Spring 2013 update

Fri Mar 22 16:38:00 UTC 2013

GCSE Science

Controlled assessment tasks for May 2014

The GCSE Science May 2014 controlled assessment tasks, detailed assessment guidance and teacher and technician notes are now available.

Please remember that these are secure materials so you’ll need to get your exams officer to log on and download them for you.

Carrying forward GCSE controlled assessment marks

From June 2013, assessment is going from modular back to linear. This means that candidates will have to sit all of their assessments at the end of the course, in June.

Marks from a controlled assessment that have been used for cash-in can be carried forward to another attempt at the qualification. This affects students who may want to retake a qualification. For example, if a student sits B1, C1, P1, and their controlled assessment in the summer of Y10 and certificates, and wants to retake in the summer of Y11, they can carry forward the CA marks from the previous cash-in and resit the three externally assessed units.

Further Additional Science and performance measures

The new GCSE Further Additional Science qualification will count towards the five A*-C measures from its first award in 2014.

However, it won't count towards the English Baccalaureate measure. In order to achieve the science component of the EBacc, students need two science GCSEs. This can be achieved by gaining a C or higher in Science plus Additional Science, or by gaining two C grades from three attempted separate science GCSEs.

As Further Additional Science cannot count towards the EBacc, students who complete the Further Additional Science route to three GCSEs will have to have passed both Science and Additional Science in order for them to achieve the science component.

GCSE parent and student guides

We've recently amended our parent and student guides to include updated information around Further Additional Science. They are now available in the course materials.

Other GCSE support documents are currently being updated. Keep an eye out for these as they become available on our website.

Entry Level

Our new specification for the Entry Level Certificate in Science has been accredited by Ofqual for first teaching from September 2013. The final assessment date for the current specification (8938) and the first assessment date for the new specification (8939) will be June 2014.

If you currently offer this qualification you will receive a hard copy of the new specification and sample assessment materials shortly. Alternatively, you can download a copy of the new specification now from the ELC Science page.

Sample assessment material will be available to download shortly.

A level

As previously announced, the January module series was offered for the last time in January 2013, so AS and A2 modules are now offered in June only. This change does not affect the structure of the qualification at all; nor does it change the resit or cash-in rules.

Recent announcements from Mr Gove have indicated the path expected for the revised A levels for first teaching from September 2015. For more information, read our A level announcement.

International GCSE

Timetable error

The International GCSE Chemistry unit 4CH0 2C examination was incorrectly listed as scheduled for Monday 10 June 2013 a.m. in a previous version of the final timetable for June 2013.

This examination should have been listed as Monday 10 June 2013 p.m.

If you have any queries about this, please email us.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.


A couple of DfE consultations are currently open. Follow the links below if you would like to have your say.

Reform of the National Curriculum in England
Closing date: Tuesday 16 April 2013

The government launched a review of the National Curriculum in January 2011 with the aim of ensuring that the aspirations we set for our children match those in the highest-performing education jurisdictions, and giving teachers greater freedom over how to teach.

The proposals, on which we are consulting, represent the outcomes of that review. This consultation is being conducted under section 96 of the Education Act 2002.

Secondary School Accountability Consultation
Closing date: Wednesday 1 May 2013

This consultation proposes changes to the existing secondary school performance measures, which will reflect the significant reforms to GCSEs, and seeks views on the publication of other data which could strengthen the secondary accountability system.

Stephen Nugus
Science Subject Advisor

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