What does this subject involve?
GCSE Combined Science:
- identifies the activities and experiences learners will come across in everyday life
- provides the opportunity to acquire the scientific skills, knowledge and understanding necessary for life as a citizen.
Why should I choose this subject?
Choose the subject if you enjoy:
- studying organisms and our environment in Biology.
- studying chemical reactions and chemical resources in Chemistry.
- Finding energy, forces, space and electricity in Physics.
What skills will I need to succeed in this subject?
Active involvement in the learning process, enthusiastic, independent approach, hardworking, works well with others and above all an interest in the subject.
Where could this subject take me in the future?
The progression pathway is as follows: KS3 Curriculum → KS4 Science → A level Science → Further Education, Higher Education & Employment. There are plenty of courses which will give you an opportunity to have a career in Science - Genetics, Immunology, Microbiology, Virology, Pharmacology, Healthcare, Biomedical sciences, Environmental Science etc.
Who can I talk to for more information?
Science teachers and students.
Key Stage 4
What will students learn?
At the beginning of Year 9 the students attend a whole year group trip with the Sciences faculty to engage and ease them into their KS4 journey. In the past this has been to Chester Zoo where the students have had a chance to see animals they have never seen before and learn about conservation, classification and other issues that arise during their study of Science at GCSE. They start Y9 learning about cells and organisms, this then moves through energy and electricity and then to atoms and carries on alternating through Biology, Chemistry and Physics to cover around 8-9 units per year.
What type of homework will be set?
It is expected that all students work independently at home. Students should revisit the work they complete in class as soon as possible, we ensure all students have a revision guide and this is the best place to start. Primarily, students are set a “self-quizzing” task from their revision guides, directed by teachers in class each week. This consists of students focusing on their recall of information from lessons attended throughout the week to improve their outcomes and make independent learning a priority. They have separate books in order to do this and can take it home to show or even test parents/siblings/carers. By revisiting the topic independently they will ensure they retain the knowledge. It is their responsibility to do this and speak to their teacher if they need any topic explaining again.
GCSE science students may also be set examination questions or other homework if it is more suitable at the time. They will then meet it again in the next class and complete a homework activity.
How will students be assessed in Science?
Throughout the units, students complete a “Quick 6” activity to improve recall – often based on self-quizzing for that week and misconceptions from lessons. Students will also be given “Stop the Clock” activities in order to check progress and intervene leading up to their end of unit tests. All units have assessments at the end and it is expected that students prepare for these assessments as they would external examinations. These unit tests are analysed using spreadsheets and teachers will then assess what level of intervention or challenge each child needs. There is an end of year test from Y9-11 held in the main exam hall. This will be on all topics covered that year and is aimed at being preparation for the GCSE exams; the sets for each year are influenced by these end of unit tests and end of year exams.
How parents support their child’s learning at home?
Ensure students complete their weekly homework and encourage them to use the following places for consolidating work covered in class:
• BBC bitesize - http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/ocr_gateway/
• AQA Website – student support - http://www.aqa.org.uk/student-support
• Revision Guide - Purchase from your teacher or Mrs Thomas, the cost is £5. This books lasts until Y11 and is basic equipment for every Science lesson
• Each student from September 2017 will have a login for Kerboodle which is to access resources, practice questions and challenge activities to help understanding and revision in Science https://www.kerboodle.com/users/login
• Parents can insist on checking students’ self-quizzing books as well as engaging students in their questions – it’s never too late to learn Science!
• Support the communication with the Science department by ensuring any changes in mobile telephone numbers are communicated with school as a lot of information - assessment dates etc. are sent through Groupcall text messages so you will know a week before your child’s tests
What can students move onto with Science?
Good science GCSE results open many doors for students. A science pathway through 6th form and university will almost certainly lead to many opportunities and careers in the science sector. Skilled STEM students are in demand and currently lots of these positions are filled by employees from abroad as we have a skills shortage.
Most 6th form colleges require two GCSE passes at grade B or above to study A level science. This can be achieved in either the double award course or the triple course. If a student does not achieve the B grades, some 6th form colleges may accept a C with other strong GCSE results e.g. Maths. They may also go on to study science at level 3 on a more vocational course such as a BTEC.