Science – Combined

All students will take GCSEs in Science. The majority of students will study the AQA Combined Science (Trilogy) course which will lead to the award of two GCSEs in Science.

A small number of students may opt to study Separate Sciences. This will depend on students’ ability, prior attainment and their interest in pursuing Science to an advanced level Post-16 and beyond.


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    GCSE Combined Science (Trilogy)

    How will the course be taught?

    • 5 Science lessons per week
    • Topics covering Biology, Chemistry and Physics including compulsory practical work
    • Groups may be set or mixed ability
    • Students are already following the GCSE programme of study – the work covered now in Year 9 will be assessed in the GCSE exams


    What exams are there?

    • Terminal, all taken at the end of Year 11 (May-June 2020)
    • 6 exams: 2 Biology, 2 Chemistry, 2 Physics; each exam will assess different topics
    • Each exam is 1 hour 15 minutes and contains 70 marks
    • Each paper is worth 16.7% of the grade
    • Exams include multiple choice, structured, closed, short answer and open response questions
    • Two tiers of entry: Higher: grades 4-9 Foundation: grades 1-5
    • There are a minimum of 30% common marks between Foundation and Higher tiers


    What grades can be achieved?

    • Combined Science will have a 17 point grading scale, from 9–9 (highest), 9–8 through to 2–1, 1–1 (lowest)
    • Teaching staff will guide students into an appropriate tier of entry, based on ability, prior attainment, literacy and numeracy skills


    How is Practical work assessed?

    • No coursework or controlled assessment
    • 16 required practicals covering content in Biology, Chemistry and Physics
    • Students will carry out an experiment which will involve some aspects of the following:

    a) Planning, b) Making measurements and observations, c) Interpreting and analysing data, d) Drawing conclusion, e) Evaluating procedures.

    • These practicals will be assessed within the exams at the end of the course
    • Students who are absent will be given a second opportunity to carry out the practicals, however, good attendance is essential for success
    • Numeracy, equations and formulae
    • Mathematical skills will be tested at least to the standard of Key Stage 3 Maths in


    Foundation Tier papers and Foundation Tier GCSE Maths in Higher Tier papers.

    • A minimum of 10% of marks will test mathematical skills in Biology; 20% in Chemistry; and 30% in Physics.
    • Students are expected to apply two lists of Physics equations to exam questions covering Physics: one is learned by students and the second is provided as an insert in the question paper.
    • All content is assessed by terminal examinations.
    • Regular and on-going learning and revision is required to ensure that students make at least good progress throughout the GCSE course and leave with excellent GCSE results.


    How we will assess progress?

    • In lesson assessment including questioning, mini tests, written work
    • Regular end of topic tests
    • Required practical work
    • Mock exams


    What homework can be expected?

    At least one piece of homework will be set for Science each week – this may consist of one or more of the following:

    • Regular revision activities
    • SAM Learning
    • Activities involving Kerboodle (online textbook)
    • Practice exam questions
    • Research tasks