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KS4 Separate Sciences

What are the aims of the course?

The aims of GSCE Separate Sciences are to

● develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics

● develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, through different

types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world

around them

● develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and

problem-solving skills

● develop their ability to evaluate claims based on science through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

What topics will separate students study?

The course is divided up into the 3 Science disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  There is a separate GCSE awarded for each of the disciplines, so each pupil will have three separate grades.

There are a total of 9 Biology topics - Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology, Topic 2 – Cells and control Topic 3 – Genetics, Topic 4 – Natural selection and genetic modification, Topic 5 – Health, disease and the development of medicines Topic 6 – Plant structures and their functions, Topic 7 – Animal coordination, control and homeostasis, Topic 8 – Exchange and transport in animals, Topic 9 – Ecosystems and material cycles.

There are a total of 9 Chemistry topics - Topic 1 – Key concepts in chemistry,  Topic 2 – States of matter and mixtures, Topic 3 – Chemical changes Topic 4 – Extracting metals and equilibria, Topic 5 – Separate chemistry 1 , Topic 6 – Groups in the periodic table, Topic 7 – Rates of reaction and energy changes, Topic 8 – Fuels and earth science, Topic 9 – Separate chemistry 2, There are a total of 15 Physics topics - Topic 1 – Motion, Topic 2 – Motion and forces, Topic 3 – Conservation of energy, Topic 4 – Waves, Topic 5 – Light and the electromagnetic spectrum, Topic 6 – Radioactivity, Topic 7 – Astronomy, Topic 8 – Energy - Forces doing work, Topic 9 – Forces and their effects, Topic 10 – Electricity and circuits, Topic 11 – Static electricity, Topic 12 – Magnetism and the motor effect, Topic 13 – Electromagnetic induction, Topic 14 – Particle model, Topic 15 – Forces and matter

What skills will be developed?

Science focusses heavily on literacy skills to extract information from text, describe patterns, explain phenomena and evaluate the impact of Science in our everyday lives. It also utilises numeracy skills in completing calculations and presenting and analysing data in various forms.

In addition the thinking scientifically skills develop analytical problem solving, critical thinking and experimental skills.

What examinations will be taken?

Two, 1 hour 45 minute exams for each discipline: 2 Biology, 2 Chemistry and 2 Physics. Each exam has 100 marks and is worth 50% of the final grade.

What is involved with the examination?

Paper 1 – Biology topics 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Paper 4 – Chemistry topics 1, 6, 7, 8 and 9

Paper 2 – Biology topics 1, 6, 7, 8 and 9

Paper 5 – Physics topics 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7

Paper 3 – Chemistry topics 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Paper 6 – Physics topics 1, 8, 9, 10, 12. 13, 14 and 15


What coursework will students complete?

There is no coursework but a series of core practical activities that could be examined to assess thinking scientifically skills.

What independent study will have to be undertaken?

Use of GCSEPod and Khan Academy videos (YouTube) as well as GCSE Bitesize and Pearson Active Learn to supplement in class learning.  Separates students will undertake more independent study activities than combined science students due to the volume of content within the course – this should be a consideration when deciding whether to choose separate science as an option subject.

What career opportunities could the course help to give?

A Science qualification is essential for many jobs but the skills involved open up a world of possibilities. Any career in scientific research, any career in the medical or veterinary fields, animal management, geology, agriculture, meteorology, engineering in all its many forms and maybe some surprising ones like finance, publishing, sound and lighting technicians and pilot.

What revision books are recommended?

The Light Hall science Department consider the revision guides published by CGP to be the most relevant and user-friendly revision guides.  Details can be found at: and the books can also be purchased on this site, however opportunities will be provided for pupils to purchase these books through the school at a discounted cost.