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What is taught? 

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)


How is it taught? 

In all years, learners have Biology, Chemistry and Physics lessons each week.  

Lessons focus on practical skills as well as the required knowledge and understanding. Collaborative and independent learning activities allow learners to develop their knowledge and practice skills and understanding 


What makes your subject unique? 

Sciences are a mixture of the practical and the theoretical. Learners investigate and solve problems, linking theory with real life. 

Aspects of Sciences are important in many jobs and careers.