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Edexcel GCSE Astronomy - in a hurry!!

Discussion in 'Science' started by FFp, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. FFp


    I am after some advice from anyone who has done the Astronomy course before.
    We currently have a small group of Y11 pupils that took their Science GCSEs early and quite excellently, but unexpectedly they got A* and we have decided to go down the Edexcel GCSE astronomy route with them.
    Does anyone have any advice on whether or not this time frame is realistic to get through the module. ( All pupils are very bright, and are willing to work hard).
    How long has it taken you to complete the coursework section.
    What equipment do you need. Can the observation task be completed using things like the Bradford / Faulkes telescopes or does it have do be completed in school with a telescope.

    Thanks for any help
  2. Edexcelscienceteam

    Edexcelscienceteam New commenter

    The new Specification is a very full course. It has been designed to be delivered in 40 x 1 hour lessons. (There are 2 suggested schemes through the course in the Teachers Guide.
    In addition 25% is Controlled Assessment (CA). Pupils undertake 2 Tasks, List A unaided and List B aided (this may be binoculars or cameras or indeed a Robotic Telescope or shadow stick so no need for expenditure on telescopes) Each Task is expected to take approximately 12 hours of Classroom time to supervise the Design, Analysis and Evaluation stages. The observations can be done at any time unsupervised but this is extra and must be a programme of data gathering ie not just a single night's work.
    Even if you could launch pupils on the exam itself having given them copious material to learn, you would not be able to complete the CA without a full Winter/Spring of observational opportunities.
    Coursework exemplars and coursework marking guidance (the mark guidance is on pages 35-36 of the specification) as well as podcasts by the Chief Examiner can be accessed on the Edexcel website. http://www.edexcel.com/quals/gcse/gcse09/Astronomy/Pages/default.aspx
    Hope that helps,
    Edexcel Science
  3. FFp


    Thanks for the advice so far.
    I have had a look at the National schools observatory who offer time slots which pupils can use to do some of their observation tasks. There are also guidance notes about how to mark some of the tasks that you could complete using the NSO robitic telescope.

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