GCSE Science

(Compulsory)

Examination Subject 21st Century Science
Examination Qualification 2 GCSEs (Core +Additional) or 
3 GCSEs: (Biology Chemistry & Physics) or
Cambridge Nationals in Science (Level 2)
Examination Board OCR
Tiers of Entry Foundation and Higher

Course Content:

GCSE Science features many of the major theories of science in a way that encourages students to appreciate their importance to everyday life. The course also explores how scientific information is obtained, how reliable it is, what its limitations are, and how this information helps society to make important decisions.  Students are prepared to deal with issues involving science which they may meet, for example, mobile phone safety, decisions about childhood vaccinations, and sustainable use of resources.

Students taking GCSE Science will be expected to study GCSE Additional Science as well.

GCSE Additional Science explores scientific concepts in more depth, and develops students' understanding of how scientists work. It is appropriate for students who may wish to progress to A levels in science subjects or are just interested in a broad range of scientific ideas.

Separate Science GCSEs (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) - this will be available to the highest attaining students. It will lead to 3 GCSEs.

Cambridge Nationals (Level 2)

Cambridge National in Science is a vocationally related qualification that takes an engaging, practical and inspiring approach to learning and assessment. They’re industry relevant, geared to key sector requirements and very popular with schools and colleges because they suit such a broad range of learning styles and abilities.

Assessment of GCSE Courses:

All students studying GCSE courses which will certificate in June 2014 or later will be required to sit all units and submit their controlled assessment in the final June exam series. The assessment of each GCSE is summarised in the tables below.

GCSE Core Science – Summary table

Title

Exam Duration

Weighting

Biology A – modules B1, B2, B3

60 mins

25%

Chemistry A – modules C1, C2, C3

60 mins

25%

Physics A – modules P1, P2, P3

60 mins

25%

Science A - Controlled assessment

6-7 hours

25%

GCSE Additional Science – Summary table

Title

Exam Duration

Weighting

Biology A – modules B4, B5, B6

60 mins

25%

Chemistry A – modules C4, C5, C6

60 mins

25%

Physics A – modules P4, P5, P6

60 mins

25%

Additional Science A - Controlled assessment

6-7 hours

25%

For both GCSE Science and GCSE Additional Science, candidates study four units. Students are entered for either the Foundation Tier or the Higher Tier option.  Foundation Tier papers assess Grades G to C and Higher Tier papers assess Grades D to A*.  Candidates may be entered for different tiers for different units. 

The controlled assessment (skills assessment) is not tiered.

GCSEs Biology, Chemistry & Physics

To be awarded the 3 separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics students learn an extra challenging unit and a separate controlled assessment for each GCSE.

Title

Exam Duration

Weighting

Biology A Unit 3 - B7

60 mins

25%

Biology A Controlled assessment

6-7 hours

25%

Chemistry A Unit 3 - C7

60 mins

25%

Chemistry A Controlled assessment

6-7 hours

25%

Physics A Unit 3 - P7

60 mins

25%

Physics A Controlled assessment

6-7 hours

25%

Cambridge National in Science (level 2)

The Cambridge National in Science is a Certificate, which is the same size as a GCSE. It uses both internal and external assessment and is recognised by the recently published DfE Performance Tables for 2014.

Science and technology play an important part in our everyday lives. Science education is the pillar of the UK economy, with constant demand from employers for an increasingly skilled and technically literate workforce. The new Cambridge National in Science reflects this and provides students with a solid foundation in understanding and applying this subject in their future working lives regardless of their vocation.

Students are required to sit one external examination (unit R072) and the other units (R071 and R073) are internally assessed and externally moderated.

Overview of the Cambridge National in Science

Units

Assessment method

GLH

R071: How scientific ideas have an impact on our lives

Portfolio of work, including 9 assessment tasks.

60

R0712: How scientific ideas have developed

Written paper, tiered, 1 hour

30

R071: How scientists test their ideas.

Practical Investigation.

30

Units are graded Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction* more.

Future progression to other qualifications

science3