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Curriculum updates and assessment

Last updated 08 August 2014.Copyright 2013 Fiendishly Clever

New curriculum

Key timeline for primary science

In may, ASE's special issue of Primary Science outlines the reforms to the science curriculum. This is a free download.

  • Assessment in England - Some FAQs from Sarah Earle (Primary Science 133 pp27)
  • Leading change in the primary science curriculum - Nicky Waller and Chris Baker (Primary Science pp5) 

Key timeline for secondary science 

Ahead of the changes, Science Leaders' Hub editor, Helen Harden has put together this short guide to the key changes in the curriculum.

New A level and GCSE content 

 New A levels content to be taught from September 2015 can be found here. New GCSE content for combined and single sciences, to be taught in schools from September 2016 can be found here.

Assessment Update

A-Level specification comparisons

Following the reforms to science A-levels, ASE members have produced comparisons about the different specifications. 

A-level practical science assessment 

Ofqual announcement to separate practical science from A-level grades. The regulator is to go ahead with its plan to separate practical science skills from the overall A-level grade and this will mean:

  • Requirement to undertake a minimum of twelve practical activities throughout the two year course.
  • Students will receive a separate grade for practical skills (pass/fail grade).
  • Students could fail their practical competence test and still achieve an A*.

ASE has released a statement on GCSE and A-Level science practical work (June 2014).

Other assessment changes 

Ofqual announced in April 2014 the introduction on new top-level grades from 2017 to better differentiate high achivers and benchmark the UK with international comparisons. GCSEs are to be graded from nine to one, replacing A*-to-G grades. The equivalent level 'C' is likely to become a level 4.