Type and Level of Qualification: GCSE Level 1/2

Exam Board and syllabus: OCR Gateway B Core and Additional, OCR Entry Level, OCR Gateway Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Course codes:

  • Core Science J261
  • Additional Science J262
  • Biology B (J263)
  • Chemistry B (J264)
  • Physics B (J265)

Course Content

This qualification identifies the activities and experiences learners will come across in everyday life, and links these to scientific ideas and their implications for society. It provides the opportunity to acquire the scientific skills, knowledge and understanding necessary for life as a citizen. Higher ability pupils will be recommended to sit the Triple Science course which results in a separate GCSE for Biology, Physics and Chemistry.

Methods of assessment

For Core and Additional, two written exams, assessed externally by OCR, each of which:

  • Is offered in Foundation and Higher Tiers
  • Uses structured questions (there is no choice of questions)
  • Assesses the quality of written communication

The ‘2’ and ‘4’ series examinations also includes a 10 mark data response section which assesses AO3 (analyse and evaluate evidence, make reasoned judgements and draw conclusions based on evidence)

Together the examination papers make up 75% of the marks with a further 25% being based on a controlled assessment split into three parts. Assessed by teachers, internally standardised and then externally moderated by OCR.  This assesses the quality of written communication.

For Triple Science Pupils will sit exams in the ‘1,2,3’ units for Biology, Chemistry and Physics at the end of year 11 worth 35% of the total mark. They will also sit examinations in the ‘4,5,6’ units for all three subjects, also at the end of year 11, worth 40% of the marks.

Pupils will submit a separate coursework piece for Biology, Chemistry and Physics worth 25% of the marks during year 11.

Key  dates of assessments

The GCSE in Core Science is taken by the majority of pupils in Year 10. They sit their ‘1’ series examinations on the 19th of May and ‘2’ series examinations on the 6th of June 2014. Coursework will be assessed on a single day in March when the timetable will be collapsed allowing pupils to focus on their science.

The GCSE in Additional Science is taken by the majority of pupils in Year 11 and follows a similar format. All Triple Science examinations are also taken at this time. Examination dates and coursework day TBC.

Additional textbooks and Supporting materials

Revision guides appropriate to the course and examination workbooks will be ordered by the department based on requests from parents to ensure that pupils are revising from the correct texts and to provide standardised homework’s as the course progresses.

There is a wealth of revision material specific to this course available on the internet and on the Science Departments Froggle page.

How parents can help

  • Help pupils to revise for mid and end of unit assessments throughout the course. Science specific revision help is provided on the Science department Froggle page.
  • Ensure pupils are spending 90 minutes a week on their science homework, making up this time with revision if need be.
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