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 Post subject: double or triple science
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:53 am 
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Location: London
I have seen numerous treads over the years on this topic but never read them as I always assumed my children would do triple science. At my son's school they don't have a choice, they all prepare for the triple award, and only if there is a shocker result after the mocks they will sit double. However my daughter's school is pretty lenient about it, even the most able ones are not encouraged to prepare the triple award which annoys me, as of course, not being really science inclined, she can't be bothered, despite having the results to do so. Am I wrong to think that even for a humanity or language degree application, having strong triple science and maths GCSEs is a bonus?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:05 am 
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My view is that if a child is capable of pursuing triple science, they should do so. I believe that it provides better preparation should they want to progress to any or all of the sciences at A level (if that's not the case under the new format GCSEs and A levels I'm sure a teacher will correct me) and, assuming that your daughter is in year 7, 8 or 9, I suggest that she might not end up doing the A levels or degree she currently thinks she'll do. My daughter's favourite subjects in her early secondary years were the "essay subjects" - history, English and RE. She didn't develop a liking for science until she started GCSEs, has just completed A levels in sciences and maths and will study science at university. Four years ago I wouldn't have thought that would be the case.


Last edited by anotherdad on Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:17 am 
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AD, Your dd is an excellent example of why all those who are capable should do Triple Science.

At our local 100 percent selective girls indy they push a surprising amount to Double Science.

Semi selective DAO has 85% of the year doing Triple Science.

You have to try and argue your way out of it if your results are good enough for it.

It does not even take an option place at GCSEs. It is one of the givens like Maths and English.

Sad to hear of capable dcs not being encouraged to do it. DG


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:37 am 
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anotherdad wrote:
My view is that if a child is capable of pursuing triple science, they should do so. I believe that it provides better preparation should they want to progress to any or all of the sciences at A level (if that's not the case under the new format GCSEs and A levels I'm sure a teacher will correct me) and, assuming that your daughter is in year 7, 8 or 9, I suggest that she might not end up doing the A levels or degree she currently thinks she'll do. My daughter's favourite subjects in her early secondary years were the "essay subjects" - history, English and RE. She didn't develop a liking for science until she started GCSEs, has just completed A levels in sciences and maths and will study science at university. Four years ago I wouldn't have thought that would be the case.


Exactly my point anotherdad, she loves reading, essay writing, debating and languages at the moment (end of Y8), but these skills are essentials in sciences too, particularly in academia, hopefully she's see the light next year when the subjects will start being taught separately (I think/hope).


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:48 am 
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The advice was always to take triple science if you were at 'old level 6' by the end of Year 9. That would be a top grade 3/low 4 now [very roughly].

I know people disagree but my personal opinion is to take triple.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:58 am 
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Bazelle wrote:
Exactly my point anotherdad, she loves reading, essay writing, debating and languages at the moment (end of Y8), but these skills are essentials in sciences too, particularly in academia, hopefully she's see the light next year when the subjects will start being taught separately (I think/hope).

I am biased because my A levels and degree were in science and although I'm not employed in a scientific capacity, it is still of great interest to me. I still subscribe to New Scientist and read a lot of science and maths books. You're right that skills from other subjects are transferable to sciences and the reverse is also true, and I challenge any child to not find at least something of interest in each of chemistry, physics and biology.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:15 pm 
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My understanding is also that doing double science means that if (for example) physics is a weaker subject for a student who gets maybe 7 in chemistry, 6 in biology and 4 in physics, in double science the results are averaged so they might end up with two 5s instead of 7, 6 and 4.
That's what my friends with children doing double science at an indie have told me so I might not be correct (I'm sure someone will correct me otherwise :lol: ).
I don't understand why the system changed from the old days when one could choose individual sciences and do other subjects instead of them if preferred (I did all 3 sciences at O level but many of my friends did 1 or 2 and used the opportunity to broaden their subject range). I'm sure there is a reason though!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:43 pm 
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I'm in the triple science if possible brigade.

There's quite a jump from GCSE as it is so doing less will only make things harder.

If it's dropped after GCSE then still better to have at least done as much as possible first.
The skills are useful in later life anyway.


There are still some pockets where pupils can drop a science subject altogether, taking just one or two individual subjects and I think it's a dreadful idea.
All children should have at least the basic level of scientific knowledge required up to GCSE level. For anyone taking science beyond GCSE, the interdisciplinary nature of science today makes it beneficial to have studied all three to A level ( although the it's not always possible).


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:32 pm 
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loobylou wrote:
I don't understand why the system changed from the old days when one could choose individual sciences and do other subjects instead of them if preferred (I did all 3 sciences at O level but many of my friends did 1 or 2 and used the opportunity to broaden their subject range). I'm sure there is a reason though!

I think the reason is that knowledge of all 3 sciences is deemed important (similar to knowledge of maths and english) so its a way for everyone to have some background in all 3 to GCSE level.

Whereas under the old system where someone had the option of just choosing one or two individual sciences an otherwise well educated person might end up with virtually no knowledge of basic chemistry and physics for example if they only took Biology O level/GCSE.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:42 pm 
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I still remember my careers teacher asking if I was sure I wanted to take all three science O levels. Apparently it was a bit hard for a girl to do so.

She had no idea from my teachers how capable I was...

Do double isn't necessarily a barrier to doing science A levels etc (at least it wasn’t with the old GCSEs), although triple is always going to be a better option if that’s available.


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