A science teacher put this list of things on my Facebook by way of defining what an ideal science education does:
"Doing and learning going hand in hand:
seeing, questioning, predicting, hypothesising, testing, reviewing, exploring: equalling real understanding, to then reapply in other contexts."
Hand on heart, science teachers - AND I'M NOT BLAMING YOU, I KNOW YOU HAVE TO TEACH WHAT THEY TELL YOU TO TEACH - how much of this were you able to do with your GCSE students?
(I'm on twitter and Facebook if you want to reply.)