Teaching Triple Science: GCSE Physics - STEM

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teaching triple science:GCSEphysicsGCSE physics

teaching triple science:GCSEphysicsGCSE physics

IIPublished by the Learning and Skills Networkwww.LSNeducation.org.ukRegistered with the Charity CommissionersLSN is committed to providing publications that areaccessible to all. To request additional copies ofthis publication or a different format, please contact:Information and Customer CentreLearning and Skills NetworkRegent Arcade House19–25 Argyll StreetLondon W1F 7LSTel 0845 071 0800Fax 020 7297 9242enquiries@LSNeducation.org.ukAuthor: Science Learning CentresProject manager: Ian DuckettEdit and design: thingswedoIllustrations: Keith SparrowPhotographs: John Walmsley Education PhotosPrinter: Blackmore Ltd, ShaftesburyCIMS 072841GR/09/07/5000ISBN 9781845726508 Learning and Skills Network 2007You are welcome to copy this publication forinternal use within your organisation. Otherwise,no part of this publication may be reproduced,stored in a retrieval system, or transmittedin any form or by any means, electronic,electrical, chemical, optical, photocopying,recording or otherwise, without priorwritten permission of the copyright owner.AcknowledgementsThe Learning and Skills Network wishes to thankthe following for their work on this project: Ed Walsh,Catherine Aldridge, David Harrison, Bryan Berry,Shân Oswald, Derek Bell, Daniel Sandford Smith,and all those who participated in shapingand reviewing this publication.Further informationFor further information about the issuesdiscussed in this publication, please contact:Information and Customer CentreTel 0845 071 0800E-mail triplescience@LSNeducation.org.ukDisclaimerThe Learning and Skills Network (LSN) and thecompilers of this publication have done theirbest to ensure the accuracy and currency of webaddresses. Because this information is subjectto change, LSN cannot guarantee its accuracyand can accept no responsibility for any loss orinconvenience sustained by any party as a result ofinformation and advice contained in this publication.

Teaching Triple Science: GCSE PhysicsIIIContentsPrefaceVSection 1. The policy context1Section 2. About this publication2Section 3. GCSE specifications for physics3Section 4. Effective teaching and learningapproaches for GCSE Physics5Section 5. Specific GCSE Physics topics21Section 6. Managing a departmentto deliver Triple Science67Section 7. Resources71AnnexesAnnex 1. GCSE Physics specifications at a glance79Annex 2. Teaching and learning models:bibliography and further reading84Annex 3. Assessment of How Science Worksin different GCSE Science courses84Annex 4. LSN science publications87Annex 5. Triple Science Support Programmefrequently asked questions88


Teaching Triple Science: GCSE PhysicsPrefaceThe Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF)has contracted with the Learning and Skills Network tosupport awareness and take-up of Triple Science GCSEsthrough the Triple Science Support Programme.The programme aims to support the following policy objectives: to enable all young people with level 6 or above in science atKey stage 3 to study Triple Science GCSEs from September 2008 to help specialist science schools offer Triple Scienceto their students from September 2008.The Triple Science Support Programme comprises the following: the programme website: www.triplescience.org.uk a programme newsletter publications on: collaboration and partnership; raising attainment inTriple Science; curriculum modelling, timetabling and Triple Science,and three subject-specific resources on the separate sciences Triple Science networks of support for practitioners an audit of resources for Triple Science an offer of three days’ consultancy pertargeted school (around the topics above) a marketing campaign around Triple Science for schools.This publication provides an introduction to teaching and learningapproaches for the extension topics within GCSE Physics. It highlightssome specific ideas that teachers can adopt and where to findfurther information. It also outlines issues for managing the change.This programme has been funded by the DCSF. All publications,networks and newsletters will be delivered without charge tomaintained secondary schools. The training and consultancywill be available to targeted Triple Science schools only.If you wish to register an interest in the programme,please contact the LSN helpline on 0845 071 0800or e-mail triplescience@LSNeducation.org.ukAlan GoulbourneExecutive ManagerTriple Science Support ProgrammeLearning and Skills NetworkV


