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Core Science and Triple Science

(11 Posts)
catwalker Fri 16-Sep-11 11:08:33

Can someone please explain to me how science works at GCSE. Is core science a separate GCSE or is it subsumed into triple/double science?

My son (just started year 10) has done two parts of his core science (the first exam sat in June and the controlled assessment). He does the final element, the second exam in January.

He was disappointed because he got an A (84 marks) for the exam and a C (68 marks) for the controlled assessment and presumes this means he's unlikely to get anything higher than a B for his final core science grade.

He's doing triple science. Once he's done these will he end up with 4 GCSEs (Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Core Science) or does the Core Science form part of the three separate GCSEs?

He also said his teacher had said something about the controlled assessment marks not mattering too much because things were changing next year but wasn't sure what she meant.

Hope someone can advise!

circular Fri 16-Sep-11 13:11:55

My Y10 DD has just done exactly the same - Core module 1 (C1,P1,B1)in May (A), CA shortly after (B), final module (C2, P2, B2)in January.

I was under the impression that the CA was not the final one, but could be wrong?

The core taken in this way is a separate GCSE.

At her school, those taking triple will go on to take Chemistry, Physics and Biology separately. Each will have two exams - C/P/B1 to 3, C/P/B4 to 6 and a CA.

Those taking double will just take one further Additional GCSE which is C3,P3,B3 and C4,P4,B4 and CA.

So it looks to me that those taking double were disadvantaged by taking core in Year9. For those taking triple it does not really matter as it's just an 'extra' GCSE.

kritur Fri 16-Sep-11 16:56:00

I am going to keep a copy of this stored on my computer so I can just copy and paste it.........
OK science is ridiculously complicated and I really wish it was simpler because it is really confusing for parents.

Science comes as 1, 2 or 3 GCSEs.
Core science = modules C1, C2, C3, B1, B2, B3, P1, P2, P3 (chem, phys, biol)
Additional Science = modules C4, C5, C6, B4, B5, B6, P4, P5, P6
Core science = 1 GCSE, Core science + additional science = 2 GCSEs (used to just be called 'double award science'.
Triple science do all the modules above plus extension modules C7, B7, P7 (these are big modules which are the same size content wise as 3 of the other modules). They then get GCSEs in chemistry (having covered modules 1-7), biology and physics. The 'core science' element is subsumed into the 3 GCSEs).
Different exam boards arrange the exams differently so for some exam boards the unit 1 would be C1, B1, P1 whereas others arrange say C1-3 in an exam.

You need to check the weighting of the controlled assessment as to what inpact it will have on his overall grade, this is the first year there has been controlled assessment (as opposed to the old style 'coursework') and it is generally felt that grades will decrease under the new regime.

sillybillies Fri 16-Sep-11 17:27:33

What exam board is he doing? Did I read it right that he did exams in year 9?

Must admit, I'm confused and I teach science. The science specs are changing this year so if he's starting GCSE now, the first sitting of the new exams is Jan 12. If he sat exams last summer it must be on the old spec.
If his teacher said things were changing, that would suggest that they haven't entered the controlled assessment yet. Or perhaps they are planning to do Core science on the old spec (this year) and entering them for triple science as well on the new spec (and finishing in 2013).
sorry to muddy the waters somewhat!

catwalker Fri 16-Sep-11 17:37:11

The exam board is OCR. I've got a note from when he started year 9 (he's currently in year 10) that core science would consist of three elements:

Unit 1 - an exam, which he sat in June 2011 at the end of year 9
Unit 2 - an exam, which he sits in January 2012
Unit 3 - Controlled Assessment (to be completed by March 2011)

My note also says that each unit is worth 60 marks.

He brought home a print out with the results of Unit 1 (84% - A) and Unit 3 (68% - C) at the start of this term. But he also had some tale about his teacher having said to the class that the Controlled Assessment results didn't matter because they were changing the system next year. I couldn't work out what difference that would make to something that's already been marked.

(The logical thing would, of course, be for me to ask the teacher. However, last time I emailed her with a query, as soon as ds walked into her class the next day she said to him at the top of her voice that she'd had an email from his mum asking her to explain something and she'd already explained it all to him so what was his problem........)

circular Fri 16-Sep-11 17:54:01

DD is doing OCR too.
But her printout only gave the exam result, which is why I presumed they get another crack at the CA.
Exam was definitely May 2011, Not June. There are 2 different syllabus though - hers was the Gateway rather than the Applied.

I spoke to her science teacher when first hears they were sitting in yr9, and was told that this was the OLD syllabus and the triple science groups would do 3 separates under the new syllabus.

Last time I looked, OCR did not do Extension Science, so the only way to take triple was 3 separates.

kritur Fri 16-Sep-11 18:07:26

Aha, just remembered it's ended up as 2 units + controlled assessment
So C1 and C2 belong to the core science part of chemistry
C3 and C4 belong to the additional science
and C5 is the bit that makes it triple.
I'm on sabbatical at the moment so not having to cope with all this rubbish myself!

catwalker Fri 16-Sep-11 18:20:48

circular - yes, ds sat the exam in May rather than June.

eatyourveg Fri 16-Sep-11 21:42:59

Yep - you'll end up with 4 science gcse passes - just like ds1 what a complete waste of time. I have already made it very clear that ds3 about to make his options will either be doing triple from the start or double from the start, and not play their game of doing half of one and then switching to the other.

Our school started everyone off on double, they did the first module B1 C1 P1 in Y9 then the second module in Y10 then in Y11 those with As and Bs in the core went on to take B123 C123 P123 in the January and 456 in the June

I'd think very carefully what you want for your ds. He did OCR Gateway.

sillybillies Fri 16-Sep-11 22:07:10

I think he is sitting the gateway OCR science course (OCR also run 21st Century Science GCSE's) so what you are saying makes sense that the last exam for Core science would be the Jan 12 sitting. When are they cashing in the exam? This is when you cash in all the modules and get the actual GCSE? They could be doing the core then entering them all for triple sciences on the new specification. However if they are, then you are correct in being confused as to why the teacher said the marks for the controlled assessment don't matter too much because if they are cashing in the Core GCSE on the old specification then they would need the controlled assessment for this year.

Maybe she was referring to the controlled assessment for the triple science which as there is a new spec starting would be different.

The core science units as Kritur described do form part of the triple course but if he sat the core science units in May/June 2011 then they won't be able to be used for the triple course finishing in June 2013 as they come from different specifications.

Damn confusing. Good luck in working it out.

The exam periods would be May running into June so some of the exams will be 2nd half of May and others in June and its pretty random as to where they fall in that period. (summer sitting as opposed to winter sitting which all fall into January)

sillybillies Fri 16-Sep-11 22:09:56

oh and just read eatyourveg comments and I agree that taking the core is a bit of waste of time if they are going onto to do triple science. He won't be able to count it really as 4 GCSE's at least not for anything like university entries etc.

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