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Starting in year 9, all learners are following the new 9-1 AQA specification (2016 onwards). All learners study Biology, Chemistry and Physics at GCSE level. We offer two courses, either combined or separate sciences.

Combined science

All learners at a minimum study Combined Science. It is worth 2 GCSEs and consists of an equal weighting of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. At the end of Year 11, learners will sit 6 examinations (1 hr 15 min) and each one is worth 70 marks. Learners who achieve a grade in Combined Science will receive a double weighted grade, ranging from 1-1 (lowest) to 9-9 (highest). There are 2 tiers of entry: foundation (Grades: 1-1 up to 5-5), and higher (Grades: 4-4 up to 9-9). Learners must sit the same tier for all 6 papers.

Separate science

In consultation with the Head of Science, selected learners can opt to study the separate sciences at GCSE. Separate sciences are classed as three separate qualifications and the learner will receive an individual GCSE in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. At the end of Year 11, students sit 6 examinations (1 hr 45 min) and each one is worth 100 marks. Learners who achieve a grade in each of the separate sciences will receive a separate grade for Biology, Chemistry and Physics, ranging from 1 to 9. There are 2 tiers of entry: foundation (Grades: 1 to 5) and higher (Grades: 4 to 9). Learners must complete the same tier in both exams for each individual science, however they could sit higher in Chemistry and foundation in Biology, for example.

A crucial aspect of all science courses is the required practical activities (RPA). The terminal exam papers contain questions specifically linked to some of these practical activities.

The following topics are studied at GCSE for both combined and separate science unless otherwise stated:

Biology – Paper 1/Paper 2

  • B1 Cells
  • B2 Organisation
  • B3 Infection and response
  • B4 Bioenergetics
  • B5 Homeostasis and response
  • B6 Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • B7 Ecology

Chemistry – Paper 1/Paper 2

  • C1 Atomic structure
  • C2 Bonding, structure and the properties of matter
  • C3 Quantitative chemistry
  • C4 Chemical changes
  • C5 Energy changes
  • C5 Rates of reaction
  • C7 Organic chemistry
  • C8 Chemical analysis
  • C9 Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • C10 Using resources

Physics – Paper 1/Paper 2

  • P1 Energy
  • P2 Electricity
  • P3 Particle model of matter
  • P4 Atomic structure
  • P5 Forces
  • P6 Waves
  • P7 Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • P8 Space (separate science only)

For more information please contact the school directly.