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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:28 am 
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DS has just started Year 10 at a school which teaches GCSE triple science from Year 9. While Chemistry has been allocated 4 teaching periods per fortnight this year, Physics and Biology have each been allocated only 3. All other Year 10 subjects have been allocated a minimum of 4 periods per fortnight (including 4 for non-assessed core PE).

DS's school does not have a good record in GCSE or A-level science and some Year 9 groups last year, including DS's, had supply teachers in Biology for almost half the year which puts them at a disadvantage. As the GCSE course is unitised, I am concerned that there are gaps in his knowledge. Also, he wants to do A-level Biology, so this matters longer-term.

I plan to raise my concerns with the school but would appreciate before I do any information on the teaching hours other schools allocate to the GCSE triple sciences, especially where pupils have commenced the course in Year 9, and what your thoughts are on what the teaching hours should be in Years 10 and 11.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:28 am 
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I'm afraid I have no experience of DC who do GCSEs over 3 years, but am aware some schools do this so hopefully someone will be along to help soon. At DDs' school Triple science was undertaken in the same allocated timetable that Dual science was, so yes there was less teaching time for each subject, but not everyone did triple. The school's results were excellent, but I imagine this did not suit those who excelled in one or two but not all three subjects or those who were on the margins of a strong grade. Definitely ask the school and share your concerns.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:53 am 
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GCSEs start in year 9 at my children’s school. For triple science there are 7 x 1 hour lessons a week, 2 for each subject then the remaining lesson rotates each term between physics, chemistry and biology.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:05 pm 
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Thanks, Hebden. Does that pattern continue throughout Years 9 to 11? Are the school's GCSE and A-level science subject results at, below or above average?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:13 pm 
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I’ve just checked with my son who has this week moved in to year 12, he says it is 7 hours a week in years 9 and 10 then 6 hours a week in year 11. In 2018 around 1/3 of the grades in each science subject were at grade 9 for GCSEs and grades A-A* for A Levels according to the school website. I hope this helps x


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:24 pm 
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My DD in year 11 gets 3 one hour lessons per science per fortnight.
They had two hours per subject per fortnight in year nine.
Year 10 same as this year hours wise.
There is more content in chemistry.
I don’t think you will be able to do anything about the timetabling.
My son did triple science gcse and used a lot of online resources successfully.
My GCSE science was felt to be the best.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:43 pm 
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Ds (year 10) gets 2 hours a week for each science. Dd had the same through her GCSEs. They start science GCSE course in about Easter of year 9.
I seem to remember dd feeling that they finished the course fairly late in Biology but in plenty of time for the other two.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:10 am 
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Thank you all for your helpful replies. :) If your DCs' timetabling as described is fairly standard across high-achieving schools, it's really more a matter of me exploring quality rather than quantity of lesson time at my DS's school.

I will try to investigate what the Biology Department's strategy is for making up for teaching missed on the GCSE units scheduled for coverage in Year 9 where teacher absence and loss was not covered adequately.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:08 pm 
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Biology isn't that difficult to work through independently. I think on line resources have been mentioned already.
While in a perfect world it shouldn't be necessary, I think I'd take a pragmatic approach while you are still relatively early on in the process.


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