science gcses

(33 Posts)
dalziel1 Thu 28-Aug-14 14:58:02

I will ask the school about this for confirmation but I wonder if anyone could clarify how science works in gcse?

I just looked at the school website and it talks about single/ double/ triple science with the descriptions indicating that students study a combination of chemistry, physics and biology to greater depths.

I am surprised because, having done all 3 at school myself, there isn't much overlap between physics and biology. It would be like combining history and RE and saying "well they are both humanities".

Do schools not offer an option to choose which sciences to study, or is it just Ds's school that blends them without any alternative?

RiversideMum Thu 28-Aug-14 15:00:51

The sciences are taught separately, and the exams are separate, you just get the equivalent of 1 or 2 GCSEs in science. On the triple pathway, you get separate GCSEs in biology, physics and chemistry.

gymboywalton Thu 28-Aug-14 15:02:16

ok-all students have to study 'science'

this means that they will study modules that cover all three sciences
they will do chemisrty modules, physics modules, biology modules.

if they do 'triple science' -t jst means they do physics, chem, biology as seperate lessons and get 3 gcses out of it rather than the 2 they get with science.

there is no actual blending of subjects iyswim

TheFirstOfHerName Thu 28-Aug-14 15:03:10

Think of single science GCSE as being a third of a GCSE in Biology, a third of a GCSE in Chemistry and a third of a GCSE in Physics. Double science as being 2/3.

Awakeagain Thu 28-Aug-14 15:04:44

For the double science when I did it (so all 3 sciences but 2 gcse's) we did science each day and rotated each term maybe between doing each subject 2x a week or 1x a week so for example
Mon & thurs Chen
Tues & fri bio
Wed phys

Next term
Mon and thurs phys
Tues and fri Chem
Wed bio
Etc

Muskey Thu 28-Aug-14 15:06:59

Sorry to sound a bit thick but this is something new to me what is the best option or does that just depend on what dc is able to do or what they want to study at a level

gymboywalton Thu 28-Aug-14 15:09:18

just depends on your child's interest and ability
my son loves science and is good at it so chose triple science

they did have to be a certain level in order to do it though

Haggisfish Thu 28-Aug-14 15:09:43

Depends what they want to do-if a science or maths career beckons and they are good at science, choose triple. Otherwise do double.

Coolas Thu 28-Aug-14 15:11:26

For triple science they need to be pretty keen scientists because they end up with 3 GCSEs and therefore a lot of their timetable will be made up of science.

Double science means they end up with 2 GCSEs but they span all three sciences. So if each full GCSE has, say, 3 units, the kids doing double science would do 2 out of 3 (as opposed to 3 out of 3 for the triple).

Single science is just that - one GCSE in one of the sciences.

honeysucklejasmine Thu 28-Aug-14 15:11:46

For AQA at least: Each subject is split in to four components, units 1-3 and coursework.

For core science: B1, C1, P1 and coursework.

For additionally science: B2, C2, P2 and coursework

For each separate science, biology example: B1, B2, B3 and coursework

Other exam boards work in the same way but often use different numbers as they split the units in to smaller sections. I think OCR has about 9 units per science.

"Double science" is where a student completes the core and additional components, so 6 units total and 2 pieces of coursework.

"Triple science" is when you complete units 1-3 for all 3 subjects and 3 pieces of coursework.

TriSci is not always required for science A levels. Less able students are better with double, as 2Bs are better than 3Cs! smile

TheFirstOfHerName Thu 28-Aug-14 15:12:07

At DS1's school, it is partly the child's choice, and partly the school's choice. Generally, those with L7 at the end of KS3 do 3 separate sciences (iGCSEs so a completely different course from combined science), those with L6 are given the choice, and those with L5 do double science. Either choice uses the same number of teaching periods in the timetable and doesn't use up one of their GCSE subject options.

Coolas Thu 28-Aug-14 15:13:06

I would say best option is double science for most kids because it will not prevent them from doing A level science if they choose to do so. But triple science best option for those keen to pursue a scientific/medical career or those who just really enjoy it.

BackforGood Thu 28-Aug-14 15:15:38

Depends on your dc's ability and interest and also the option blocks.

My ds has ended up with the 3 separate ones, and he's not at all sciency, but was in the top set and in his school the top set all did the 3 in the same timetabled time as others did the double, the single, or the BTEC.

My dd1, however, who is 'sciency' and much more academic than her brother, will end up with 'only' the double, as, in her school doing the three sep sciences meant it had to take one of her option blocks and she didn't want to miss out on the other options she had chosen.

However, as everyone else says, they will all have elements of all 3 sciences. At GCSE they then have on their exam timetable 'Physics' 'Biol' 'Chem' at separate times, then, they add them together to form a single, or double GCSE. It's completely bonkers, but it's the system they use now.

Muskey Thu 28-Aug-14 15:16:56

Ok thanks very much. Dd is more humanities but it is useful to know especially as they have to do a science

Leeds2 Thu 28-Aug-14 16:07:36

Not all schools offer triple science.

At DD's school, they prefer A Level scientists to have done triple, but will accept those who have done double provided that they are aware they may have to work a bit harder in the first term to catch up.

Kez100 Fri 29-Aug-14 09:20:18

Our school used to offer:

Double: Core and Additional Science (combined B/C/P) or Triple (separate B/C/P)

now I understand - to cover all abilitites - they are offering:

Single Core Science GCSE and a BTEC (combined B/C/P)
Double : Core and Additional Science (combined B/C/P)
Triple : Core, Additional and Further Additional (combined B/C/P)

TheWordFactory Fri 29-Aug-14 09:37:59

Different schools offer different things. At my neice school triple science is an option but at DD and DS schools triple is taken I'm the same time table as the double. At DD school only top set science are offered it whereas at Ds school everyone has to do triple.

Dunlurking Fri 29-Aug-14 09:59:55

Like others on here the (selective) school my dcs are at expects sets 1&2 to do triple, in same number of lessons as other sets doing double. To do A levels in Science I think your dc really needs the extra coursework of the triple behind them.

I ended up coaching my ds (who was in set 2) in the month before the exams when I realised he hadn't understood a number of crucial topics - I think the class time wasn't enough, and I realised too late. Without my coaching I thought he would have got 2Bs and an A. He's ended up with 2 As and a B, but he was predicted an A* and 2 As. I think he would have been capable of 3A*s given extra classroom time. So do look at how the timetabling works, and be prepared to spend time or money to top up the teaching. I'm kicking myself now. Wish I'd realised.

TheFirstOfHerName Fri 29-Aug-14 10:27:35

The triple science sets do seem to be racing through the curriculum. DS1 has only done a quarter of each course, but I suspect a similar situation to the one Dunlurking describes. At DS1's request, I've bought a copy of each textbook (the school occasionally brings them out in class but not enough copies for students to take home) and he has been watching some videos on YouTube to consolidate his understanding. Predicted grades are AAA: we shall see.

OhYouBadBadKrillitane Fri 29-Aug-14 13:40:43

At dds school only top set do triple. They squeeze it into the same space as for double but they do start the Easter in year 9.

ShanghaiDiva Fri 29-Aug-14 13:48:10

My ds is taking triple (separate b, c and p igcse), but it has limited some of his other options. Homework load is quite heavy.

Sparklingbrook Fri 29-Aug-14 14:07:52

DS1 is doing double. He excels in Chemistry, is good at Biology but not great at Physics. The Grade is an overall 'science' score and this does not work that well for him.

That said, the Triple Science is a lot of extra work with after school lessons and a lot of homework. That wouldn't work for us logistically.

icymaiden Fri 29-Aug-14 16:08:59

when i was at school, Biology,physics and chemistry were taught as 3 completely separate subjects from Y7 onwards and this still happens at my DC's school.I don't see why they don't still do that and then DC could sit their 'best' science(s) if they don't want to do three sciences.

Haggisfish Fri 29-Aug-14 16:10:29

It is actually better as it means students have a more all round scientific knowledge.

Sparklingbrook Fri 29-Aug-14 17:04:16

That's what I wish icy, then I would have told DS to drop Physics. wink

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