The Science department offers two KS4 courses; Single Award Science and Double Award Science.

GCSE SINGLE AWARD SCIENCE

SNAPSHOT

OVERVIEW

The following are important features of this specification.

• It offers opportunities to build on the skills and capabilities developed through the delivery of theNorthern Ireland Curriculum at Key Stage 3.

• It allows students the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their practical skills.

• All units are externally assessed; teachers do not mark any of the components.

• It provides a meaningful, relevant programme of study to equip students for vocational studies in scienceor entry into the world of work.

• Students can resit each unit once.

SPECIFICATION SUMMARY

This CCEA specification in GCSE Single Award Science provides a broad, coherent and practical course that develops confidence in and a positive view of science. It encourages students to appreciate the value of science in their lives and in the wider world around them.

BENEFITS TO STUDENTS

The specification supports the aim of the Northern Ireland Curriculum to empower young people to achieve their potential and to make informed and responsible decisions throughout their lives.

CROSS-CURRICULAR SKILLS, THINKING

SKILLS AND PERSONAL CAPABILITIES THAT

WILL BE DEVELOPED

This specification builds on the learning experiences from Key Stage 3 as required for the statutory Northern Ireland Curriculum. It also offers opportunities for students to contribute to the aim and objectives of the Curriculum at Key Stage 4, and to continue to develop the Cross-Curricular Skills and the Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities. The extent of the development of these skills and capabilities will be dependent on the teaching and learning methodology used. Please see the specification for more details.

UNIQUE FEATURES OF THIS SPECIFICATION/ IMPROVEMENTS MADE

Units 1, 2 and 3 include a number of practical tasks that students carry out during the course. Nine of these are prescribed practicals. All of the nine prescribed practicals should be taught during the course. Unit 4: Practical Skills has two parts: Booklet A and Booklet B. We set and mark both booklets.

Booklet A is a practical skills assessment. It assesses students’ ability to plan and carry out two practical tasks based on (but not identical to) the nine prescribed practicals listed in the specification. Booklet B is a written, externally assessed examination taken during the final year of study. This assesses students’ knowledge and understanding of practical science. It consists of questions about planning and carrying out any of the prescribed practical tasks, together with more general questions about any practical situation that arises in Units 1, 2 and 3.

CONTENT AND ASSESSMENT*

CONTENT

ASSESSMENT

Unit 1:

Biology

( 25%)

External written examination

Foundation and Higher Tiers: 1 hour

Students answer compulsory structured questions that include short responses, extended writing and calculations.

Unit 2:

Chemistry

 (25%)

External written examination

Foundation and Higher Tiers: 1 hour

Students answer compulsory structured questions that include short responses, extended writing and calculations.

Unit 3:

Physics

(25%)

External written examination

Foundation and Higher Tiers: 1 hour

Students answer compulsory structured questions that include short responses, extended writing and calculations.

Unit 4:

Practical Skills

(7.5%)

(17.5%)

Booklet A

Practical skills assessment

Foundation and Higher Tiers: 2 hours

Students carry out two pre-release practical tasks(from two of Biology, Chemistry and Physics) in the final year of study.

Booklet B

External written examination

Foundation Tier: 1 hour

Higher Tier: 1 hour 15 mins

Students answer compulsory structured questions that include short responses, extended writing and calculations all set in a practical context for Biology,Chemistry and Physics.

 

GCSE DOUBLE AWARD SCIENCE SNAPSHOT

OVERVIEW

The following are important features of this specification.

• It offers opportunities to build on the skills and capabilities developed through the delivery of the Northern Ireland Curriculum at Key Stage 3.

• The specification is unitised and includes seven units.

• Units B1, C1 and P1 are available for assessment in the first year of teaching.

• All units are assessed through a written examination, either at Foundation Tier (grades C*–G) or Higher Tier (grades A*–D/E).

• Unit 7 is a practical skills unit that replaces the controlled assessment tasks:

– Booklet A contains three practicals based on the prescribed practicals listed in the specification; and

– Booklet B is a timetabled written examination, taken at the end of the final year of teaching. It includes questions about planning and carrying out any of the prescribed practical activities and general questions about any practical situation that arises from the specification.

• Students will be able to receive two different grades in their Double Award Science qualification, such as AB or BC.

