OCR response to Dearing interim report

14 December 2006

UK exam board OCR - part of the Cambridge Assessment group - welcomes the Dearing interim report and commented both on the Languages Ladder and GCSEs. OCR created Asset Languages, the assessment scheme for the DfES’ Languages Ladder.

Barrie Hunt, Director of Asset Languages at OCR, said: "Lord Dearing's comprehensive interim review compellingly argues the value of learning languages for the individual and the nation and should be encouraged from age seven to 11.

"Using Asset Languages (Languages Ladder) to informally assess performance at the end of Key Stage 2 will greatly help the transition through to secondary schools.

"By adopting Asset Languages at Key Stages 3 and 4, teachers will have the freedom to approach languages in a way which is relevant and interesting for their students that still leads to a nationally recognised qualification.

"We are pleased that the contribution of the Asset Languages awards to performance tables will be more clearly communicated.

OCR's Languages Qualifications Manager, Christine Peakman, adds: "We welcome the debate on the structure of GCSEs in languages. Once the current consultation is complete, OCR will develop specifications that are attractive to young learners, that maintain a relevant level of cognitive challenge and which introduce innovation in all aspects of the assessment, including speaking and listening.

"Overall at OCR we want to encourage students to embrace language learning at all levels and across a broad range of languages, through a variety of accredited routes."