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Science

Combined Sciences

Studying Science at GCSE level is compulsory for a good reason.  Problem-solving and critical thinking are two of the most important skills you can learn in school.  Even if you do not go on to work directly in a scientific profession, these skills are highly valued by employers.  In addition, understanding science in everyday life is more important than ever, with issues such as Climate Change and the spread of diseases such as Covid-19 affecting every one of us.

Separate Sciences

While university or a career may seem a long way off, they are worth bearing in mind when choosing your GCSE options.  While studying Science at GCSE level is compulsory you may want to consider taking the three sciences separately, as an option, for the enhanced benefits this presents.
GCSE Separate Sciences offers pupils a chance to gain a more in-depth knowledge of Chemistry, Biology and Physics and to build on areas covered in Combined Science in more detail as well as covering extra content.  This course is great preparation for studying Science at A-Level, Undergraduate and Post-Graduate degree level.
This course is best-suited for those for those pupils who are likely to achieve a grade 7 or higher at GCSE.   You must be regularly achieving a grade 5 GCSE during Year 9 to be considered for this course.  Most importantly, you should have a passion for science and scientific methodology.

How are the topics/units structured?

Combined Sciences

This course covers all the requirements for Key Stage 4 National Curriculum (Science).  The course consists of several subject specific units, which provide equal emphasis on Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  The topics which are to be studied include:

Biology - Cell biology, Transport systems, Health, Disease and the development of medicines, Co-ordination and control, Photosynthesis, Ecosystems, Inheritance, Variation and evolution.

Chemistry - Atomic structure and the periodic table, Structure, Bonding and the properties of matter, Chemical changes, Energy changes in chemistry, The rate and extent of chemical change, Chemical analysis, Chemical and allied industries, Earth and atmospheric science.

Physics - Energy, Forces, Forces and motion, Waves in matter, Light and electromagnetic waves, Electricity, Magnetism and electromagnetism, Particle model of matter and Atomic structure.

The practical nature of science (including investigations) is emphasised and integrated throughout the course and links to the unit ‘Working scientifically’.

 

Separate Sciences

The enhanced understanding of key scientific concepts, build on topics covered in Combined Science and prepare pupils to study Science at the next level.  Pupils will develop their knowledge in the following areas:
Biology - Cell biology, Organisation, Infection and response, Bioenergetics, Homeostasis and response, Inheritance, Variation and evolution, Ecology.
Physics - Forces, Energy, Waves, Electricity, Magnetism and Electromagnetism, Particle Model of Matter, Atomic Structure, Space physics.
Chemistry - Atomic structure and the periodic table, Bonding, structure and the properties of matter, Quantitative chemistry, Chemical changes, Energy changes, The rate and extent of chemical change, Organic chemistry, Chemical analysis, Chemistry of the atmosphere, Using resources
Skills acquired - Understanding of the effects of science on society, knowledge of the material, physical and living worlds, how to use hypothesis and evidence to understand Science, observational, enquiry and problem-solving skills, skills in communication, mathematics and technology.

How will pupils be assessed?

Combined Sciences

Pupils will sit six exams at the end of Year 11 - Two Biology, two Chemistry, two Physics.  Each paper will be 1 hour 15 minutes long.
Pupils will achieve two Science GCSEs in Combined Science.  Combined Science will have a 17 point grading scale, from 9-9, 9-8 through to 2-1, 1-1.
There will also be 16 required practical experiments that pupils have to complete throughout the course.
Aspects of required practical work, including correct use of equipment and analysis of outcome are assessed within the examinations.

 

Separate Sciences

Pupils will sit six exams at the end of Year 11 - two Biology, two Chemistry and two Physics.  Each paper will be 1 hour 45 minutes long.
Pupils will achieve three separate GCSEs (Biology, Chemistry and Physics).
There will also be 24 required practical experiments that pupils have to complete throughout the course.
Aspects of required practical work, including correct use of equipment and analysis of outcomes are assessed within the examinations.

 
 
 
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