Year 11 2016-17
Our current Year 11 students are following the OCR 21st Century Science course. Our current Year 11 curriculum provides a context based course that allows students to explore the science that underpins everyday life. In addition to preparing students for further study in science and for scientific careers, our curriculum aims to ensure that all our students understand the science that shapes our lives and are able to become scientifically literate members of society.
The majority of students will study for 2 separate GCSE qualifications in Science and Additional Science. Students who have opted to do triple science will complete an additional GCSE in Further Additional Science. All students follow a balanced curriculum comprising an equal number of Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics.
All taught units are assessed by external examination at the end of Year 11. In addition to this, all GCSE qualifications also involve controlled assessment tasks that are carried out in school. Students will achieve a grade for each GCSE course using the A*- G system, and progress will be reported to parents in the same way.
Progress is assessed throughout the course using end of unit tests that are based on past examination papers. Students will be given detailed feedback on their progress in each individual unit, and parents are welcome to contact science teachers at any time during the year for a discussion of progress and attainment.
Year 10 2016-17
Following recent national curriculum reform, our GCSE course will follow the course provided by Edexcel for all students who will achieve their GCSE qualifications from 2018. There are a number of changes in our new new science curriculum, including:
- There will be a new 9–1 grading system, replacing A*–G
- There are no controlled assessments in the new qualifications. There will however be a number of core practical experiments all students will be required to undertake throughout the course, in addition to practical work used to support teaching and learning of theory
- Questions assessing students’ use of mathematical skills will make up at least 15% of the assessments. There will also be some recall of equations required in physics
- Specifications will include new and updated content, in line with the required subject criteria outlined by the Department for Education.
The majority of our students will study Combined Science. This gives a balanced coverage of Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics and will result in students achieving 2 grades for science. All assessment will be by external examination at the end of Year 11. All exams will carry equal weighting in the overall grade achieved, and will utilise a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.
Students will also be given the option to take Separate Sciences when making their curriculum choices in Year 9. This will lead to students achieving separate GCSE qualifications in Biology, Chemistry and Physics and will include additional subject content. All assessment will still be through external examination, but the exams will be longer than those for Combined Science. Exams will still utilise a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.
All of our new GCSE courses are linear and provide a clear progression in complexity and demand. We start by addressing the key concepts of Biology, Chemistry and Physics to support students through the transition from KS3 Science and to ensure they have a solid grounding in the fundamentals necessary to make good progress through the GCSE courses. Whichever pathway students follow, our new curriculum is inclusive yet challenging and will allow students to progress to further academic study of Sciences following their GCSEs.