GCSE Course Information

Subject Titles:
Combined Science
Separate Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

What will I study?
We study the 2016 specifications by Edexcel. From September 2016, there are 4 GCSE qualifications in science that students can take:

Separate Science (3 GCSEs) Combined Science (2 GCSEs)
GCSE (9-1) Biology  
GCSE (9–1) Chemistry GCSE (9-1) Combined Science
GCSE (9–1) Physics  

· There will no longer be a single GCSE Science qualification.

All students whether studying Combined or Separate Science will:

· Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

· Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.

· Develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem-solving skills in the laboratory, in the field and in other learning environments.

· Develop their ability to evaluate claims based on science through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Biology topics:

Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology
Topic 2 – Cells and control
Topic 3 – Genetics
Topic 4 – Natural selection and genetic modification
Topic 5 – Health, disease and the development of medicines
Topic 6 – Plant structures and their functions
Topic 7 – Animal coordination, control and homeostasis
Topic 8 – Exchange and transport in animals
Topic 9 – Ecosystems and material cycles

Within each topic there are additional sub-topic areas only for separate science students (S)

Biology Core Practical work:

· Investigate biological specimens using microscopes, including magnification calculations and labelled scientific drawings from observations

· Investigate the effect of pH on enzyme activity
· Investigate the use of chemical reagents to identify starch, reducing sugars, proteins and fats (S)
· Investigate osmosis in potatoes
· Investigate the effects of antiseptics, antibiotics or plant extracts on microbial cultures (S)
· Investigate the effect of light intensity on the rate of photosynthesis
· Investigate the rate of respiration in living organisms
· Investigate the relationship between organisms and their environment using field-work techniques, including quadrats and belt transects

Chemistry topics:

Topic 1 – Key concepts in chemistry
Topic 2 – States of matter and mixtures
Topic 3 – Chemical changes
Topic 4 – Extracting metals and equilibria
Topic 5 – Separate chemistry 1 (S)
Topic 6 – Groups in the periodic table
Topic 7 – Rates of reaction and energy changes
Topic 8 – Fuels and Earth science
Topic 9 – Separate chemistry 2 (S)
Topics 5 and 9 are for students studying separate science only (S)

Chemistry Core Practical work:

· Investigate the composition of inks using simple distillation and paper chromatography
· Investigate the change in pH on adding powdered calcium hydroxide or calcium oxide to a fixed volume of dilute hydrochloric acid
· Investigate the preparation of pure, dry hydrated copper sulfate crystals starting from copper oxide including the use of a water bath
· Investigate the electrolysis of copper sulfate solution with inert electrodes and copper electrodes
· Carry out an accurate acid-alkali titration, using burette, pipette and a suitable indicator
· Investigate the effects of changing the conditions of a reaction on the rates of chemical reactions.
· Identify the ions in unknown salts, using the tests for the specified cations and anions
· Investigate the temperature rise produced in a known mass of water by the combustion of the alcohols ethanol, propanol, butanol and pentanol (S)

Physics topics:

Topic 1 – Key concepts of physics
Topic 2 – Motion and forces
Topic 3 – Conservation of energy
Topic 4 – Waves
Topic 5 – Light and the electromagnetic spectrum
Topic 6 – Radioactivity
Topic 7 – Astronomy (S)
Topic 8 – Energy – Forces doing work
Topic 9 – Forces and their effects
Topic 10 – Electricity and circuits
Topic 11 – Static electricity (S)
Topic 12 – Magnetism and the motor effect
Topic 13 – Electromagnetic induction
Topic 14 – Particle model
Topic 15 – Forces and matter
Within each topic there are additional sub-topic areas only for separate science students (S)

Physics Core Practical work

· Investigate the relationship between force, mass and acceleration by varying the masses added to trolleys
· Investigate the suitability of equipment to measure the speed, frequency and wavelength of a wave in a solid and a fluid
· Investigate refraction in rectangular glass blocks in terms of the interaction of electromagnetic waves with matter Investigate how the nature of a surface affects the amount of thermal energy radiated or absorbed (S)
· Construct electrical circuits to: investigate the relationship between potential difference, current and resistance for a resistor and a filament lamp and to test series and parallel circuits using resistors and filament lamps
· Investigate the densities of solid and liquids
· Investigate the properties of water by determining the specific heat capacity of water and obtaining a temperature-time graph for melting ice
· Investigate the extension and work done when applying forces to a spring

How will I be assessed?

