Our GCSE science course is designed to give students a chance to re-sit this important National Curriculum subject if they have narrowly missed a grade C at school. There is insufficient time to teach and to help students to access the more difficult aspects of science needed for the higher grades. Most students, therefore, are expected to attempt the foundation papers and so the maximum grade.
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WHAT IS GCSE SCIENCE?
Our GCSE science course is designed to give students a chance to re-sit this important National Curriculum subject if they have narrowly missed a grade C at school. There is insufficient time to teach and to help students to access the more difficult aspects of science needed for the higher grades. Most students, therefore, are expected to attempt the foundation papers and so the maximum grade possible would be a C. However, some students may wish to attempt the higher level. If so they will need to do the extra work involved, in their own time, under the general guidance of the teacher.
USEFUL SKILLS & INTERESTS
Although this is a stand-alone course starting from scratch, it is assumed that most students will be familiar with the ideas of GCSE science from school.
COURSE STRUCTURE & CONTENT
The GCSE is made up of six units:
Unit CHY1A- Useful Products from Rocks.
Unit BLY1A- Human Biology.
Unit PHY1A- Energy and Electricity.
Unit CHY1B- Oils, Earth and Atmosphere.
Unit BLY1B- Evolution and Environment.
Unit PHY1BRadiation and the Universe.
HOW WILL I BE ASSESSED?
Seventy-five percent of the total GCSE will be awarded through six equal value objective tests. These will be done throughout the year in November, March and June. Coursework accounts for twenty-five percent of the total mark and is allocated as follows:
1. Practical Skills Assessment (PSA)
Your teacher will continually assess your practical work and will by the end award you up to a maximum of 3.75% of the total mark.
2. Investigative Skills Assessment (ISA) Practical Part
Your teacher will give you an outline of a practical to do on some recently studied science. You must then carry this out and obtain as many good results as you can. Then, under exam conditions, you will be expected to draw up a results table and to use these results in a chart or graph of some kind.
3. Investigative Skills Assessment (ISA) Written Test, 45 minutes in exam conditions (21.25%)
In a subsequent lesson, you will be given back your results and a question paper set by AQA relating to the practical you did. There will also be some data and further questions provided by AQA for you to answer. There will be up to 3 different ISAs set, and only your best mark will be submitted. You are strongly advised to attend for all of them to give yourself the best possible chance.
It is essential that you study independently of lessons for up to three hours a week. This time should be used to review lesson notes, learn factual material, revise and complete teacher-set assignments. These are compulsory and must be handed in by the stated deadlines. You will need to allocate at least one period a week for Private Study (PSP) which must be done on the College Premises. In addition, at least one lesson per week will be timetabled in a computer room. It is a necessary part of the course that you use the College Portal to access the GCSE Science materials and to read study-related emails from their teacher and be able to send replies and assignments appropriately during this time. It is therefore important that all students are able to access these facilities, carry their student ID cards at all times and abide by the College regulations on appropriate use of computer facilities. Access to the portal (and college e-mail) is available to students from home and all students are encouraged to use this facility as much as possible.
Lesson notes and worksheets will be issued throughout the course so it is essential that students keep these organised in a ring binder. Unfortunately it is not possible to issue textbooks to students for use at home. However up-to-date textbooks are available for use in lessons.
All of the AS level sciences at PPC normally insist on a minimum of Additional Science (Higher tier) at Grade C. Students who only have a single award science GCSE are therefore not usually accepted on to these courses. This is because experience shows that these students tend not to be able to cope with the rigours of AS science. However, outstanding students who demonstrate the required aptitude, commitment and willingness to do higher tier extra work throughout the GCSE science course can be recommended to the appropriate department for consideration. These students would be expected to do extra work in their own time during the course to access the additional material that would have been taught on double science programme. Teachers will offer help where possible, but it must be realised that this is provided through goodwill and not obligation.