SPECIFICATION SUMMARY

The specification supports the aim of the Northern Ireland Curriculum to empower young people to achieve their potential and to make informed and responsible decisions throughout their lives, as well as its objectives:

• to develop the young person as an individual;

• to develop the young person as a contributor to society; and

• to develop the young person as a contributor to the economy and environment.

This qualification is designed specifically for Northern Ireland students.

BENEFITS TO STUDENTS

The specification encourages students to develop transferable skills that will benefit them in vocational training and employment. It also enables them to progress to studying science and related courses at GCE.

The specification aims to encourage students to:

• develop their understanding of the relationships between hypotheses, evidence, theories and explanations;

• develop and apply their observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem-solving skills and understanding in laboratory, field and other learning environments; and

• develop their ability to evaluate claims based on science through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions both qualitatively and quantitatively.

CROSS-CURRICULAR SKILLS, THINKING SKILLS AND PERSONAL CAPABILITIES THAT WILL BE DEVELOPED

The specification encourages students to develop transferable skills that will benefit them in vocational training and employment. It also enables them to progress to studying science and related courses at GCE.

The specification builds on the learning experiences from Key Stage 3 as required for the statutory Northern Ireland Curriculum. It also offers opportunities for students to contribute to the aim and objectives of the Curriculum at Key Stage 4, and to continue to develop the Cross-Curricular Skills and the Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities. The extent of the development of these skills and capabilities will be dependent on the teaching and learning methodology used. More information is available in Section 7 of the specification.

UNIQUE FEATURES OF THIS SPECIFICATION/ IMPROVEMENTS MADE

Unit 7 is a practical skills unit that replaces the controlled assessment tasks.

This qualification is designed specifically for Northern Ireland students.

This qualification includes practical skills assessment.

CONTENT AND ASSESSMENT*

CONTENT

ASSESSMENT

Biology Unit B1:

Cells, Living Processes and Biodiversity

(11%)

External written examination

Students answer compulsory structured questions that include short responses, extended writing and calculations.

There are two tiers of entry.

Foundation and Higher Tiers:

 

1 hour

Chemistry Unit C1:

Structures, Trends, Chemical Reactions,

Quantitative Chemistry and Analysis

(11%)

Externally written examination

Students answer compulsory structured questions that include short responses, extended writing and calculations.

There are two tiers of entry.

Foundation and Higher Tiers:

 

1 hour

Physics Unit P1:

Motion, Force,

Moments, Energy, Density, Kinetic Theory, Radioactivity,

Nuclear Fission

and Fusion

(11%)

External written examination

Students answer compulsory structured questions that include short responses, extended writing and calculations.

There are two tiers of entry.

Foundation and Higher Tiers:

 

1 hour

Biology Unit B2:

Body Systems, Genetics,Microorganisms

and Health

(14%)

External written examination

Students answer compulsory structured questions that include short responses, extended writing and calculations.

There are two tiers of entry.

Foundation and Higher Tiers:

 

1 hour 15 mins

 

Chemistry Unit C2: Further Chemical

Reactions, Rates

and Equilibrium,

Calculations and

Organic Chemistry

 

(14%)

External written examination

Students answer compulsory structured questions that include short responses, extended writing and calculations.

There are two tiers of entry.

Foundation and Higher Tiers:

 

1 hour 15 mins

Physics Unit P2:

Waves, Light,

Electricity, Magnetism,

Electromagnetism

and Space Physics

(14%)

 

External written examination

Students answer compulsory structured questions that include short responses, extended writing and calculations.

There are two tiers of entry.

Foundation and Higher Tiers:

 

1 hour 15 mins

Unit 7:

Practical Skills

(7.5%)

(17.5%)

Booklet A

Externally marked

Students carry out three pre-release practicals in the final year of study.

There are two tiers of entry.

Foundation and Higher Tiers:

3 hours

(Biology 1 hour, Chemistry 1 hour and Physics 1 hour)

Booklet B

External written examination

Students answer compulsory structured questions that include short responses, extended writing and calculations, all set in a practical context for Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

There are two tiers of entry.

Foundation and Higher Tiers:

1 hour 30 mins (Biology 30 mins, Chemistry 30 mins and Physics 30 mins)