September 2023 Teaching Science update
Welcome back to the start of the new academic year! This September update is for teachers delivering both UK and International Pearson Edexcel Science qualifications at GCSE and A level. In this update you can find news and information to help you this term.
You can also listen to a short video that I have recorded that will provide you with a quick overview of some of the support that we will have available. Items that are included in this video are as follows.
- Post-results services
- Feedback on the Summer 2023 exam series
- Access to scripts
- GCSE and A level training
- Training availability for GCSE, A level and International Science qualifications
- The Autumn exam series for International Science qualifications
This news and information can also be accessed via this news update.
Post-results support and information
If you're not happy with your students' results this summer, you are advised to take the following steps initially:
- View the grade boundaries, question papers, mark schemes and examiners’ reports of the paper/qualification concerned.
- View your students’ scripts using the free access to scripts service.
- Log in to ResultsPlus to see how your students have performed on every question and compare their performance to the national average.
If you're still unhappy with your students' results, you may apply for a review of marking via our post-results services. Full details of all our post-results services are available on our website.
The deadline for reviews of marking and moderation is the 28 September.
You can also refer to my August update that also contains information about summer results.
Examiner reports were released with August results and are available on the relevant qualification pages. They provide examiner feedback on the question papers sat this Summer and include annotated scripts. You can access the reports from the qualification pages in the 'Exam Materials' section.
Access to Scripts
Access to Scripts is an online service included as part of your qualification fee that allows you to view your candidates’ marked scripts either online or downloaded as a PDF. Viewing scripts can provide you with a rich source of information enabling detailed analysis to help inform teaching and learning that performance data alone could not provide. The marked script will allow teachers to evaluate how a student has performed on questions in relation to what they have been taught.
It is available until the 15 December 2023.
To access this service, you will need 'Exam viewer' in your Edexcel Online profile that Exams Officers are able to grant access to.
Please also note, candidate consent is also required before requesting script copies, as per section 4.2 of the JCQ's Post-results services guide.
Discover more about Access to Scripts along with FAQs and a step-by-step user guide from our website.
ResultsPlus - our online results analysis tool
ResultsPlus is our free online results analysis tool that gives you a detailed breakdown of your students’ performance in Pearson Edexcel exams.
Teachers can sign into Results Plus using their Edexcel Online username and password if their account profile has 'Results Plus' access granted by the Exams Officer.
GCSE Summer 2023 feedback events
We are providing Summer 2023 feedback events for Pearson Edexcel GCSE teachers that will be live and free to attend. In these events teachers will look at how students performed in the Summer 2023 exams and be provided guidance on how to address feedback in the examiners' reports. Time will be spent looking at both the foundation and higher-level questions.
GCSE Combined Science Biology: Summer 2023 feedback
03 October 2023 at 16:00 - 17:30 GMT
GCSE Combined Science Chemistry: Summer 2023 feedback
04 October 2023 at 16:00 - 17:30 GMT
GCSE Combined Science Physics: Summer 2023 feedback
05 October 2023 at 16:00 - 17:30 GMT
A level Summer 2023 feedback events
Later this Autumn we will also provide pre-recorded feedback events on the summer exam series for A level Sciences. You can keep an eye out for these on our training page.
Summer 2023 post-exam survey
To enable us to improve the experience of teachers using our qualifications and students sitting our exams, we gather feedback after each exam series. If you're a teacher, and your students have taken any of our exams in the May/June 2023 series, we want to know what you liked or didn't like in this year's exam papers. We'll share your feedback with our senior examiners and across teams to ensure we continue to make improvements to our papers where appropriate so we can make sure your students have the best exam experience. Please complete our survey and have your say.
GCSE to A level Science transition events
We will be hosting the following Pearson Edexcel GCSE to A level Science transition events on the following dates.
GCSE/A Level Physics Supporting transition to A Level
14 September 2023 16:00 - 18:00 GMT
Event Fee (GBP) £40 excl. tax
GCSE/A Level Biology Supporting transition to A Level
20 September 2023
16:00 - 17:30 GMT
Event Fee (GBP) £40 excl. tax
GCSE/A Level Chemistry Supporting transition to A Level
03 October 2023 16:00 - 17:30 GMT
Event Fee (GBP) £40 excl. tax
These events will give you an opportunity to learn and discuss effective teaching and learning strategies to help your students’ bridge the gap between GCSE and A level. Delegates will:
- discuss the differences between GCSE and A level study, including level of difficulty, accessibility, learning styles and methods of assessment
- be introduced to a range of activities to both enthuse and enable students who have just completed GCSE assessments to make and sustain the necessary step up to the level of understanding and methods of working
- consider the role of independent learning in developing success at A level
- discuss and look at ways to address some of the common pitfalls experienced by students in taking this challenging step.
