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Can shool force my son to take double, not individual, sciences?

(29 Posts)
jules62 Sat 10-Sep-11 13:30:19

My son left private school, after major issues re; verbal abuse and bullying over 2years. Started a good school in june 2011, year 9. previous to this I met with governor and expressed what options chosen for g.c.s.e's and was told 'no problem that they could and would accommodate'. Sent a letter from school on 18th july, (I was away, did not read letter, before school broke up) to be told they have decided he is to do double science, not triple, as he did not do well in his exams. obviously the syllabus was different from what he had been following and he was trying to fit in, so he did not concentrate on his work as he should and his exams suffered. BUT we had already discussed and teachers were made aware. HE is very bright as he gained a full bursary for private school, so i feel that he should be able to do single sciences as he wanted. He is thinking 'great less work' but i feel he should be challenged, as now he is aware of the need to knuckle down. His school is saying also, that stress levels will be lower when doing single science. His day is now 8.00-3.30 inc travel, as opposed to 7.20-5.00, so he has more time to unwind etc and then do homework. So stress levels along with the bullying has already decreased. Also whilst in private school he was doing well in biology, 'flashes of pure brilliance' chemistry 'excellent' and improving in physics,. Therefore can the school refuse to let him take the individual sciences and force our hand? have a meeting on monday. any thoughts?

alibubbles Sat 10-Sep-11 14:36:48

I made my DD do individual science instead of dual, she told me that if she'd done double science she would have got 2 A*s instead of 2 A's and a B, which actually turned out to be pretty much what happened with the rest of her year group.

She was brilliant in Chemistry and Physics and did A level in the latter, unless your DS is wanting to do all 3 at A level. I wouldn't worry about it.

Someone else may think differently, so interested to see opinions.

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Sat 10-Sep-11 14:46:59

Go and talk to the school, with your reasons. They will be going on the evidence of coursework and end of KS3 exams, which is not very much so far, so if you make a good case they may well listen.
But they will also listen to your son, so it is important that he wants to do triple science as well, not just his parent.

Talker2010 Sat 10-Sep-11 14:55:51

Which child would you like to be removed from the triple science group so that your son can take their place

Of course you should put your case to the school but there may be limited places in the groups

Ponders Sat 10-Sep-11 15:00:12

double science will be good enough even if he wants to go on to do science at A level; &, presumably, would give him the opportunity to take another subject which he wouldn't otherwise have (& the choice is restricted enough as it is once all the compulsory subjects are included)

martianbishop, an inspirational secondary science teacher who used to post here a lot, esp on threads like this, always said there was no need to take triple.

hocuspontas Sat 10-Sep-11 15:05:02

Don't the triple modules get done in year 11? If so, your ds has a while to prove himself and by then they could maybe jiggle the timetable for him.

Ilovegeorgeclooney Sat 10-Sep-11 15:09:05

You seem to be forgetting that the school have your child's best interests at heart. Also a governor would not be able to make such comments, why didn't you speak to the Headteacher? Schools have to judge pupils on how they perform in the classroom not on what mummy thinks.

Talker2010 Sat 10-Sep-11 15:10:52

hocuspontas ... that greatly depends on the school

Some teach Core quickly, Additional quickly, and then the triple element ... the OP son would be working at the wrong pace

Others teach Core and Additional as with the double and then the triple alongside ... the OP son would miss at least one triple subject

With the changes to the Science curriculum and the increase in students starting GCSE in Y9 there may be further complexities

Ponders Sat 10-Sep-11 15:14:16

Aren't they going to phase out the early GCSEs? (or is that wishful thinking?)

