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Can anyone help with a Nat 5 question please?

(14 Posts)
YoScience Wed 16-Dec-15 12:55:29

I really feel like I should understand the new curriculum but every time I think I do, something new comes up!

DD is in S4 and doing 8 subjects at Nat 5. Her prelims just finished the other day (thank goodness!) and she has been getting some results over the last day or so.

Overall she is doing really well and has put in a lot of time and effort but she just really can't get her head around chemistry. She really studied hard for it but she genuinely just doesn't 'get' it. She came out of the prelims saying it was like the paper was written in another language.

She's not had the results back but she is sure she has failed it.

I wondered if maybe the best thing to do would be to drop down to nat 4 chemistry as I thought a pass in that would be better than a fail at nat 5. But DD has said that if you get a nat 4 in a subject then you must go on to do the nat 5 in S5 which would limit the number of highers you could undertake as you would be 'carrying' the subject from S4. Does anyone know if this is true?

I'm getting the impression that nothing is really standardised and rules/guidance is varying from school to school.

There's a parents night early January so I can clarify then but thought it worth an ask!

BloodyDogHairs Wed 16-Dec-15 13:36:47

My Dd is now in 6th Year but if I remember rightly when she got her prelim results, the subject's she did badly in she still stayed at Nat 5. The school set up extra study and after school help for those who's results could/should have been better. I remember saying at the time maybe she should drop down a level but that was 2 years ago and I can remember the reason why, I'll ask her why she's home.

S6Parent Wed 16-Dec-15 16:09:47

You will have to ask the individual school.

We don't have a uniform final exam system (which I think is a disgrace.)

I was just reading about a school where they were bypassing Nat 5s and lo and behold a lot of kids failed their "two year" Higher.

As another example our school limits Nat5s to six subjects.

prettybird Wed 16-Dec-15 16:10:21

I do to think there's a "must" - depends on whether she's going to need Nat 5 in Chemistry for what she wants to do.

Wait and see how she's done: she may just be panicking. Is it the quality of the teaching or is it just her that is causing the difficulty with Chemistry? Would extra tutoring help? Maybe if she recognises it's a weakness, she'll benefit from extra study/study guides/tutoring.

weasleybreeder Wed 16-Dec-15 17:17:13

Probably different answers for different schools but my DS sat 8 national 5s in S4 then went on to choose 5 highers for S5 so had to drop 3 subjects anyway, he can either pick them back up in S6 or park them. Surely your DC will have the option to park chemistry after S4 and focus on her preferred subjects for S5?

YoScience Wed 16-Dec-15 18:39:58

Thanks everyone, seems like there's no real standard then. I read about the school that was bypassing nationals, Helensburgh I think.

Anyway DD got her result today and it was 28% so as bad as she feared. She did genuinely study for it, she was ill before/during it but even so I think it's clear it isn't for her.

I don't think it is the teaching quality, she just seems to just not get it. She wants to do journalism or English/History so wouldn't be taking Chemistry beyond S4 anyway.

The school have advised to drop down to Nat 4 but DD is not determined to try to stay in Nat 5. She is gutted, despite expecting it and now thinks with some extra help she can scrape a C. Not sure where this optimism has come from.

I'm assuming it's better to have a nat 4 than fail a nat 5.

Thanks for the advicesmile

S6Parent Wed 16-Dec-15 19:24:12

I would get a Nat 5 study guide and go through it with her.

Pay attention to atomic structure, valency/reactivity and how it relates to group position in the Periodic Table. (Then check out the SQA website for past paper and exemplars.)

If she can grasp those relationships she could pick up a lot of marks.

Lidlfix Wed 16-Dec-15 19:26:15

She should be able to pass Nat 4 under rewarding positive recognition aspect of the nats. If she has her AVU and passes internal units for Nat 5 she'll be awarded a Nat 4 later in the year automatically. Basically she has nothing to lose ! smile

YoScience Wed 16-Dec-15 20:44:36

Thanks for the advice. I have asked her and she said she has passed the sqa tests that they do periodically in the classroom, so is it safe to assume that would mean she would get a Nat 4 anyway?

We had the past papers from the SQA website but I will definitely get a study guide too.

She was watching some YouTube videos that she found quite helpful before her exam (although maybe not that helpful in hindsight ?! confused) so she can keep up with that. There's still a few months where she can pick up some stuff. She's never going to be brilliant but if she can scrape a c I think she would be happy

Thankfully all her other marks that she has had back have been much better , she'll just never be a chemist! smile

howabout Wed 16-Dec-15 20:52:51

Our school only carry forward 7 nat 5s in 4th year. Would your dd have the option to drop chemistry altogether rather than risk spending so much extra effort on it there is an adverse effect on other subjects?

Walkingonsunshine00 Wed 16-Dec-15 21:20:19

Dd was having issues with chemistry eventually its clicked. Doing N5 too. Maybe speak to her teacher

prettybird Wed 16-Dec-15 21:49:09

I know they're different exams and in my case a loooooong time ago blush but if it helps reassure you, I failed my Physics Higher Prelim (34% iirc) and went on to get an A for the actual Higher smile

It was a combination of being lucky with the exam and concentrating on the stuff I could do - like electricity - and avoided the stuff I had difficulty with (like the applied maths momentum stuff).

OOAOML Thu 17-Dec-15 10:47:29

Did the school set the prelims? Obviously I sat my exams way before the new curriculum, but I remember in Higher Maths the prelim was made up of really hard questions from previous exams, and I did abysmally (I was trying not to cry as I left the hall) but got a B (band 6, just under an A) in the actual exam.

I did o grade chemistry, and I didn't really 'get' it, but I memorised what I needed for the exam and got through that way. If she's not going to need it, and will have enough passes from other subjects, I'd pick whichever path is going to cause her the least stress.

Groovee Tue 22-Dec-15 11:33:50

I'd consider a tutor for her. The one to one may help her get it X

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