BTEC Applied Science- Extended certificate
A BTEC programme is an exciting way to study. It gives you the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding that you will need in the world of work, Specific to a type of industry setting. BTECs are different from A-levels; a BTEC puts you in charge of your own learning. The BTEC Level 3 National (2016) extended Certificate in Applied Science has been developed to provide an engaging introduction to the sector for learners aged 16 years and above. In the course You will study four units, and will be assessed in a combination of examination, controlled assessments and assignments.
The subject is taught on a rotation of years to account for a combined teaching group of year 12 and 13s.
Qualification Structure- L3
The Edexcel BTEC Level 3 National (2016) extended Certificate in Applied Science has been developed to provide an engaging introduction to the sector for learners aged 16 years and above. It has been designed primarily for young people aged 16 to 19 who may wish to explore a vocational route throughout Key Stage 5, but it is also suitable for other learners who want a vocationally focused introduction to this area of study.
Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science I (examinations)
The topic areas covered in this unit include: animal and plant cells; tissues; atomic structure and bonding; chemical and physical properties of substances related to their uses; waves and their application in communications. To complete the assessment task within this unit, you will need to draw on your learning from across your programme. The knowledge and understanding you will learn in this unit will provide a strong basis for you to progress in the science sector and to a variety of science and related programmes such as higher nationals and degrees.- This unit is examined as three papers- Biology, chemistry and physics.
Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques
This unit introduces you to standard laboratory equipment and techniques, including titration, colorimetry, calorimetry, chromatography, calibration procedures and laboratory safety. Through the practical tasks in the unit, you will develop proficiency in the quantitative analytical techniques of titration and colorimetry, including learning to calculate the concentration of solutions.
Employers in science industries will appreciate your ability to follow written scientific procedures and your desire to ensure accuracy by using techniques correctly and by checking that equipment – for example, pipettes, balances, pH meters and thermometers – is calibrated correctly and that appropriate standard calibration documentation has been completed.
Unit 3: Science Investigation Skills (synoptic- controlled assessment)
In this unit, you will develop the essential skills underpinning practical scientific investigations. These skills will be delivered through subject themes ranging from enzymes and diffusion to electrical circuits. The subject themes provide different contexts for the development of the investigative skills. Science investigative skills will help you in many scientific or enquiry-based learning courses in higher education, as well as prepare you for employment in a science-related industry.
Unit 8: Physiology of Human Body Systems (assignments)
In this unit, you will focus on three body systems: musculoskeletal, lymphatic and digestive. You will examine each of the systems as a functioning unit, identifying their structure and function. By exploring the anatomy of these systems, through experimentation and use of simulations, you will develop your knowledge and understanding of their role in the human body. You will also give attention to understanding the implications of what happens when the systems fail to work properly and the available treatments.
Teaching and Learning – St. Peter’s Six- In Applied Science
- Retrieval and review
Work booklets/ exercise books are used as jotters in preparation for the assessment.
Students are taught to use Cornell method for note taking to improve long term recall and retention.
In lessons recall questions are used at the start of lessons to review and reinforce the learning journey.
- Deliberate Practice
In lessons students are modelled application skills for use deliberate practice of exam style questioning, or application of knowledge.
Assignment Assessment teaching and learning cannot be marked. However, work on the examined unit may be. Feedback may include, for example:
- How to improve knowledge, skills, understanding, behaviour, approach, grammar etc. and identify areas for learner progression, including stretch and challenge.
- Explain clearly how BTEC assessment works and what learners need to do to achieve a Pass, Merit or Distinction.
Questioning is used summative to assess learning to inform future teaching and to retrieve & rehearse material, It is helpful to ask more questions to more students in more depth in order to check for understanding. Asking questions is about getting feedback about how well students have learnt the material and about the need to check understanding to ensure misconceptions are tackled. Systematic feedback and corrections are provided, to emphasise the importance of context.
- Modelling Concepts
Explicit instruction is the best strategy for novice learners. Novices learn better when studying worked examples whilst experts learn better when attempting problems. In our Subject material is broken down into small steps with practice at each stage, with review of content being linked to case studies and questions to model answers.
We use multiple models of ‘what excellent looks like’ are vital for students to have success criteria before they start a task. There is a great importance placed on the use of the worked example effect to reduce the cognitive load.
We use scaffolding to develop expertise but is gradually withdrawn through the tiers of the course.
In examination preparation and assessment tasks we use Re-teaching of subject material to emphasise the key concepts and build the hinterland of the overall context.
- Marking & Assessment and Feedback
We will ensure that learners get the maximum benefit from their education through an entitlement to regular feedback from staff. This will enable them to understand their progress and achievement and inform them of what they need to do next to improve. The methods of marking work will be applied consistently throughout the Team.
- To monitor, evaluate and review learners’ current stages of progress, and identify their next steps for progress and improvement.
