Beyond 2000 and other influences
Twenty First Century Science takes an approach to the 14 - 16 science curriculum (Key Stage 4) which grew from the recommendations of the Beyond 2000 report, published in 1998.
This report argues that the compulsory science curriculum should be designed to develop the scientific literacy of future citizens. It also recommends that from the age of 14 a separate, parallel course is needed to prepare those young people who opt for it, for more advanced study in science.
Flexibility and genuine choice
We all need to be able to cope with the science that shapes our lives. We are on the receiving end of scientific ideas and technical information in many different roles such as householder, parent, worker, patient, voter or juror.
A minority of young people aspire to become professional scientists or to work in fields where a knowledge of science is essential. Educating the next generation of scientific and technical practitioners is also crucial.
We need science for everyone and science for scientists.
Scientific literacy for all
GCSE Science is for all Key Stage 4 students, preparing them to make sense of science while appreciating what science has to say about themselves, their environment and the Universe. It aims to develop scientific literacy and views science from the perspective of a member of the public.
Science for scientists
Some students need a course which will provide the first stages of their training as a scientist, or for a career that involves science. Alongside GCSE Science, young people can choose to take GCSE Additional Science or GCSE Additional Applied Science.
By separating GCSE Science and GCSE Additional or Additional Applied Science, this model makes it easier for a student to correct a choice they may later come to regret.
Triple Science (Separate Sciences)
With Twenty First Century Science students can choose to study for three GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Extra topics supplement the Science and Additional Science courses to complete the Triple Science programme.
For a variety of reasons, some students are not ready to start a GCSE Science course at the age of 14. For these students the Entry Level Science course may be more suitable, and can be offered by schools using Twenty First Century Science. Some students will then move on to the GCSE courses.