A Level Science Specification Event– January 2015 GCSE & A Level Sciences from September 2015 - What are the changes? - What is the Practical Endorsement? Chae Cruickshank, Subject Specialist What are the changes at GCSE? - Criteria already set https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/gcse-subject-content - Specifications will not be published before July this year and will only be draft - 100% external examination - Ofqual consider it to be a 2 year course - Practical questions in exam and proposed teacher judgement of list of practicals. - 15% practical weighting - Increased maths weighting KEY DATES NEW SPEC First teaching Sept 2016 First GCSE exams June 2018 OLD SPEC Last teaching Sept 2015 Last exams June 2017 What are the changes at A Level? - Linear - AS decoupled from A level - 100% external examination (longer time) - Extended response - 15% practical weighting - Increased maths weighting (10% Biology, 20% Chemistry, 40% Physics) - Practical Endorsement (will be reported separately to the A Level grade) KEY DATES NEW SPEC First teaching Sept 2015 First AS exams June 2016 First A level exams June 2017 OLD SPEC Last teaching Sept 2014 Last exams June 2016 Practical Endorsement • Centres complete a minimum of 12 practicals. • Teachers decide whether, across the 12 activities, whether each student has demonstrated the required competencies defined in: – Common Practical Assessment Criteria (CPAC) – Use of Apparatus and Techniques listed by DfE Between 12 and 17 for each subject Guidance cannot be finalised until Ofqual have responded to the results of the Practical Endorsement trialling carried out in a number of centres across the country in Autumn 2014. IT IS A TRIAL ACROSS ALL AWARDING BODIES. Practical Endorsement Trial Practical Endorsement Trial • Teachers reported being most confident in the assessment of practical skills and techniques with fewer problems on the identification of pass or fail. • “Students felt that it would make practical work more important to them to take seriously all the time rather than just during controlled assessment.” Practical Endorsement Model A Level Science Specification Event– November 2015 A Level Sciences from September 2015 - What is OCR’s offer? - What is the Practical Endorsement? - Where can you find support? Chae Cruickshank, Subject Specialist What do OCR offer? Teacher choice for each subject and designed by teachers for teachers Content-led approach Chemistry A Biology A Physics A Context-led approach Chemistry B (Salters) Biology B (Advancing Biology) Physics B (Advancing Physics) Standard unchanged from now. Content broadly the same, minimal changes to criteria. Ofqual are discontinuing AS and A-level Human Biology with the last awards in June 2017. The final award for AS and A-level Applied Science is June 2018, no decision has been made on whether Applied Science will be redeveloped. Content • Co-teachable (AS and A level) • All changes are made after discussions with stakeholders e.g. teachers, higher education and learned societies and their feedback • Rationale behind content changes are: – Overlap with GCSE – Feedback from teachers – To meet new maths requirements.