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Course specification - Biology Chemistry Physics

Assessment Details 

Pupils will receive a GCSE for each subject e.g. 7 for Physics, 8 for Biology, 8 for Chemistry  
6 x 1 hour 45 min written examinations (2 Biology, 2 Chemistry and 2 Physics) 
2 tiers of entry – foundation (5-1) and higher (9-4). Tier of entry will be based on their results in Year 10 examination and Year 11 mock examinations in December. This does not depend on which set they are in. 

Course Information 

Taught content: 

There are 6 taught units in Biology and Chemistry and 8 in Physics. 

Exams consist of: 

  • Multiple choice questions 
  • Short answer questions  
  • Gap fill exercises (in foundation tier) 
  • Tick boxes (in foundation tier) 
  • Extended writing questions of 4-8 lines in both tiers 
  • 20% questions will assess mathematics skills in biology, 30% in Chemistry and 40% in Physics 
  • The practical work will also be assessed in the exam 

Practical Skills: 

There are 16 practical skills that are taught over the 2 years, these will be done in class and followed up as homework. 

Steps to Success in GCSE Separate Sciences 

  1. Make sure all experimental work is recorded fully and written up in precise detail. 
  2. Check out the science section of the Bitesize website at or the site
  3. Attend the revision masterclasses in Year 11 on important topics. 
  4. Read the questions carefully in the examination. 
  5. Check the number of marks for each question in the examination – each mark means you have to write one thing. 
  6. “Explain” means write a reason for your answer, ensure you use ‘because’ in your answer. 
  7. Get used to using the periodic table – you will be given one in the examination and you need to be familiar with it.  
  8. Attend the Science Homework Clubs at lunchtimes.  Drop in with questions and problems – they will be solved. 
  9. Be familiar with Science related issues in the news, be informed and be prepared to be critical. Learn to use evidence and form arguments. 
  10. Be an intelligent reviser! Make sure everything on the syllabus is covered. Understand your optimum learning style so you can revise effectively. 

Useful Resources: 

Textbooks provided by school (these must be returned at the end of Year 11 or paid for on parentpay) – log in details given to each pupil 
CGP revision guides available for GCSE