Year 9 Curriculum - Science

Syllabus: Science                                                                                         Exam Board: AQA


From September of Year 9 all students will study the GCSE syllabus for Science. The government requirement is that all students study a minimum of two Science GCSEs; At Brookfield this can be achieved through the Combined Science route (worth two GCSEs) or the Separate Science route (worth three Separate GCSEs). Each of these courses include the study of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

During year 9 we will monitor the progress of all students using teacher assessment and formative GCSE exam questions. During the options process in year 9 the science department will make a recommendation for the most appropriate pathway for each student to follow to enable the best outcome at GCSE.

Selected students will receive an invitation to use the Separate Science option. The Separate Science pathway will result in 3 separate GCSEs, one in each of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. The separate science pathway is well suited to students who are considering studying one of the Sciences at college, and/or aspire to a science-based career because students will learn more of the subjects, at greater depth and therefore requires the additional curriculum time.

Those who do not take the Separate Science pathway will follow the Combined Science pathway, along with the majority of students nationally, will achieve a combined science grade which is 2 GCSEs. The Combined Science qualification still includes Biology, Chemistry and Physics in equal amounts.  Each of these courses will then continue into years 10 and 11.

The exams for each of these courses will be at the end of Year 11. These examinations will also include assessment of practical Science skills and Maths skills through the Science specific subject content that has been studied.

In year 9 all students will study the same topics, including.

  • Biology topics - Cell Biology and Cell organisation
  • Chemistry topics - Atomic Structure and Atomic Bonding
  • Physics topics - Energy and Electricity.

Following each individual topic Biology, Chemistry or Physics students will complete a small assessment that inform students’ progress and OTFGs. The assessments will be based on past GCSE questions.


Final Examinations – Combined Science (two GCSEs)

  • Total of six exams at the end of Year 11; two for Biology, two for Chemistry and two for Physics.
  • Each exam is worth 70 marks, lasting for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • 15% of the paper will be based on practical skills.


Final Examinations – Separate Science (three Separate GCSEs Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

  • Total of six exams at the end of Year 11; two for Biology, two for Chemistry and two for Physics.
  • Each exam is worth 100 marks, lasting for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  • 15% of each paper will be based on practical skills.


We recommend that students purchase the recommended revision guides at the beginning of Year 10 once their GCSE pathway (Combined or Separate Science) has been confirmed following Year 9.


 Enquiries to:

  • Mrs A Hunter – Learning Leader: Science