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Science (Combined) GCSE

Head of Department: Dr S Smith

What is GCSE Combined science?

Combined science aims to equip students with a good understanding of each of the three science disciplines: biology, chemistry and physics. After sitting the exams, students will attain two GCSE grades (9-1). 

What skills will I develop?

By the end of this course you will be able to describe and explain a wide range of concepts, processes and theories that help us understand how things work. Students will also develop their practical skills of planning, collecting and presenting data as well as analysing it. Mathematical skills are hugely important in science, where a wide range will need to be applied to a variety of situations. The combined science course will develop a good level understanding of scientific principles and skills in topic areas such as genetics, ecology, bonding, organic chemistry, waves and electromagnetism. 

What syllabus will I follow?

Students will follow the AQA Trilogy Combined Science Course. This syllabus started in September 2016.

What will the course look like?

Throughout the course, students will study each science for a double lesson a week (six science lessons per week in total). In year 10, students will study certain units, with the level of demand increasing as the course continues throughout year 10 and year 11.

There will be no coursework. “Required practicals” must be completed throughout the course, covering a range of core practical skills, and students will find questions linking to these experiments in the final exam.

Students must study all three sciences as part of the combined science course, they cannot opt to study one or two sciences separately.

What homework will I get?

Follow-up work is meaningfully related to classwork and includes: planning and writing up experiments, researching information, reading, note-taking, answering targeted text book and worksheet questions to aid understanding, as well as revision for the end-of-unit tests and end-of-year examinations. On average, students should expect one hour of homework from science a week, with significantly more time invested in revising for mock exams and end of unit tests.

How will I be assessed?

Students will sit all of the examinations at the end of year 11. There will be six exams in total, each 75 minutes long, with two examinations dedicated to each of biology, chemistry and physics. Each exam will cover different targeted units within that science specialism.

Questions will include multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions. There will be foundation and higher tiered papers.

Students will undertake several mock exams at appropriate times throughout the two-year course.

What jobs or further courses of study might this lead to?

The study of combined science allows students to study any of the sciences at A Level or equivalent courses. Students will find they have not covered some content to the same depth that separate science students will have, thus meaning extra work may be required in further study. Pupils who take combined science have gone on to take science related university courses, such as engineering, medicine, veterinary science, earth, life, natural and physical sciences. In addition, combined science prepares students for a variety of vocational courses such as plumbing, electrician work, material related courses and any other technical course. 

Are there any entry requirements for this course?

No, all students will study the combined science course, unless they have opted to study separate sciences.

If I need additional support, what can I access?

Students are encouraged to use a range of revision resources, including CGP revision guides and exam practice books.

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