Head of Department
Mrs R Hodgson
At UVHS we believe that Science has something to offer every student. From a trainee chef to a nuclear physicist, a construction apprentice to a cancer researcher, everyone needs some level of relevant science understanding. The GCSE Science options that are available to students have changed in the last few years under the direction of the DfE and Ofqual. We offer Key Stage 4 qualifications, to suit students of all abilities and all aspirations.
Students will have started covering key concepts during Year 9 to prepare them for the step up to GCSE. All Science courses will cover aspects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The new style GCSEs are being 100% examined, there are no coursework elements. All of the written GCSE exams for Science will be at the end of Year 11. There are two pathways available to students in Science depending on their future aspirations and current progress in Year 9.
GCSE Combined Science
This course is for students who would benefit from an underpinning Science
curriculum and is recommended to those students who are not thinking at this stage of A levels, or other post-16 qualifications, in Science. This forms part of a student’s core curriculum. Students have specialist Science teachers and 6 lessons of Science per week.
Combined Science is a double GCSE and has a 17 point grading scale, from 9–9, 9–8, 8-8 through to 2–1, 1–1. As practical work is at the heart of Science, students will conduct 16 required experiments, that will be examined in the final exam. Good attendance is therefore essential. Students will need to apply their mathematical skills in a range of scientific contexts as this makes up a proportion of the marks in each exam.
Six papers: two Biology, two Chemistry and two Physics. Each
will assess different topics.
Duration: all the papers are 1 hour 15 minutes each.
Tiers: Foundation Grade Range 1-5 and Higher Grades 4-9.
Weighting: the papers are equally weighted. Each is worth
16.7% of the final grade and has 70 marks.
Question types: multiple choice, structured, closed, short answer
and open response.
Combined Science GCSE content
& periodic table
Bonding, structure & properties of matter
|Infection & response||Quantative chemistry||Waves|
|Homeostasis & response||Energy changes||Magnetism & electromagnetism|
|Inheritance, variation & evolution||
The rate & extent of Chemical change
|Particle model of matter|
|Ecology||Organic chemistry||Atomic structure|
|Chemistry of the atmosphere|
GCSE Separate Science
Biology, Chemistry and Physics
This extra option is available for students to take on top of the core Science curriculum; in order to boost their progression to A-level and science related careers. Students will use their core and one option lesson time to study for three separate GCSEs in Science. We strongly advise that any student wishing and capable of Science study beyond GCSE should take this option to give them the best possible foundation. Students will have in total 9 Science lessons per week and will have specialist subject teachers for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students will need to achieve at least a grade 6 in Year 9 Science to show that they are capable of meeting the demands of this subject and at least a grade 6 in Maths. This is because the new Physics GCSE has 30% of questions which will require mathematical demand.
It is essential that students conduct 8 required practicals for each of the three GCSEs, which will be assessed in the final exams (15% of questions will be on required practicals). Good attendance to school is therefore essential.
Exams for each of the separate Science GCSEs
Exams = 100% of the final marks
Two papers: each paper will assess different topics.
Duration: both papers are 1 hour 45 minutes.
Tiers: Foundation tier grade range 1-5 and Higher tier grade range 4-9.
Weighting: the papers are equally weighted. Each is worth 50% of the grade and has 100 marks available.
Question types: multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response.
For more information please contact Mrs Hodgson at firstname.lastname@example.org