Why is studying science important?

Understanding the world around you

Developing skills

Recognised by employers

Key stage 3
We want students at Isca Academy to to experience a broad and interesting Science curriculum which will enthuse them about the subject while preparing them for the demands of the GCSE science courses. Topics are taught in groups of three; one biology, one chemistry and one physics. There are two types of assessment used per group of three topics; one is a summative assessment and the other an assessment of practical skills. 

GCSE courses
Edexcel 9-1 Combined Science
Combined Science is suitable for all pupils regardless of their intended progression pathway. The combined course covers a wide range of Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics but has slightly less content to learn compared to the separate science GCSEs.  
At the end of  year 11 there will be six examinations each lasting 1 hour 10 minutes. 

Edexcel 9-1 Biology, Chemistry and Physics (separate sciences) 
The Separate Sciences are intended for students with a strong interest and ability in science. It is a demanding course so it is vital that pupils can manage their own time effectively and work independently in order to be successful. It is not an option subject — students will be selected for separate sciences by the science staff based on their progress though key stage 3, attitude to learning and enthusiasm for the subject outside of the classroom.  
At the end of year 11 there will be six examinations each lasting 1 hour 45 minutes.

Q: Is science an optional subject?
A: No, all pupils at Isca Academy will study either combined science or separate sciences.

Q: I want to be a vet/doctor, which course should I study? 
A: Either course is suitable for progression on to study medicine or veterinary science. What is important is that you get the highest possible grades, not which course you study. 

Q: Who will be my teacher? 
A: The teachers are not allocated to classes until the end of the summer term

Q: How can I be selected for separate sciences?
A: The science staff will look at all your results from the end of topic tests from year 7 and 8 and the results of the end of year 8 examination. Students who consistently achieve the highest marks will be  identified. We will then discuss your attitude and enthusiasm for science. Finally we will consult you and your parents on whether you would like to take separate sciences. 

Q: Do I have to take separate sciences if I am selected?
A: No, pupils will not have to take separate sciences even if they are identified as being suitable although we may recommend the course to you.

Q: Can I study Biology, Chemistry or Physics and not all three?
A: No, the only routes are all three separate science subjects or combined science.

Q: Can I move courses once I start GCSE?
A: It is possible to move from separate sciences to combined science quite easily however it is not so easy to move from combined science to separate sciences because of the extra content which you will have missed. If a student is making less than expected progress in separate sciences we will discuss with the student and their parents / carers what the most appropriate course is for them, which may lead to students moving from separate science to combined science. It is possible that this move could happen at any time throughout year 9, 10 or 11.

If you would like to discuss the science GCSE pathways in more detail please e mail Rachael Brown (Head of Science) at 

Useful link for KS3 

Useful links for GCSE



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