OCR GCSE 21st Century Science

OCR GCSE 21st Century Science

This is the first (core) science GCSE, taken usually in year 10. There are four modules – three examined by written exams and one by controlled assessment. Each counts for 25% of the total marks. The controlled assessment module comprises a Practical Data Analysis and Case Study of a topical issue in science from a choice set by OCR. It is assessed by teachers, internally standardised and externally moderated by OCR.

Link to the OCR webpage for this course.
Link to the course specification.

Course Content

B1: You and your genes

• What are genes and how do they affect the way that organisms develop?
• Why can people look like their parents, brothers and sisters, but not be identical to them?
• How can and should genetic information be used? How can we use our knowledge of genes to prevent disease?
• How is a clone made?

B2: Keeping healthy

• How do our bodies resist infection?
• What are vaccines and antibiotics and how do they work?
• What factors increase the risk of heart disease?
• How do our bodies keep a healthy water balance?

B3: Life on Earth

• Systems in balance – how do different species depend on each other?
• How has life on Earth evolved?
• What is the importance of biodiversity?

C1: Air quality

• Which chemicals make up air, and which ones are pollutants? How do I make sense of data about air pollution?
• What chemical reactions produce air pollutants? What happens to these pollutants in the atmosphere?
• What choices can we make personally, locally, nationally or globally to improve air quality?

C2: Material choices 

• How do we measure the properties of materials and why are the results useful?
• Why is crude oil important as a source of new materials such as plastics and fibres?
• Why does it help to know about the molecular structure of materials such as plastics and fibres?
• What is nanotechnology and why is it important?

C3: Chemicals in our lives – risks and benefits

• What were the origins of minerals in Britain that contribute to our economic wealth?
• Where does salt come from and why is it so important?
• Why do we need chemicals such as alkalis and chlorine and how do we make them?
• What can we do to make our use of chemicals safe and sustainable?

P1: The Earth in the Universe

• What do we know about the place of the Earth in the Universe?
• What do we know about the Earth and how it is changing?

P2: Radiation and life 

• What types of electromagnetic radiation are there? What happens when radiation hits an object?
• Which types of electromagnetic radiation harm living tissue and why?
• What is the evidence for global warming, why might it be occurring, and how serious a threat is it?
• How are electromagnetic waves used in communications?

P3: Sustainable energy

• How much energy do we use?
• How can electricity be generated?
• Which energy sources should we choose?

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