Combined Science

There are 6 exam papers at the end of year 11, 2 papers for biology, chemistry and physics, each 1 hour 10mins long and worth 16.7% of the final Combined Science grade.

Separate Science

· There are 6 exam papers at the end of year 11, 2 papers for biology, chemistry and physics, each 1 hour 45mins long and worth 50% of the final grade of each separate GCSE, biology, chemistry and physics.

General

· There will be a new 9–1 grading system, replacing A*–G. Foundation tier will cover grades 1–5. Higher tier will cover grades 4-9.

· There are no controlled assessments in the new qualifications, students will complete core practicals and be questioned on these as part of their written exams.

· Questions assessing students’ use of mathematical skills will make up 15% of the assessments. There will also be some recall of equations required in physics.

GCSE Course Information

Subject Titles:

Core and Additional Science (Double Science)
Biology, Chemistry, Physics (Triple Science)

What will I study?
We study the 2011 specifications by OCR 21st Century. You will study either Double Science or Triple Science.

Double Science (2 GCSEs) Triple Science (3 GCSEs)
Core Science Biology
Additional Science Chemistry
  Physics

Comparing Double and Triple Science

Double Science is made up of 2 GCSEs, Core and Additional Science. Core Science includes modules of all three science disciplines, Biology (B123), Chemistry (C123) and Physics (P123). You will also be required to complete two controlled assessments; a data analysis and a case study. Additional Science adds more to each discipline, Biology (B456), Chemistry (C456) and Physics (P456). You will also be required to produce an investigation as an additional piece of controlled assessment.

Triple Science will give you three GCSE’s. You will study all modules of Core and Additional Science but with further modules in Biology (B7), Physics (P7) and Chemistry (C7). The controlled assessments take on a different format – instead of a data analysis and case study you will do three investigations, one each for Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

The content of each topic is shown in the following table:

P1

Space Earthquakes The Earth

P2

The Sun Radiation Risks of Radiation

P3

Energy types Energy sources

P4

Forces Motion Safety

P5

Electricity Resistance Current

P6

Radioactive Materials Isotopes Nuclear power

P7

Advanced Astronomy Mapping the universe Lenses

C1

Air quality Pollution Improving air

C2

Polymers Molecules Alkanes and Alkenes

C3

Salts Alkalis Chlorine

C4

The periodic table
Alkali Metals Halogens

C5

The Earth and Spheres Bonding

C6

Acids and Alkalis Rate of Reaction Chemical Industry

C7

Esters Chemical Industry Titration Calculations

B1

Genes Inheritance DNA

B2

Vaccines Immunity Diseases

B3

Food Chains Evolution Species

B4

Homeostasis Osmosis Photosynthesis

B5

Mitosis Meiosis Proteins

B6

Behaviour Learning The Brain

B7

Ecosystems Skelton Joints
The Heart New Technologies


How will I be assessed?

Double Science

  • Core Science is examined through 3 x 1 hour exams worth 25% each (B123, C123, P123), a data analysis controlled assessment worth 12.5%, and a case study style controlled assessment also worth 12.5%.
  • Additional science is also examined through 3 x 1 hour exams worth 25% each (B456, C456, P456). In addition to this you will complete a full investigation (in either Biology, Chemistry or Physics) as controlled assessment worth 25%.

Triple Science

  • Biology is examined through 3 x 1 hour exams worth 25% each (B123, B456, B7). In addition to this you will complete a full Biology investigation as controlled assessment worth 25%.
  • Chemistry is examined through 3 x 1 hour exams worth 25% each (C123, C456, C7). In addition to this you will complete a full Chemistry investigation as controlled assessment worth 25%.
  • Physics is examined through 3 x 1 hour exams worth 25% each (P123, P456, P7). In addition to this you will complete a full Physics investigation as controlled assessment worth 25%.

Controlled Assessment Information

  • Case Study – A topic is selected and you must argue both sides of the case, finding evidence to support your ideas. Some starting material is given.
  • Data Analysis – A mini version of an investigation including partially planning an experiment into a given hypothesis, carrying out the experiment and evaluating results.
  • Investigation – A general comment is given from which you fully plan an experiment to investigate, before carrying out the experiment and fully evaluating results.