A suite of GCSE science courses developed in partnership with the University of York

Reports from pilot centres in the Midlands

Here are some reports on the first year and subsequent years of the pilot courses.

Springwell Community School, Chesterfield
Moulton School, Northampton

Trinity School, Nottingham

Lutterworth Grammar School, Leicestershire

Moseley School, Birmingham

Woodrush Community High School, Birmingham


Report from a pilot centre: Springwell Community School, Chesterfield

In the Applied Science course, students thoroughly enjoyed Scientific detection, because of the hands-on activities. Examining evidence to solve a crime was very well received.

In Core Science, the big change from the course we were doing before is the far greater concentration on ideas about science.

The greatest challenge has been to get the pupils to view evidence from both sides of an argument, and hence develop their own stance on a subject.

Ken Allen


Report from a pilot centre in June 2004: Moulton School, Northampton

What students liked most about Core Science was the opportunity to think for themselves.

The big change from the course we were doing is concentrating on the relevance of science to the students, and not just expecting them to regurgitate facts.

R. Barber


Report from a pilot centre in June 2004: Trinity School, Nottingham

In Core Science, students enjoyed linking the science to topical issues, such as asthma and pollution in the Air quality module.

The big changes from the course we were doing before are that more thinking and evaluating is required, and that science is brought up to date.

The greatest challenge has been finding enough opportunities for practical work in the pilot course. [The project team have addressed this for the 2006 course.]

Noel Harbage


Report from a pilot centre in January 2006: Lutterworth Grammar School, Leicestershire

Parents' enthusiasm

We find that the students love the Science course.

The parents tell us that their kids are coming home and talking about what they've been doing in science. The kids watch the TV news and comment on whether what is said is likely to be true.

Rob Duberley


Report from a pilot centre: Moseley School, Birmingham

What students liked most about Core Science was the different viewpoints and arguments, and links to topic issues.

The kids loved it, having their say in science lessons, and learning about science as consumers.

In Applied Science, students enjoyed working on lots of different practicals, and the links to jobs or crime investigations.

The greatest challenges have been developing thinking skills, differentiating the resources, planning and keeping up with the course, and running out of time!

Debbie Lowe


Report from a pilot centre: Woodrush Community High School, Birmingham

In the Core Science course, students most enjoyed sitting in the head-teacher's car and testing the exhaust gases. (C1 Air quality)

In Applied Science, students were most interested in the paramedic who showed and told us about some of the things they do in their job.

The big change from the course we were doing is not having to make lots of notes.

The greatest challenge has been 'thinking skills' - working in groups and discussing ideas.

Roy Bannister