Talker2010 Sat 10-Sep-11 15:14:20

OP ... I missed the bit about "oh great less work"

First ... how is it less work ... surely he will be taking a different option instead of the triple science

Second ... if that is his stand point I cannot imagine the science team would be keen to have him in triple groups

Talker2010 Sat 10-Sep-11 15:15:15

Ponders ... phase out = yes BUT the OPs son is in Y10 now so before any changes

Ponders Sat 10-Sep-11 15:17:35

they're going back to final exams at end of Y11 instead of modules for those starting GCSE work in Sept 2012

hocuspontas Sat 10-Sep-11 15:18:32

That's interesting to know. At dd1's school everyone did the double (few years ago now), at dd2's school you were told whether you would be doing the single or double, and at the end of year 10, 'invited' to do the triple in year 11 if the school thought you were capable of it. I didn't realise it was up to the individual school how it was decided.

Ponders Sat 10-Sep-11 15:18:49

ah - thanks, Talker - I saw Y9 but didn't register that was in June

hocuspontas Sat 10-Sep-11 15:21:11

THAT'S interesting as well! Dd3 will be starting year 10 next September so will be in the 'guinea pig' year.

TheFallenMadonna Sat 10-Sep-11 15:25:33

Round here, the standard requirement for getting onto science A level courses is a B in the individual GCSE or in Additional Science. So when I am setting Triple and Double Award groups, I want to maximise the chance of the child getting at least a B. There is obviously an element of trying to read the future in this, but we use the evidence we have and try to make the best decision. There are of course some students who are right on the borderline, and then it is very difficult, and sadly comes down to group numbers. You need to contact the Head of Science and talk to her/him about it. I regularly field such calls and am happy to explain my rationale.

TheFallenMadonna Sat 10-Sep-11 15:26:15

Ah - you have a meeting on Monday!

QuickLookBusy Sat 10-Sep-11 15:33:50

Do the school have any written proof that he was working very well in science at the previous school? Unless they have I don't think you can blame them for changing his class.

MigratingCoconuts Sat 10-Sep-11 15:40:54

You are going to have to provide some more evidence of his brilliance in science before they are going to accept your word that his poorer performance since starting at the state school is due to studying different topics and settling in. Otherwise it just sounds like a whole bunch of excuses.

They will be working on the evidence they have collected and their professional judgement. And this should not be under estimated

They can refuse him a place on the triple course because studying Core science is actually the only compulsary part of the curriculum set out by the Government. The rest is then optional, with the assumption most will do a second or third GCSE.

So dig up some evidence of what you are saying. Don't go in there making demands and do show an appreciation of the difficulty of sorting setting out and the efforts they have gone to so far.

seeker Sat 10-Sep-11 15:45:17

What sort of marks was he getting at his previous school? Was any if his work marked against GCSE criteria?

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Sat 10-Sep-11 15:53:39

I'm primary, and having dealt with several parents who have come from private over the years, under the impression that their children were very able, an evidence-based approach tended to stump some of them.
Some have also been surprised that a child who was at the top of his set in a class of 15 was now average in a Y6 class of 32. Largely because of the lack of independent learning skills.
So I agree, the school are working from the evidence they have, what do you have to counter that?

jules62 Mon 12-Sep-11 10:19:28

hello, Just to say that my son wants to do the triple science as he would have done in the other school. Also they have not offered any further options.
At the meeting I am taking in evidence from his previous reports, from old school. All other subjects he is in top sets.

Along with this, he chose geography and history,(from the set chart) and was told that he could not do geography as it clashed with Design & Technology., so now we are down 2

Kez100 Mon 12-Sep-11 12:07:45

By all means have a chat with them but most state schools do have a cut off in ability where triple science is not an option. No doubt for very good reason! That's why we, at early year 9, are trying to get to the bottom of what our son needs to do to get him back up to the level needed to sit the exam.

MigratingCoconuts Mon 12-Sep-11 18:40:07

how did the meeting go?

jules62 Mon 12-Sep-11 20:49:42

well, they did say that they ranked him as border profile, over the three weeks that he attended, but are willing to meet with him and discuss tomorrow after seeing that he scored highly in his previous school. He wants to arrange the meeting etc himself and give reasons/opinions.

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