On Wednesday 12 July, King Edwards celebrated the end of an era and held a conference to say goodbye to the communication and culture A Level course which will cease to be examined post 2018.

The course has run for 16 years at the college and has been an extremely successful and enabling A level which has celebrated much student success.

In January 2015 OFQUAL announced that the A Level would not be reformed and the purpose of the conference was to celebrate the 42 years of success which the subject formally known as communication studies has had.

The speakers at the conference were the geniuses behind the subject – Andrew Beck, Peter Bennett and Jerry Slater – chief examiners and authors of both communication studies and communication and culture specifications, as well as Simon Page (Rawlins Academy) and Claire Bou Aziz (King Edward VI college), Julia West (Peter Symonds college) and Lucy Brett (ex-communication studies student now working at the BBFC).

The conference was attended by a range of communication and culture teachers as well as around 40 current A level students. The day consisted of presentations documenting the history of the course, the opportunities which have arisen for students as well as an afternoon spent focusing on A2 key concepts and coursework.

It was an uplifting event marking the end of an era, but also celebrating the rich and diverse nature of an A Level that has unlocked the minds of many and enabled students to explore and dissect the intricacies of the everyday using well established academic perspectives.

The college will be sorry to see the A level course end, but are very excited that it has been replaced with a new media studies A Level course which will still have some echoes of communication and culture.