Applied science GCSE is not just for "thickos", one of the course's designers has said. The course, introduced in 2002, aims to give pupils an insight into real-world applications of the subject, from microscopy to the science of the bakery. Paddy Davis, of the Edexcel board, said it fired pupils' imaginations far more than conventional science.
"Applied science focuses on the joy of discovery. What do you not allow GCSE students to do? You don't allow them to discover. We keep teaching them the same thing over and over again," he said.