Students can study Science at GCSE as a Combined Science Trilogy (Double Award Science) or as separate subjects, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
The trilogy incorporates core material from the separate AQA GCSE Physics, Chemistry and Biology courses. This is an ideal course for aspiring scientists who wish to release time to increase breadth of study as well as for pupils who find science harder or who do not feel that science is likely to be a main focus for them in the Sixth Form. There is a reduction in the amount of material to learn but not the detail that is required.
Less confident pupils may benefit from the availability of foundation level in these exams. The decision about which pupils follow the double award course is made by the science department following summer exams in Year 9, using the accumulated performance data across the whole academic year.
The course is assessed in a linear format by six terminal examinations. This means the papers are sat at the end of Year 11. There are two papers to examine the content of each of the science subjects. The overall grading weights all these papers equally and the double GCSE award will report paired grades on a scale from 1-1 to 9-9. All papers require knowledge of the whole course content and foundation tier entry is available. Strong maths skills are important for high grades.
Studying double award science prepares pupils for entry to IB or A Level courses.