Subject Team

Mr D Spence (Head of Department)

Mrs C Leeper

Dr H Phillips

Department Aims

The Science Department aims to foster a learning environment in which students can develop a good overall knowledge of the subject and be thoroughly prepared for the relevant examinations.  We believe that diligence and enjoyment create a fantastic atmosphere for learning to take place.

Single Award Science is an ideal choice for those who have limited interest in Science and do not intend to study Science at A-level.  It contains some Biology, Chemistry and Physics but not in the same depth as choosing them as separate subjects.  There is also less mathematical content in Single Award Science than in the separate sciences.

Single Award Science can be selected as the compulsory science option instead of one of the separate sciences.

Students who choose Single Award Science cannot study a Science at A-level.

However, the Single Award Science GCSE is recognised by universities that require a full GCSE in Science (e.g. Stranmillis College).

This GCSE is intended for breadth of study rather than depth.

It is sound preparation for further education as you will learn important skills such as working with data, problem solving, investigating methods and drawing conclusions.  However, it does not adequately prepare for the study of Biology, Chemistry or Physics at A-level. 

GCSE

GCSE Single Award Science

Examination Board: CCEA

At Portadown College it is possible to study the following GCSE Science options:

  • Biology (9 periods per fortnight)
  • Chemistry (9 periods per fortnight)
  • Physics (9 periods per fortnight)
  • Single Award Science (9 periods per fortnight)

Students can study one, two or all three of the separate Sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) or study Single Award Science only instead. All students are required to study at least one science option.

Students who are interested in pursuing a career in engineering, science teaching, medicine or a medically related area should choose to study all three of the separate Sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) at GCSE level.  This will ensure that these students will satisfy the university admissions criteria for medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, engineering etc. Prospective students are advised that GCSE Chemistry is required by many universities for ‘non-chemistry’ courses such as Food Science and Dietetics.

Single Award Science can be taken instead of one of the separate sciences above. It is a course incorporating some aspects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics with particular emphasis on applying it to the world around us.  Single Award Science is for students who do not wish to specialise in one particular area of Science, have limited interest in Science and who do not see themselves taking on any Science at A Level.  As it incorporates some Biology, Chemistry and Physics it does not cover some of the more demanding areas from the separate science specifications and would involve less mathematics than the separate science courses. Students will not be able to study Biology, Chemistry or Physics at A Level from a GCSE Single Award Science course, however it is recognised by universities requiring a GCSE in Science.

What will I study and how will I be assessed?

Content Assessment Weighting
Unit 1 Biology External  Examination

(1 hour)

 

25%
Unit 2 Chemistry External Examination

(1 hour)

 

25%
Unit 3 Physics External Examination

(1 hour)

25%
Unit 4 Practical Skills Booklet A (7.5%)

Two externally marked pre-release practicals in Year 12.

 

Booklet B (17.5%)

External written examination on practical work. (1 hour)

25%

Examinations
The examination can be entered at two different tiers:

Higher Tier             Grades A* – D
Foundation Tier     Grades B – G

It is expected that a large majority of students will enter at Higher Tier. 

What can this subject lead to?

This GCSE is intended for breadth of study rather than depth. It provides useful skills for general A Level study such as working with data, problem solving, investigating methods and drawing conclusions.  However, it does not adequately prepare for the study of Biology, Chemistry or Physics at A Level.

Department News / Events

2014 Single Award Science GCSE Results 

A* A*-A A*-B A*-C
Portadown College 29% 71% 95% 100%
Northern Ireland 6% 30% 74% 93%

Portadown College student Sarah Crowe was placed first in Northern Ireland in CCEA Single Award Science in 2014.

sarah crowe science

Educational Visits / Trips

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CEIAG Links

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