Teaching Triple Science: GCSE Physics1Section 1The policy contextBackgroundScience at Key stage 4The government believes that the futureeconomic success of the United Kingdomis dependent upon a good supply of skilledscientists and engineers. It aims to securethis supply by creating an education andtraining environment that delivers the best inscience teaching and learning at every stage.GCSE Science (often called core orsingle science) is the single qualificationthat covers the statutory Programmeof Study for science at Key stage 4.Most students take, and should continue totake, the equivalent of at least two GCSEs inscience. Choices available include AdditionalScience and Applied Science. These remaina viable route to A-level study in science.Triple Science GCSEs are a combinationof three GCSEs in biology, chemistry andphysics. It provides the fullest coverageof these three subjects at Key stage 4and, taken together, the subjects coverthe Programme of Study for science.The courses cover an extensive rangeof subject matter and therefore preparestudents well for progression to A-level.The introduction of the new entitlement toTriple Science for students achieving level 6or above at the end of Key stage 3, meansthat all schools will be strongly encouragedto make arrangements to meet it. The TripleScience Support Programme (TSSP) aimsto provide resources, materials and trainingthat will help schools not currently offeringTriple Science to see the possibilities thatexist and make the right decisions andcurriculum arrangements within their owncircumstances and for their own students.For details of the TSSP, please see Annex 5.Key priorities forthe governmentOne of the key priorities for action is toincrease availability of the three separatesciences at GCSE level. This will beachieved in the following ways: introducing, in September 2008, anentitlement for students achieving atleast level 6 at Key stage 3 to study thethree separate sciences to GCSE ensuring that by September 2008, allspecialist science schools offer TripleScience, at least to all students achievinglevel 6 at the end of Key stage 3 strongly encouraging all schools tomake Triple Science available to allstudents who could benefit.

2Section 2About this publicationThis is a subject-specific publication tosupport teachers in the delivery of thenew Triple Science GCSEs. It focuseson GCSE Physics, and particularly onthe content that extends AdditionalScience to the Triple Science GCSEs.While this guide concentrates on thecontent and teaching and learningappropriate for GCSE Physics, thereare also guides that explore: GCSE Chemistry GCSE Biology raising attainment curriculum modelling collaborative working resources for delivering Triple Science GCSEs.The target audience is science teacherswho are introducing Triple Science,including those teaching outside theirspecialism and the publication is particularlyrelevant to those teaching outside theirspecialism and subject leaders.This guide provides an introduction to theextension topics for GCSE Physics andhighlights some specific ideas that teacherscan adopt. It is a starting point to providesupport to teachers who will each havedifferent needs, rather than a definitiveguide. Further advice and support canbe obtained from colleagues in school,the local authority, through the TripleScience Support Programme or from theorganisations listed in this publication.Section 3 outlines how Science, AdditionalScience and Extension Science (Physics)are structured, and Annex 1 comparesthe physics content for each specification,outlining what is required for Science,Additional Science and Extension Science.Section 4 outlines effective teaching andlearning approaches relevant to the extensiontopics in GCSE Physics and introduces: teaching and learning models toencourage active learning approaches to teach and assessHow Science Works using investigations and demonstrations enhancing science with ICT links to other subjects engagement and attainment strategies.Section 5 provides specific ideas for teachingand learning the key topics in the extensionspecifications. Each topic is described interms of the subject knowledge required,the challenging concepts that arise and themost relevant opportunities for deliveringHow Science Works. A range of tried andtested teaching activities follows to exemplifythe different teaching models introducedin Section 4. Ideas for investigations anddemonstrations, additional activities andcentre-marked assessment provide a tasterof what other teachers recommend. Thereare also links to appropriate resourcesand organisations for each topic.Section 6 outlines issues to consider whenimplementing GCSE Physics in a sciencedepartment, such as staffing, continuingprofessional development, health andsafety, and resource requirements.Section 7 lists resources andorganisations from where furtherinformation can be obtained.

