GCSE Natural History Consultation

OCR Natural History Consultation


We've launched a consultation in response to the call for developing a GCSE in Natural History.  Last year we were approached by naturalist Mary Colwell, who has been spearheading a campaign to address the gap in natural history content in education. Since then we have been working closely with Mary, the Natural History Museum and many others to understand the purpose and themes of such a qualification.

“We think there's a gap in the curriculum that isn't encouraging a connection with the natural world, and at the same time, we know that young people are very much engaged in the debate on the environment and they understand what their role should be and could be in protecting for the future.” - Jill Duffy, CEO, OCR


This consultation is an important step in helping to shape early thinking about what a GCSE in Natural History might look like. It starts by seeking your views on the purpose of Natural History – what Natural History is – before going on to explore key themes such as conservation, the early world, and the study of flora and fauna. We are interested, too, in the practicalities and the importance of observing nature in real situations outside the classroom. 

The consultation launched on the 4 June 2020 and was open for everyone to take part.

The consultation closed on the 19th July 2020.  Check out a summary of the consulation's findings

Want to keep up to date with the consultation progress and latest OCR Natural History updates?  Sign up for email updates 

Consultation online launch event - 4 June 2020

We launched our consultation with an online event, where we explained our thinking on the proposal and heard from champions of Natural History and the environment including the Natural History Museum and The Wildlife Trusts.

What happens next?

The consultation is your opportunity to tell us what you think a GCSE in Natural History should look like, but it's just the first step in the process.  What happens next?  Find out the next steps of the development process.

What is Natural History and why study it?

We've created a proposed definition of Natural History and a statement on the purpose of studying Natural History. Find out more.

Key Supporters

We're delighted to be working with so many organisations to supporting the launch of our consultation.


Support for Natural History in the media

An understanding of the environment and the world around us is more important than ever before.  Check out the growing number of articles and blog supporting Natural History.


Got a question about our GCSE Natural History consultation?  Check out our FAQ section. Alternatively contact us at: NaturalHistory@ocr.org.uk