It is compulsory to study all 3 sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) at GCSE. There are two routes you can take:
Opt to study all 3 as Separate GCSE subjects (giving an Edexcel GCSE in each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
As part of the Combined Science GCSE programme (giving a double GCSE award in Edexcel Combined Science)
The separate award course will suit those who enjoy and are reasonably able in the sciences. There is no coursework element to the separate award course and there are two examinations papers in each science taken at the end of Year 11.
The Combined Science programme has no coursework components. There are two science papers in Biology, Physics and Chemistry, making 6 papers for the Combined Science award. All papers will be taken at the end of Year 11.
Staff meet as a faculty to discuss potential advice for each pupil regarding the choice of Separate or Combined Science GCSE. This factors in their enthusiasm for the subject, attainment in each science, whether they are considering pursuing a Science subject beyond GCSE and whether they would benefit more by having an extra option choice for GCSE subjects (which combined science would provide). Teachers will talk to pupils about their recommendations and share these with parents at consultation meetings, however, these are only a suggested guide and the final decision rests with the pupil and parent. There is much more flexibility in changing from separate science to Combined Science during the course as the separate science course covers the entire Combined Science course. It is not recommended to change from Combined Science to the separate science award.
Both courses develop the necessary academic and thinking skills for further scientific education. The study of science requires good basic mathematics and the ability to comprehend and express ideas with effective use of technical language; obviously these skills are in greater need for the separate award course. Both courses will be taught with a variety of activities, including plenty of experimental work. Some aspects of the GCSE course have already been taught in Year 9, and Year 10 will build upon this material. Both Separate Science and Combined Science allow access to science courses in the Sixth Form but we recommend anyone taking higher level sciences to take the separate science option.
Learn more about the individual Science options: