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Son really upset about his Sciences :(

(14 Posts)
benetint Thu 28-Jul-11 19:02:34

DS1 is really down in the dumps at the moment and I really want to help him. As long as I can remember he's wanted to be a vet but he has to get really high grades in his sciences to do this. Up until now he's always been really good at science but he finds his current GCSE teacher intimidating and difficult to understand. Both his grades and confidence are plummeting. I know he might change his mind career wise and I'd never put any pressure on him but I just want to help him enjoy science again if possible and get his confidence back.

Has anyone been through this? What did you do to help? I'm not a natural scientist so there's a limit to how much I can help him. I've talked to the school but haven't seen any improvements as yet.

Can anyone recommend any good out of school lessons in the Nottingham area?

Many thanks

basingstoke Thu 28-Jul-11 19:05:49

Does he have just the one teacher for all the sciences? That would be quite unusual for GCSE.

mollymole Thu 28-Jul-11 19:21:18

how is he taking his sciences - if he wants to be a vet surely he is taking the 3 sciences as separate subjects so will have 3 different teachers - perhaps you should have a word with the head of department

benetint Thu 28-Jul-11 19:26:01

Thanks for your posts. The secondary school he's in doesn't offer separate sciences - he's doing all three but they are combined so its just one teacher. I didn't realise this was unusual?

mollysmum82 Thu 28-Jul-11 19:30:01

I'm sorry he's feeling down xx

My sister lives in Sherwood, Nottingham and she had an amazing tutor for her DCs. She had a slightly different situation to you - her son was failing his A Level Chemistry but this tutor managed to help him enjoy it again and even take it for A2. She's now helping her daughter too and she's on to get in for medicine! PM me if you want contact details?

Have you tried revision websites (bitesize etc) or books?

We just had one teacher in my day but that really was an age ago!

mollymole Thu 28-Jul-11 20:12:06

i really hope this can be reconciled - has he already checked with the school that he will be able to do the 3 sciences separately at A level and that the course he is on at the moment will leave him with the required depth of knowledge to take the separate sciences at A level - my son did all 3 sciences at A level and there is a huge work load that is complex.
if all else fails is there another school he could transfer to, even if it means taking a year again

alice15 Thu 28-Jul-11 20:17:18

If he is at a generally underperforming school, there are now gateway access schemes into the veterinary profession for those with lower qualifications than usual - but these will only apply if he is perceived as educationally disadvantaged. If others at the school are getting good grades, then he won't be eligible for such a scheme AFAIK. However, if he really wants and is able to be a vet then he should be able to cope with GCSE science given a bit of support - in fact, he really should be able to teach himself much of the course from the textbooks IMO, or from some of the very good revision guides that are available. Maybe if you can arrange him some relevant work experience, that might re-motivate him to overcome the science challenge? (I'm a vet with a very unscientific 16 year old daughter who just taught herself most of her science GCSEs through not understanding the teachers, so I can see this from both sides!).

whatstream Fri 29-Jul-11 11:40:15

marking my place with interest

marialuisa Fri 29-Jul-11 13:08:01

If you are in notts have you seen if you can take him to one of Nottingham Vet School's saturday open days? They used to let GCSE age kids take part and it might inspire him a bit.

mollysmum82 Fri 29-Jul-11 18:55:28

I forgot to mention, there's a list of local tutors on netmums and First Tutors. I think my nephew's tutor was on one of these. Good luck

benetint Fri 29-Jul-11 20:02:42

Thank you all so much for your posts, I really appreciate your help.

Mollysmum82, I can't thank you enough for PM-ing me your tutor's details! I spoke to her earlier today and she seems really warm and friendly, just what we need! We're meeting with her next week - I'll let you know how it goes!

Mollymole, the school doesn't have a sixth form so they haven't mentioned he couldn't do the three A Levels following the combined course. I'll be devastated if colleges won't allow him to because of his current schools restrictions! I'll chat to him about moving schools for his Year 11 but he's quite settled otherwise and its late in the day now. Something to think about though, thank you.

Alice15, my son will be really chuffed to have received advice from a real life vet, thank you! That's really interesting about the gateway scheme, I'll look into that! Hopefully a combination of revision guides, tutoring and the possibility of this scheme will stand him in good chance.

Marialuisa, what a great idea about the open day - thank you!

Whatstream, are you in a similar situation?

sillybillies Sun 31-Jul-11 23:08:12


He may still be doing 3 sciences but with one teacher. We have classes where they've been taught by just one teacher for triple science. Although it is definitely beneficial it is not absolutely essential to have studied the triple science course to do A levels in the sciences, however he will need good grades to be considered. Plus veterinary courses are very competitive so he will need good GCSE's.
Also I taught a lovely student who went into veterinary via an access course and has done really well. She chose mainly arts subjects at A level and then had a major change in her chosen career. Very bright girl though.

However back to your question, I would recommend a tutor, a bit of one to one can do wonders.

alice15 Sun 07-Aug-11 19:49:06

OP, I just came across an article about the gateway scheme in a veterinary newspaper. To be eligible, applicants must a) be attending a non-selective state school, b) neither parent can have been to university and c) the family income must be less than £25K. Hope this helps, if you see it!

benetint Thu 18-Aug-11 13:34:22

Thanks so much alice15 that's really kind! I'll have a look at it.

Sillybillies, thanks for your post that's really interesting. Tutoring is going so well, DS has his smile back again!

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