Teaching Triple Science: GCSE PhysicsSection 3GCSE specifications for physicsChanges to the GCSE curriculum haveprovided schools – and students – with muchgreater choice and the opportunity to makeGCSE Science more relevant to all students.Schools introduced the newProgramme of Study and associatedspecifications in September 2006.The new GCSE Science and GCSE AdditionalScience, when taken together, are equivalentto the previous Double Science GCSEs.Specifications for GCSE Physics include thephysics and How Science Works content fromGCSE Science and GCSE Additional Science.In addition, they include further extensiontopics in physics. Taken together, GCSEBiology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physicscover the entire science Programme of Study,plus the additional subject-specific content.This publication refers to the five mainspecifications for GCSE Science: AQA Edexcel 360Science OCR Twenty First Century Science OCR Gateway WJEC.A summary of the physics content foreach of the GCSE Science specificationscan be found in Annex 1.3


Teaching Triple Science: GCSE Physics5Section 4Effective teaching and learningapproaches for GCSE PhysicsEffective teaching and learning isclearly critical to students’ engagement,attainment and progression.Ofsted’s annual report 2005–06 summarisesneatly some key elements of effective practice:Many schools have given considerationto pupils’ preferred learning styles, andacross a range of subjects it is evidentthat higher achievement is associatedwith active forms of learning. For example,where science was well taught, not onlywere basic concepts effectively addressed,lessons were also stimulating andenjoyable. In thinking about How ScienceWorks, pupils researched and exchangedinformation, often making effective useof ICT, debating ideas and displayingknowledge and understanding of issuesvery relevant to their own and others’ lives.This contrasted sharply with the lowachievement in schools where pupilswent through the motions of practicalwork as instructed, rather than engagingin genuine scientific investigation.Triple Science offers significant potential interms of a course that can be challenging,engaging and successful in inspiring morestudents to study science post-16. It canalso become a dry and uninspiring delivery,only serving to discourage students.The challenge to the science educationcommunity is to identify the steps that willtake it towards the former and away fromthe latter, and put those into practice.Teaching and learning modelsTeaching and learning are complex processesand often good teachers teach differentaspects of the curriculum in different ways.When asked, teachers cannot always explainwhy they chose one particular process overanother. These teachers are unconsciouslyusing different teaching and learning modelsto best fit the students they are teaching.By developing knowledge of differentteaching and learning models, teachers areable to understand why some approachesare better than others in particular situations.The explicit consideration of which teachingand learning models to use and when to usethem will not only enhance students’ learningbut also provide the vocabulary for teachersto discuss and share their experiences withothers, and so help develop their practice.Deciding which teaching and learningmodel(s) to use when planning is notintended to be time consuming; rather anopportunity to adapt lessons consciously tomake them more effective for the students.Some teaching and learning models havebeen developed based on theories oflearning and educational research. Eachcan be expressed as a tightly structuredsequence of activities that is designedto elicit and develop a specific type ofthinking or response from students.

6The teacher’s choice of approach shouldbe determined by the learning objectiveand the needs of students, recognisingthat some subjects and topics will drawmore heavily on some models than othersand that different models will suit differentlearners and help develop different thinkingskills. Consistent and explicit use, aswell as carefully selecting and combiningapproaches, has significant potential forimproving students’ learning. Coupled witha metacognitive approach to teaching forlearning or ‘thinking about learning’ it willsupport students’ understanding further.This publication explores five specificteaching and learning models appropriatefor delivering different aspects ofGCSE Physics. The five teachingand learning models consideredhere are ones that lend themselvesparticularly to science and include:1 direct interactive teachingThe teacher leads students through avariety of planned activities to introducenew knowledge or a skill. The classreview what has been learned. constructing meaningThe teacher introduces a concept andidentifies prior knowledge. Students areprovided with examples that do not fit theircurrent understanding and discuss theirideas and restructure their understandingto include the new examples. The classreview the changes in their understanding. enquiry (inductive)Students particularly develop informationprocessing skills and gather, sort andclassify data to suggest a hypothesis,similar to the process Darwin used to arriveat his theory of evolution. Data can bere-sorted to further test the hypothesis.1We gratefully acknowledge GloucestershireLocal Authority’s work on teaching models, whichhas been adopted for this publication with theorganisations permission. A list of further publicationsgiven in Section 7 also informed this section. enquiry (deductive)Students particularly develop informationprocessing skills; they are provided witha hypothesis and determine the best wayto collect data and draw conclusions.Students decide whether more data isneeded to support or refute the hypothesis. using modelsStudents are introduced to a model oridea. This is used initially to explain aphenomenon. Students begin to challengethe model and identify limitations. It is furtherrefined to develop a ‘better fit’ model.Each of these models is now describedand exemplified in detail.

