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GCSE Combined Science (2 GCSEs)

Mathematics - Year 7

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Below you will find more specific information about the curriculum in Combined Science for students who have chosen this GCSE Science option, explaining to you what students will learn, when, why and how. There is also information about how parents/carers are able to support students in their learning, extra-curricular opportunities in this subject and how it links to other subjects and the wider world.

Subject Key Concepts                 













Please click here for Subject Key Concepts.

Curriculum Overview for the Year

YEAR 10 Topic / Specific Knowledge Specific Skills
Autumn Biology
Microscopy revisited
Circulatory system
Human digestive system.
Required practical on onion cells, recap of magnification and resolution. Magnification calculations and microscope drawing.  Analysis of data. Organ dissection, biochemical tests and investigations into the factors affecting enzyme activity.
Structure and Bonding chapter 2
Nanoparticles (sep. sci.)
Organic chemistry chapter 7
Applying rules and principles to new situations. Considering why materials have the properties and therefore the uses that they do, and how this transfers into everyday life. Using data to draw conclusions. Representing molecules in 2D and 3D form. Orders of Magnitude. Appreciation of development and design in Science. How the Chemical Industry impacts on life and use of natural resources.
Atomic Structure,
Development of scientific theories
Radioactive decay - properties and decay equations
Use and dangers of radioactivity
Half life
Contamination and irradiation
Appreciation of the development of scientific theories
Problem solving
Spring Biology
Plant organs and tissues
Investigating osmosis in plant tissues, use of microscopes, making observations, biological drawing, magnification calculations. Calculations of stomatal density.
Organic chemistry chapter 7
Polymers and Industrial Organic Chemistry (sep.sci.) Chemistry of the atmosphere chapter 9
How the Chemical Industry impacts on life and use of natural resources. Practical Chemistry skills - following instructions, making predictions, making and recording observations. Impact and importance of environmental chemistry and science and its relevance in sustainability.
Electric circuits - series and parallel
Measuring PD and current
Resistance - I-V graphs
Thermistors and LDRs
Calculations - substituting and rearranging (VESRAU)
Manipulating equations (algebra)
Making accurate observations
Drawing graphs
Summer Biology
Ecology continued including the use of sampling techniques. Photosynthesis
Ecology required practical; random and systematic sampling methods, drawing graphs. Investigations into the factors affecting the rate of photosynthesis. Collecting and analysing data, drawing graphs and making conclusions.
Energy changes Chapter 5
Rates of reaction chapter 6
Maths skills - plotting line graphs. Division, Drawing tangents; Following written instructions. Data analysis and interpretation. Literacy - Writing a method. Application of relevant maths skills in a Chemistry context. 
Forces - names of forces
Contact & non-contact
Scalars & vectors
Resultant forces
Hooke's Law
Motion graphs
Newton's Laws
Making accurate observations
Interpreting graphs
Calculations - substituting and rearranging (VESRAU)
YEAR 11    
Autumn Biology
Recap of photosynthesis
Cell division
Nervous system and homeostasis.
Investigating the respiration rate of yeast; making observations, analysing data and drawing conclusions. Investigating factors that affect reaction time in humans; identifying control variables and ensuring that data is valid, analysing data and drawing conclusions.
Rates of Reaction chapter 6
Quantitative chemistry chapter 3
Maths skills - plotting line graphs. Division, Drawing tangents; Following written instructions. Data analysis and interpretation. Literacy - Writing a method. Application of relevant maths skills in a Chemistry context. 
Wave properties
Wave equation
Electromagnetic Spectrum - uses and dangers
Infra-red radiation
Reflection & refraction
Observing and measuring waves
Standard form
Rearranging equations
Spring Biology
Hormonal control in humans
Reproduction, variation and evolution
Genetics and evolution.
Analysing and interpreting graphs showing the effects of hormones on humans. Evaluating the evidence for evolution from investigations and data. Calculating probability as part of the genetics topic.
Chemical analysis chapter 8
Using resources chapter 10
Data analysis and interpretation. Following instructions. Making observations and recording them accurately. Significant figures. Analysing and interpreting sources of information and questioning their reliability.
Magnetic fields
The motor effect
Exam technique
Command words
6 mark questions
Summer Biology
Exam prep
Fine tuning exam technique
Exam prep
Fine tuning exam technique
Exam prep
Fine tuning exam technique

Useful documents:

Please click here for a PDF of curriculum overview Year 10.
Please click here for a PDF of curriculum overview Year 11.

While this information covers a broad range of areas, please do get in touch with the Subject Leader Mr Grove if you have any questions.

Please click on the questions below to find out more.

Which exam board will students be examined by?


How are groups organised?

The classes are organised into ability-based sets (4 sets in one half of the year group, 5 in the other half)

What characteristics does a successful student have in this subject?

Successful students are able to commit to learning and constantly revisiting factual content that they are then eager to apply to new situations. Students should enjoy working practically but should also be enthusiastic towards their learning about the world around them.

How will students learn at this level?

In a variety of ways: reading ahead / research / self-discovery, class discussion, teacher explanation, educational videos, teacher demonstration, class practical, self-evaluation and target setting.

How will students’ learning be assessed at this level?

Student will have two exams in each science.

Each exam is 1 hour 15 minutes in duration.

Questions will be a mixture of multiple-choice, structured, closed short answer and open response.

When do key assessments take place?

External exams take place in the summer of Year 11.

How can parents/carers support students’ learning?

  • Support your child to bring the correct equipment to lessons, including a scientific calculator.
  • Ensure your child has access to the appropriate revision guides.
  • Test your child’s knowledge of key facts. Engage them in conversation about what they have learnt and how it relates to the real world.

What equipment do students need for this subject?

Essential school equipment, especially a scientific calculator.

Students also need to bring their textbook to lessons (these are provided by the school).

How does this subject link to other subjects?

  • Very high mathematical content – see specification for exact skills required.
  • High levels of literacy are required to read, understand and answer questions.
  • Environmental issues relate to work covered in geography.

What websites or resources may be helpful to support students’ learning?






What extra-curricular or enrichment opportunities are available for students in this subject at this level?

Helping out in Science club.

Invitation to Physics and Chemistry Olympiad lunch time sessions.

Many opportunities during Science week in March.

What sort of careers can this subject lead to?

The skills you will develop studying Science can be transferred to any career but the following careers are strongly linked to Science:

Medical professions, engineering, forensics, research science, sports science, sports psychology etc

What does student work look like in this subject at this level?


How does this subject support a broad and balanced curriculum, meeting the needs of all students, and developing traditional core skills?

  • Scientific ideas are taught in context with examples of how content fits in to everyday life. 
  • Foundation and Higher Tiers sat
  • All required practical activities are carried out across Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  Implicit practical skills are taught as part of the course with practical work being a regular component of lessons.

How does this subject promote creativity, critical thinking, practice, perseverance and resilience, and making links?

  • Designing own practical’s.
  • Students encouraged to pick out patterns in data and analyse and evaluate practical methods.
  • Regular exam question practice and feedback, especially higher level skills.  Students encouraged to produce revision materials for ongoing use.

How does this subject encourage enrichment and the development of cultural capital, deep learning, and inclusivity?

Exam prep session

Use of assessed tasks and DIRT and extensive task.