- To give learners accurate feedback on their progress and achievement.
- To promote a positive self-image and growth mind-set for learners, in accordance with school aims, and, through this, encourage them to value and take pride in their work.
- To celebrate and reward learners’ achievement and progress.
- To agree and set challenging targets for improvement.
- To standardise the marking procedures throughout the department.
- To enable learners to self-evaluate their work and take responsibility for setting their own targets.
- To provide evidence for assessment, recording and reporting.
Principles of marking and feedback
- Marking will be against the learning intention and individual targets
- Any learning points / misconceptions will be addressed.
- Learners will have the opportunity to reflect on their feedback and question comments.
BTEC Assessment Approach
The Marking Policy is based upon BTEC Centre Guide to Internal Assessment.
Feedback During Assessment
While learners are working on an assessment, general verbal feedback and support is provided, particularly around the development of knowledge, understanding and skills. Including:
- Guidance on how to approach the knowledge and skills requirements.
- Guidance on appropriate behaviour and approach, confirmation of deadlines etc.
- Confirmation of which criteria the assessor is targeting and clarification of what
- the assignment brief requires.
The tutor must not:
- provide specific assessment feedback on the evidence produced by the learner before it is submitted for assessment
- confirm achievement of specific assessment criteria until the assessment stage
On the assessment record, clear written feedback is given within 2 weeks of submission on:
- the criteria the learner achieved
- the criteria not achieved (and why) although you cannot give instructions on how to get a higher grade.
Other feedback could include:
- Which assessment criteria the learner has achieved and what the learner has done well.
- Which assessment criteria the learner has not achieved and what was missing.
- Information or guidance available to the learner they could have drawn on (e.g. class notes; handouts; resources in assignment brief etc)
- General behaviour and conduct, approach, grammar etc.
Only one submission is allowed for each assignment. The Assessor is expected to formally record the assessment result and confirm the achievement of specific assessment criteria.
Within 2 weeks of marking the work, a sample of 5 student’s work will be Internally Verified by the Internal Verifier (IV) The IV will:
- Check the quality of assessment to ensure that it is consistent, valid, fair and reliable
- Confirms whether assessment decisions meet national standards
- Provides feedback to the Assessor, including action to be taken if assessment decisions are judged to be incorrect
The BTEC Standards Verifier will be allocated by Pearson and according to BTEC programme requirements who will:
- Checks consistency of the interpretation of national standards by each Assessor
- Identifies whether assessment decisions meet national standards
- Confirms that learner evidence meets the assessment criteria awarded
- Confirms learner work has been accepted as authentic by the Assessor
- Checks timely and effective internal verification has been carried out on assignments, assessment decisions and feedback to learners
- Gives verbal feedback to the programme team or other centre nominated person on decisions made
- Completes online report clearly identifying whether national standards are being met
- Where required, identifies any remedial action required for re-sampling and conducts resample.
Annotating Learner Work
It is good practice to make some annotations on learner work during feedback. This helps the learner, Assessors, Internal Verifiers and Standards Verifiers identify where evidence towards specific assessment criteria can be found.
However, the annotations themselves do not constitute confirmation of achievement of specific assessment criteria; they are merely indicators to where the evidence can be found.
Marking spelling, punctuation and grammar
It is good practice for Assessors to "mark" spelling and grammar i.e. correct mistakes on learner work and expect the learner to correct them. Mistakes in spelling and grammar should not influence assessment decisions unless:
- the mistakes are so problematic that they undermine the evidence of learner
- If learner work has consistently poor spelling, grammar or language below the
standard expected at the level of the qualification, marking should be delayed until
- the learner has resubmitted work considered to be up to standard. This should be
within in a timeframe not considered to provide an unfair advantage to the learner.
Assessments & Examinations:
· 2a- colorimetry and titration
· 2b- calorimetry
· 2c- chromatography
· 2d- reflection on skills development
· 8a- musculoskeletal systems and their disorders
· 8b- lymphatic systems and their disorders
· 8c- digestive system and their disorders
Unit 3- Externally assessed practical paper (examination) from two sections
Unit 1- 3x examination- fundamental biology, chemistry and physics papers
Curriculum Review and progression
Across the BTEC courses we have introduced an in-house curriculum quality assurance plan, to run in conjunction with the external processes carried out by the exam board. This included lesson observations, data reviews and work scrutiny and pupil voice to continue to develop the courses.
Homework And Study session work.
Within Applied Science Home work is used in two ways. Firstly to improve recall and retrieval of subject content for Preparation for the next lesson and Consolidate learning.
When students are learning and completing assignment tasks- Homework time is focused on the tasks, using allocated time for this preparation.
The homework policy links into the science department’s assessment, work scrutiny, marking, feedback and behaviour policies.
For further information contact:
Mr E Freeman - EFreeman@SPHS.uk.com
Link to specification website: