Cardinal Heenan

Catholic High School

Science
Science

Science Courses

Curriculum Leader: Mr R O’Flanagan

The Science GCSE courses aim to provide, through study of practical science, a worthwhile educational experience for all students so that they may:

  • be suitably prepared to embark upon A-Level in any of the pure and applied sciences or certain science dependant vocational courses; or enter the world of work at the end of Year 11 with an appreciation of science in everyday life;
  • develop abilities and skills in scientific enquiry, safe practice and experimentation, organisation and communication;
  • foster an interest in science and develop an understanding of the role of science in society by the use of scientific and technological knowledge and ideas to provide explanations and to make informed judgements in everyday life.

During Year 9 decisions will be made about which of the two science routes (Combined Science or Triple Science) students
will continue to study.

Tiers of Entry

In order for each student to have the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential, Science subjects have two tiers of entry. The content of the examination papers is targeted at the grades that can be achieved at that tier.

Foundation Tier: Grades 1-5. Candidates entered for the foundation tier can only achieve grades 1-5.

Higher Tier: Grades 4-9. Candidates entered for the higher tier can only achieve grades 4-9.

Each student’s tier of entry will be decided in Year 11.

Separate Science GCSEs (Biology, Chemistry and Physics)

Course Level: GCSE Exam Board: AQA Course codes: 8461, 8462, 8463

The Separate Sciences courses (often referred to as Triple Science) lead to three separate GCSE grades – one for Biology, one for Chemistry, and one for Physics.

What the course covers

The separate science courses cover a wide range of topics in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Students will have a specialist teacher for each of the three sciences. There are
10 required practical activities for each subject which students will cover as part of their study of the various topics, which are:

Biology GCSE
1. Cell biology
2. Organisation
3. Infection and response
4. Bioenergetics
5. Homeostasis and response
6. Inheritance, variation and evolution
7. Ecology
8. Key ideas

Chemistry GCSE
1. Atomic structure and the periodic table
2. Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
3. Quantitative chemistry
4. Chemical changes
5. Energy changes

6. The rate and extent of chemical change
7. Organic chemistry
8. Chemical analysis
9. Chemistry of the atmosphere
10. Using resources

Physics GCSE
1. Energy
2. Electricity
3. Particle model of matter
4. Atomic structure
5. Forces
6. Waves
7. Magnetism and electromagnetism
8. Space physics

Assessment

This is a linear course, meaning that all the assessment is at the end of the course, and via examination. There will be two 105 minute exams for each of the sciences, (to make 6 in total). Each exam counts for a half of the total marks for that GCSE grade.

Where the course can lead

A-level Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Applied Sciences, Forensic Science, Apprenticeships (i.e. in engineering).

Combined Science (Trilogy) GCSE

Course Level: GCSE Exam Board: AQA Course code: 8464

The Combined Science course is a double award worth two GCSEs. It consists of two equal or adjacent grades (EG 4-4, 5-4, 5-5, etc.)

What the course covers

The Combined Science course covers a wide range of topics in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Students will have a specialist teacher for each of the three sciences.
There are 21 required practical activities which students will cover as part of their study of the 24 topics, which are:

Biology
1. Cell biology
2. Organisation
3. Infection and response
4. Bioenergetics
5. Homeostasis and response
6. Inheritance, variation and evolution
7. Ecology

Chemistry
8. Atomic structure and the periodic table
9. Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
10. Quantitative chemistry
11. Chemical changes
12. Energy changes
13. The rate and extent of chemical change
14. Organic chemistry
15. Chemical analysis
16. Chemistry of the atmosphere
17. Using resources

Physics
18. Energy
19. Electricity
20. Particle model of matter
21. Atomic structure
22. Forces
23. Waves
24. Magnetism and electromagnetism

Assessment

This is a linear course, meaning that all the assessment is at the end of the course, and via examination. There will be two 75 minute exams for each of the sciences, to make 6 in total. Each exam counts for a sixth of the total marks.

Where the course can lead

A-level Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Applied Sciences, Apprenticeships (i.e. in engineering). Grade 6-6 is required for most A-level science courses.