Oxford Open Learning

Other GCSE Home Schooling

Science GCSE

Home Schooling GCSE Science – The Course

Please note that the last normal exam sitting for the GCSE science specifications was 2012. If you wish to take science exams in 2014 (or later years), you will need to study one of our IGCSE science courses.

Each lesson of the GCSE Science course began with a set of clearly stated objectives and an explanation of its place in the overall programme of study. Effective learning was encouraged through frequent activities and self-assessment questions. A number of straightforward and varied practical tasks, together with simply drawn, easy-to-copy illustrations, also helped to prepare for the coursework element. No previous knowledge of science was assumed or required.

Key Topics Covered

The GCSE Science course consisted of three modules (Biology 1, Chemistry 1 and Physics 1). These modules were also part of Oxford Home Schooling’s single award Sciences. A full overview of Oxford Home Schooling’s Science GCSEs can be found here.

  • Biology 1

  • How do human bodies respond to changes inside them and to their
    environment?
  • What can we do to keep our bodies healthy?
  • How do we use/abuse medical and recreational drugs?
  • What causes infectious disease and how can our bodies defend
    themselves against them?
  • What determines where particular species live and how many of them
    there are?
  • Why are individuals of the same species different from each other?
  • What new methods do we have for producing plants and animals with
    the characteristics we prefer?
  • Chemistry 1

  • How do rocks provide building materials?
  • How do rocks provide metals and how are metals used?
  • How do we get fuels from crude oil?
  • How are polymers and ethanol made from oil?
  • How can plant oils be used?
  • What are the changes in the Earth and its atmosphere?
  • Why have some species of plants and animals died out?
  • How do new species of plants and animals develop?
  • How do humans affect the environment?
  • Physics 1

  • How is heat (thermal energy) transferred and what factors affect the rate at which heat is transferred?
  • What is meant by the efficient use of energy?
  • Why are electrical devices so useful?
  • How should we generate the electricity we need?
  • What are the uses and hazards of the waves that form the electromagnetic spectrum?
  • What are the uses and dangers of emissions from radioactive substances?
  • What do we know about the universe and how it continues to change?

The Syllabus

Our GCSE Science course prepared students for AQA GCSE Combined Science syllabus 4462 for exams in 2012 only.

This was a single award GCSE. Assessment was by three written papers (which constituted 75% of the final mark and an exam based upon a data collection practical which the student carried out at home worth a further 25%. We chose this syllabus as the most suitable for home schooling. If you are interested in obtaining a double award in science, you will now need to study IGCSE Science.

Practical Skills/Coursework

The GCSE assessment had two parts:

  1. The practical skills assessment (PSA) assessed the student’s ability to work in an organised and safe manner whilst working practically. It could be carried out at any time during the course.
  2. The investigative skills assignment (ISA) assessed the student’s ability to undertake a task and collect, process and evaluate data. The ISA could be carried out at any time during the course. Students carried out the PSA set by AQA, they then took a written test under controlled conditions. The test asked questions concerning the data collected during the practical task as well as that provided as part of the test.

Within GCSE Home Schooling there are the following subjects

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