GCSE Combined Science is not designed especially for lower attaining students. GCSE Combined Science assessments are designed to test the whole grade range from 9-9 to 1-1. The standard on Combined Science is the same as separate sciences; it is not easier. There is, however, less content to teach and revise compared with studying all three separate sciences.
If you have a student who is better at one science over the other sciences, it may be worth thinking about entering them for separate sciences. Their result in, for example GCSE Chemistry, will therefore not impact on their results for GCSE Biology or GCSE Physics. There is a requirement that all three sciences are studied, however.
If a student is entered for Combined Science, all 3 sciences must be sat at the same tier. Again, if you have a student who would benefit from being on different tiers for each science, separate sciences may be a better choice.
We have produced a fact sheet to provide information to help you with these decisions.