Please note: a recording of the event will be available to attendees only.
GCSE (9-1) Sciences: Running and Marking Mocks event
13 November 2023 at 16:00 - 17:30 GMT | Online | Free
We are hosting an online event designed for teachers who are delivering or about to deliver the Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Science qualifications. At this event delegates will:
- Discuss the different approaches to running, marking and moderating mock exams.
- Look at a variety of sample assessment questions and discuss marking.
- Discuss marked exemplars of exam responses.
Please note, in these events we are not able to discuss any centre or candidate specific marking issues.
Pearson Edexcel GCSE Science Symposium (face-to-face event)
17 November 2023 at 09:30 - 16:00 GMT 80 Strand, London
A new face-to-face event for teachers or heads of department who deliver our GCSE Science qualifications.
There will be a selection of speakers relevant to our GCSE specification - focusing on topics ranging from practicals, data analysis to understanding the way our assessments work.
There will be opportunities to listen, learn and discuss the wonderful world of science teaching with other like-minded colleagues.
The event will take place at Pearson's headquarters - 80 Strand, right in the heart of London.
Note: lunch is provided | Event Fee (GBP) £99 excl. Tax
International GCSE Science and IAL Science training
We have several training events taking place this Autumn term to support teachers delivering International GCSE and IAL Sciences. These include:
- IAL- Welcome to Pearson
- International GCSE/IAL- Bridging the gap
- IAL - Understanding assessment and improving delivery
Please visit our Professional Development Academy page for more details and to register your place.
Modular International GCSEs
You may have heard about the introduction of modular International GCSE specifications for overseas students.
For International GCSE Sciences the modular specifications will be available for first teaching from September 2025.
The present linear specifications are not being removed and will continue to be available. There will simply be a choice between the existing specifications, following linear assessment route, or the new specifications that will follow a modular assessment route.
Please note, the modular assessment route will not be available for students based in the UK.
International GCSE November exam series
As previously communicated, we're introducing a regular International GCSE November series starting in November 2023. The November series is being introduced to best meet the needs of students requiring International GCSE exam opportunities outside of the full May/June series and it will replace the existing January series from 2024. This will result in just a May/June and November series going forward for International GCSE.
IAL Biology pre-release scientific article
The Pearson Edexcel International Advanced Level Biology Unit 5 (WBI15) pre-release scientific article for the Autumn 2023 is available to download from our website.
You will require an Edexcel Online (EOL) account to download the article. Your Exams Officer will be able to create an EOL account for you if you don't already have one.
The pre-release scientific article can be given to students so they can study and annotate it over the coming weeks in preparation for those specific questions on the Unit 5 examination paper.
Students are not allowed to take their annotated copy into the examination room - there will be a fresh copy inside the Unit 5 written examination paper. In the unlikely event that this is missing, or if you do not have enough copies, you can download the article from our website.
If you have any private/external candidates registered to sit this examination, please provide a copy for them too.
Edexcel Online and Multi-factor Authentication
In June we introduced Multi-factor Authentication as additional layer of security to Edexcel Online to help protect your centre and learner data.
If you experience any problems with accessing our secure documents such as exam materials, or our systems such as that require an Edexcel Online account e.g. Results Plus, please refer the update below with links to trouble shooting steps that you can follow.
Pearson Edexcel View from the Lab Podcasts
Two Pearson Edexcel 'View from the Lab' podcasts have been released over the Summer. Titles and link to listen to the podcasts are provided below.
Episode 42. Strengthening the links between industry and STEM education with Dr Ajay Sharman
Episode 43. Pedagogical progress in science with Adam Robbins
Free teacher access to Pearson Revise Online
You may be interested to know that teachers can still request free access to the Pearson Revise Online platform to explore online revision guides for Pearson Edexcel GCSE subjects. You can find out more from the Pearson publishing site.