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AS in Applied Science (AQA) - experiences

Discussion in 'Science' started by jockster, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Dear All

    I am investigating setting up an AS in Applied Science (AQA) for possible start in September.

    I would be very grateful if any one could reply with their experiences of the course. The following information would be useful although any information/comment/opinion is welcomed.

    - Coursework content
    - Practical resources needed
    - Interest of the topics to pupils
    - Diffiiculty of topics
    - Managing and marking coursework
    - Availability of notes/Powerpoints etc.
    - Anything else you feel is relevant

    Many thanks for any help you can give, Simon
  2. In terms of ppts, resources etc - virtually nothing out there! We bumbled along making our own.

    If you are going to do it 2 things I wish we had done are 1) visit as many other schools as possible to see how they approached things and 2) go to the AQA marking moderation course first - we had problems with our first lot of course work due to " misinterpretation" of the specification......not an uncommon thing apparently.
  3. Ssn77

    Ssn77 New commenter

    Could you also say how the course is divided into exam work and coursework timewise? I have had a look at the AQA website and it is not that clear how things are split up.

    Also, what sort of standard are we looking at? I'm interested in it for students who cannot cope with the single subject A levels, but want an AS/A2 qualification rather than a BTEC. Are students with low B or C grades at science and maths GCSE likely to pass in reasonable numbers?

    Many thanks
  4. mm38

    mm38 New commenter

  5. I'm currently teaching Applied Science to Year 12. They are doing single award.
    Unit 1, Unit 2 and Unit 3. Only unit 2 is examined. Therefore it is 66% coursework.
    I don't know how we'll get on - the fact is our kids our guinea pigs for the course and most are drop-outs from other science A-levels.
    I'll try to share my experiences once I've got some time.
  6. I've taught it for the last 4 or 5 years to AS and A2. Good little course, for the ones going on to do nursing or whatever. I liked it and was sorry to see it go in favour of BTEC [​IMG] at our place. PM me for resources if you like. They're not brilliant but you are welcome to them
  7. I personally find it a pain. It was meant to be an alternative for students who did not get into Biology A' level but we have found that if they didnt get in to that course they shouldnt be doing this one. In unit 2 the Physics and Biology are A' level standard as you would expect, so if pupils struggle in maths or science in general they will find this hard too. The portfolios are time consuming but the problem with AQA is that they never bothered to publish any resources for schools to use to help them understand exactly what science/uses/ideas are expected unlike OCR who produced text books and so on. For these past 2 years we have struggled to find appropriate training courses at AQA. I asked last year but AQA bombed out there so we learnt we were marking the portfolios too leniently but with little guidance as to what constituted a C, B or A grade. The school is what pushed us to do it and I think they made a mistake, especially as they wanted it in place ready for sept start, that gave us about 4-5months to do it. Not a lot of time to investigate it, see other schools as well as do all the other things a normal science department does. I cant wait until this present spec finishes, I will not stay with AQA for this I think but look at OCR due to the level of support and resources they provide for Applied style courses.

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