A LEVEL SCIENCE PRACTICALS
Greene’s is a specialist in experimental science with renowned expertise in running science practical endorsements.
We are recognised by the OCR examination board as a science practical case study.science practical case study
At Greene’s we place emphasis on A level science practicals that are carefully designed to meet the requirements of your course and to improve your understanding of A level topics, as well improving your broader scientific knowledge. We ensure that our practicals will be both engaging and relevant: helping achieve your A level grades; preparing you for science at university; stimulating your intellectual curiosity and equipping you to explore the processes that shape our world.
Most examination boards, such as AQA and Edexcel, require students to complete a combination of assessed practicals, and written work. By completing an A level science practical course with Greene’s, you will satisfy the requirements for the A level practical endorsement.
You will also have the opportunity to gain a solid foundation in practical work, and to acquire transferable skills useful in your further study and beyond.
The practical endorsement is obtained by ongoing weekly assessment over the course of twelve weeks, of practical skills and partly by assessed practicals and write ups.
The Greene’s A level science practical courses are designed to allow you time to acquire and be assessed on your practical skills in addition to completing the minimum number of assessed practicals and having recorded you practical work.
With a Greene’s science practical course, you can:
- Meet the requirements of the A level science practical endorsement
- Better understand your science subjects through practice
- Improve your grades
- Develop your laboratory skills for university and beyond
Dr. Saif Bham, Senior Scientist at Greene’s
The A level science practical assessment is more than just an exam… practical sessions enable students to develop their ideas into workable investigations and to think critically about evidence. This is the essence of the scientific process.
THE INTENSIVE SPRING A LEVEL PRACTICAL ENDORSEMENT COURSE
An alternative one-week intensive course in Oxford for students who are unable to come to Greene’s on a regular weekly basis. Success on these intensive courses requires pre-course preparation. These courses are run from 3rd to 8th April 2023 inclusive for Chemistry, 9th to 14th April 2023 inclusive for Biology, and 27th March to 1st April in Physics. Please note that the courses will run as normal on Bank Holidays.
All the courses are taught, demonstrated, and instructed by our experienced tutors who are skilled at guiding students through the science practical requirements for A level. Our courses are suitable for anyone studying an A level science, in particular:
- External candidates studying at home through distance learning organisations;
- Retake candidates looking to improve their grades and understanding of science in practice;
- Home-schooled students.
Biology: Intensive practical endorsement course, 9th – 14th April 2023 inclusive, daily 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Greene’s College Oxford, St. Gregory the Great School, Cricket Road, Oxford, OX4 3DR.
Chemistry: Intensive practical endorsement course, 3rd – 8th April 2023 inclusive, daily 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Greene’s College Oxford, St. Gregory the Great School, Cricket Road, Oxford, OX4 3DR.
Physics: Intensive practical endorsement course, 27th March – 1st April 2023 inclusive, daily 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Greene’s College Oxford, 97A St. Aldate’s, Oxford, OX1 1BT.
GCSEs: Intensive practical endorsement course, 13th – 17th February 2023 inclusive, Biology 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Chemistry 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The year 1 and year 2 courses can be taken consecutively for those wishing to complete the practical endorsement in one year.
|Summary description||Start date||Fee|
|Intensive A level practical endorsement course||Pre-course preparation and assessment followed by twelve laboratory sessions over six consecutive days. Fee is per subject.||Chemistry: 3rd to 8th April 2023 inclusive|
Biology: 9th to 14th April 2023 inclusive
Physics: 27th March to 1st April 2023 inclusive.
|Intensive GCSE practical endorsement course||Pre-course preparation and assessment followed by twelve laboratory sessions over five consecutive days. Fee is per subject.||Chemistry: Afternoons of 13th to 17th February 2023 inclusive|
Biology: Mornings of 13th to 17th February 2023 inclusive.
|Intensive CAIE Physics course||An individualised, day-long preparatory course for CAIE Physics students in our lab in Oxford during Hilary term, before Trinity exams start.||Contact us to arrange your individual lab practice.||£ 835|
Your application is very important to us and we have tried to make the process as simple as possible. Please click here to register.
The registration deadline for the intensive A level practical endorsement Spring courses is Friday, 24th March 2023.
The registration deadline for the GCSEs intensive A level practical endorsement Spring courses is Friday, 3rd February 2023.
After this date, late entry may be possible at the discretion of Greene’s. Additional late entry fees may apply. Course fees do not include examination entry fees. We hope our FAQ section below will answer most of your questions about A level science practicals at Greene’s; for any other questions please contact [email protected]
Yes. Satisfactory completion of our starter and completer science practical courses may ensure that you meet all the requirements to obtain the A level science practical endorsement – continuous assessment, assessed skills & techniques and completion of at least 12 required practicals. Our courses meet the requirements of the Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Geology A level specifications for all the JCQ examination boards that include the practical endorsement (AQA, Edexcel, and OCR).
Yes. Completion of our science practical courses will help you prepare for the CIE A level science practical examination – Unit 3. There are additional Biology and Chemistry A level courses which we can prepare to meet specific CIE requirements in these subjects – such as microscopy for Biology.
Apart from CIE, the starter and completer courses are the examination. In contrast to the written units, there is not an examination in the usual sense for the A level science practical component. Instead, the assessment for the practical endorsement requires satisfactory completion of at least 12 practicals. In addition, there are questions based on practical skills and knowledge which occur in the written units for all the examination boards – including CIE. For both the AS and A level qualifications examined by AQA, Edexcel and OCR practical skills questions in the written papers will account for a minimum of 15% of your marks.
