Combined Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics

Years 10-11

Introduction and Overview

GCSE study in the sciences provides the foundation for understanding the material world. Scientific understanding is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. All students should learn essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. They should gain appreciation of how the complex and perse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas that relate to the sciences and that are both inter-linked and of universal application.

Combined science is a two year, two GCSE course comprising of topics from biology, chemistry and physics.  This is the course followed by all students unless opting for the three separate sciences.  The course includes a core of 18 compulsory practicals and is examined through six equally weighted 70 minute papers.

The separate science route is an option that comprises, biology, chemistry and physics. Each GCSE has the same content as combined science with additional practical lessons and units of content.  Opting for the separate sciences will mean a 50% increase in the amount of science on your timetable than if you studied combined science.  Each GCSE is examined through 2 equally weighted papers of 110 minutes each (therefore 6 in total).  There are also 24 compulsory practicals.

All science GCSEs follow the Pearson Edexcel specification; we also subscribe to the Active Learn resources including in-class use of the accompanying text book. 

How to support your child

We are sure that you already do many of these things to support your child but here is a useful reminder for you to refer to:

  • Encourage wider reading
  • Ask them what they have learnt today
  • Help them to structure revision for tests and assessments
  • Make good use of BBC Bitesize
  • Buy the course specific revision guides

Web Links

Additional Reading

  • Edexcel GCSE 9-1 Combined Science/Biology/Chemistry/Physics by Mark Levesley
  • The Disappearing Spoon - Sam Kean: The human history of every element
  • A short history of nearly everything, Bill Bryson