of rainfall at a school in Sydney more than it does at a school in London'.
The component 3 Team Project must involve collaboration between team members. Candidates can still complete their team project using remote communication methods, for example, through email, video chat and instant messenger services. They should provide examples of difficulties they faced and how they overcame them, and how they organised work within the team. Candidates need to provide their teacher with evidence of their collaboration.
Teachers must be able to authenticate candidates’ coursework when you submit it. To help you do this remotely, you can:
We understand many centres and candidates are facing challenging times. Some centres are having to teach practical IT skills remotely and we have prepared guidance to help you in this factsheet.
Supporting candidates learning from home to prepare for computer-based practical tests (PDF, 137KB)
Candidates can complete their composing work outside of the centre. Handwritten scores are accepted, and free composition or music notation software is readily available for students to download. Candidates could record the composition using a mobile phone or auto-playback generated by their computer. Submit the recording in a file type specified on the samples database
Local regulations may vary in different parts of the world. While in some countries local regulations are starting to relax, in others they are still in place. You should follow local government safety guidelines. If allowed by your government, we suggest that candidates practise their chosen physical activities and work on their skills under supervision, making sure that they keep safe and avoid injury.
Candidates can do the primary research element of the coursework remotely, for example, by email or telephone. Their written research report can also be completed from home. If it’s appropriate and consistent with local safeguarding requirements, candidates can conduct research, surveys and interviews online instead of face to face. There are also many online resources that can help candidates to gather information for their coursework from home, for example, academic journals and fieldwork tutorials. Some art collections and museums can be visited online. Teachers can signpost subject-specific resources that will allow candidates to conduct research, complete surveys and practise key skills to help them with their coursework.
Teachers must be able to authenticate their candidates’ work. To help you do this remotely, you can:
Candidates could create garments at home either using a sewing machine or by hand sewing. Teachers could provide guidance online. Candidates might also find it helpful to use guidance from online resources, such as downloadable tutorials or patterns.
You should try to cover the whole course. Component 2 (Drama) gives candidates the choice to answer either a question on each of two different texts, or two questions on the same text. If you have not been able to teach two Drama texts, candidates can take the existing route of answering two questions on the one text they have studied.
This guidance is relevant to:
Practical skills should be taught and practised as an integral part of all science courses. We recommend that all candidates, whether they are taking practical exams or ‘alternative to practical’ exams, should prepare by doing practical experiments at the centre. However, we are aware that many candidates are currently not able to carry out practical work at the centre.
Candidates can practise many practical skills remotely. Teachers can use sample results from experiments carried out in class. These will allow candidates to practise skills such as graph plotting, data analysis and drawing conclusions. Teachers can also use the experiments described in past papers to develop candidates’ planning and evaluation skills.
You can also choose to prioritise teaching theory work while the centre is closed. You can then prioritise practical work when you are able to reopen. Science practical exams cannot take place remotely.
Candidates can practise the skills required for their speaking tests from home, for example, by having online conversations with teachers and other candidates via a video-conferencing platform.
If candidates intend to wear a mask during their actual speaking test, they could practise having conversations wearing a mask. This might mean that candidates will need to adjust the way they speak. For example, they might need to speak more loudly and clearly to make sure that they can be understood.
For speaking tests with confidential material, the test must be conducted face to face with the examiner. It cannot be conducted remotely. This is because of the security of the confidential materials, and how they are used during the test.
You should try to administer the speaking test as normal, according to the syllabus requirements. If this is not possible, you can conduct the test remotely. However, you must make sure the candidate does not have access to any materials not normally permitted in the speaking test. To do this, you will need to use a video call to check the materials the candidate has access to for the test. Once you have completed this check, you can conduct the rest of the test as an audio call.
You must record each speaking test you conduct remotely, as you normally would. Send all candidate recordings to us as one submission so we can moderate them. Submit the speaking test recordings for the component to us in a file format specified on the samples database
If candidates are unable to complete IGCSE First Language English 0500/04, IGCSE 9-1 English First Language 0990/04 or IGCSE Spanish First Language 0502/03, we will be unable to calculate an assessed mark for the component, as this speaking component is separately endorsed. This means if your candidate is unable to complete the test because a face-to-face test or remote test is not possible, they will not receive a separately endorsed grade for speaking. The candidate will still be eligible for their syllabus grade if they complete the other components in the syllabus.
Candidates can practise the skills required for their speaking tests from home, for example by having online conversations with teachers and other candidates via a video-conferencing platform.
If candidates are not able to complete the component, we are not able to calculate an assessed mark for the component, as this speaking component is separately endorsed. This means that if your candidate is not able to complete the test because a face-to-face test is not possible, they will not receive a separately endorsed grade for speaking. The candidate will still be eligible for their syllabus grade, if they complete the other components in the syllabus.
Students can access research material online if they are finding it difficult to access primary resources such as galleries, artist visits, museum collections, exhibitions and local craftspeople. Encourage them to use a range of sources such as articles, reviews, interviews, films, extracts from books and websites to support their personal observations and opinions.
It may also be possible to contact a local Artist via email and conduct an online interview. Many schools are delivering courses online and it may be possible for teachers to arrange a talk by a local Artist as part of one of the sessions. This would provide an opportunity for students to hear about the work first-hand and ask questions. If it is not possible to find an Artist that is relevant to all the students’ investigations, a series of talks from Artists working in different disciplines may be helpful.
