Skip to content ↓
Meadowhead School

Meadowhead SchoolAcademy Trust

Science at KS4

AQA GCSE Combined Science, AQA Separate Sciences GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics

Everyone in Year 9 studies content related to AQA GCSE Science including topics about cells, organisms, the periodic table and energy.

You will do many experiments including investigating speed, chemical reactions and microscopy.

Students start the GCSE Science course in Year 9 and finish it in Year 11. It consists of Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics (Combined Science) or individual subjects (Separate Sciences).

How will I be assessed?

You will sit trial exams at the end of Y9, Y10 and in the November of Y11. The GCSE exams are taken in the Summer of Y11. Students are awarded two or three GCSE grades depending on whether they follow the Combined Science or Separate Sciences pathway.

What skills do I need?

You need to be able to solve problems, make decisions, research, communicate with others, plan experiments, discuss your views, do calculations, compare different ideas and ask questions. Science is an important subject for many jobs such as nursing, midwifery, medicine and engineering.

Where will I find out more information?

Ask any science teacher as we all love science!

Progression to A- level courses in Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

You will need to achieve at least a grade 6 (or equivalent) to take any of these A level courses.

Progression to BTEC Level 3 course in Applied Science.

You will need to achieve at least a grade 5 to take this course.

Most students will do “combined science”. They study chemistry, physics and biology, and they get two GCSEs in science. All the exams are at the end of Year 11, and there are 6 exams. Each exam lasts 1hr 15minutes.

Some students doing “triple” science will study chemistry, physics and biology, and get three separate GCSE grades in these subjects. All the exams are at the end of Year 11, and there are 6 exams. Each exam lasts 1hr 45 minutes.

The GCSEs are graded from 1 (the lowest grade) to 9 (the very best).

Students will sit either the foundation or higher papers.


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


  • 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


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

Science lessons include practicals, but there are also around thirty “required practicals” which students must do as part of the course. These are also assessed in the exams so need special focus. There is no coursework and there are no controlled assessments.