The Twenty First Century Science Syllabus

Judging by this post on Bad Science, which expresses a view I have heard elsewhere, there are those who think that the syllabus I have criticised is just an add-on to the GCSE science syllabus. I can understand why they think this but regretably they are wrong, it is the syllabus.

These days, most pupils study a “double award” science syllabus, that is a science syllabus that has a volume of work equal to two subjects. A small number, the most able and most interested, do extra work and take GCSEs in biology, chemistry and physics.

In Year 10, Twentyfirst century science science students study the “Core Science” modules. These are actually science lite and attempt to make science relevent to the pupils lives by discussing social implications of science policies. Many pupils get bored by this and lose interest – understandably, really, as it is a bit difficult to think about science if you have not been taught any science to think about. In “How Hard is This?” I posted some questions from a recent examination of these modules.

In Year 11 the more able pupils take “Additional Science” and the less able take “Applied Science” this consists of health studies and bits cribbed from technology GCSEs. “Additional Science” actually contains some science although the examination questions on it, such as those in “How About This?”, are very simplistic.

Finally, those willing and able study the B7, C7 and P7 modules and take exams in the traditional three sciences.


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