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What on earth is our education system coming to? Eh?

(19 Posts)
Quattrocento Mon 13-Oct-08 21:36:58

Was wandering around a school the other day and the school said they offered "dual science" at GCSE. Was entranced at the loveliness of a school that didn't make you do all three sciences properly then I remembered that both my DCs have a scientific bent ...

So I said "But what happens at A level then, with these (shonky) half subject thingies" Do you know what their response was? "Well A level sciences are a lot easier nowadays and they start at a much lower level. So there wouldn't be any point in doing three separate sciences". WTF? Reeling I was, positively reeling.

Moved on to the English department. Now this was a venerable 500 year old institution. I asked them about Shakespeare. I like Shakespeare. I approve of him. Maybe more. "Oh" they said brightly "We do one Shakespeare play in Year 8"

What is our education system coming to?

<Shakes head mournfully>

PeaMcLean Mon 13-Oct-08 21:40:22

<Joins in shaking of head>

Bizarrely, as an arts grad, I find the science comment much, much more disturbing than the Shakespeare.

Can you not do separate science GSCEs anymore?

SqueakyPop Mon 13-Oct-08 21:41:19

I don't think Science/Additional Science is too bad compared to Three separate. They are adequate preparation for A-level. There may be a bit more to do at the start of each A-level module but not enough to make a huge difference.

When I was at school almost 30 years ago, we only ever did two sciences (before the days of combined science). It's important to have a broad and balanced curriculum and if you put too much emphasis on one area, you are missing out on others.

We only ever did one Shakespeare play per year, even in certificate years.

findtheriver Mon 13-Oct-08 21:42:29

Think you'll find Chem, Phys and Bio all covered at most schools. Only one Shakepeare in Year 8??? Can't be a state school then as there's a Shakespeare paper in Year 9 SATS. Agree though, that exam syllabuses are all change atm.... lots of new structures and stuff at A level. Round here a lot of the schools are offering IB as alternative to A levels too. Interesting times....

SqueakyPop Mon 13-Oct-08 21:44:02

Yes, you can do 'triple' Science, which is certified as Biology, Chemistry and Physics. It follows the same courses that dual Scientists do, namely Science (B1, C1 and P1) in Year 10, and Additional Science in Y11 (B2, C2 and P2), with the B3, C3 and P3 modules tagged on at the end.

findtheriver Mon 13-Oct-08 21:45:41

Actually Squeaky you're dead right... back in the dim and distant 70s when I did O levels at Comp, I could do only a maximum of two Sciences so opted for Chem and Bio. I rememeber my mum telling me it was actually so much better than in her day, when you basically had to make a choice between Arts or Sciences for O level. At least I had quite a breadth : as well as the Sciences and the usual Eng, Maths etc I did History, German, Music, Art.... I think at this stage breadth is important rather than narrowing down too much.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 13-Oct-08 21:47:32

Way to sell their school hmm

I don't have too much of an issue with dual award science. In my subject (Biology) it's a perfectly adequate preparation for A level. However easy these may now be wink

janeite Mon 13-Oct-08 21:47:35

Re: Shakespeare - they have to do one play in Yr 9 and a different one in for GCSE. Most schools will also do one in Year 8 and some sort of general intro, with a range of extracts, in Year 7.

Fennel Mon 13-Oct-08 21:47:41

They used to do combined science O levels back in the olden days. My parents did them. Even in the Science Stream or whatever it was called. At very academic schools. So you had more time to focus on Latin and Greek and so on.

snorkle Tue 14-Oct-08 10:47:50

quattro, it's true. I don't know much about Shakespeare, but science at least has been hugely dumbed down imo. Science degrees are now mostly 4 years not 3 so they can catch up in the first year.

My dc's are scientific too & the GCSE syllabus doen't stretch them (well only one has got that far). Ds has chosen to do double science not triple to do more other stuff but will be doing science A levels. He may also sit the extra papers to get the seperate GCSEs but it's not a pre-requisite for A level, so that's up to him. As he's already taught himself Chemistry AS (he's year 10) it might be rather pointless, though looking at the syllabus as he knows most of it already he may as well.

FioFio Tue 14-Oct-08 10:50:09

Message withdrawn

SixSpotBonfire Tue 14-Oct-08 11:00:34

I went to school ages ago and I couldn't do all three sciences at O-level as well as fitting in all the other things I wanted to do.

I did two Shakespeare plays in the sixth form but don't recall doing any before that.

snorkle Tue 14-Oct-08 11:12:27

Double science 20-30 years ago covered a lot more science than it does now though. fil gave ds some 'O' level physics/chem books and there's a LOT more content than now and the questions are harder.

FioFio Tue 14-Oct-08 11:14:35

Message withdrawn

SqueakyPop Tue 14-Oct-08 16:58:37

I did Physics and Chemistry in the early 80s. Had I done Biology too, then the course would either have have lesser content, or would have been worth 3 grades. I knew I would go the Science/Engineering route after school (basically the rest of my life minus the few SAH years), so am glad that I devoted one of my subjects to something non-scientific.

Kathyis6incheshigh Tue 14-Oct-08 16:59:47

Was this a Good School Quattro?

SqueakyPop Tue 14-Oct-08 17:01:32

You can't bash the school because of the wisdom of the QCA. Schools have to heed to exam boards, who have their hands tied by our useless government.

MadamePlatypus Tue 14-Oct-08 17:03:06

A bit confused - Don't universities still ask for separate sciences? Also isn't Shakespeare always on the curriculum at GCSE and A-level, or has that changed too?

SqueakyPop Tue 14-Oct-08 17:21:59

Universities don't specify GCSE's; A-levels are always specific Sciences

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