KS4 Combined Science (Trilogy) & Separate Award Sciences

At New Mills School science education is both broad in its range of topics and deep in its level of detail. Students learn about fundamental scientific principles and concepts that begin to explain the world around them. We provide ‘real world’ examples to anchor and develop the ideas so that our young people can take part in ongoing national and international debates which surround scientific discoveries. We engage the students through amazing demonstrations and practical investigations, and provide many opportunities to go beyond the curriculum and enrich understanding. This includes several chances to take part in local and national competitions.

Many students choose to study one or more science subjects to A-level and beyond, utilising the strong foundations the KS3 and KS4 science has provided. Students who do so have access to the numerous university courses and career options which hold the sciences in high regard due the high cognitive demand and the skills developed within the subjects.

KS4 Information

Combined science students have 5 lessons of science per week. Each class will start with one of the three specialisms and stay with that teacher for a block of time. At a fixed date the classes rotate for their second specialism to a different teacher and so on through the year. Students are assessed through 6 exams (2 in each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics). In these examinations they will also be tested on the 8 required practicals they will have carried in each subject during the two year period of study. Students earn 2 GCSEs based on their performance across these.

Assessment objectives
The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:40%
1) scientific ideas
2) scientific techniques and procedures.

AO2:Apply knowledge and understanding of:40%
1) scientific ideas
2) scientific enquiry, techniques and procedures.

AO3: Analyse information and ideas to:20%
1a) interpret
1b) evaluate
2a) make judgements
2b) draw conclusions
3a) develop experimental procedures
3b) improve experimental procedures.

The triple science students will take 3 exams in each separate science subject and be awarded three separate and independent GCSE grades.


We use the AQA suite of science qualifications, specifically the combined science option (Trilogy http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/combined-science-trilogy-8464), alongside the separate science options :-


Students are set paper based HW or online assessments, on average, once a week.

In previous years we have run a trip to science live in Manchester to listen to lectures taken by eminent scientists including Professor Robert Winston, Professor Jim Al-Klalili and Professor Alice Roberts.

Every year we send students to the residential Salters chemistry camps at a number of different universities to become involved in exciting chemistry that is not possible in the school environment.

As opportunities arise visits and speakers will be arranged to enrich the curriculum.