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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:44 pm 
Does anyone have any views on this? My daughter's school offers both and she will have to choose soon. My concern is all the fuss in the papers about the new dual award science syllabus being "more appropriate for the pub". Are kids disadvantaged in terms of studying science at A level if they opt for the dual award?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:36 pm 
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I would also be very grateful for views on this. My son is very good at science, and I have serious concerns about the dual science route.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 10:37 pm 
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Dear Christa and Sally-Anne

Some grammars complete separate award science, some dual and some offer both.

The grammars that I know that ONLY offer dual awards, still have girls/boys that go on to A levels studying 3 separate sciences.....no problem.....many going on to study medicine.

All students, regardless of which award they are sitting take the SAME first test in each of the sciences, Biology, Chemistry and Physics

The students taking the separate award then go on to a second test lasting 45minutes, for each of the sciences

They all basically study the same syllabus, with a bit extra for the separate award. You either achieve 2 or 3 GCSEs

So, by taking the dual award, the child can take up an extra GCSE in another subject, without it effecting their chances of taking the sciences at A level.

Patricia

Ps....They all complete the SAME course work too!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:21 am 
Sally-Anne wrote:
I would also be very grateful for views on this. My son is very good at science, and I have serious concerns about the dual science route.



My son took triple science and will be studying chemistry at university next year. I actually feel that he did cover more doing the 3 sciences individually and it has helped him in doing chemistry and physics at A level. His knowledge is wide and he hasn't found the transition to A level that difficult. Teaching the sciences seperately, in my opinion, is the best way.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:01 pm 
I agree that teaching sciences separately is the best way. We need more scientists. :!:


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:07 pm 
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Dear Guest and Sally-Anne

I think my post was a bit pro dual award.

Trying to say that if your child is more than likely going to take up the sciences at A level, and your school offers separate sciences, all well and good.

However, do not worry if the school only offers dual award, some Bucks grammars only offer the dual award and many go on to study the sciences at A level, with a fair number going on to study medicine and chemistry. In fact chemistry is a very popular subject to take up at A level.

I know The Royal Grammar School [ who complete the separate awards] do a small catch up course at the beginning of year 12 for boys coming in from other schools which only offered the dual award.....Other grammars, only offering the double award, feel they do not need to use such a course....

Patricia


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:28 pm 
Whether or not a child is at a disadvantage studying double science depends on what most children at the school do. If most children doing A'level sciences have done 3 separate GCSEs then studying alongside them in the sixth form is going to be difficult and there will potentially be catching up to do.

Many years ago now, I had to change school after O'levels because we had to move with my father's work. I took Pure Maths, Applied Maths and Physics for A'level. The girls at my new school had done Additional Maths O'level (which I hadn't), and they had done 3 separate sciences (whereas I had done Physic with chemistry, and Biology separate). It meant a lot of work in the Lower Sixth and that was before the days of AS levels!

If there is any remote possibility that a child might do Science A'levels (and by the end of year 9 they should have an idea about this), then I would recommend separate sciences, if they are available. You can do A'level with double award, but at a Grammar School, the teachers are going to be aiming for As and Bs, and won't have time to allow people to catch up.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 6:38 pm 
jah wrote:
Whether or not a child is at a disadvantage studying double science depends on what most children at the school do.


This is also true in cases where the majority of children study the dual award whilst only a small percentage (e.g. the highest achieving 20 per cent or so) follow the separate sciences route. If the school is geared up to teaching the dual award to the majority, it might not be able to cater so well to those studying the separate sciences who somehow have to cram in the rest of the material with only the time and resources allocated to the dual-award scheme. If the single-science route is the norm in the school, however, then it is more likely that sufficient time and resources will be allocated.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 7:38 pm 
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I would always suggest single science rather than double science for all the reasons listed already. I would like to know, however, if triple science (as mentioned in the original post) is the same as 3 single sciences or is just the equivalent in terms of the amount of work to 3 GCSE's. My sons school are about to drop the ACA double science award (equivalent to 2 GCSE's) and replace it with the OCR 21st century sciece course allowing children to choose between single, double and triple awards. My first assumption was triple science meant chemistry, biology and physics but a quick trip to the OCR website left me confused. :? Patricia are you suggesting from your post that students get awarded single sciences from doing the double science award and then doing a bit more or do they end up with a triple science award or are they one and the same thing? Sorry for sounding so ignorant. It was so much easier in the good old days when you sat O level biology, chem and physics - listen to me I am starting to sound like my mother!!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:29 pm 
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Dear Loulou

By passing the double award science the child is credited with 2 GCSEs. The child takes 1 exam in each of the three disciplines, Biology, Chemistry and Physics [ they are still taught as 3 separate subjects.]

The children taking the 3 separate sciences, will gain 3 GCSEs, they will complete the SAME exam as above, followed by a further short exam in each of the subjects.

It comes down to preference in some schools, in others there is no choice. If the school gives a choice and your child is scientifically minded, then go for the 3.

If the school gives no choice [ not much you can do about it! ] However as I mentioned above.....it really is not a big deal. My friends daughter goes to one of the grammars ONLY offering the dual/double award. On entering the 6th form, NO catch up lessons are deemed necessary, many go onto University to study Medicine and Chemistry.

Some grammars will offer only 3 separate sciences, but if any of the children are not coping, they can switch, at quite a late stage and be entered for the double award....securing 2 GOOD GCSEs instead of 3 MEDIOCRE GCSEs......and this DOES happen in Grammar schools. They can make the switch because the majority of the syllabus is the same for both awards.....the disadvantage of switching is that the childs bundle of GCSEs has been reduced by 1, therefore they would have benefited being offered the double award in the first place, choosing an additional subject in a different area......choice is a better!

I am fully aware of new changes for some schools , unfortunately I can only comment on the 'current' situation......my own children experiencing both types of awards.

I think we all should remember that not all children in the grammar school environment are scientifically minded. A number are going to prefer/excel in other areas.....Geography, History, Graphics, Art, Languages, Music......

Patricia


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