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.
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?