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GCSE Science Tier Entry Guidance, Pearson Edexcel

[Music plays] There are a variety of tools
available to you when making the decision as to which tier to enter
your students onto for GCSE Science. There is a full guide that supports
this video called ‘Support for Tier Entry Decisions’ that
can be found under the Useful Documents area of the Edexcel GCSE Science website
or via the link at the end of this video. Here you will find thorough
information on the differences between the two tiers and many
example questions and mark schemes that you can use to help you to
support your decision. [Should I consider the demand of the questions?] The complexity of the cognitive
processes that a learner needs to go through in order to
answer a question successfully is used to judge a question as
either low, medium or high demand. In foundation tier the questions
start low demand and will ramp up to medium demand, as opposed to
the higher tier where they start at medium demand
and ramp up to high demand. The medium demand questions
are the same on the higher and foundation tier papers,
and are targeted at grades 4 to 5. There are some sample medium demand
questions included at the end of the supporting document
that accompanies this video. It may be useful to give some
of these questions to your learners and assess how challenging
they find them. If your students find these questions
particularly challenging it would suggest that they should
be entered onto the foundation tier. [What about 6-mark questions?] The 6 mark (or Open ended response)
questions also differ in each tier and can be a useful tool to identify
the best tier for your learners. Foundation tier 6 mark questions
are targeted at grades 1-5, whereas higher tier 6 mark questions
are targeted at grades 4-9. Using some practice 6 mark questions
can help you identify how well your learners will achieve
on each tier. There is additional guidance on how to
mark the extended open response questions on the GCSE Science area
of the Edexcel website. [Isn’t Maths important too?] Yes, you should also consider
your students’ mathematical ability. The foundation tier papers
will require maths skills which are at least equal
to KS3 maths, whereas the higher tier papers
will require maths skills which are at least equivalent to that
in the foundation tier GCSE maths. It may be worth liaising
with your students’ maths teachers for further information
as to where your students fall in terms of their GCSE Maths skills. [Are all students required to recall the Physics equations?] In the Physics papers,
both foundation and higher tier candidates may
be required to recall equations. However there will also be
some questions where the equation is given,
or scaffolding is included. This will be more common
on the foundation tier, and not included in the high
demand questions of the higher tier. Therefore the likelihood of your
learners having to recall and use equations without any scaffolding is much
greater for learners who are sitting the higher tier. [Is there anything else to consider?] As well as using practice questions
and information on maths skills, it is also advisable to consider
Key Stage 2 results, the aspirations of your learners and their attendance and
attitude to science when deciding on tier of entry. If learners want to progress onto
studying A level Science, then the higher tier may be an
appropriate route for the learner. [Where can I go for further support?] As teachers you are best placed to make
the tier of entry decisions for your learners. If you would like any further
support on tier entries or any other aspect of delivering
our Science Qualifications please contact our subject advisors
who will be happy to assist you. All contact details for subject
advisors and the pdf version of the tier entry guidance
can be found at the end of this video. [Music plays]

Reynold King

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