GCSE Astronomy

Accredited Astronomy at Lawrence House

The next GCSE will commence in February of 2018

The whole course lasts approximately 16 months. The final exam will be taken in May/June of 2019

Tutorials are two-and-a-half hours in length – every fortnight – starting at 6:45pm and finishing at 9:15.  This hopefully gives people enough time to get here etc – and it means we don’t finish too late…

There will be approx. 32 tutorials (dates below)

This equates to approximately 80 hrs teaching time.

Everybody of course misses some tutorials – we all have busy lives – but I will always get you up to date – and I encourage a good ‘social group ethos’– there’s always someone who’ll photocopy work for you etc.

Fees: £520 for the full course.  Payment is completely flexible: monthly termly, weekly – whatever is convenient for you.  I do ask for an initial payment of £75 upon commencement please, and that the fees are fully paid before April of 2019.   There is ONE extra cost: the exam entry fee is currently £35, but this does not need to be paid until close to the actual exam.

Class numbers are always limited – so there is plenty of scope for individual help etc – IF you struggle with any of the content I can go through it with you again and again and again.

The GCSE is NOT ‘hard’ or unnecessarily complex.  It is, of course, an accredited GCSE however – and a very rare one – so there is plenty to learn about!

Starting Thursday 22nd February 2018

Tutorial dates:

22nd Feb

Mar  8th,  22nd

Apr  5th,  19th

May 3rd,   17th,  31st

Jun 14th

Small break

Jul   5th   19th,   26th – note two consecutive weeks here

Break for August

Sep  6th,   20th

Oct  4th,  18th

Nov  1st,   15th,   29th

Dec  13th



Jan   3rd,   17th,  31st

Feb  14th  28th

Mar   14th    28th

Apr  11th   25th

(the following are subject to ‘movement/adjustment as the date for the exam is yet to be released…)

May  9th    23rd –  30th ??

Jun  6th ??

Here’s what we actually do:

Astronomy GCSE – Presented at the Lawrence House Astronomy  & Space Science Centre

Where will you study?

The Astronomy Centre comprises;

·       a standard classroom,

·       a tiered lecture theatre,

·       a housed planetarium

·       our on-site Assheton Observatory and an array of telescopes for you to utilise

How long will it take?

The course timetable is spread over sixteen months, roughly following a school-term-time schedule (a break at Easter, at Christmas and a longer break in the summer)

What do we study on the course?

There are many topics, roughly divided into five major ‘chapters’.  You will learn about:

1.    Our ‘home’, the Earth, and its place within the Universe

2.    The Moon and the Sun, and their influence upon our planet

3.    The planets in our Solar System

4.    Stars and Galaxies – the life and structure of the stars – Constellations, and the night sky.

5.    Observing Techniques – how we view and study the Universe.

How is it assessed?

At the end of the course, your knowledge of astronomy will be tested in two written exams. Each exam will be 100 mins in duration.

These papers tend to reflect the general division of the course between:

1. How and what we observe in our night sky, with the naked eye;

2. How, as astronomers, we observe and comprehend the greater Universe, with optical (telescopic) aid etc.

What do you need to bring to the tutorials?

I personally recommend loose leaf A4 paper to write on, and a ring binder– this is then also a good way to keep any handouts that I give out.   Apart from that, people usually bring a pencil case – pens pencils ruler etc – and one thing I always recommend: a good pair of compasses for drawing circles…!!

You do not need any observing equipment – there’s plenty for us to use here at the centre!

A subject rarely offered at GCSE level. Recent and ongoing revelations in the field have established the discipline as a true ‘cutting edge’ science for the 21st century.

There has never been a better time to study astronomy!

This a new syllabus.  It is a thorough, genuinely exciting introduction to astronomical theory and method.  It trains you not just in factual content but also in how to perform astronomical observations.  This observational element actually makes an  astronomer of you (!) – and it’s great fun: observing/recording/sketching/photographing the night sky etc

ANY questions whatsoever – please do ask!!!!!!!!!!!!!


01253 772974