We study the AQA GCSE Science course with all examinations being taken at the end of year 11. The structure is as follows:
The 3×3 matrix above represents the specification for GCSE Science developed by AQA. The three columns represent the three sciences: B (Biology), C (Chemistry) and P (Physics). The three rows represent increasing levels of knowledge across each science: 1 (Core), 2 (Additional) and 3 (Separate). Each level can be a taken as a standalone GCSE qualification.
Each of the nine cells represents a single unit of the AQA GCSE Science specification, sometimes referred to as a module. Each unit has its own exam. All of the exams last 1 hour and are worth 60 marks.
To get a Core Science qualification, a student sits three exams: B1, C1 and P1 (all held in June). These together lead to the Core Science GCSE. Students at many schools sit their Core Science exams at the end of Year 10. At UTC Swindon, students will sit these exams at the end of Year 11
To get an Additional Science qualification, a student sits three exams: B2, C2 and P2 (Usually held in May). These together lead to the Additional Science GCSE. Students at UTC Swindon will sit these Additional Science exams at the end of Year 11.
If a student passes Core Science and Additional Science, then that student will have two science GCSEs.
Units B3, C3 and P3 relate to the Separate Science course. If a student sits all three of these exams (also held in May) they will have completed what is called Triple Science, which represents three GCSEs, a GCSE in Biology, a GCSE in Chemistry and a GCSE in Physics.
The three sciences (Units 1, 2 and 3 in each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics) are each standalone qualifications. So a student can do one, two or all three sciences. For example the B1, B2 and B3 exams are equivalent to one GCSE (in Biology). Students doing the Triple award will be sitting exams in all 3 subjects (Biology, Chemistry & Physics)
The units are worth 75% of the GCSE. A further 25% is accounted for by a ‘controlled assessment’. This is like coursework, but is done in school, incorporating practical work with exams.
Further details can be found at www.aqa.org.uk
A level Chemistry
We study the OCR A level Chemistry A course. AS level will be studied in the first year with examinations being taken at the end of year 12. If successful, students will continue to year 13, taking all A level examinations at the end of that year.
Chemistry A is split into six modules: Modules 1 to 4 constitute the AS level qualification; Modules 1 to 6 constitute the full A Level. The modules can be summarised as follows:
Module 1: Development if practical skills – this module underpins the whole of the specification, and covers the practical skills that students should develop throughout the course. The practical skills in this module can be assessed within written examinations and (for A Level only) within the Practical Endorsement.
Module 2: Foundations in chemistry covering concepts required throughout the remaining modules.
Modules 3 and 4: AS topics
Modules 5 and 6: A Level topics
At AS Level:
Papers 1 and 2 can assess any content from Modules 1 to 4
At A Level:
Paper 1 asses the content from Modules 1, 2, 3 and 5
Paper 2 asses the content from Modules 1, 2, 4 and 6
Paper 3 assess the content from Modules 1 to 6
Chemistry A – AS (H032)/A Level (H432)
The course will contain a minimum of 12 practical activities which will be examined within the written papers (so no formal practical examination).
Specific details of the practical activities will be given by your teacher.
Further details can be found at www.ocr.org.uk/alevelchemistry
A Level Physics
We study the AQA A Level Physics course. AS level will be studied in the first year with examinations being taken at the end of year 12. If successful, students will continue to year 13, taking all A level examinations at the end of that year.
Stretching the limits of our understanding of the world we live in, A Level Physics offers you the chance to understand some of the more complex ideas that form the building blocks of our universe. It is a stepping stone to a degree course in physics or engineering as well as supporting our engineering curriculum at UTC. Physics develops your problem solving skills and ensures you have a good understanding of the theoretical concepts by backing them up with practical activities. The course will contain a minimum of 12 practical activities which will be examined within the written papers (so no formal practical examination).
1. Measurements and their errors
2. Particles and radiation
4. Mechanics and materials
6. Further mechanics and thermal physics
7. Fields and their consequences
8. Nuclear physics
10. Medical physics
11. Engineering physics
12. Turning points in physics
Sections 1 – 5 are assessed in a written exam. This is worth 50% of the AS level qualification. It is a mixture of long and short answer questions split by topic.
Sections 1 – 5 are assessed in a written exam. This is worth 50% of the AS Level qualification. This paper will be a mixture of long and short answer and multiple choice questions and includes written questions on practical skills and data analysis.
Sections 1 to 5 and 6.1 (Periodic motion) are assessed in a written examination. It is worth 34% of the A Level qualification and will be a mixture of long and short answer and multiple choice questions
Sections 6.2 (Thermal Physics), 7 and 8 are assessed in a written examination. It is worth 34% of the A Level qualification and will be a mixture of long and short answer and multiple choice questions
This section is compulsory and will examine practical skills and data analysis
Students will answer questions from one of the sections out of 9, 10, 11, 12 or 13. Your teacher will tell you which one of these you will study.
This examination (both sections combined) is worth 32% of the A Level qualification and will consist of both long and short answer questions.