Sciences

At Key Stage 4, there are two different programmes for science in year 10 and 11. There will be students who may opt to take triple science which is three science GCSEs (Biology GCSE, Chemistry GCSE and Physics GCSE). All other students will take GCSE Combined science (AQA Trilogy). This double award is equivalent to two GCSEs.

Triple Science

This route offers individual science subject lessons, where normally three different science teachers will deliver specialist subject areas. This course is now 100% linear, with all of the examinations taking place at the end of Year 11. There is now no practical assessment, although students will undertake set practical activities stipulated by the examination board, there will be questions associated with knowledge gained from these practical activities that will count for at least 15% of the assessment marks for each of the separate GCSEs

What content is covered? 

GCSE Biology: Cell biology; organisation; infection and response; bioenergetics; homeostasis and response; inheritance, variation and evolution; ecology.

GCSE 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.

GCSE Physics: Forces; energy; waves; electricity; magnetism and electromagnetism; particle model of matter; atomic structure; space physics.

How will I be assessed?

For each subject (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) there are 2 exams of 1 hour 45 minutes each sat at the end of Year 11. Exams are offered at Foundation and Higher Tier and are a mixture of multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions. Each exam is 100 marks and 50% of the GCSE. Of the many practicals you will do, there are 8 required practicals for each subject and knowledge of these practicals will be examined in the written exams.

Combined Science

This course offers students a balanced science curriculum that will result in students attaining two joint combined Science GCSEs. Students will undertake set practical activities stipulated by the examination board as a minimum, there will be questions associated with knowledge gained from these practical activities that will count for at least 15% of the assessment marks in the exams.

What content is covered? 

Biology content: Cell biology; organisation; infection and response; bioenergetics; homeostasis and response; inheritance, variation and evolution; ecology.

Chemistry content: 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.

Physics content: Forces; energy; waves; electricity; magnetism and electromagnetism; particle model of matter; atomic structure.

 

How will I be assessed?

There are six exams: two biology, two chemistry and two physics. All exams are 1 hour 15 minutes long and available in Foundation and Higher Tier. Questions are a mixture of multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions. Each exam is 70 marks in total and 16.7% of GCSE level. All exams will be taken at the end of Year 11. There is no longer a coursework unit.

 

What careers or courses might this lead to?

Triple Science GCSE option is perfect for anyone looking to take science A-levels at college or a potential degree/career in science. It provides a significant extension in scientific content, and is designed to provide a deeper understanding of the processes and applications of science, which lead to industrial engineering, medicine and biotechnology.

Students with the Combined Science GCSEs may also be able to study Science subjects at A ‘level. Those preferring a more vocational approach may also consider courses such as BTEC Diploma in Forensic Science or Applied Science.

Careers to consider could include medicine, veterinary, dentistry, nursing, midwifery, pharmacy, research, laboratory work, forensics, engineering, architecture, environmental science, biochemistry, astrophysics, utilities, conservation or animal care

Useful website links & Revision Guides:

Combined Science specification

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/science/specifications/AQA-8464-SP-2016.PDF

GCSE Biology specification

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/biology/specifications/AQA-8461-SP-2016.PDF

GCSE Chemistry specification

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/chemistry/specifications/AQA-8462-SP-2016.PDF

GCSE Physics specification

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/physics/specifications/AQA-8463-SP-2016.PDF

SAM Learning

BBC GCSE Bitesize

How to achieve in Science

Use your revision guide and workbook: (see link below)

Science Revision Guides 2017-18

Bring your revision guide to lessons and use it as a text book. It has clear summaries of what you are learning.

Use the revision guide when you do your homework. A lot of the worksheets we use will match the pages in the revision guide.

Look ahead – have a look at the next page and write down some key words and the meanings

When you revise:

Make a concept map/ poster/ revision notes with Key points from one or two pages of the revision guide on 1 side of A4. (put the title and page number in the corner)

You can add notes from your school book.

On the back – write out 10 questions about these key points.

On another piece of paper – have a go at all of questions without looking at the poster (then check your answers. Do this until you get all the answers correct. Make sure you write the answers out as this will help you remember them.

Give these questions to your parents/friends and ask them to test you.

Keep these revision sheets in a folder in page order – and use them again and again.