Leeds East Academy


Year 9 Options Process - Combined Science





Science is everything –from how you have ended up here, to the rain falling in the Amazon Rainforest. We encourage the learning of science not as a set of independent, stand-alone facts, but as a means of understanding and engaging with ourselves, the natural world and our impact upon the planet. Science at Leeds East Academy is taught through real-life, exciting contexts. We know our students, their life experiences and backgrounds and seek help for students to explain themselves, the natural world and their own impact upon the planet. We inspire students by exposing them to the newest technologies, by linking our teaching to the amazing careers available in the field of STEM and by giving students the opportunity to learn about the greatest scientists of our time, from Edward Jenner’s invention of the vaccine to the work Rosalind Franklin did in discovering the double helix. 

Students will study the sciences in ways that help them to develop curiosity about the natural world, that give them an insight into how science works and that enable them to appreciate its relevance to their everyday lives. The scope and nature of the study should be broad, coherent, practical and satisfying. It should encourage students to be inspired, motivated and challenged by the subject and its achievements. 

Course Details

At GCSE, Combined Science will enable students to:  

  • Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
  • Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
  • Develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem-solving skills in the laboratory, in the field and in other learning environments.
  • Develop their ability to evaluate claims based on science through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively. 

The key ideas specific to the Combined Science content include:  

  • Biology

Students are taught core ideas such as cells and organisation in humans and other organisms; how to look after their own bodies including nutrition, the effects of drugs and disease; how to look after our local environment and the planet on a wider scale.

  • Chemistry

Students learn about the fundamentals of Chemistry: students learn about atoms as a building block of matter; properties of materials including future materials; about fuels and the impact of these on the Earth.

  • Physics

Students learn about the physical processes underpinning the universe: students learn about Newton’s laws and motion; gravity and other forces and how they cause objects to interact; the sun as a source of all energy on Earth and how we can harness and transfer the energy to make it useful.

  • Practical Work

Students will complete 18 mandatory core practical’s within the course. Students will need to use their knowledge and understanding of these practical techniques and procedures in the written assessments.

Note: Triple Science can be offered at the discretion of the Vice Principal - Quality of Education and Curriculum Leader

Progression beyond GCSE


Following the Combined Science GCSE course you will be able to progress onto the following courses at Sixth Form or College. 

A Levels: 

  • Biology 
  • Chemistry 
  • Physics 

College courses: 

  • Applied Science 
  • Health and Social Care 
  • Sports Science 
  • Vehicle Maintenance 
  • Electrician 
  • Fitness Instructing  
  • Animal Care  

Where will the course take you? 


  • Forensic Science 
  • Pharmaceuticals 
  • Nursing 
  • Midwifery  
  • Aerospace and Defence 
  • Telecommunications 
  • Engineering 
  • Biochemistry  
  • Endocrinology 
  • Botany  
  • Zoology 
  • Science Teacher 
  • Sports Scientist 

Over the past two years, two students from Leeds East Academy have achieved grade 9’s in Science and have gone onto study science based topics at The Grammar School at Leeds on a scholarship. Something we are extremely proud of.  

Course structure and assessment


  • Exam board. Pearson Edexcel
  • 100% Formal Exam
Paper 1: Biology
  • Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology
  • Topic 2 – Cells and control
  • Topic 3 – Genetics
  • Topic 4 – Natural selection and genetic modification
  • Topic 5 – Health, disease and the development of medicines.


16.67% of final grade.

Paper 2: Biology
  • Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology
  • Topic 6 – Plant structures and their functions
  • Topic 7 – Animal coordination, control and homeostasis
  • Topic 8 – Exchange and transport in animals
  • Topic 9 – Ecosystems and material cycles


16.67% of final grade.

Paper 3: Chemistry
  • Topic 1 – Key concepts in chemistry
  • Topic 2 – States of matter and mixtures
  • Topic 3 – Chemical changes
  • Topic 4 – Extracting metals and equilibria


16.67% of final grade.

Paper 4: Chemistry
  • Topic 1 – Key concepts in chemistry
  • Topic 6 – Groups in the periodic table
  • Topic 7 – Rates of reaction and energy changes
  • Topic 8 – Fuels and Earth science


16.67% of final grade.
Paper 5: Physics
  • Topic 1 – Key concepts of physics
  • Topic 2 – Motion and forces
  • Topic 3 – Conservation of energy
  • Topic 4 – Waves
  • Topic 5 – Light and the electromagnetic spectrum
  • Topic 6 – Radioactivity


16.67% of final grade.

Paper 6: Physics
  • Topic 1 – Key concepts of physics
  • Topic 8 – Energy - Forces doing work
  • Topic 9 – Forces and their effects
  • Topic 10 – Electricity and circuits
  • Topic 12 – Magnetism and the motor effect
  • Topic 13 – Electromagnetic induction
  • Topic 14 – Particle model
  • Topic 15 – Forces and matter


16.67% of final grade.

  • Tiering. Higher and Foundation.
  • Grading: Higher 9-9 to 4-3. Foundation 55 to 1-1
  • Combined Science allows students to achieve two GCSE’s on completion of the course.

Student work

Further information