Science

There are two different science routes on offer at Sharnbrook tailored to suit each learner.

  • standard double ‘combined science’ route
  • triple ‘separate sciences’ route 

Standard Double 'Combined Science' Route

Outline of the Course

AQA Combined Science GCSE occupies the amount of time usually reserved for two GCSE subjects, beginning in year 9.  Students will receive two GCSE grades upon successful completion in year 11.  The course consists of a balance of biology, chemistry and physics, preparing fully for A levels in these subjects if sufficiently high GCSE grades are achieved.

Syllabus content

Biology:

  • Cell biology
  • Organisation
  • Infection and response
  • Bioenergetics
  • Homeostasis and response
  • Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • Ecology

Chemistry:

  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Bonding, structure and the properties of matter
  • Quantitative chemistry
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes
  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Organic chemistry
  • Chemical analysis
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Using resources

Physics:

  • Forces
  • Energy
  • Waves
  • Electricity
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure

Triple ‘Separate Sciences’ Route

Outline of the Course

Eight groups in year 9 have provisionally embarked upon an accelerated AQA ‘triple’ science route and, if they continue with this in year 10 and year 11, they will achieve three separately graded science GCSEs in biology, chemistry and physics

Triple science is not a requirement for entry onto any of our A level courses: double ‘combined science’ is perfectly sufficient.

Syllabus content

Biology:

  • Cell biology
  • Organisation
  • Infection and response
  • Bioenergetics
  • Homeostasis and response
  • Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • Ecology
  • Key ideas

Chemistry:

  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Bonding, structure and the properties of matter
  • Quantitative chemistry
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes
  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Organic chemistry
  • Chemical analysis
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Using resources

Physics:

  • Forces
  • Energy
  • Waves
  • Electricity
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure
  • Space physics

Assessment Methods

Six terminal exam papers: two biology, two chemistry and two physics, each 1 hour 45 minutes long and equally weighted.  The questions will be a mixture of multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions.  During the course, students will conduct 28 required practicals that are assessed via questions on the terminal exam papers.

Study Implications/Requirements  

Students will need to revise thoroughly for our regular internal exams as well as the external GCSE examinations.  Students will need to demonstrate safe and well-organised approaches in practical lessons, using apparatus skilfully.  Good attendance is of the utmost importance, as there are no opportunities for the ‘required practicals’ to be repeated. It cannot, therefore, be stressed enough how important good attendance is throughout the course and family holidays in school time should certainly be avoided.

What can I do with a Science Qualification?

You will develop a wide range of mathematical, spoken and written communication skills as well as improving your ability to work with others, and find out how to analyse and solve problems, and to take charge of your own learning.  These are all important transferable skills that all employers look for.  Science qualifications open up a very wide range of opportunities and are useful irrespective of what you intend to do in future life.

A good grade at GCSE will help you to move on to an AS, A level, vocational course or job of your choice.

If you enjoy GCSE in the sciences, you might want to continue with biology, chemistry or physics, or study a closely related subject such as psychology.  Many of our students choose to take several of the above courses in the sixth form.

For further information see

Mr P J Garbett    pgarbett@sharnbrook.beds.sch.uk