Most of my students use Edexcel and so at present that's the new specification I have looked at most.
From September 2016, there have been 4 GCSE qualifications in science that students can take:
GCSE (9-1) Biology, GCSE (9–1) Chemistry , GCSE (9-1) Physics
or GCSE (9-1) Combined Science (Double Award)
Ofqual say that it is expected that all students will either study the three separate sciences or will take Combined Science Double award.
As with all GCSEs now there is now a new 9–1 grading system, replacing A*–G:
- Foundation tier will cover grades 1–5 - Higher tier will cover grades 4-9.
Students Will receive two grades, usually the same for their Combined Science result, e.g. 5,5 or 8,8. Ofqual say that sometimes but rarely two different numbers will be awarded where the result is close between two grades. I take this to mean that 5,6 or 8,7 is possible but 3,6 would not be.
There are no practical assessments in any of the new qualifications.
Mathematics has been 9-1 graded rather than A-G for a few years now and students and parents seem to understand this subject as the changes from the previous system are small.
Questions assessing students’ use of mathematical skills make up 15% of the assessments (but 20% of the marks?). There will also be some recall of equations required in physics.
Specifications include new content, in line with subject criteria outlined by Ofqual and some "old content" is no longer included.