Astronomy

Aims

  • To foster and develop a very high degree of self-motivation within pupils.
  • To demonstrate to pupils what can be achieved when a determined approach is taken.
  • To be able to apply mathematical methods to a range of problems.
  • To increase and develop problem solving skills.
  • To develop their curiosity and enthusiasm for astronomy and to take an informed interest in current astronomical investigations, discoveries and space exploration.
  • To acquire knowledge and understanding of astronomy theory and practice and the skills needed to investigate a wide range of astronomy contexts.
  • To appreciate that the study and practice of astronomy are co-operative and cumulative activities and to appreciate the links between astronomy and other branches of science.
  • To promote an awareness that the study and practice of astronomy are subject to economic, technical, ethical and cultural influences and limitations, and that the applications of astronomy and space exploration may be both beneficial and detrimental to the individual and the community.
  • To enhance their science studies and learn about different aspects of science, alongside their other science courses.
  • To progress to further and higher education courses in the fields of astronomy or physics.

Staffing

Mrs Monroe
Dr Spence

Subject Overview

This GCSE in Astronomy is offered to Year 10 pupils who have demonstrated high aptitude in Mathematics. Not only do these pupils sit the examination two years in advance of many other pupils but the course content is covered in one year and off timetable. Consequently, pupils must be diligent and self-motivated.  They must also be willing to meet occasionally at weekends for extra lessons and undertake Controlled Assessment over the Summer period.

GCSE

Pupils who study Astronomy will learn the theory and practice of understanding the universe, taking an informed interest in current astronomical investigations, discoveries and space exploration.  It complements the Key Stage 4 Science programme of study for the other GCSE Sciences. In the context of Astronomy, it supports students’ understanding of How Science Works.  It contributes to the post-16 curriculum, especially if studied alongside GCE Physics or in the context of adult education.

It enriches the science curriculum across the full ability range, but is also suitable to provide stretch and challenge to gifted and talented students.

Students will undertake practical observations when studying this qualification and will collect first-hand data and make observations following the same process as professional astronomers.

There will be extensive support for teaching and learning for the internal and external assessment and the delivery of the qualification.

We follow the Edexcel Astronomy specification, studying:

  • Unit 1 Understanding the Universe
  • Unit 2 Exploring the Universe
  • Controlled Assessment

http://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/astronomy-2009.html

Career Opportunities

Studying Astronomy will develop skills such as, problem solving, critical thinking, taking mathematical approaches to problems and increases one’s ability to think in a logical manner.  These skills are desirable in many and diverse job sectors, ranging from the Sciences to the Business sector.