Science at Isca Academy allows all pupils to build on data and observations, make informed decisions and be able to ask valid questions leading to a love for and understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

Developing skills in;

  • Planning
  • Risk assessing
  • Analysing
  • Evaluating
  • Concluding
  • Communicating

5 year curriculum overview

GCSE courses
Edexcel 9-1 Combined Science
Combined Science is suitable for all pupils regardless of their intended progression pathway. The Combined Science course covers a wide range of Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics while it has slightly less content to learn compared to the Separate Science GCSEs it is still possible to achieve up to a grade 9.  
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 and attainment throughout year 7- 9 and their behaviour, effort and homework.
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 and can change from year to year.

Q: How can I be selected for Separate Sciences?
A: The science staff will look at all your results from the end of cycle assessments from year 7 and 8 and the results of the end of year examinations. Students who consistently achieve the highest marks will be identified and put into a year 9 class with the potential to study Separate Sciences. We will continue to monitor progress throughout year 9 and make a decision on who should and shouldn’t continue with Separate Sciences into year 10. We will also take into account your behaviour, effort and homework grades from your reports. Finally we will check with you whether you are happy to take the Separate Science course.

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 Jordan (Head of Science) at 

Useful link for year 7 and 8
BBC Bitesize Science

Useful links for year 9, 10 and 11

BBC Bitesize Science

Edexcel GCSE 9-1 Combined Science specifications and past papers are available from

YouTube channels

Revision guides

Students and their parents / carers may wish to purchase revision guides from year 9 onwards to help with homework and revision. As final classes aren’t decided until the start of year 10 it may mean that revision guides purchased in year 9 need to be exchanged.

Revision guides can borrowed from the library or purchased through the school reception. For Combined Science these are £4.50 each and for Separate Sciences students need three revision guides costing £2.50 each. Students should ask their class teacher if they are unsure which book/s to buy.

If your child is in receipt of the Pupil Premium funding they are entitled to a copy of the appropriate book/s without charge. Please contact