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GCSE Science

Examining Board
We follow the AQA syllabus in Science.  At KS4, your daughter will study either GCSE Science Trilogy (previously known as ‘double science’) or GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics (known as ‘triple science’).

All the GCSE courses have the same basic structure which is comprised of 100% terminal examination and required practicals that will be examined in the written papers.

All qualifications will be linear meaning that students will sit their examinations at the end of courses.

Written assessments
All written assessments will consist of multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions.  All papers will assess knowledge and understanding from a distinct topic area.

Working Scientifically and Practical Assessment
All Science courses include investigating, observing, experimenting, testing out and thinking about ideas.  They also include required practicals that must be carried out by all students with a record that they have done this.  Questions in the written assessment will relate to these practicals.  Here at Newstead we will include many more practical exercises that will enhance student learning.

GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy (8464)
This replaces the current Double Award.  All three sciences are studied and cover topics in the single science suite.  There are six papers: two biology, two chemistry and two physics.  This is equivalent to two GCSEs.

Biology Paper 1 - What's assessed?

Biology topics 1–4: Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and response; and Bioenergetics.

Biology Paper 2 - What's assessed? 

Biology topics 5–7: Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution; and Ecology.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Foundation and Higher Tier
  • 70 marks each paper
  • 16.7% of GCSE each paper

Chemistry Paper 1 - What's assessed?

Chemistry topics 8-12: Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry; Chemical changes; and Energy changes.

Chemistry Paper 2 - What's assessed?

Chemistry topics 13-17: The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical analysis; Chemistry of the atmosphere; and Using resources.

 

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Foundation and Higher Tier
  • 70 marks each paper
  • 16.7% of GCSE each paper

 

Physics Paper 1 - What's assessed?

Physics topics 18-21: Energy; Electricity; Particle model of matter; and Atomic structure.

Physics Paper 2 - What's assessed?

Physics topics 22-24: Forces; Waves; and Magnetism and electromagnetism

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Foundation and Higher Tier
  • 70 marks each paper
  • 16.7% of GCSE each paper

Questions on all papers are a mixture of multiple choice, structured, closed short answer, and open response.

Exam Specification

  http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/combined-science-trilogy-8464

Past Papers

  http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/combined-science-trilogy-8464/assessment-resources


GCSE Biology (8461)
Topics will include: cells, mitosis, transport in cells; the digestive system, the circulatory system, plant organs and systems; communicable diseases in plants and humans; photosynthesis and respiration; homeostasis, the nervous system, hormonal communication; reproduction, variation and evolution; classification; interdependence and competition; organization of an ecosystem, and biodiversity.

There are two papers.

Paper 1 - What's assessed?

Topics 1–4: Cell biology; Organisation; Infection and response; and Bioenergetics.

Paper 2 - What's assessed?

Topics 5–7: Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution; and Ecology.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Foundation and Higher Tier
  • 100 marks each paper
  • 50% of GCSE each paper

Questions

  • Multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response.

 

Exam Specification

  www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/biology-8461/

Past Papers

  http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/biology-8461/assessment-resources


GCSE Chemistry (8462)
Topics will include: 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 changes; organic chemistry; chemical analysis; and the chemistry of the atmosphere.

There are two papers.

Paper 1 - What's assessed?

Topics 1–5: Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry, Chemical changes; and Energy changes.

Paper 2 - What's assessed?

Topics 6–10: The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical analysis, Chemistry of the atmosphere; and Using resources.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Foundation and Higher Tier
  • 100 marks each paper
  • 50% of GCSE each paper

Questions

  • Multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response.

Exam Specification

  www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/chemistry-8462/

Past Papers

  http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/chemistry-8462/assessment-resources

 

GCSE Physics (8463)

Topics will include: forces; energy; waves; electricity; magnetism and electromagnetism; the particle model of matter; atomic structure and space physics.

There are two papers:

Paper 1 - What's assessed?

Topics 1-4: Energy; Electricity; Particle model of matter; and Atomic structure.

Paper 2 - What's assessed?

Topics 5-8: Forces; Waves; Magnetism and electromagnetism; and Space physics.

Questions in paper 2 may draw on an understanding of energy changes and transfers due to heating, mechanical and electrical work and the concept of energy conservation from Energy and Electricity.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Foundation and Higher Tier
  • 100 marks each paper
  • 50% of GCSE each paper

Questions

  • Multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response.

Exam Specification

  www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/physics-8463/

Past Papers

  http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/physics-8463/assessment-resources

Students will complete their required practicals as part of their class work and will not be completing them at home.

 

How can you help your daughter with Science?

  • Encourage her to use scientific vocabulary and display key words around the house.
  • Test her regularly on topics covered.
  • Check her homework.
  • Get her to discuss what she has done in science lessons and get her to teach you some science every week.
  • Watch relevant television programmes. Check the TV guide at the weekend and suggest programmes to watch during the week.
  • Discuss scientific articles in the Newspaper. Ask your daughter to suggest reasons, or expand on points raised.

Useful Websites and Books
Moodle contains a wealth of resources to support learning provided by the Science Department. Revision summaries for every topic are there which can be printed, annotated and used to aid learning.

Depending on your daughters interests, magazines such as How it Works, New Scientist or National Geographic are all available which will help broaden your daughters understanding and appreciation of Science.

Past papers, mark schemes and examiners reports should be used as the exams approach as they are one of the best ways to practice exam questions. These are accessible from the AQA website link below:

Recommended Websites

  www.moodle.newsteadwood.bromley.sch.uk
  www.sciencelab.org.uk/resourcezone/sciencea.php 
  www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/ 
  www.s-cool.co.uk/gcse.html 
  www.kerboodle.com/ 


Transition from GCSE to A Level
Although the Trilogy suite does allow transition to study Biology, Chemistry or Physics at A Level, it does mean that in covering less detail, the step from GCSE to A Level is larger.

At Newstead we believe that science is valuable to all students but realise different pupils have different aspirations and therefore offer the two course routes. We aim to engage and challenge all our girls to reach their scientific potential regardless of the route taken; trilogy or separate sciences.

Teachers
Head of Science: Miss L Melvin
Head of Biology: Mr A Mansell
Head of Chemistry: Mr A Begbey
Head of Physics: Miss L Denton

Please email science@newsteadwood.co.uk to contact any member of the science team. 

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