Teaching Triple Science: GCSE Physics7Direct interactive teachingWhat haveWEfound out?Watch this.Now you tryStudents carry out apre-planned sequenceof activitiesWhen youhave finishedStudents answerquestions individuallyor in small groupsDirect interactive teaching is effective in helping young people tolearn new skills and procedures and acquire academic knowledge.The sequence often begins with whole-class exploration offeatures of the skill or knowledge to be acquired, with modelling,demonstration or illustration. Students then work individually or inpairs to remember the new knowledge and fit it into existing ideas,or they apply and practise the new skill, perhaps with some newadditional guidance. The learning ends with a whole-class review,attempting to move students from dependence to independence.Teacher skills and techniques involve modelling, guiding,demonstrating, defining conventions, composing together,scaffolding first attempts, reviewing new learning, and mnemonics.This model is practised effectively by many teachers andcould be described as a default teaching model for some.Example: teaching students about radioactive decayand isotopes using: computer simulations; diagrams; ademonstration of half-life with class questions; and anannotated flow chart to demonstrate what has been learned.In this publication, teaching and learningactivities based on the direct interactiveteaching model are marked with this symbol.Plenary

8Constructing meaningI’m just afacilitatorElicitstudent ideas.Teacher explores rangeof students viewsRestructuredideasStudents carry outactivities which providecognitive conflictStudents applyrestructured ideas toreinforce learningConstructing meaning is a learning model that recognises thatchildren already have ideas about the way they view the world.This is a constructivist approach that helps them reformulateand refine their understanding through metacognitive processes,providing opportunities to address and resolve misconceptions.In this approach, students’ ideas are made explicit so that therange of views can be explored. Providing examples that cannot beexplained by students’ ideas leads to cognitive conflict, which leadsto clarification and evaluation of the students’ views. These newlyagreed, restructured views are then applied to test understanding innew situations. Finally, students review their understanding throughdiscussion. The teacher often acts as a facilitator and manages theprocess, especially through providing scaffolding for students.Teaching skills and techniques often employ the use ofdirect teaching, group discussion, concept-mapping,concept cartoons and experimentation.Example: linking the models of molecules to explain therelationship between temperature and pressure of a gas.In this publication, teaching and learningactivities based on the constructing meaningmodel are marked with this symbol.Students re-sortinformation totest hypothesis

Teaching Triple Science: GCSE Physics9Enquiry (inductive)Based on ourinformation,we think.Students gatherinformationStudents classifyand sortStudents makehypothesisInductive teaching is a model that encourages students to categorisethe subject knowledge, skills and understanding that they are learning,and to test and use those categories in challenging their level ofunderstanding. This teaching model is very powerful in helping studentsto learn how to build knowledge, and as such is closely related toconstructivism {constructing meaning} as a support for student learning.The inductive model requires students to sort, classify andre-sort data to begin to make hypotheses that can be testedin future work. It is used when teachers want to explore theconcepts that underpin subject knowledge, and want students torecognise the ways in which their knowledge is constructed.2It is important to note that the enquiry (inductive) model can easily bedeveloped into the enquiry (deductive) model if the hypotheses thengo on to be tested with new data. Teachers must be conscious thatthe inductive model may be tested only by re-sorting original data.Teacher skills and techniques can include card sorts,categorising and rule building.Example: learning about the refraction of light by undertaking practicalactivities, and sorting and classifying ideas to develop a hypothesis.In this publication, teaching and learningactivities based on the enqui

Specifications for GCSE Physics include the physics and How Science Works content from GCSE Science and GCSE Additional Science. In addition, they include further extension topics in physics. Taken together, GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics cover the entire science Programm

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