If possible, candidates should study a combination of local and well-known international Artists to make sure a good range of quality research material is available to them. While students can use Artists found on the internet, they should not focus on those that only have a presence on social media platforms as there is likely to be less quality research material available about them. Students should be encouraged to use the research to develop their opinions and support the observations they have made about the work.
Encourage students to use items related to their theme or ideas that are accessible in the home. They can use these to gather direct observational studies and to record visual information to support their ideas. For example, if a student is looking at self-portraits it might be useful for them to consider related concepts such as identity and heritage. They could explore this using direct observational drawing combined with collaging or taking parts of photographs from their childhood or other family members and experimenting with different compositional formats. This would be good use of first-hand and secondary sources.
If students are struggling to identify first-hand materials for gathering direct observational studies, they may need to create relevant visual stimulus using photography. They may need to create objects, space, view or scenarios and use photography to capture this.
Encourage students who are creating their own photography to develop ideas for paintings, drawings or collages to get the best images possible. They should consider lighting, perspective and focus to give a high quality foundation for their own creative work. They should combine this with direct observation if possible.
Candidates must produce their final outcome in school.
You should consider the complexity of the task you set. Adjust it accordingly if you think that candidates have been affected by loss of teaching time, or lack of available resources.
If candidates have access to their own device and software, they could research ideas for animations, photographic stories or montages by recording their own surroundings and family life. They could also do storyboarding or plan animations or films, either on paper or using drawing software. Candidates could look for opportunities for creative problem-solving, for example, designing digital elements for information websites or apps (e.g. related to teaching online or to information about public health).
Candidates could also research artists, filmmakers or photographers to inform their ideas. They could look at different ways of working, both digital and using drawing, collage and mixed media. These collaged or drawn works could be scanned and used as backgrounds for design work, or they could be animated to music to form a projection or moving image work. Candidates could use online surveys with their friends and families to gather feedback to inform the development of their ideas.
The audience for both the devised piece and scripted performance may consist of the teacher alone. However, the performance must take place in a theatrical, open air or drama studio setting, rather than at home.
The component 3 Team Project must involve collaboration between team members. Candidates can still complete their team project using remote communication methods, through email, video chat and instant messenger services. They should provide examples of difficulties they faced and how they overcame them and how they organised work within the team. Candidates need to provide evidence of their collaboration to their teacher.
Presentations can be recorded via online platforms such as Teams; the presenter should be visible, as well as any slides that are being used. There must be an audience for the presentation. This can be a remote audience watching via the online platform and the audience should still include the teacher.
We are aware that for candidates to work safely, they might have difficulties in filming or might need to change locations or groups. Candidates are permitted to do this. They should explain on their blog any changes they needed to make and why. Candidates are also able to work on their projects individually, rather than in a group.
For Performing, there is no compulsory requirement to perform in an ensemble. Candidates can therefore perform solo work if ensemble work is not possible. They can use a backing track.
For Composing, candidates can complete their composing work outside of the centre. Handwritten scores are accepted and free composition or music notation software is readily available for students to download.
Candidates could record the composition using a mobile phone or auto-playback generated by their computer. Submit the recording to us in a file type specified on the samples database.
Local regulations may vary in different parts of the world. While in some countries local regulations are starting to relax, in others they are still in place. You should follow local government safety guidelines. If allowed by your government, we suggest candidates practise their chosen physical activities and work on their skills under supervision, making sure they keep safe and avoid injury.
We are aware it may be difficult or not possible for candidates to run an event as usual in the current situation. However, candidates could consider running an online event if consistent with local safeguarding requirements. Planning, organisation and evaluation of the event can be done remotely using online platforms or email.
Suitable online events could include:
Evidence of the team working collaboratively can be produced electronically via online discussions and interactions, for example blogs, group chats or use of social media platforms. Evidence of witnessing the event can be produced using screen shots of social media advertisements and discussions, and evidence of online meetings or group chats. Candidates need to demonstrate excellent customer service for the evaluation section of the coursework. They can achieve this through interactions via email, online meetings and group chats with internal and external customers.
These online or electronic versions of evidence and events can still fulfil the assessment objectives and criteria for component 2 of the AS Level.
You should teach and practise practical skills as an integral part of all science courses. We recommend that all candidates prepare by doing practical experiments at the centre. However, we are aware that many candidates are currently not able to carry out practical work in the centre.
Candidates can practise many practical skills remotely. Teachers can use sample results from experiments that were carried out in class. These will allow candidates to practise skills such as graph plotting, data analysis and drawing conclusions. Teachers can also use the experiments described in past papers to develop candidates’ planning and evaluation skills.
For these components, you should try to administer the speaking test as normal, according to the syllabus requirements. If this is not possible, you can conduct the test remotely, but you must make sure that the candidate does not have access to any materials not normally permitted in the speaking test. To do this, you will need to use a video call to check the materials the candidate has access to for the test. Once you have completed this check, you can conduct the rest of the test as an audio call.
You must record each speaking test you conduct remotely, as you normally would, and send all candidate recordings in a single submission to us for external moderation. Submit the speaking test recordings to us in a file format specified on the samples database for the component.