“More whizzes and bangs in school”: 3 ways Michael Gove will shake up A-Level Science.

By Morwenna Evans Thursday, April 10, 2014

Science experiments

Plans for an increased emphasis on practical experiments in science classes have been revealed by education secretary Michael Gove. The plans followed his recent support of a Physics teacher who accidentally hit a pupil with an air gun pellet during a lesson. Michael Gove subsequently stated his support of “more whizzes and bangs in school science” commenting that “the best science involves practicals”.

1. A dozen practical experiments

A radical overhaul of A-level science subjects is due to be phased into schools in 2015-16 to tackle grade inflation and fears over “dumbing down” education. Under the DfE’s changes, sixth-formers studying biology, chemistry or physics at A-level will have to conduct at least a dozen experiments over the two-year course.

2. Minimal coursework

The changes will also see the introduction of more maths and scientific formulae, and the courses will now be entirely assessed via written exams instead of coursework due to concerns the current coursework system is inadequate. To get the top marks in these written assessments, students will have to cite some of the knowledge they have attained in their practical experience in the lab.

3. Practical pass or fail marks

Unlike the current state of play, students will have a final grade, and then a pass or fail mark for their practicals that will stand alongside their exam grade.

What do you think? How will these changes affect your child's A Level Education?