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Woodbrook Vale School

Woodbrook Vale School

Woodbrook Vale


Science is taught in a ‘hands-on’ way here at Woodbrook Vale – so you’ll get the chance to have a go at lots of practical experimentation. We talk about how these are relevant to the real world, and discuss important scientific theories.

The study of Science at Woodbrook Vale covers a broad range of exciting and innovative topics. Practical experience is linked with scientific ideas, and you will be encouraged to think critically and creatively. You will explore how Science influences our everyday lives – from the improvements in technologies, medicines and industries through to the environmental, historical and cultural impacts of scientific discoveries.


In Biology we study life in all its grandeur. From the very small algae to the very large elephant, life has a certain wonder about it. With that in mind, how do we know if something is living? Is a virus alive or dead? What are the characteristics of life? These are all very important questions with equally important answers.


Chemistry deals with the building blocks of the world around us, from sub-atomic particles to massive man-made structures.  In Chemistry we learn how the universe fits together and best of all to improve our practical skills we get the chance to melt it, burn it, and explode it!


The aim of Physics is to study nature at its most fundamental level, to discover and apply the general laws that govern force and motion, matter and energy, space and time. Physics can be as concrete as the stresses in a bridge or as abstract as the curved spacetime near a black hole. It studies systems ranging in size from the smallest elementary particles to the entire universe. Physics lies at the heart of the natural sciences.


At GCSE students take Double Science (a combined Science course) or choose to take Triple Science (a seperate sciences course).   Students will take some common modules, with the more in depth modules being reserved for the separate sciences.  Some students will also have the opportunity to take a Science BTEC course.

Combined Science

Science is the study of the universe and everything in it. The combined science course develops skills needed to examine and evaluate scientific theories. The course is hands on with experiments being used so that students
discover, experience and learn what makes the world tick.

Summary of the topics you will cover:

The combined science course comprises two GCSEs: Science A and Additional Science. Both GCSEs have Chemistry, Biology and Physics elements.

Biology Includes:

  • Human biology; health, the development of medicine and drugs, the role of enzymes in body and respiration.
  • Evolutional biology which looks at how adaptation in a species allows for survival of the fittest.
  • Modern developments in biology:including genetic engineering and cloning.
  • Plant life and ecology.

Chemistry includes:

  • Fundamentals in chemistry: atomic structure, the periodic table, bonding and chemical formulae.
  • The chemistry of construction: metals and the useful products of rocks.
  • The chemistry of oil which deals with everything from fuels to plastics.
  • Environmental chemistry, which looks at the impact of human endeavor.
  • Analytical chemistry.
  • Factors which affect the rate of a reaction.
  • Salts and electrochemistry.

Physics includes:

  • Energy transfers and how energy is used.
  • Generation, production and use of electricity.
  • Waves, radiation and the use of lenses.
  • Motion including velocity and acceleration.
  • Forces.
  • Radioactivity and nuclear physics.

Do I have to choose science at GCSE?

Science is a core subject. You have the option to choose Separate Sciences which adds a third
science GCSE.

Teaching strategies

Combined Science will be taught by specialists in Chemistry, Biology and Physics. Both theory and practical work will be undertaken.


Combined Science is 2 GCSEs. Assessment is 100% exam based. Students will be expected to complete 16 required practicals during the course. They must understand these fully as questions about them will be in the exam.

Seperate Sciences

The Separate Sciences course further develops the skills needed to examine and evaluate scientific theories. Like Combined Science the course is hands-on. Separate Sciences gives additional time so pupils delve deeper into key ideas that fascinate us all.

Summary of the topics you will cover:

The Separate Sciences course comprises 3 GCSEs: Chemistry, Biology and Physics. Pupils follow the same Science A and Additional Science modules as pupils on the Combined Science course. Further material for Separate Sciences is summarized below:

Further Biology:

  • How humans can affect the environment.
  • Transport of substances in animals and plants.
  • Homeostasis: how the body maintains internal conditions.
  • Further modern developments in health care and biology.

Further Chemistry:

  • Understanding the origins and use of the periodic table.
  • The water we drink
  • Endothermic and exothermic reactions.
  • Identifying and analyzing substances.
  • Organic Chemistry

Further Physics:

  • Medical applications of physics.
  • Using physics to make things work.
  • Using magnetic fields to keep things moving.

Can I choose to take Separate Sciences at GCSE?

The Separate Sciences course is designed for more able learners. If you have a passion for science, and have attained a secure level 6 at KS3 you can choose to take Separate Sciences.

Teaching strategies

Separate Sciences will be taught by specialists in Chemistry, Biology and Physics. Both theory and practical work will be undertaken.


Chemistry, Biology and Physics GCSEs are 100% exam based. Students will be expected to carry out a number of required experiments, questions about these will form part of the exam.

Beyond GCSE

GCSE science is an entry requirement for many further educational courses. If you want to do
A-level science you will need at least a grade 6 in GCSE combined science.

Please speak to your science teacher if you have any questions.

To enhance the curriculum and support more able learners we work closely with our partners at Loughborough University to provide excellent science enrichment opportunities. We offer a fantastic Year 7 Science Club. Students are invited to join us to design and build rockets, write their names in fire, build and race their own hot air balloons and be dazzled by experiments that cannot fail to inspire.

Whether you have a longing for a career in Science, or just have questions about the world around you, we hope to enthuse you with a life long passion for Science.