Document Sample

The Edexcel BTEC course is assessed purely through coursework assignments
the students complete mainly in class. Students study the same content as the
traditional GCSE course but it is studied in context. For example, students will
study new material and then look at how they are used in industry or everyday

Units studied:

      Biological Systems
      Physical Processes
      Applications of chemistry

Each unit has equal weighting in the final award of the qualification. Each unit is
divided into several assignments that each with a deadline for completion.

Course assessment = 100% coursework

Each unit studied is divided into a series of assignments that cover the grading
criteria for that unit.

The assignment is set with clear deadlines for each task within the assignment.
Students are expected to meet these deadlines and manage their time effectively
to ensure they are met.

The assignments are marked internally by their class teacher who will then have
a feedback session with the student to inform them of their grade for the
assignment and possible areas for improvement.
Students are allowed to revisit and improve any assignment until the final
deadline (mid May of year 11).

A sample of work is sent to an external moderator in year 10 of the course as
part of the Edexcel National Standards Sampling and work is constantly internally
verified amongst the science department to ensure the rigour of the qualification.

Sample assignment briefs and student work can be found on the website and
you will see there is a variety of different media skills used to present each task,
ranging from filming and editing an advert to investigating the reactivity of
Halogens practically.
Unit Content:

  1. Know how atomic structure relates to the properties of the elements
     and compounds
  Atomic and electronic structure: nucleons and electron shells; relationship to
  the elements 1 to 20 in periodic table; isotopes e.g. hydrogen, chlorine
  Chemical properties: graduation in properties in group 1 and group 7 —
  relationship with electronic configuration; reactivity with water; displacement
  Bonding: ionic; covalent; dative covalent; metallic bonding; dot and cross
  diagrams; electron shell diagrams; properties and applications of ionic and
  covalent compounds e.g. group 1 salts, diamond, graphite, oxygen,
  Nanochemistry: nanoscale; carbon nanostructures e.g. bucky balls,
  nanotubes; uses of nanochemistry e.g. sun creams, textiles, sports
  equipment, single crystal nanowires for processors, mobile phone batteries;
  implications of nanochemistry e.g. safety, environmental issues, ethical

  2. Understand the factors involved in chemical reactions
  Equations: word equations and simple balanced equations; reacting masses;
  types of reaction (hydration, dehydration, reduction, oxidation)

  Exothermic and endothermic reactions: heat evolved or absorbed; bond
  breaking and bond making reactions e.g. heat of neutralisation and
  combustion; energy calculations with given formulae; use of data logging
  Reaction rates: effect of catalysts; surface area; concentration and
  temperature; use of reaction rate graphs and data logging

  Reversible reactions: dynamic equilibrium; Haber process: qualitative effects,
  temperature & concentration
  New materials: materials and their properties e.g. Kevlar, GoretexTM, LycraTM,
  ThinsulateTM, additives (cross-linking agents, plasticisers, stabilisers); smart
  materials e.g. thermochromic, shape memory, photochromic, piezoelectric

  3. Know the importance of organic chemistry
  Organic compounds: definition; organic chemicals; carbon cycle
         Hydrocarbons: petroleum cracking; alkanes and alkenes (methane, butane,
         pentane and octane, and ethene); 2D structures; shapes; applications of
         hydrocarbons; polymerisation of ethene and its applications
         Halogen-containing organic compounds: chloroethene; polymerisation of
         chloroethene (PVC and PVCu) and its applications

         Oxygen-containing organic groups: alcohols (ethanol); carboxylic acids
         (ethanoic); structures; physical properties and combustion; applications
         ethanol e.g. alcoholic drinks, bio fuels, cosmetics, inks, coatings; applications
         of ethanoic acid e.g. pickling, manufacture of esters

         4. Understand the importance of the factors involved in the earth and
            its environment
         Human activity: effects on land; obtaining starting materials from the sea,
         land and air e.g. coal, natural gas, oil, metal ores, salt, nitrogen, oxygen
         Effects of chemical processing: energy factors; health and safety measures;
         disposal involved to protect personnel and the environment
         Sustainable development issues: e.g. recycling, use of fossil fuels versus
         nuclear fission fuels; greenhouse gases; acid rain; biomass; future fuels e.g.
         hydrogen, ethanol, nuclear fusion; adverse effects of chemicals, e.g. DDT,
         Natural activity: the earth’s crust; tectonic plates; volcanic eruptions and
         gases; effects on the atmosphere


1 Understand the importance of energy and energy transfer
   Types of energy: e.g. thermal, electrical, light, sound, mechanical and
   Energy transfer: measurement; conservation e.g. solar to electrical to
   mechanical, chemical to mechanical to electrical; efficiency calculations;
   economic costs; environmental effects
   Molecular theory: thermal energy and basic molecular theory; internal
   energy; changing states of matter — solid/liquid/gas
   Transfer of thermal energy: conduction; convection; radiation; insulation

