GCSE core science and seperate sciences

(20 Posts)
Louisefox1978 Fri 29-Nov-13 19:45:47

My daughter is in year 11 at a grammar school.
Last year they did the GCSE in core science.
She got a B in the controlled assessment, a C in biology and a C in physics.
The chemistry examination was not taken as my daughter was ill. This was therefore marked as ungraded. She is a type one diabetic.
After talking with the examinations officer we decided it was not a major concern as the core science would be done again in year 11.
She was given a D grade based on the above.
We have now been told that the rules have changed and that this exam can not be re sat. Also due to the grade D they want my daughter to drop the seperate sciences she has been doing for the last year and just do the combined sciences.
I do not know if they can make her do this or if we have a choice?
I have also asked them to appeal to the education department as we could have got a doctors note with the sugar readings and keytone readings on at the time
But didn't due to
The resit that could have been done this year.
Does anyone have any advice or know where I can find the facts on this? She is on target for grade A in all 3 seperate sciences and would be a shame to be forced to drop them now.

Smartbutdopey Fri 29-Nov-13 20:45:13

Hi OP. Ok so I also have a DC in y11 doing triple science. He also sat the core science GCSE end of Y10. So my first question is around the C grades for Biology and Physics. Are these end of Y10 exam grades? Because the core science GCSE is just that..it's combined sciences all in one exam. students who dont do triple or double science will usually sit just the Core Science GCSE. So what grade did she get for Core Science GCSE?

titchy Fri 29-Nov-13 21:00:15

Core is three separate papers, one in each science. I read OP as if she was sick for one of them, the chem1 paper, and got C grades on Ph1 and Bio1.

She could do all the core exams again rather than just the chem paper, and do the additional and even the further additional papers all in one go in the summer.

However an A grade student shouldn't be getting Cs in Biology1 or Physics1, so maybe doing double rather than triple would be better.

Smartbutdopey Fri 29-Nov-13 21:28:55

I agree with titchy that a D grade would be a concern going into Y11 (although I appreciate she was ill for her chem paper). Ive just checked with DS and he only had 1 paper for GCSE Core Science with all 3 sciences combined (OCR Gateway exam board) hence my question about the separate grades and papers. So different exam boards operate differently. Rules on resits also seem to be changing. With mocks taking place before Xmas I suggest you request a meeting with head of science ASAP.

Louisefox1978 Fri 29-Nov-13 23:20:19

Thanks for the replies x yes she did each seperate paper in year 10 and was sick for the chemistry one hence the grade D. These were sats and would be taken again in year 11. Getting grade B for controlled assessment and C in the physics and biology exam is good for a year 10 student. Means when re sit in next year the grades should be better.
My problem is that the school are saying although she has started seperate sciences from y10 they now want her to drop them and do combined only as the government have now said they can't resit the core exams this year which before they did do. They say even if she got a's in the seperate sciences the ucas application to university would look bad with the d on there.

Louisefox1978 Fri 29-Nov-13 23:27:11

We have a meeting on Thursday so want as much advice as possible and the facts. Can't help thinking that the grammar school is trying to remove the D grade from there statistics rather than doing what is best for my daughter.
I would have thought as she is already a year into the seperate science and course work that it would be crazy to drop them now and this late stage especially when you are predicted a's and currently working at high b's with another few terms of learning left before exams.
I need to find out if she can re sit the core science in full as school are saying she can't.

ClayDavis Sat 30-Nov-13 00:00:24

It's a confusing one but I think they've been playing the system and got caught out.

Can't speak for all exam boards but usually B1, C1, P1 + 1 controlled assessment make up core science. B2, C2 & P2 + a second controlled assessment in another science subject then makes up double science. For separate science a 3 module in each science is taken and an additional controlled assessment in the remaining science subject.

The B1 and B2 element of biology is exactly the same content and uses the same exam as for the B1/B2 element of core/additional science. I think what they've been doing is entering B1, P1, C2 + controlled assessment in year 10 and cashing the results in for a core science GCSE. For no extra teaching time they've then got them to resit during November/Jan and cashed those module results in for separate sciences, taking the 2nd and 3rd modules in June. Giving each child Core Science GCSE and Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

It's a slightly sneaky way of adding an extra GCSE when advertising how many GCSEs each child has. Unfortunately I think they've scrapped the Nov/Jan exams so the school has got caught out. Presumably they're using the core taken in yr 10 and taking additional and further additional in year 11. The thinking being that all 3 in one go is a bit much. I don't think there's any reason she can't be entered for all 3 in one go but I think it will be 9 exams and 3 controlled assessments in 1 year.

Louisefox1978 Sat 30-Nov-13 00:15:11

Clay Davis are you a teacher because that all sounds spot on.
It's very unfair that they have scrapped it as she is stick with this GCSE grade D now for exams taken in y10 that were classed as mocks.
What she is doing now is 3 seperate sciences which will be 9 exams. She is happy do carry on with this and is stuck with the D grade for combined science exam taken in year 10 because they are now not allowed to do it again.
They want to remove the grade D and she can then do the combined science again with out the 3 seperate sciences. This being only 6 exams and the D will be removed.
If we would have know all this last year we would have sent in a doctors note for the illness on the chemistry paper but we were told not to worry as this would be re sat in year 11 bit now this is not the case

titchy Sat 30-Nov-13 12:24:04

To be honest I think the school's plan sounds sensible, though agree they have been caught out.

