The Separate Sciences course is comprised of three separate GCSEs form AQA that are assessed individually although students must study all three. They are either assessed in the year of teaching or at the end of Year 11 depending on whether the student is ready to sit the external examinations. The specification is designed to help students understand how to formulate a scientific approach to understanding and explaining the world and solving problems. This means that the ‘How Science Works’ approach is integrated throughout the specification.
AQA Biology (4401) gives students the chance to gain a good understanding of human biology, organisms, evolution and the environment.
The course helps put Biology in the context of students’ everyday lives with topics ranging from ‘Keeping healthy’ to ‘Humans and their environment’. The specification is based on a series of topics related to the living world and relevant to students. It is designed to help them understand how Science can be used to explain the world in which they live and the impact humans have.
AQA Chemistry (4402) gives students the opportunity to gain a good understanding of:
- the nature of substances and how they react together
- how Chemistry is used in business and industry
- how our use of raw materials in fuels and manufacturing can affect the global and local environment.
AQA Physics (4403) offers students the chance to gain a good understanding of:
- the use and transfer of energy
- waves, radiation and space
- the application of Physics.
Students are likely to be engaged by the aspects of the specification that they can relate to their everyday life such as the efficiency of electrical appliances and braking distances as well as larger concepts like nuclear fission and fusion and evidence of the Big Bang. It is normally taught and assessed in Year 10. The specification is designed to give students the tools and concepts they need to be able to construct a scientific approach to solving problems.