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13th December 18
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The removal of national curriculum levels has led to some uncertainty about how schools and Science Departments can be confident in tracking pupil progress; assessing pupil performance in a way which is both rigorous and accurate, and using assessment as an effective planning and teaching tool.

 Designed to fill the gap created by the removal of National Curriculum Levels,

The Lancashire Assessment Programme for Secondary Science offers schools an assessment model that provides:

  • an asessment programme from Key Stage 3 to GCSE
  • objective led assessment criteria in line with GCSE from 2015
  • a progression ladder from Year 7 to 11 which supports teachers' planning and AfL
  • advice on how to administer assessments
  • in-house moderation approaches
  • standardising opportunities to support quality control across schools

Trialled throughout Lancashire schools before its launch, this programme offers the structure and rigour required of schools to track pupils' progress and plot progression in line with expectations at GCSE.

  • The programme is now embedded in schools across Lancashire and beyond. Schools wishing to adopt the programme can arrange bespoke training by contacting

National Curriculum proposals


On the 7th February 2013, Michael Gove published his draft proposals for a revised National Curriculum. He is asking for comments by the 16th April 2013.

The draft programme of study for KS3 and KS4 and a consultation reply slip can be downloaded below.

    The Acid Test : Word file (110.6k)

    Ofsted have just published “The acid test: guidance on self-evaluation for science subject leaders”.

    It is intended to help science subject leaders implement, monitor and evaluate school improvement.

    The guide uses materials from the school inspection handbook, which sets out the grade descriptors and guidance used by inspectors when making their judgements during section 5 inspections.

    Performance Tables 2015


    In future, the only non-GCSE qualifications to be reported in performance tables will be those that have been judged to be high quality, rigorous and able to provide the majority of students with access to a range of future study and employment opportunities.

    Each qualification will count as equivalent to no more than one GCSE.

    A list for science is shown below.


    Edexcel BTEC Level 1 Certificate in Applied Science (QCF)

    Edexcel BTEC Level 1 Diploma in Applied Science (QCF)

    Edexcel BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Application of Science

    Edexcel BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Principles of Applied Science

    OCR Level 1/2 Cambridge National Certificate in Science

    OCR Level 1/2 Cambridge National Certificate in Science in the Workplace

    Edexcel BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Extended Certificate in Applied Science


    English Bacculaureate



    The following qualifications are recognised as good passes in sciences:

    • GCSE A* - C passes in core science together with additional science
    • GCSE A* - C passes in at least two subjects (physics, biology or chemistry) if the pupil has taken triple science. Pupils will not need to have passed all three, but will need to have entered all three single sciences
    • GCSE A*A* - CC passes in science double award

    Pupils therefore need a minimum of two good GCSE passes in sciences to achieve the English Baccalaureate.

    The DfE spokesperson confirmed that BTECs are not accepted as a substitute. GCSE passes in core science and a single separate science (biology, physics or chemistry) are also not accepted. 

    Double award science has been included in the English Baccalaureate because a few schools still offer it, although most have transferred to core and additional science.

    National Science & Engineering Week 15-24 March 2013



    National Science & Engineering Week this year will be held on 15-24 March 2013.

    Suggestions for school activities can be obtained from their website at


    New Hazard Warninmg Lables





    The EU has adopted a “Globally Harmonized System” for classifying chemicals. Chemical will eventually be labelled the same way throughout the EU.