2 Understand applications of waves and radiation
   Ionising radiation: types (alpha, beta and gamma); effect of different
   thickness of paper, aluminium and lead on each type of radiation
   The electromagnetic spectrum: e.g. radio, X-rays, gamma radiation,
   microwaves, visible light; colour; velocity, frequency, wavelength
   Light waves: reflection; refraction; convex lenses; concave lenses; optic
   fibres; path taken in the eye; use of lenses to correct eye problems
   Sound waves: production; air pressure changes (compression and
   rarefaction); need for a medium (velocity, frequency, wavelength);
   instruments/voices; sound insulation (conductors, insulators)
   Waves for communications: use of radio waves, microwaves, infrared and
   visible light to carry information; processing information to improve
   effectiveness of communication systems

3 Understand applications of electricity
   Production: types of batteries e.g. rechargeable, Nickel Hydride, non-
   rechargeable; safe disposal; accumulators; basic generator
   Applications: e.g. motors, loudspeakers, transformers Generation and
   transmission: power stations e.g. hydroelectric, coal fired, nuclear;
   transmission from power stations to consumers; economics; environmental
   Conversion for industrial applications: movement; heating; lighting; sound
        4. Understand methods used in astronomy to explore the universe, its
           galaxies, planets and stars

        Exploration: solar system, galaxies, universe from space e.g. Hubble Space
        Telescope; from Earth e.g. Jodrell Bank Observatory; manned missions e.g.
        International Space Station; unmanned missions e.g. Cassins-Huygens
        Instrumentation: optical telescopes (reflection, refraction); radio telescopes;
        stellar spectroscope; satellites for observing X-rays and gamma rays e.g.
        Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory
        Universe: the Big Bang (origin); expansion
        Applications: new materials e.g. heat and fire resistant materials; new
        technology e.g. bar coding, robotics; observation of earth e.g. measuring
        pollution, weather monitoring


1 Understand the diversity of living organisms and how they are classified
   Classifying organisms: wide variety of living organisms; identification keys;
   the need to organise/classify; variety of systems; Linnaen system of
   Major characteristics of: viruses; bacteria; protists; fungi; plants (flowering
   plants, non-flowering plants), animals (invertebrates, vertebrates)

2 Be able to investigate how living things interact with each
   other and their environments
   Interdependence of organisms: nature and relationship, e.g. parasite and
   host, predator and prey; food chains and food webs; pyramids of numbers;
   energy and biomass
   Effects of human activity on the environment: e.g. greenhouse gases in the
   atmosphere, ozone depletion, acid rain, recycling of household waste, use
   and conservation of household utilities (gas, water, electricity), pollution;
   pollution indicator species; effects on food chains and food webs

3 Understand that genes are responsible for inheritance, and variations
   within species, leading to evolutionary change
   Genes control cell function: DNA code; translation; structure of a protein e.g.
   enzyme; control of cells’ activities DNA molecule: coded sequence of bases
   (A, C, T, G)
   Evolutionary change: role of genetic variation, environmental conditions,
   inherited factors: conditions and diseases e.g. sickle cell syndrome/anaemia,
   multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, cystic fibrosis
   Gene therapy: for prevention/treatment of disease, e.g. cystic fibrosis,

4 Understand the factors which may affect human health and the ways
   human health is controlled
   Factors: medical e.g. harmful effects of micro-organisms, carcinogens;
   social the use and misuse of drugs) e.g. cannabis, nicotine, alcohol,
   solvents, heroin, caffeine; exercise e.g. calories ingested v calories used
   Medical treatments: e.g. use of antibiotics and immunisation; gene therapy;
   use of stem cells; ‘in vitro’ fertilisation; cloning
        Protective mechanisms: nervous and chemical co-ordination; chemical
        (effects of adrenaline, insulin); electrical (body senses) e.g. touch, taste,
        sight, hearing, smell; structure and function of a simple reflex arc
        Auto-immune diseases: e.g. multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s


At the end of the course students will be awarded the BTEC qualification if
they have successfully completed the all assignments completed to a
minimum of a pass standard.

Points are allocated for each unit completed according to the standard
achieved as per the table below:

                                      Standard achieved in unit
                            Pass               Merit            Distinction
  Points score
                              6                     12                 18

The points for each unit are combined to give an overall points score. The
qualification grade is calculated from this total.

Qualification            Pass grade   Merit grade                      Distinction*

BTEC First Certificate
                           18–29         30–41             42–53            54
(54 maximum)

The BTEC First Certificate is the equivalent of 2 GCSE grades. The GCSE
grades equate to grade C for a pass, grade B for a merit, grade A for a
distinction and grade A* for a distinction*.