9 Aug '14

News Let's put some Eureka! into school science

Plans to cut lab work from science A-level need not alarm us. What classrooms need is creativityDuring a recent visit to a school in London to interview a group of GCSE science students for a forthcoming Horizon programme, I was particularly interested in whether the girls were intending to continue with science at A-level. Many of them weren't and said that they wanted to do something "creative" instead. I was astonished by this response.When the long summer holidays are over, a new cohort of students will enter their final years of school, working towards their A-levels. Those studying sciences will be assessed on both written and practical exams, but that's all set to change from September 2015. In April, Ofqual announced the effective end of practical exams in science A-levels. Students will be assessed on written work alone, and although they will be required to undertake a set of 12 practicals, whether they pass or fail these will have no bearing on their A-level grade. These reforms are designed to overcome problems with the existing assessment of practical work in science A-levels, which allowed coursework to be repeated until desirable grades were achieved. Continue reading...

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