Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 Co-ordinator Mrs M Salmon

The Science department follows the Edexcel Science curriculum, offering GCSEs in Core and Additional Science as well as Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  You can follow the link on the left to the exam board home page where you will find the specification and further information about the course.  There is also a link to the site for downloading past papers.

*NOTE – pupils currently in YEAR 9 are following a different curriculum and will be graded on the 9-1 grading system in 2018.

Course Structure

All pupils have 10 hours of science per fortnight divided between physics, chemistry and biology (3 hours per subject), with one hour per fortnight of practical skills (Y10) or examination skills (year 11).
(Note that current year 11 are a legacy cohort with two classes having 14 hours per fortnight having chosen separate science as an option subject).

Pupils must complete three units and a piece of controlled assessment (equally weighted) for each science GCSE.  Different courses are comprised of different units:

  • CORE SCIENCE: B1, C1, P1 + Core Controlled Assessment
  • ADDITIONAL SCIENCE: B2, C2, P2 + Additional Controlled Assessment
  • BIOLOGY: B1, B2, B3 + Biology Controlled Assessment
  • CHEMISTRY: C1, C2, C3 + Chemistry Controlled Assessment
  • PHYSICS: P1, P2, P3 + Physics Controlled Assessment



Each unit is examined by an hour-long examination at the end of Year 11.  This means that for each GCSE every pupil will sit three separate hours of exams.  The exams may be taken at foundation (grades G-C) and higher (grades E-A*).  The pupil will be consulted when choosing the tier of entry but the final decision will be made by the class teacher.

The exams contain a mixture of multi-choice, short and ling answer questions.  It is recommended that pupils use the past papers on the exam board website to familiarise themselves with the structure and content of the examinations.

Pupils should start revising for these examinations as early as possible.  Effective revision techniques will be taught in science lessons throughout years 10 and 11.


Controlled Assessment

Each piece of controlled assessment is a practical investigation.  All work for the controlled assessment must be completed in school under teacher supervision.  Lesson time will be allocated for the completion of the controlled assessment.  If a pupil is absent or fails to complete the work in the allocated lesson time, they will be invited to controlled assessment catch-up during school holidays to complete it.  In some circumstances where a pupil has not achieved their best in the controlled assessment, an opportunity may be granted for them to complete a second piece in school holidays.  This is at the discretion of the Director of Science.  Controlled assessment windows for school year 2015-16 are as follows:

                  Year 10: April 4th-22nd 2015 (all classes)
                  Year 11: January 5th-22nd 2016 (except triple and fast-track classes)



At Key Stage 4, one homework per fortnight is set for each subject (biology, chemistry and physics).  Additionally in year 11 pupils will receive one past paper per fortnight to complete at home.

Homework can take a variety of formats in science, including but not limited to research, written tasks, design, application of knowledge, learning/revision, skill development, numeracy.


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