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

Running Twenty First Century Science courses FAQs

Please can I have some information for student option events?   

How should we organise Twenty First Century Science courses in our school?  

Which curriculum model works best for the C21 courses - series, parallel or alternating?    

What do you recommend as a year plan for teaching the separate (triple) sciences?  

Is it necessary to customise lesson plans?

What sort of learning objectives should be used with students at the start of GCSE Science lessons?

Please explain the terms used in 'Ideas about science'

Where can I find information about controlled assessment for the GCSE Science course?

Does OCR Additional Applied Science cater for the full ability range?  

Does GCSE Science plus GCSE Additional Applied Science allow progression to AS Science courses?  

 


Please can I have some information for student option events?

Here is some material which should help:

   Powerpoint and leaflet for student option evenings.

   Answers to parents' questions about Twenty First Century Science.


How should we organise Twenty First Century Science courses in our school?

If you are reviewing how things have gone this year so that you can make improvements next time, there is a departmental progress check available to download from this website, to help you think about all the different issues to be addressed.

See also the management section of the training pack which you can download from this website.


Which curriculum model works best for the C21 courses - series, parallel or alternating?

Many schools teach just GCSE Science in Year 10, followed by GCSE Additional Science or Additional Applied Science in Year 11.

However, doing GCSE Science and GCSE Additional Science ‘in parallel’ (or ‘alternating’) in Years 10 and 11 may lead to a more varied and better balanced science programme for students than doing the two GCSEs ‘in series’. Schools teaching modules of the Additional science courses in parallel (or alternating) with GCSE Science may be better able to engage students who are intending to do both GCSEs.

To find out more, read about running the courses


What do you recommend as a year plan for teaching the separate (triple) sciences?

We recommend teaching GCSE Science and GCSE Additional Science throughout Years 10 and 11, incorporating any relevant parts of each module 7 along the way.

This gives students a variety of conceptual demands and learning approaches throughout their two years. The suggested teaching order for modules varies for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The OUP module maps for B7, C7, and P7 in the Resources and Planning Packs show how you can incorporate parts of module 7 throughout earlier modules.


Is it necessary to customise lesson plans?

Learning objectives are given on the schemes of work, but these should be tailored for each particular class.

You should make decisions about whether and how to adapt the activities in the light of your circumstances. With some classes you can use the lessons just as they are. Sometimes a different way of achieving the learning objectives may be more satisfactory.

What's most important is that you are open to feedback from students, and feel confident to amend any lesson plans accordingly. You may find that you make more amendments as you become more experienced in teaching the courses.


What sort of learning objectives should be used with students at the start of GCSE Science lessons?

Teachers plan lessons with three kinds of objectives and outcomes in mind:

  • Ideas about Science,
  • Science explanations, and
  • Skills development.

Only then is it possible to prioritise what the focus of a particular lesson will be. It is useful to share these objectives with students. It is important to value ideas about science, and to help students to develop skills.

Students may need to be encouraged to look beyond the content to the ideas and skills being developed. It is rare that a lesson will give equal weighting to the three aspects.

The Learning Skills for Science lessons which are included in the GCSE Science Resources and Planning Pack have a particular focus on developing skills. Skills will underpin the GCSE Science Controlled Assessment tasks (Case study and Data analysis).


Please explain the terms used in Ideas about Science

Download our 'Ideas about Science glossary of terms for teachers' from the support and training section of the OUP website.


Where can I find information about controlled assessment for the GCSE Science course?

Here is our guide to the OCR website. Alongside the specification, OCR have published 'Controlled assessment - Guide to the changes', 'Guide to controlled assessment' and a 'Teacher's handbook' which includes some information about controlled assessment. These are all available to download from the OCR website and can be seen by selecting 'View all documents'.


Does OCR applied science cater for the full ability range?

Yes, the course provides a 'ladder' of progression to high achievement. Some pupils will enjoy this course more because there are 'starting rungs' which are more motivating to step onto, and which are rewarding to climb because of their authenticity.


Does GCSE Science plus GCSE Additional Applied Science allow progression to AS Science courses?

Progression routes from this combination of courses are varied and, as with all progression routes, may depend on the course entry requirements requested by a particular college.

Students definitely planning to do AS courses in pure sciences would be best advised to take GCSE Additional Science. This is particularly so if they may wish to study AS Physics.

However, students who can demonstrate the level of organisation and effort required to achieve a strong grade in both GCSE Science and GCSE Additional Applied Science would be qualified to begin an AS course in Science, Biology, Chemistry or Physics. They may have missed some of the science content they need, but their appreciation of science and study skills would be much enhanced.

GCSE Additional Applied Science also provides an excellent basis for progression to AS Applied Science.