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Electronics

GCSE Electronics

What is it and how does it work?
Electronics GCSE meets the needs of students entering a progressively more technological society. A systems approach is adopted to complex problem solving. A task is broken down into manageable blocks, each of which performs its own unique function.
Tasks such as automatically dipping car headlights, electronic counters and timers, burglar alarms, fish bite detectors to name but a few.
Electronics GCSE has all the intellectual challenge of a Science subject with the added dimension of problem-solving. It involves a lot of practical work but also demands a good level of understanding and logical thinking.
Working by yourself, or in pairs you build and test circuits to solve problems. In doing so, you work through a series of assignments at a pace suited to your ability, looking at how your circuit works and what each component does.
Consideration of safety inevitably arises in Electronics so emphasis is placed on working practices that promote safety consciousness at all times.

Summary of Assessment

  • Component one: Discovering Electronics. Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes. 40% of qualification.
    A mix of short answer questions, structured questions, with some set in a practical context.
  • Component two: Application of Electronics. Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes. 40% of qualification.
    A mix of short answer questions, structured questions, with some set in a practical context.
  • Component three: Extended system design and realisation task. Non-exam assessment. 20% of qualification.
    An extended system design and realisation task to assess electronics skills.

The specification ensures that learners have the scientific and mathematical knowledge and understanding, and the engineering skills, to tackle problems in an electronics context.
GCSE Electronics is to be studied in such a way as to develop and maintain the learner’s interest in engineering subjects and the appreciation of their relevance to their everyday lives.
The practical work enables learners to see the theoretical knowledge contained in the specification in action and to gain greater understanding of the knowledge in a practical context.

Studying this GCSE in Electronics enables learners to:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of the behaviour of analogue and digital electrical/electronic circuits including a wide range of electronic components
  • develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of electronics as an engineering discipline to help them answer questions about practical circuits.
  • be aware of new and emerging technologies
  • develop and learn how to apply observational, practical, problem solving and evaluative skills in the identification of needs in the world around them and to propose and test electronic solutions
  • progress to level 3 qualifications in electronics and engineering.

Prior learning and progression:
There are no previous learning requirements for this specification. Any requirements set for entry to a course based on this specification are at the school/college’s discretion. This specification builds on subject content which is typically taught at Key Stage 3 and provides a suitable foundation for the study of electronics and engineering at either AS or A-level. In addition, the specification provides a coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study for learners who do not progress to further study in this subject.

What other learning could you do?
You could take this course to prepare for advanced level courses such as an A Level in Electronics.
With further training, you could go into a job related to Electronics such as a Technician, Electrician or Design Engineer.
You could also go straight into employment and do further training or part time study with the support of your employer.

What career options do you have?
The subject can be taken at A-level and fits well with other A-levels in the Maths and Science area when you move into the Sixth Form at Caedmon College Whitby. It is especially valuable for students looking at careers in Engineering or in which Instrumentation, Computing or Communication Systems are used.

Where can I find more course information? 
Mr A Bentley, Head of Electronics.
http://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/electronics/gcse/GCSE-Electronics-Specification.pdf

A-level Electronics

WJEC Eduqas AS level Electronics

What is it and how does it work?
Electronics is a huge part of all our daily lives. Imagine a world without TVs, computers, mobile phones, games consoles and i-pods.

The WJEC Eduqas AS/A in Electronics provides a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. It encourages learners to develop confidence in, and a positive attitude towards, electronics and to recognise its importance in their own lives and in today’s technological society. The WJEC Eduqas AS/A in Electronics will ensure that learners have the electronic and mathematical knowledge and electronic engineering skills to solve problems.

This should enable learners to appreciate how many problems in society can be tackled by the application of the scientific ideas in the field of electronics using engineering processes. The practical work enables learners to see the theoretical knowledge contained in the specification in action and to gain greater understanding of the knowledge in a practical context.

AS Electronics Summary of Assessment:

Component 1: Principles of Electronics. Written examination: 2hrs 30mins. 80% of qualification.
A mix of short answer and extended answer questions with some set in a practical context.

Component 2: Extended system design and realisation tasks. Non exam assessment. 20% of qualification.
Task 1: a design and realisation task to design a digital system to solve an identified problem, need or opportunity.
Task 2: a design and realisation task to test an analogue circuit against a specification.
Task 3: a design and program task to create a micro controller system programmed via a flowchart to solve an identifies problem, need or opportunity.

This linear qualification will be available for assessment in May/June each year. It will be awarded for the first time in summer 2018.

A-level Electronics Summary of Assessment:

Component 1: Principles of Electronics. Written examination: 2hrs 45mins. 40% of qualification.
A mix of short answer and extended answer questions with some set in a practical context.

Component 2: Application of Electronics. Written examination: 2hrs 45mins. 40% of qualification.
A mix of short answer and extended answer questions with some set in a practical context.

Component 3: Extended system design and realisation tasks. Non-exam assessment. 20% of qualification.
Task 1: a design and program task to create a microcontroller system programed in assembler language to solve an identified problem, need or opportunity.
Task 2: a substantial integrated design and realisation task to create an electronic system to solve an identifies problem, need or opportunity.

This linear qualification will be available for assessment in May/June each year. It will be awarded for the first time in summer 2019.

Prior learning and progression:
Do I need any previous knowledge of A-level Electronics?
No, you do not. Most students will probably have studied Electronics GCSE but if you have at least grade B in Mathematics, grade B in Science and have a keen interest in studying Electronics you should cope. This specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills established at GCSE.

What career options do you have?
Electronics is a rapidly changing field of study but, because of this, it offers several possibilities for a future career or higher levels of study. This course is an excellent foundation for a variety of science and engineering courses in Higher Education, such as Electrical Engineering, Physics, Software Engineering, Electronics, Electronic Engineering, Electronic Products, Design and Technology, Electronic Instrumentation, Applied Electronics, Electronics Media and Communications and Robotics to name but a few. It will also provide an excellent basis if you wish to enter directly into employment and maybe further your career through NVQs and will provide a foundation for technical professions.

Where Can I Find More Course Information? 
Mr A Bentley, Head of Electronics.
http://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/electronics/as-a-level/A-level-Electronics-Specification.pdf?language_id=1
http://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/electronics/as-a-level/AS-Electronics-Specification.pdf?language_id=1

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