Mrs L Monroe

At Glenlola we are proud to be able to offer GCSE Astronomy to pupils in an extra-curricular setting. Pupils are informed about the details of the GCSE at the end of year 9 and sign up if they are interested in undertaking the course as an after school activity in year 10. If the course is oversubscribed, pupils are selected according to their year 9 Maths summer examination result.

Edexcel GCSE Astronomy is divided into four main topics:

  • Earth, Moon and Sun
  • Planetary Systems
  • Stars
  • Galaxies and Cosmology.

The content is an exciting and interesting challenge for year 10 pupils and it stretches their abilities, providing an excellent foundation for their other GCSE studies. The girls gain many transferable skills and have the chance to improve their exam technique and independent learning strategies.

The four topics are assessed in a single 2 hour external examination, usually taken close to the beginning of the exam season in May. This exam makes up 75% of the total GCSE, with the remaining 25% coming from 2 pieces of Controlled Assessment. Controlled Assessment is labour intensive and requires planning and carrying out a programme of astronomical observations over the course of a few months. Pupils then analyse and evaluate their data under exam conditions.

Due to the large amount of course content covered in one academic year, students take part in a non-compulsory residential weekend and 3 Saturday classes. There are also extra, fun learning opportunities such as visits to lectures, the Armagh Planetarium and a London Study Tour including the Science Museum and Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

Year 10 GCSE Astronomy news 2014-15:

Moon Landing!

New Eyes on the Skies

Dancing with the Stars


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