Students that follow the AQA GCSE Combined Science course will gain a thorough grounding in each of the three sciences. Not only will students develop their knowledge and understanding of biology, chemistry and physics but they will enrich their experience by completing practical activities and learning through discovery. The exams and topics are equally weighted such that students demonstrate a broad range of scientific knowledge and skills as they work towards two passes at GCSE grades 9-1. This qualification counts towards the Progress 8, Attainment 8 and EBacc measures set as a standard by the Government. Students can progress to A Levels in sciences if the exams are completed at higher tier and if an adequate grade is reached.
Key Stage 3
Year 7 - The Year 7 scheme of work is based upon the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum programme of study. Students gain the skills and safe working techniques early on such that they may be applied time and again across the year. Students work towards a proficiency badge to demonstrate the successful application of skills. Each topic is approximately 10 lessons in duration with revision and an end of topic test. Tests are conducted in class with the class teacher and are marked and reviewed before the next topic is started. Students have two teachers for science with 7 lessons per cycle (two weeks). Topics include a range of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
Topic Titles - Science proficiency / Cells / Matter / Heating and Cooling / Movement of the human body / Simple chemical reactions / Fuels and burning / Gas exchange in humans / Pure and impure substances / EXPO
Year 8 - The Year 8 Scheme of work continues the teaching of the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum programme of study. Each topic is approximately 10 lessons in duration with revision and an end of topic test. Many topics include both practical activities to support the teaching of theory and also investigations to develop understanding through discovery. Tests are conducted in class with the class teacher and are marked and reviewed before the next topic is started. Students have two teachers for science with 7 lessons per cycle (two weeks). Topics include a range of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The EXPO at the end of Year 8 enables students to develop their passion for science by investigating their own question and producing a project of their research and outcomes.
Topic Titles - Energy types and transfer / Ecology / Acids and Alkalis / Waves / Nutrition and Digestion / Periodic table and reactivity / Space and the Solar system / Photosynthesis / Forces / Pressure and density / EXPO
Year 9 - Students finish the content of the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum programme in Year 9 and progress to GCSE topics part way through the year. This is to allow sufficient time to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding required of this rigorous GCSE course. All students complete the first topics of AQA GCSE Combined Science (Trilogy specification). These topics are also included in GCSE Triple Science so that students can select this option and follow separate science GCSEs in Years 10 and 11 should their prior attainment suggest this demanding course is right for them. All students will be issued with a revision guide to use throughout the GCSE course both at home and in school when the first GCSE topics are taught.
Topic Titles - Respiration / Forces and Motion / Earth and Atmosphere / Reproduction / Electricity and Magnetism / Genetics and Evolution / Fuel use and costs / Microbes and Disease / Cell biology / Periodic Table / Energy transfers / Revision skills in Science.
Key Stage 4
Science is a compulsory core subject at Key Stage 4. Students will follow the AQA GCSE specifications for 'Combined Science' which assess across Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students continue the GCSE combined course topics with 4 topics from each discipline of science covered across the year. These are taught by two teachers with one subject shared and taught sequentially, two topics each. Topics are taught in an order that may be specific to each class. Student will complete 'Required Practical Activities' in lessons (no longer coursework). Questions based on the practical work may be asked in each of the exam papers. Students receive 10 lessons of Science per cycle (two weeks) and Triple Science students again a further 5 lessons to complete the extra material included in each topic. End of topic tests are completed in lessons and reviewed before a next topic is started. Students will develop their independent learning and revision skills across the year. All students will be issued with a revision guide to use throughout the GCSE course both at home and in school. Students will have the opportunity to learn about how living organisms grow, change and control their internal conditions. They will discover how and why chemicals react. They will learn about the fundamental forces that control the way objects move and the way in which electricity is used.
Students will be able to develop their practical skills and complete experiments to further develop their understanding of the key concepts that underpin the subjects. Students will also complete compulsory practical work which will be assessed across all examination papers in the summer of Year 11.
As each course is comprised of topics from Biology, Chemistry and Physics, students will gain a broad foundation in science. Students will need to display a similar ability in each subject as the two GCSE grades awarded at the end of the course contain marks from each subject area. The course can be followed at either foundation or higher tier and the suitability for a student to follow a particular route will be made based upon the evidence gathered in Year 10 and finalised in Year 11.
Method of Assessment
GCSE Combined Science
Exam Board: AQA
Assessment Structure: 100% written examination
Exam Structure: 6 x 1 hour 15 minute written exams each of 70 marks in the summer of Year 11 (two papers from each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.) Exams completed at either Higher or Foundation tier.
GCSE Triple Science
Exam Board: AQA
Exam Structure: 6 x 1 hour 45 minute written exams (two papers from each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics). Exams completed at either Higher of Foundation tier.
Pathways after Year 11
Science qualifications are a central part of the EBACC and attainment 8 measures. The grades students attain will support further study at A Level and access to other education programmes. Students can progress onto A Levels in Sciences from these two science qualifications including Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Psychology. Students will need to sit all examinations at higher tier to gain the entry requirements for A Level study in the Sciences.
Mr S Keene
Science Subject Leader