'I can do all things with the help of God who strengthens me.' Philippians (4:13)

Astronomy

Approach to Teaching

As an exciting and varied subject, Astronomy offers opportunities for many different styles of teaching. Students are often tasked to learn though independent and group activities that can range from creating models of solar bodies to producing presentations about celestial objects and even researching the latest space missions using school tablets.

In class students are encouraged to develop an inquisitive mind-set questioning what they are taught and seeking further information. Teaching can be either didactic or hands-on, such as when learning how to observe the night sky with binoculars or using the St Edmund’s telescope for more precise imaging.

Lessons are flexible and the pace changes with the needs of the students. ICT use is an integral part as many informative and interactive media are used to help the students discover all they can about Astronomy.

Key Stage 3 content (Year 7-9)

Astronomy is not currently available for KS3 pupils.

Key Stage 4 content / exam board / spec (Year 10-11)

Saint Edmund’s follow the GCSE Edexcel Astronomy course.

The course is untiered, so all students will do the same exam.

The course is split between controlled assessment and an examination.

75% - 2 hour examination

25% - 2 controlled assessment tasks

Resources

Pupils need only the standard school equipment for Astronomy, but having a telescope or binoculars at home can certainly help.

Content

The Astronomy GCSE covers all the basics of Astrophysics and Cosmology, from details of our solar system to an in-depth look at the stars and galaxies beyond. Astronomy develops an understanding of what we know about space and what we can do to find out more.

There are 4 topics studied within the Astronomy GCSE:

Topic 1 – Earth, Moon and Sun Topic 3 – Stars
Topic 2 – Planetary Systems   Topic 4 – Galaxies and Cosmology

The Controlled Assessment content is based on two units, one unit being unaided observations of the sky and the other being aided observations (telescope, binoculars, etc.)