Science lessons

(15 Posts)
LaFataTurchina Italy Tue 10-Sep-13 10:33:22

Agh, I'm so glad I never had any of my lessons split up into boys/girls when I was at school.

I much prefered exams to coursework, and competition to working nicely in a team.

Which just goes to show there is no one way that boys and girls learn better and what might be best for most children will not necessarily be best for individuals like your son.

I think they should set on ability, I'm baffled they aren't by GCSE level frankly. There are likely going to be children considering doing science A levels and kids that really struggle in that class.

Rufus43 Sat 07-Sep-13 17:08:08

secrets yep, same rationale different subject. And I completely agree that the range of ability will widen

bumpstarter yes you are right, probably wouldn't argue too much as I keep telling my son that its up to him to do well and it shouldn't matter what the class situation is. May have to backtrack on that one

Bumpstarter Sat 07-Sep-13 14:57:49

I think you need to know what their rationale is before you can argue with them really.

At DS2's school they have split the English classes into boy /girl. The objective is to raise the attainment of boys who lag behind girls in many subjects at GCSE but particularly English.
DS is not happy because he prefers working with a mixed class split by ability rather than sex. The effect of splitting by sex is to increase the range of ability because the class size remains the same.
IMO the reason boys do less well in English is the style of the curriculum. Controlled assessment plays a huge part and many boys do better in terminal exams.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 07-Sep-13 14:34:01

Independent of the girls do better in single sex and boys in co-ed, there is lots of evidence that girls and boys learn science in very different ways. Firstly science teaching was very boy orientated so girls did less well, then a shift to girl orientated so boys did less well. Maybe they are trying to address this with if fervent teaching methods in the groups.

Rufus43 Sat 07-Sep-13 12:04:01

kim you are probably right about being a target but he has come out as bisexual at school with no apparent problems

I might email the school in the next few weeks and see if they are open to moving children if they encounter problems and then see how he gets on.

I started a new school mid way through sixth form, and they tried to put me in the middle group for physics as I would have been the only girl in the top group. I pushed back and enjoyed my time in the top group. I don't remember my sex ever being an issue.

kim147 Sat 07-Sep-13 11:34:11

I'm sure there'll be other parents who feel the same. But it will probably set him up as a "target" by other pupils sad

Rufus43 Sat 07-Sep-13 11:32:40

He would be fine and I think the girls would be fine as well, as I've said he is not really a boys boy.

It might be worth seeing if its something the school would consider if he is struggling

sashh Sat 07-Sep-13 11:11:15

Although, I think boys are likely to mess about in a single sex class too.

Not when there is a competition with the girls class down the corridor.

I'm not sure with this.

I went to a girls' school, my brother went to the corresponding boys' school. For most things like sport there was no competition between the schools.

Then both schools were entered into a computer competition, my school (no VI form - that was at the boys' school)'s team was 3 5th years, theirs was 2 VI formers and 1 5th year. We beat them and victory was twice as sweet because it was over the boys. They were furious as they assumed they would have an easy victory.

I can see a lot of advantages to single sex classes, but I think there should be compromise. There were boys and girls classes in VI form for maths, girls did statistics and boys did mechanics, but two girls (I was one) were allowed into the 'boys' class.

The difference was supposed to be because we did a different maths syllabus at O Level (yes I am that old) but mechanics is mostly physics so that didn't make sense.

Rufus43

Would your son be OK in the girls' class? Would the girls be OK with it?

If so I think the school could easily make a compromise.

kim147 Sat 07-Sep-13 10:52:32

I think the teachers need to address the underlying issues rather than merely separating people out.

There are probably loads of reasons why there is a difference in performance and teachers need to look at them and address their teaching style.

Unless they go for 2 sets - those who muck about and can't be arsed - and those who actually take the lesson seriously.

Rufus43 Sat 07-Sep-13 10:44:20

kim he is not a boys boy at all! He is off to a party tomorrow all girls except him. Gets on much better with girls, hates the way that some boys mess around and don't pay attention in class...he is going to hate it

I do appreciate that not all boys are the same and not all girls are the same (could phrase that better!) but he will struggle personality wise in an all boys class

star part of me thinks that we need more girls enjoying science and anything that may help is a good idea and the other part of me thinks how dare you suggest that my daughter can't manage as well as a boy in science

I have not spoken to the school yet as I only found out the other day but I thought I would post here first as it may give me some ideas of what to say rather than just "it's wrong on so many levels"

NoComet Sat 07-Sep-13 10:09:20

So would I, but I used to come top in science lessons, much to the boys irritation.

DD1 does too.

For us the boys are healthy competition. I think the theory is that for middle of the road girls, seeing the boys doing better (and in my classes it was me, 3-4 boys then the middle ability girls) is discouraging. For some girls it may, and only may reinforce the idea science is not for us.

Like wise I guess boys who can't be at the top of a science class academically, may decide to impress the girls by larking about. Science practicals do give ample opportunity.

Although, I think boys are likely to mess about in a single sex class too.

Personally I think it's a dangerous move, because it makes out science is special and difficult and we have to try all sorts of gimmicks to get you to learn it.

Science is easy, it's MFL that are impossible wink

kim147 Sat 07-Sep-13 09:56:55

What are their reasons? Boys are not all the same and it could be detrimental to him in a class which was all boys.

It should be up to the teacher and the school to look at the reasons why girls do much better in a single sex class and address those reasons in a mixed class - so all children are encouraged and do not feel they are not recognised or are afraid to speak up / do their best.

Rufus43 Sat 07-Sep-13 09:52:11

Just want to ask for opinions on this as I do have a thread in secondary education about this

My son is in year 10 and is taking double science. They have split the classes into boys classes and girls classes.

I understand some of the arguments about girls doing much better in single sex classes but I'm still not comfortable about this

My son would be much better off temperament wise in a mixed or girls class and I have no doubts that my daughter would be able to hold her own (or take over) in a boys class

So can I ask, do you think it should be set on ability regardless, by sex or a mix of both

Thanks

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