AWE Club – Online Physics, Chemistry and Biology IGCSE Information

Physics, Chemistry and Biology IGCSE
Teacher – Mike

AWE Club - Online Physics, Chemistry and Biology IGCSE

This is a rolling course, join at the start of any Half Term. 

Thursdays and Fridays
Duration: 2 Year rolling course
You can do year 1 or 2 first
You can choose 1, 2 or 3 subjects
(discount for booking all 3 subjects)

Biology 11:00 to 12:00
Physics 12:30 to 13:25
Chemistry 13:30 to 14:30


Course Description

Edexcel Physics 4PH1
Chemistry 4CH0
Biology 4BI0

Mike teaches the separate IGCSE sciences as that is the best way for Home Educators to sit the exams. There is no coursework or controlled assessment required. Each subject has 2 final exams in May/June.

Some textbooks are required, please see Mike’s comments further down. The ISBN numbers are:

  • Biology – ISBN 9780435185084
  • Chemistry – ISBN 9780435185169
  • Physics – ISBN 9780435185275

Exams DISCLAIMER – Please Note

Exams are optional and remain the parents responsibility to arrange and book by January of the year your child sits the exam. AWE Club is an approved Learning Centre of Tutors and Exams T&E. This means students benefit from a discounted exam fee price. You are welcome to make use of this arrangement or to make your own plans for an alternative exam centre. We will do our utmost to ensure that our current arrangements continue to be available for your children and will keep you informed should anything change due to unforeseen circumstances. During these uncertain times we can not be held liable should the course cease, or exam entry criteria change however we will do our utmost to make alternative arrangements and support our students. If required by exam boards Mike can provide Tutor Marked Grades inline with exam centre rules.

HOMEWORK

This is a message from Mike regarding homework.

To begin – I have stated elsewhere that homework is not compulsory. This means that I shall always welcome every student to my classes whether they submit homework or not. But – doing it helps their learning and engagement in class.

Homework is something students find easy to do or find difficult to get settled into the task or somewhere in between. It may be daunting: putting it off feels easy; closing it from view, giving time to the other activities you want to do; the homework for subjects you find less hard. Let meshare with you some points I have put together after teaching these and other classes over the years.

People forget facts. When reading a story, watching a film or documentary we can get immersed into the narrative. Enjoying the visual or mental images, the ideas presented resonate. Talkingabout it to someone afterwards brings the memories back to our present and we may recall details not apparent before we started the conversation. Letting it recede into the past, finer details fade whilst some scenes remain vivid.

Our lessons are similar in that our memories of the facts, concepts and details will degrade with the passage of time. Understanding it in the class is one part: working through questions that examine understanding may highlight issues of which they were not aware. Questions may also prompt further thoughts and questions in their mind that weren’t there during class. This additional process improves their learning and understanding, which links to the next lesson untila topic is completed (at least for the level of study they are at). Also, we have but one hour each week, which is not always enough time so extra practice is recommended.

I have students who return their work for every task week after week. They get plenty of it correct but sometimes need correction on other points. I have students who do some of the work but notevery week. I have students with whom I only have interactions during lessons – no homework is submitted.

Of the the students who form this last group, the numbers decline through the academic year.They respond less as we go through the weeks, having less confidence to answer my questions in lessons, not fully understanding the topic if it draws on ideas from a previous topic. For a two-year course, as we do for the IGCSE, these students may make it to one year then do not continue.

I know the work can be challenging, difficult, taking time and may not always be easy. However, if it was easy they would be reading the text books by themselves and have no need to join the class. In all my time teaching home-ed children a vanishingly small number have been so clever that they needed little from being in class. Even they needed pointers to show them what was needed to pass their exams.

For the majority, study must be applied. To help that majority, I would like to understand whatgaps they have in their knowledge. If every student in a class answers a question incorrectly then I must reflect on what I need to do better. If every student finds answering a question of average difficulty quite easy, I should add questions to help them extend and improve themselves.Without the work returned, I have no data to work on so I can only help those who do share their work with me. So, if a student is not returning work please discuss with them to attempt thetasks, even if they do not complete every part. If you are a parent going through the work as your child studies, that’s great and I hope it helps them. However, there are tasks I really do appreciate getting back to me – the assessments.

Assessments are set at the end of a topic and they are an opportunity to see how well studentshave understood a topic. These are what will build a picture of the strengths a student has for the subjects. They are also important for me to consult when students apply to colleges for their further studies and the colleges ask for teacher input about that person’s suitability, aptitude, engagement in class. With no assessment results, there can be no adequate report from me.

My GCSE Science subscription discount

Should parents wish to provide additional revision resources My GCSE Science is very useful. You can join the group subscription via www.awediscounts.com in June and September each year and benefit from a large 40% discount.

Recordings

Recordings are available to view after lessons that you paid to join. If you cannot see a lesson and you think you should, please do let Mike know. To view a recording, log on to Electa-Live, select ‘Resources’ and then view the list of recorded classes.

More useful information from Mike

I am sending this to IGCSE students for year 1 and 2 because it may be useful to everyone to know or be reminded of what is expected.

Several of you have emailed me asking what resources should you get to support science learning. It is important that you do gather some material, whichever science subjects your child is studying. If you have a scientific background or gained science qualifications at school or elsewhere, they will be of benefit but take care that you match your knowledge to the needs in the syllabus. Just like stories we read where parents know different ways to do maths calculations compared to what the primary schools teach their children, so some terms and topics have left the syllabus to be replaced by others. It was a surprise to me when I started my teaching career!

In the periods we have in class, there is not adequate time to cover everything of every topic. Even teaching in school I found that some parts I had to omit due to time pressures. We will get through the syllabus but it will need students to study outside of the class time in addition to working on the homework tasks I set them. The students who have done well in the past have been those who do the work I set, ask me questions when they are unsure or need further information and engage in the subject. Unfortunately, I don’t recall any students, either Home-Educated or in school, who did well in science exams by just turning up to the lessons.

There is opportunity to communicate with me during lessons, mostly via texting in Electa or by switching on the microphone. To avoid excess noise, please indicate when you wish to speak. If anyone feels anxious about that it is possible to send private messages to me.

Regarding resources, I recommend getting textbooks for the subjects your child is studying. I use the Pearson range, since they operate the Edexcel IGCSE, which we are following. You may find other publishers and that is fine. I do not set questions to a particular textbook because I have found some students prefer one style to another. What is important is that the book clearly states it is suitable for Edexcel IGCSE, not the GCSE.

Another good range of books is the “For You” series (Biology For You, Chemistry For You, Physics For You). They have the advantage that they include all the requirements for all GCSE and IGCSE specifications.

Below I have attached documents that set out the specs for each subject plus the mathematics that are needed over the course (there is maths in biology too!).

Useful Documents

Biology Specification:
https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/International%20GCSE/Biology/2017/specification-and-sample-assessments/international-gcse-Biology-2017-specification1.pdf

Chemistry Specification:
https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/International%20GCSE/Chemistry/2017/specification-and-sample-assessments/international-gcse-Chemistry-2017-specification1.pdf

Physics Specification:
https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/International%20GCSE/Physics/2017/specification-and-sample-assessments/international-gcse-Physics-2017-specification.pdf

Mathematical Skills

The table below identifies the mathematical skills that will be developed and assessed throughout this qualification. These are not explicitly referenced in the content. Details of the mathematical skills in other science subjects are given for reference.

Science Mathematical Skills