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

Spring Update
On the 3rd of March the Year 10 Astronomy students gathered in the evening cold along Eastney seafront to observe the stars as part of their Astronomy GCSE. In groups of 10 we looked through the huge Saint Edmund's telescope and astrobinoculars! The Moon looked amazing, super bright and detailed, and every student who saw it gasped at how different it was! After checking out the Moon, we looked over various constellations and asterisms; The Big Dipper (spotting Mizar and Alcor), Orion (seeing the different colours of Rigel and Betelgeuse) and Cassiopeia. We then practiced our averted vision on the Pleiades (looking halfway between the Seven Sisters and Aldebaran) and practiced our pointers to navigate the night sky too. It was a great session and excellent practice/revision for all pupils! 
"It was a mindblowing experience! It was really different seeing the stars in more detail than normal" - Robbie S.
"Inspiring!" - Sol D.
"It was a very good learning experience whilst also practical." - Spencer O'N.
"It was very interesting to the stuff we learnt about for real!" - Newo N."


Approach to Teaching

Astronomy is an exciting and unique subject that St. Edmund’s is proud to be able to deliver. Astronomy lessons typically involve exploration of a subject through a range of objects/media with students making notes based on succinct whiteboard presentations. Each lesson students typically demonstrate understanding through end of lesson questioning. Many Astronomy lessons are delivered in a specially prepared classroom that can be blacked out so that detailed exploration of the projected night sky and astronomical observations can take place. Students are often given items to explore or engage with to help with understanding of the more complicated astronomical concepts.

During the Astronomy course students will meet up at night to perform observations of the night sky, practising skills learnt in lesson and to consolidate their understanding of meteors, constellations and asterisms.


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.


Exam board: Edexcel

Specification: 1AS0

Tiers of entry: Untiered

Exam: 2 papers, each 50% of total grade.


The overview of topics taught, beginning in Year 10, can be found below:


Topic 1: Planet Earth

Topic 6: Celestial observation

Topic 2: The Lunar Disc

Topic 9: Exploring the Moon

Topic 11: Exploring the Solar System

Topic 5: Solar System observation

Topic 7: Early models of the Solar System

Topic 8: Planetary motion and gravity

Topic 10: Solar astronomy

Topic 3: The Earth-Moon-Sun system

Topic 4: Time and the Earth-Moon-Sun cycles

Topic 12: Formation of planetary systems

Topic 13: Exploring starlight

Topic 14: Stellar evolution

Topic 15: Our place in the Galaxy

Topic 16: Cosmology

Useful Resources

 Astronomy Curriculum Map.pdfDownload
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