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 Post subject: Combined Science (again)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:16 pm
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If school decides that DC is doing CS - do we have any rights to fight it?

For many reasons I do not think it is the right path for my DC who struggles with maths. I fear that GS are motivated by fear of a "U" in at least one of the components of TS rather than by looking at my DC's strengths.

Thanks for any thoughts.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
If your DC is struggling with one science and is ok with the other two, then arguably they might be better off doing triple, as them they could then get decent grades in two of them, rather than the third one dragging down their overall grade if they do CS. I think (but not sure) they would also then be able to do the higher tier GCSE in one or more of the single subjects and foundation tier in the others.

However depending on what your DC wants to do at A level and beyond it’s not a big issue either way. Doing double award is not a barrier to doing science A levels or STEM degrees later on anyway.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:50 pm 
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Hi Tinkers, thanks for reply. I think likely grades are 6,4 & 2 (or lower) so to me doing separate seems sensible.

School seems to think effort should be expended on bringing the 2 up to a 4 & then taking CS. Dc has no desire to ever study science again but to my mind one strong science gcse would be better than CS grade 4 (& I seriously think that is unrealistic). So I would rather time spent on securing the 6 in the one area.

I have to fight but wondered if there were any legal grounds especially as all 3 syllabuses are finished. It's not like DC is year 9. If that had been only thing offered then no worries but CS has only just been mentioned as we approach mocks.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:35 pm 
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I think the general principle behind GCSE science assumes that Triple Science is for those who are strong in and interested in science while Combined science is aimed at those who are weaker or less interested.

It does seem that there is a bit of a flaw in the system in that someone who is weak in one particular science may actually be better off doing TS than CS, so that they can sacrifice one grade in order to try and get two reasonable grades in the two they are better at. :?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
I’m not sure if they even have to take all three sciences. Might be worth asking if your DC could take the two they are predicted a 6 and a 4 in and not take the other one. I’m not sure what the rules are.

By combined science do you mean double award or the single award? There would be considerably less work to do for the single award (and therefore less work to get the overall combined grade up, especially if predicted a 6 and a 4 in the others) and might be worth doing. However a 6 in one of them (with a 4 in another) might be better than a 4 or 5 in the combined single science gcse. It would also free up time to spend on other subjects.

It’s worth talking to the school and asking about the various options and scenarios.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:24 pm 
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The only advice I have seen is that if DS enjoys science but is not necessarily good at them then go for the triple. I can't see anything about the legal side (and certainly your school is covering its bases by saying they "expect" pupils to study the sciences as individual GCSEs without actually specifying an expected level they need to achieve - but why leave it so late to tell you?). Basically the school needs to keep its rating up but why should that be at the expense of students? I would definitely speak with the school to get an insight into their reasoning.

Good luck BB22 and good luck to your DS with his mocks.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:24 pm 
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Thanks folks - am trying to see if there is any legal requirement to be examined in all 3 sciences (either thru the triple or double route) or whether under exception circumstances one can be dropped. I can't really find anything.

Will continue talking to school.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:36 pm
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Location: High Wycombe
If your DC is really weak in 1 of the three sciences and strong in the other 2, I would definitely discuss with the school the option of taking the higher papers for the 2 strong individual sciences and the foundation papers for the weak one. That way your DC has the best chance of achieving a 5 on the foundation papers (the papers are very different in style to the higher papers with more multiple choice questions etc - take a look at them on line). The school should actually prefer this from their progress 8 point of view to moving them to combined as they can chose the best 2 science GCSEs to report if you follow me. There is no single award for combined science any more. It is double (5-5, 5-4 and son) or individual. The school should (and I believe usual does) have your DC's best interest at heart and will recommend what they believe will deliver the best outcome for your DC. I would also say don't give up yet, there is plenty of time to ramp up the revision over the next few months and see real grade movement. Most schools won't decide tier entry until March at least. Still teaching the content at the moment.
Get them on GCSEpod if the school has it. Seneca learning for embedding those facts and identify good sets on Quizlet that they can add to so their revision time is spent learning and recalling the facts at this stage (rather thsn hours reinventing the wheel) so they know the content when they come to start practising how to apply it when they do past papers closer to the exams.
Hope this helps.
Mrs C


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:40 pm 
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Location: High Wycombe
And yes you can take just the individual sciences as GCSEs on their own (although most grammars don't seem to tell their communities this). To quote from the Sir Henry Floyd GCSE options booklet.
"The courses you choose to follow will either lead you to three separate GCSE grades in Biology, Chemistry and Physics or you may opt to choose just one or two from the three.
All students must continue to study at least one of the separate science subjects, to GCSE level."
This is probably not common knowledge as most grammar school students opt to do all 3.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:59 pm 
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MrsChubbs wrote:
And yes you can take just the individual sciences as GCSEs on their own (although most grammars don't seem to tell their communities this). To quote from the Sir Henry Floyd GCSE options booklet.
"The courses you choose to follow will either lead you to three separate GCSE grades in Biology, Chemistry and Physics or you may opt to choose just one or two from the three.
All students must continue to study at least one of the separate science subjects, to GCSE level."
This is probably not common knowledge as most grammar school students opt to do all 3.


That is good to know, MrsChubbs. We will be there next year so may be in the same position. Thank you. Good luck with your talks BlueBerry22.


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