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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:48 am 
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Posts: 33
My son has to choose his options in 2 weeks time and we are a bit stuck...
He has to take 2 x English, Maths, RE, Science (dual or level 2) a language (he will do French) or ICT , PE and PSCHE.

His options are in 3 blocks like this :

ICT
French
German

DT

Art
Business Studies
Geography
History
Separate Science
Plus 7 others like Drams,Child are etc



They want him to take 1 from the first 2 blocks and only 2 from the 3rd block which is where our problem lies !

He would like to do all 5 that I have listed above but he can only take 2. His 1st choice is History he loves it and is working at a level 8. He can "live without" Art and Business Studies he says although he would have enjoyed them I'm sure, which leaves us Geography and Separate Science.

His Geography teacher keeps asking him to take the subject at GCSE , he quite enjoys it and gets all work marked with an A (not sure what level this is?) Science is our big dilemma - He is at a level 7A and finds it interesting but the school only want the kids to do the dual science and level 2.They will allow Separate Science but only if you are working above a level 6, and also it seems just because the Government have told them to offer it ! They also say in their opinion it is unnecessary as dual science is enough. My son is interested in perhaps being a Chiropractor or Osteopath (other thoughts are Law and Finance but I think his other subjects have those covered) and so would need 2 Science A levels, I feel the Separate Science would be better for him but the school think Geography !

Any thoughts on Dual v Triple Science would be most welcome.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:59 am 
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Location: Birmingham
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They will allow Separate Science but only if you are working above a level 6, and also it seems just because the Government have told them to offer it ! They also say in their opinion it is unnecessary as dual science is enough.


Absolute Rubbish - The school is giving you shocking advice.

Any child that is considering a scientific or medical related career or higher education should do separate sciences otherwise he will be in a catch up situation.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:42 am 
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Agree with KenR. Generally speaking your DS shouldn't be at a disadvantage when it comes to higher education since admissions departments recognize that many schools don't offer separate sciences (or at least only do so if they have to!)

:shock: and :evil: at the attitude of the school though - it sounds as though their advice is based on what is more convenient for them rather than what is best for the students, imho.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:22 am 
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Posts: 866
Agree with KenR
No point whatsoever in an able pupil taking soft subjects like art and business studies (economics would be different). If he likes art all well and good but why not just pursue it as a hobby. Slightly off topic but why does everything from tying your own shoelaces to playing the tin whistle via sport have to be to gain a dubious "qualification".
Only point of GCSEs is to prove you can do some academic subjects. Would definitely try to make school allow triple science (tbh if they will supervise the practical bits your DC can probably manage with a good revision handbook).
Good luck anyway


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:26 am 
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Location: Birmingham
I'll clarify further.

DW is a Biology teacher at a 6th Form college - the college always prefers (and recommends) separate sciences at GCSE for A Level Biology entry. Otherwise the sudents are at a disadvantage.

Worthwhile also career wise continuing with PE and games at GCSE and being active in sports - that leaves the door open for things like sports science as well and is an excellent combination for Chiropractor, Osteopath or physio careers.

I really wonder about the advice the school is giving - maybe a move to a 6th form college might be a good move. perhps even going to a few open days now to find out their views and recommendations regarding the best GCSEs.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:31 am 
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Both my sons have done well in the past at Science A levels (and now good universities without the separate science GCSEs - they didn't have the option and as KenR says had to catch up fast at A level. ( A level providers were used to having an intake with varied GCSE experiences). However now their school (and hence their younger sister) is able to do the three - but they seem to have crammed it into the same teaching time as those taking the dual award (which is not ideal, although DD has done fine so far in the various modules).

How many does the school expect to take the triple? Might they consider running a "dual plus" group for those (like your son) who want to keep other options going, with the normal dual timetable but extra sessions after school to fill in the gaps?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:51 am 
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Magwich, I would also advise against Art but not for the reasons you mention...it is far from being a soft subject! The amount of work you have to put in is quite phenomenal. DD came out with a B in this subject, in contrast to the A*s and As she gained in more "academic" subjects.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:12 pm 
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I do fully appreciate that Marylou.
I think most GCSEs can be likened to having to memorise pages of the telephone directory - loads of work but all pointless and not academic!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:27 pm 
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I think maybe I am misunderstanding something here - you say your son is at level 7 and the school will allow all 3 sciences if he is above 6? Does that not mean he can do all 3?

If he can, he should, although technically he should not be at a disadvantage with just the dual award and many schools do not even offer the 3. Teachers at A level are split on whether it makes any difference - a very close friend of mine teaches at a grammar school and says it doesn't, but my own view, FWIW, is that if you are offered 3, you should do 3, unless you are totally sure that you will never want to do a science A level.

But sorry if my para 1 represents a misunderstanding of your situation. :oops:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:24 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
I agree with Amber. The school my older children attend ( a grammar) does not offer seperate sciences and I know that 2 of mine taking on AS Biology really struggled, dropping it at that stage, when both originally felt they would carry it on to A2. I think this is at least in part to do with the fact that they have to catch up a bit when they move to the A Level course, and did not have enough depth of knowledge after their GCSE. I would say then that if you want to do the subject at A Level, you have an advantage if you have studied the seperate science at GCSE.


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