The core science papers are NOT difficult - they're designed for kids to do in year 10 with the additional papers (which are a bit harder) designed to be sat in year 11, then the two are combine to give one double science GCSE. The final set of further additional papers (which combined to make up triple science, or the three separate sciences) are harder still. So as I said before a C grade in core science doesn't indicate a student on target for an A in triple tbh. Though understand she may not have really taken revision seriously.

If she does the 6 papers in the summer to get the double award she won't have wasted time starting the triple pathway - she'd have been taught those topics anyway for papers1 and 2!

Louisefox1978 Sat 30-Nov-13 15:07:33

She is in the middle of controlled assessments in biology, physics and chemistry. Her predicted grades are A's.
The only reason they want her to drop the 3 seperate sciences is to remove the D grade.
Can she re take the core science exams that she did last year? The B1, C1 & P1? She got a B in the controlled assessment?

Whathaveiforgottentoday Sat 30-Nov-13 18:17:57

I can't see how dropping the 3 separate sciences would get rid of the D grade as she has already sat it.

If she only got a b in the ISA and C's in the exam in year 10 my concerns is that she will struggle to cope in the summer. If she sits the 3 separate sciences she has 9 exams to sit (whether she takes biology, chem, physics or the core, additional and further additional route). She won't be able to use the grades for the modules already sat as the rules have changed and all exams have to be taken in one sitting.

However, if she dropped down to double science she would just have the 6 (3 for core and 3 for additional) assuming they would let her retake the core exams as she missed one. Perhaps they think she would manage that better especially as it looks like the additional and further additional exams will run in the same session (one exam followed immediately by another exam).

It is better to get 2 A's in double science than B's or C's in triple science.

ClayDavis Sat 30-Nov-13 18:40:58

I don't think it's 'getting rid' of the D grade as such. That doesn't really exist if they are not using those exams for core.

The problem is the B1 and P1 papers she's already sat will count towards her grade for biology and physics if used. And she only has a C in them. Those marks are going to bring down the overall mark and lower her grade regardless of how well she does in the other exams.

I'm not sure why the school are saying C is a good grade in Core at the end of yr10. It is a 'passing' grade but it is usually taken in year 10, sometimes earlier and those students predicted an 'A' or A* grade would be expected to get an A.

I agree with what that I'm not convinced that AAA is likely given the results in year 10. Although I have no idea what her current attainment is. AA in double will look much better than Bs and Cs in separate. If the school are suggesting double, that might be their opinion too.

friday16 Sat 30-Nov-13 18:57:51

The only reason they want her to drop the 3 seperate sciences is to remove the D grade.

It wouldn't remove the D grade, whatever that means, so I'm not quite clear what your concern is.

It seems optimistic that someone who got a C in B1 and a C in P1 in Y10 would be targeted for overall As in Y11. You would have to get essentially A*, or at least an extremely high A in UMS terms in B2+B3 and P2+P3 in order to bring the overall score up to A for B1+B2+B3 and P1+P2+P3. Alternatively, you would need to reset the , X1, modules at the same time as taking the X2 and X3 modules. This isn't a problem (it's how many schools are planning to do it anyway, with all nine modules taken at the end of Y11) but there may be specific reasons as to why the school doesn't offer, or doesn't recommend, this route.

It does appear the school have been caught out by the changes to terminal exam requirements, but they would hardly be alone in that.

AA in double-award science is "better" than BBB in triple-award, for most purposes.

friday16 Sat 30-Nov-13 19:31:30

I'm not sure why the school are saying C is a good grade in Core at the end of yr10.

Particularly in a grammar school. There's no reason why the entire cohort shouldn't get A*.

Whathaveiforgottentoday Sat 30-Nov-13 22:32:32

Can I just clarify that the B1 and p1 papers won't count as you have to sit all modules in one go now since they've changed the rules.

In our school, the triple scientists have done core science in year 10 and are sitting both additional and further additional in year 11.
If you're is using that model perhaps they are suggesting she resits core and does additional (dropping further additional) otherwise she will be left with a D in core science. Even if she gets a decent grade in additional and further additional like b grades, she will still have DBB in her science results.

friday16 Sat 30-Nov-13 22:42:09

Can I just clarify that the B1 and p1 papers won't count as you have to sit all modules in one go now since they've changed the rules.

That's the case if you want GCSEs in named separate sciences, isn't it? If you have done B1, C1 and P1 and cashed them in as core science, don't you still have the option to do B2, C2 and P2 (in the same sitting as each other, but a different sitting to B1, C1 and P1) in order to get additional science, and then again in a third sitting for B3, C3 and P3?

RiversideMum Sun 01-Dec-13 09:06:25

My DS is doing triple and hasn't done any exams yet - all this summer. Looking forward to seeing the exam timetable !!!

titchy Sun 01-Dec-13 11:14:26

Yes that's how I understand it Friday.

Whathaveiforgottentoday Sun 01-Dec-13 11:42:39

On the aqa website, b2 and b3 are on the 13th may, c2 and c3 on 15th May and p2 and p3 on 19th may. The core exams b1,c1 and p1 are in june. It's a killer for those doing triple.
friday yes you are right. I was clarifying the point claydavis made saying her b1 and p1 marks will bring her grade down, which the wont as they can't be carried over.
Doesn't it get confusing!

ClayDavis Sun 01-Dec-13 13:41:22

Yeah, sorry that was my fault. Although oddly enough I did know that so no idea what I was thinking when I wrote that. If Gove would like to slow down the speed of his reforms and stop tinkering with little bits at a time, that would help grin.

OP you really do need to speak to the school and ask them exactly what exams she will be taking and their reasoning for it if you want to find out what's going on. We can only really speculate on what we think might have happened.

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