1st February 2017
Developing the teaching and assessment of practical skills in GCSE
The aim of the course was to explore how practical investigations can be used effectively to develop a range of skills and to develop an understanding of how students’ understanding is to be assessed.
The new situation at GCSE is that all science specifications, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Combined, include a minimum of eight ‘stipulated practicals’ (i.e. 16 in the Combined Science course).
All schools have to provide ‘reasonable opportunity’ to students to carry out these practicals and sign a declaration to certify that they have done so. The final exams will then have a minimum of 15% of the marks allocated to questions based on those practicals.
This course was a great opportunity to discuss actions with other schools in Cornwall to ensure that all GCSE science students will be prepared adequately for the final assessment. Teachers were able to try out the new required practical investigations and consider how to teach contents effectively.