Overview of the AQA GCSE Science 2011 specifications

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Introduction
Welcome to the Year 9 starter pack for the
Longman resources for the new 2011 AQA
GCSE science (specification A)
Contents
What are the changes to the specification?
The structure of the new AQA Science A specification
Teaching over two years
Teaching over three years
© Pearson Education Ltd 2011. Copying permitted for purchasing institution only. This material is not copyright free.
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Introduction
Getting started
AQA has sent its redrafted specifications to Ofqual for approval. It is expected that final
accreditation will be given to the new specifications during the Autumn 2010 term.
If your school teaches GCSE science over two years then you should start using the new
specifications in September 2011. If, however, you teach GCSE science over three years instead
of two, you will need to start using the new specifications from September 2010.
What are the changes?
The main changes to the specifications are:

the content has been updated (see the tables on pages)

the specifications can no longer be externally assed by objective tests only

for each GCSE there can be a maximum of three units (e.g. B1, C1, P1) and a controlled
assessment

practicals have been signposted in the specification

the rules and structure of the ISAs (controlled assessment) have changed
Assessment changes
External assessment*

75% of assessment must be external

papers will be 60 marks and one hour

papers will include more structured questions and questions needing longer answers

external assessment will be available in January and June
Centre Assessed Unit*

worth 25% of the award

no PSA

practical work laboratory or fieldwork-based

ISA test 45 marks, 45 minutes

school marks and AQA moderates

an ISA for the core units can only be used for science

the ISA for the additional science unit may also be used for the separate sciences

the ISAs for the unit 3s can only be used for the separate sciences

only valid for one year
* Subject to Ofqual accreditation
© Pearson Education Ltd 2011. Copying permitted for purchasing institution only. This material is not copyright free.
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Introduction
The structure of the new AQA Science A specification
GCSE Science
GCSE Additional
Science
B1
C1
P1
CAU
B2
C2
P2
CAU
B3
C3
P3
CAU
B
CAU
C
CAU
P
Biology
Chemistry
Physics
All units are worth 25%.
© Pearson Education Ltd 2011. Copying permitted for purchasing institution only. This material is not copyright free.
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Introduction
Teaching over two years
New rules:
1
The terminal assessment rule means that at least 40% of the assessment
needs to be in the series when the student is awarded the GCSE.
2
Only one re-sit for each assessment before certification is allowed.
3
The Centre Assessed Unit (CAU) must be entered and moderated in the
year in which it is set.
Key Stage 4 in two years
GCSEs studied
What to do in Year 10
What to do in Year 11
GCSE Biology
Assess Unit 1s and possibly
some 2s
Assess Unit 2s if not done in
Year 10, Assess Unit 3s in
June and submit CAU
Science A – assess and
certificate
Additional Science – assess
and certificate
GCSE Science A (only)
GCSE Science A – possibly
assess
GCSE Science – assess
remaining or all units and
certificate
GCSE Science A
Science A – assess and
certificate
Environmental Science, or
Electronics or Human Health
and Physiology – assess and
certificate
Science A – assess and
certificate
Biology or chemistry or
physics
GCSE Chemistry
GCSE Physics
GCSE Science A
Additional Science
An alternative science GCSE
GCSE Science A
One separate science
© Pearson Education Ltd 2011. Copying permitted for purchasing institution only. This material is not copyright free.
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Introduction
Teaching over three years
Separate sciences in three years – beginning from September 2010
GCSEs studied
Year 9 – Sept 2010
GCSE Biology
Begin unit 1 of
Finish unit 1s –
biology, chemistry and assess Jan 2011 start
physics
unit 2s – assessed
June 2012
GCSE Chemistry
GCSE Physics
Year 10 – Sept 2011
Year 11 – Sept 2012
Begin study of unit 3s
- assess, incl CAU,
and certificate June
2013
Separate sciences in three years – beginning from September 2011
GCSEs studied
Year 9 – Sept 2010
Year 10 – Sept 2011
Year 11 – Sept 2012
GCSE Biology
Unit 1 from current
specifications - June
2011 certificate in
GCSEs under current
spec
Teaching of ‘extras’ in
the new specs for unit
1s, then move onto
unit 2s.
Begin study of unit 3s
GCSE Chemistry
GCSE Physics
Jan 2012
assessments for Units
1s
June 2013
assessments for unit
3s. CAUs can be
taken as part of
terminal assessment
June 2012 (or later)
assessments for Unit
2s
© Pearson Education Ltd 2011. Copying permitted for purchasing institution only. This material is not copyright free.
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© Pearson Education Ltd 2011. Copyright permitted for purchasing institution only. This material is not copyright free.
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