The summer term is always busy with lots going on. As we all gear up towards the exam and awarding season, things can feel challenging and confusing; we’re here to make that journey a bit easier.
To help you find what you’re looking for quickly, this update contains information and links to useful resources, events and support.
You can also read the top things for this term for GCSE science
In response to your feedback, we recently made some changes to our ever-popular practical handbooks, available on our practicals resources page. The changes are:
Make sure you’re up to date on all things related to practical assessment. Don’t forget, it’s essential that any lead teachers have completed the free, online practical endorsement training. In addition, it’s worthwhile re-familiarising yourself with the practical visit timeline and the guidance for monitoring visits.
We know the essay question is a big focus for a lot of teachers. We’ve updated our guidance for this aspect of assessment to help you support your students in the run up to exams this summer. There is now an additional full page of guidance that accompanies the essay mark scheme and further clarifies the wording used in the mark scheme.
We know that the naming of organic compounds is a focus for teachers. Section 22.214.171.124 of the specification states that AQA uses ‘IUPAC rules for nomenclature’. Exemplification of these rules can be found at the start of each mark scheme in Section 3.13. AQA will apply the IUPAC rules in a form suitable for students studying at this level, as set out by the Association for Science Education’s Signs Symbols and Systematics book.
IUPAC have recently revised the definition of the ‘mole’. We will not penalise students this summer if they provide the old definition. However, we are currently discussing whether minor specification changes are required with our senior examiners. We will inform schools and teachers if there are any changes, with due regard given to the amount of time needed to implement the changes in the classroom.
We know that significant figures and uncertainties are a focus for teachers. Guidance on the use of significant figures in AS and A-level Physics papers can be found at the beginning of the 2017 mark schemes in Section 3.8.
There is also additional guidance on significant figures and uncertainties in the practical handbook. The guidance we have produced is not intended to be exhaustive in terms of possible eventualities but rather provides the information required for students studying at this level.
We’re delighted to be exhibiting at four events before the summer break, and we’d love to see you there.
Institute of Physics Conference (Rugby) – 7 June
Association for Science Education (ASE) Technicians Conference (Hertfordshire) – 14 June
ASE South East Conference 2018 (Surrey) – 20 June
STEM National Technicians Conference (York) – 5 and 6 July