No. The examination boards are very clear that to obtain the A level practical endorsement all candidates must undertake practical work supervised by an examination centre, such as Greene’s. A university course that you may be applying for may also require the A level practical endorsement as part of its entry criteria.
The advice from UCAS is as follows: Practical work in the new science A levels will be assessed in two ways. First, 15% of the marks in the written exams will assess learners’ understanding of practical work. Learners’ performance here will contribute to their subject grade. Second, learners will have their practical skills assessed separately. They will receive an additional pass or fail result for this which will be recorded on their qualification certificate. Each learner will carry out a minimum of 12 practical activities over their two-year course of study…UCAS will ask the school or college of an applicant entering science A levels in Apply to indicate whether they are predicted to pass the science practical assessment in the same way as the main A level exams. Individual universities and colleges will have their own policies in relation to the science practical result and the requirement for it is likely to vary. However, it is likely that they will ask for a pass in the science practical for courses that involve laboratory and practical work from the outset, such as STEM courses. Where this is the case, they will make it clear in their entry requirements.
The examination boards falling under JCQ in England (AQA, Edexcel and OCR) have harmonised their assessment criteria – common practical assessment criteria (CPOC) and these can be found in the examination board specifications for each subject. Broadly, the practical assessment for A level science can be divided into four main areas:
- you must have demonstrated the appropriate skills and techniques;
- you must have met the assessment criteria;
- you must have completed a minimum of twelve practical activities; and
- you must complete and retain an appropriate written record of your practical work.
Our tutors and demonstrators all have extensive knowledge of the different requirements for each board and subject and will ensure that your practical course is both rewarding and enjoyable as well as meeting all the examination board requirements.
We offer practicals in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Geology.
We can cover all examination boards – AQA, CIE, Edexcel, and OCR.
Yes. The courses are timetabled so that you can attend practical courses covering all of the different science disciplines should you wish.
Yes. The year 1 and year 2 courses can be taken consecutively if you wish to complete the practical endorsement in one year. However, we would suggest that you pace your academic study for the written papers alongside your practicals. This helps you use the practicals to consolidate your learning. Please also bear in mind that in addition to the practical endorsement 15% of the marks from the written papers will be based on a knowledge of practical science.
We offer A level science practical courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Geology covering all the examination boards (AQA, CIE, Edexcel, and OCR). The course covers everything you need to know to successfully complete the A level science practical endorsement and to prepare for the practical based questions of the written papers.
Yes. To obtain a “pass” grade for the practical endorsement you need to have met the assessment criteria of the Common Practical Assessment Criteria (CPAC).
The arrangements for the assessment of practical skills are common to all examination boards in England (AQA, Edexcel and OCR). These are called the Common Practical Assessment Criteria (CPAC). The CPAC define the minimum standard required for the achievement of a pass. You will need to complete a minimum of 12 specified practical activities; provide evidence of independent application of investigative approaches and methods to practical work; and keep an appropriate record of your practical work, including your assessed practical activities. If you demonstrate the required standard across all the requirements of the CPAC you will receive a “pass” grade. This will be assessed by Greene’s and the quality of the assessments made by Greene’s will be externally inspected.
Once your application has been accepted, you will be enrolled on your course and sent an invoice for your course fees. You can pay by direct bank transfer, by cheque, or you can call us to make a card payment.
Yes. Examination entry fees are not included as part of the science practical course fees.
The science practical courses at Greene’s are comprehensive, taught by highly qualified tutors with the assistance of laboratory technicians, and include the use of laboratory facilities and all necessary equipment, chemicals, etc.
If you think you may not be able to pay your course fees as a lump sum, please contact us to discuss this.
Physics practicals are held at Greene’s Tutorial College in the centre of Oxford, 45 Pembroke Street, Oxford, OX1 1BP. You can find more information on how to find Greene’s on our directions page. We use excellent laboratory facilities at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School, Cricket Road, Oxford, OX4 3DR for Biology and Chemistry practicals.
The practical endorsements for A level science courses are not assessed by a one-off examination. The endorsement is obtained by ongoing assessment of practical skills, and partly by assessed practicals and write ups. The Greene’s A level science practical courses are designed to allow you time to acquire and be assessed on your practical skills in addition to completing the minimum number of assessed practicals and having recorded your practical work.
If you are unable to attend our standard weekly courses there is also the option of attending weeklong intensive courses in Biology, Chemistry and/or Physics. These intensive courses also meet the assessment criteria of the A level science practical endorsement.
Yes. Remember you cannot obtain the A level practical endorsement unless you have satisfactorily completed a minimum of 12 specified practicals.
If you are interested in enrolling on a practical course, please complete the application form. We will then contact you to discuss your enrolment. Completion of the application form does not guarantee enrolment on a course.
Biology practicals: Dr. Saif Bham.
Chemistry practicals: Dr. David Egawhary.
Physics practicals: Mr. Julian Fox.
There will be the opportunity to talk to your tutor during the practical sessions – depending on the time available, your tutor is likely to be happy to answer your questions on other areas of your syllabus as well as the practical content.
After each practical session, your tutor will write a short report for you (known as a slip because they used to be written on small slips of paper). Your reports will be available for you on Greene’s Online, our online platform, after the practical session. We do our best to make reports available to you within forty-eight working hours after your practical session.
Your reports will also provide evidence that you have completed the ongoing practical assessment for your syllabus.
You can enter for the written units of your A level science examination with Greene’s, subject to availability. For more information about examination entry please click here.
To reach your target grade you can measure your progress by taking a Greene’s arranged trial exam which will provide you with an indication of your performance as well as identifying any areas of weakness. You can get extra assistance with any areas of weaknesses either through one of our short courses or by taking some supplementary tuition.