GCSE Sciences are changing from September 2016

Wed Dec 17 14:55:46 UTC 2014

GCSE Sciences will be changing from September 2016, with first assessment taking place in summer 2018. Final assessment of the current GCSE Sciences will be in summer 2017.

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You’ve told us that you’ve found our regular subject updates about AS and A level Sciences 2015 helpful. That’s why we’re doing the same for GCSE 2016, to make sure you’re the first to know the latest information about our new qualifications.

What’s new with GCSE Sciences from September 2016?

  • There will be 4 GCSE qualifications in science: GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry, GCSE Physics and GCSE Combined Science (Double Award).
  • No single 'GCSE Science' option will be available.
  • All GCSEs will be linear qualifications, with exams taking place at the end of the courses; first assessment will take place in summer 2018.
  • There will be Foundation and Higher tiers, and these will adopt the new 9–1 grading system.
  • These new qualifications will be included in the Progress 8 and Attainment 8 performance measures from 2018 onwards.
  • There will be new Assessment Objectives for GCSE Sciences 2016.
  • There will be no coursework in the new GCSEs; details around the assessment of practical skills are currently being finalised.
  • All content is in line with the subject criteria outlined by the Department for Education.

Creating the new GCSE 2016 qualifications

We’ve started working on updating our qualifications to make sure they reflect the new content and assessment requirements, and are ready for first teaching in September 2016.

We aren’t developing these new qualifications alone, though. At every stage, we’re focusing on what you’ve told us about your experiences of GCSE 2011 to create courses that continue to have good science at their core and support your students to achieve their potential.

We’re already talking with many of you about the changes, how they'll affect you and your students and your ideas about the design of the new qualifications too. We’d like as many of you as possible to work with us on shaping our new qualifications, which is why we’ll be letting you know about the many opportunities to get involved and have your say over the next few months.

How we’ll be supporting you with GCSE 2016

In the run-up to September 2016 and beyond, we’ll be here to support you and your students with our new qualifications.

Many of you have told us you’re already thinking about the transition between Key Stage 3 and GCSE 2016, and how you might start the new GCSEs with Year 9 students from September 2015. To help you with this, we’ll be running Transition to GCSE 2016 events from next term and creating support materials that will focus on the areas you’ve told us you’d like help with, such as the new maths and practical work requirements.

We’ll be in touch in the new year about these events and materials, and further news on GCSE 2016. If you have any queries or thoughts on the new qualifications, please send them along to ScienceTeamUpdates@pearson.com, and the team will be happy to help and hear your ideas.

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