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5C in science at 9 - what are we to make of this?

(11 Posts)
Merle Mon 29-Jun-09 07:21:34

My son got level 5C last December, when he was 9 and a half. Is this G & T? He is still at that level for the subsequent SATS tests this year. I understand that the primary school SATS papers don't test any higher and also that SATS are not the be all and end all. What should we be asking the school to teach him during Yr 6? I really don't want him to be coasting for a year.

scienceteacher Mon 29-Jun-09 07:33:09

He's good at memorising facts. You can't tell a lot more from Science Sats that that.

snorkle Mon 29-Jun-09 09:16:23

The school will teach him whatever is on the syllabus. Quite likely he will already most/all of it, but that's kind of the way science teaching is - you go around topics again & again in a little more depth each time and the interested ones pick up on concepts from the next round earlier.

I wouldn't like to rely on most Junior teachers to go into more depth in science than they are used to doing as quite a few of them struggle with the KS2 syllabus as it is and poor/incorrect science explanations can lead to confusion later.

Does he read science books? That's probably the best way forward if he's interested in the subject. Horrible science might be a good start.

Merle Mon 29-Jun-09 12:37:21

Thanks for the responses.

Yes, he does read science books, but I will get him some more.

Merle Tue 30-Jun-09 07:41:34

On reflection I realise I don't understand G&T, if all that happens when you do well is that they teach you the same thing all over again hmm.

fembear Tue 30-Jun-09 08:18:25

Welcome to the world of G&T, Merle, where you say, "my kid's quite clever" and society says, "meh". sad

Never mind Y6, what are your plans for Secondary?

snorkle Tue 30-Jun-09 08:33:21

That's general science teaching not just G&T Merle. You teach some topic giving a certain amount of detail. Next time around you give a bit more detail & perhaps some very basic theory. Then you learn the details of the theory & the maths/mechanisms behind it. Next time you might learn that the first theory wasn't really correct at all & learn a more sophisticated one!

Take gravity for example: first time around you might learn in very general terms that its a force and that it keeps people on the ground, stronger on earth than the moon and very weak in space; next time you might learn that it's stronger for bigger things and the closer they are, keeps the planets in orbit etc; next time you might apply some maths, learn the inverse square law and about 'big G'; finally you learn that in fact all that's not really right at all and you learn relativity.

It simply isn't appropriate to teach youngsters relativity (or even the maths usually) the first time around - they're not ready or able to understand it. So you get the staged approach. BUT a bright youngster who reads around the subject and picks up on throw away comments by the teacher often picks up details that are from the next round (or two) of knowledge. Unless you have a condensed & accelerated scheme of work for G&T you can't get around this though. If they do get ahead, they are still bound by the limitations of the public curriculum, so there's not really a lot of point. Only a very few schools will let children sit science GCSEs/A levels early.

singersgirl Tue 30-Jun-09 11:29:37

The other thing to bear in mind is that he'll have been tested on a different paper in Y5 than Y6 - so he won't have done everything. Level 5s in Year 5 aren't uncommon in my sons' school (for maths and English as well), so he may well find he's in a group of children who are all given extension work.

kennythekangaroo Tue 30-Jun-09 11:42:13

Year 6 will also look at different aspects of science to year 5.
Year 5 topics include
5A - Keeping Healthy
5B - Life Cycles
5C - Gases Around Us
5D - Changing State
5E - Earth, Sun & Moon
5F - Changing Sounds

Year 6 topics
6A - Interdependence & Adaptation
6B - Micro-Organisms
6C - More About Dissolving
6D - Reversible & Irreversible Changes
6E - Forces in Action
6F - How we See Things
6G - Changing Circuits

Merle Tue 30-Jun-09 12:35:12

Thanks to everyone who has replied - I've learnt a lot which will be useful.

I find it difficult to decide how pushy to be; and in which direction. I does help that now there are a few other chidren who are doing equally as well, so they should be able to form a group who receive extension work.

For secondary we want him to sit the entrance exam for the grammar school. He's been having a tutor for this. The tutor has concentrated on science and maths, which has helped his confidence in his weaker area (writing). He has been doing Yr 6 science work with the tutor and seems to have enjoyed it. Obviously the pitfall with this is that he is potentially covering work that he will do next year, but it has helped with his overall attitude to school and his self-image. From now on I want the tutor to get him to practice the verbal & non-verbal tests for the 11+.

Merle Tue 30-Jun-09 15:54:52

I forgot to say that he's in a Yr 5/6 class now (small school), so must have benefited from what the Yr 6s were learning.

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