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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:36 am 
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This might be a daft question but I don't entirely understand double vs triple science (coming from an era where I did Biology, Chemistry and Physics at O' and then A'level).
It seems as though most bright children are assumed to be going to be doing triple science? Even if they have no intention of continuing with sciences later on?
Does double science do them a disservice? (ie are they assumed to be less capable by unis etc) Does triple science include the 3 traditional sciences and double science contain only 2 of them, or does it just cover 2/3 of the material?
If children do double science can they then go on and do a science A'level if they discover they love it?
My dd is only in year 7 but I am trying to get my head around things. There seem to be so few choices at GCSE if you take out maths, 2 Englishes, 2 MFLs (a requirement at her school) and triple science. That's already 8. I don't know how many GCSEs are normal nowadays but I assume, if one needs a humanity (which she would want anyway) then there are only really a couple more options to take??


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:52 am 
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All GCSEs are changing before your DD chooses her options.

Double science at the moment involves 6 papers - 2 in each of the sciences.

Triple science involves 9 papers - 3 in each subject ie additional/harder content.

Opinions are mixed but, in a selective school, where triple science is the 'norm' then unis might wonder why only double was opted for. It does give you an advantage at A level as you have broader knowledge, 50% more, than double science. I don't know many school that make students take 2 MFL, many don't even insist on one ....


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:09 am 
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From my point of view I wish my son had been able to take the double science award. I think it is wrong that there is a perception that you are less intelligent if you don't take three separate sciences. He felt so restricted in his GCSE subject choices, and has no interest in taking sciences forward to A level. There are lots of other intellectually stimulating and interesting subjects that he could have chosen if he'd been able to. For example, he could have done History as well as Geography. Or Music as well as Art. Or another modern language in addition to French, Latin and Greek. When I was at school you could pick individual sciences to study and choose a really broad spread of subjects. Why does taking three sciences make you a better scholar? Grrrrr!

Sorry, loobylou; I know that doesn't answer your question, but I do feel better for getting that off my chest...


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:14 am 
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Thanks for your replies.

Guest55, I know the 2 x MFL requirement is unusual. I hope that the new GCSEs might mean that it stops being a requirement but it has long been one at her school. I know she's only in year7 but she doesn't appear to be a natural linguist so it's a frustrating one.

Peridot, I suppose that's one of the reasons for my asking. It feels a wrong perception so I was hoping it was one. But it looks as though it might be a common perception.... Fwiw I think she will want to do triple science. But there are so many other things she loves as well!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:24 am 
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if dc has no intention of doing a STEM or Medical/ allied subject I don't think Unis mind only doing the dual science, but most yr 7s have no idea what they want to do so maybe they will be closing some doors to future careers especially if coming a selective school?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:24 am 
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Technology used to be compulsory too and I'd argue it's more useful than more than one MFL.

Children have individual strengths and, of course, we view options from the perspective of our own.

It was rare for people to take three individual science O levels when I was at school. Even in those days, one of my friends was so bad at science she did not have to choose any of them - school (a GS) policy was to take one or more.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:49 am 
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Yes, I only did 2 sciences (not physics as I was deemed to be poor at maths - sorry G55:)). I worked in a scientific area where I use statistics every day (not physics though!). A family member of mine went to a school where they only offered double science and she graduated from a top university with a first in medicine & is now a consultant in her area at a very young age, so it clearly didn't hold her back, but of course the school didn't offer it. At my DCs' GS I think about 85% of them do triple science, so it's not compulsory. It's a tough one when you only have 4 free choices of GCSE & one of those is taken away by triple science at the age of 13/14.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:51 am 
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Yes I think hardly any of us did 3 sciences. I wanted to do medicine so it was an easier choice for me. Dd definitely doesn't (thankfully) so that's not an issue.
It just seems a shame to me that, if anything, choices seem fewer than when I was at school. Having said that, I regret not doing a humanity, so maybe it is good to have some "forced" choices....


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:00 pm 
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We had fewer choices really in the 'old days' - 8 or 9 O levels for the top sets ...


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:13 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
We had fewer choices really in the 'old days' - 8 or 9 O levels for the top sets ...




Just wait until the new linear/terminal GCSE come in, 8-9 will be the norm again imo

tbh I never understood the need for double digit GCSE


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