WJEC 2011 science GCSEs
WJEC expects students of GCSE Science, GCSE Additional Science and GCSE Physics to develop knowledge and understanding of the nature and methods of science: "Using observation, questioning, testing evidence and concluding, candidates should be aware of the way in which scientific information is built up and constantly reviewed."
Students are also expected to understand how science interacts with society. Teachers are recommended to use case studies, individual projects or discussion groups to explore "issues, uncertainties and value judgements inherent in some areas of science".
Written exams may address
- links between scientific evidence and explanations - for example, the establishment of the Big Bang model in cosmology.
- the application and implications of science - for example, decisions about types of power stations.
Controlled assessment tasks, supplied by WJEC and marked by teachers, address practical and enquiry skills. In GCSE Science, candidates complete three short exercises to assess their research skills, hypothesis testing and experimental techniques. In GCSE Additional Science and GCSE Physics, candidates complete a full investigation.
WJEC uses scientific terms consistent with those described in The Language of Measurement, a booklet published by the Association of Science Education in 2010.
Fuller information and support is of course available from WJEC, and detailed guidance for teachers is provided on the WJEC website.
Case Studies and Experiments linked below could support the teaching of ‘How Science Works’ aspects of WJEC's science specifications.
The development of scientific ideas
- Rutherford's alpha scattering experiment
- William Herschel and the discovery of infra-red radiation
- The magnetic Earth
Planning & carrying out investigations
- Radiation from black and shiny surfaces
- Simple electromagnet
- Investigating simple steel springs
- Measuring the radius of a marble
- Measuring paper