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Science - core and additional or triple science

(10 Posts)
Amerryscot Thu 17-Jan-13 17:51:57

It's important to get the best grades possible in science, so it is not an advantage to do triple/separate if the effort is spread too thin. Much better 2 A/A* than 3 Bs.

A lot depends on how the school manages option blocks. If triple science uses an option, then that might not be a good thing. It will detract from a broad and balanced curriculum by preventing the student doing a different subject. If the school streams, with top sets doing triple in the same time a middle set will do double, then fine (but with the caveat of diluting grades).

Not planning A-level sciences is not a good argument against triple. This will be the last opportunity for the student to show their scientific mind, so should make a good show of it. It will be the best science qualification on their CV, so important to get right and adequately reflect their potential. The most important subjects are those that the student enjoys and will directly feed into future aspirations, however.

An exciting initiative that Edexcel has introduced is "Further Additional Science". This is a third qualification to be taken after Core and Additional, giving the student three science GCSE, and covering exactly the same material as separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The difference is that the student can decide whether to bother with FAS after their Core results, and poor performance in FAS will not bring down grades. They will also have covered a broad syllabus, regardless of results. It is less risky than going the separate route.

beafrog Thu 17-Jan-13 14:25:09

Thanks for all your thoughts - really helpful!

chopchopbusybusy - you're quite right about the coasting - he's a terrible coaster... probably gets it from me blush

Chopchopbusybusy Thu 17-Jan-13 13:12:45

As he has no intention of doing it at A level, then core and additional is perfectly adequate and wouldn't make any difference to university applications.
The thing which would worry me about the situation you have described is that if all top set pupils are encouraged to do triple, then the double science class will have less able pupils in it and if your DS is a bit lazy he might coast along resulting in lower results.
I'd let him make the decision though.

Muminwestlondon Thu 17-Jan-13 13:05:58

Some selective Sixth Forms will not consider students for science A levels without triple science.

IMO if a child is thinking about science A' levels it is a good idea to do triple science, there is a big jump from GCSE to A' level and it is going to be bigger from double.

If a child is not particularly interested in science or has no aptitude for it I would say double is fine.

gelo Thu 17-Jan-13 13:01:15

Another thing to consider - will he be in a lower ability group if he does the double that might limit his chances of higher grades?

If he's just being lazy, then I'd try and talk him round.

beafrog Thu 17-Jan-13 13:00:43

It is the same timetable space - so it means doing 9 GCSEs rather than 10. School had put him in triple set, took the core exams at end of Year 10 and did brilliantly, but now claims to be finding it too much... Don't want to force him to do triple if he's going to end up with poor grades, but equally I'm not sure whether it isn't partly laziness and lack of work...

gelo Thu 17-Jan-13 12:57:56

I've always thought triple is particularly good for those not taking science further - if they don't take it they will in all likelihood never understand those topics. Will the child do something else instead? (the implication is no). If they don't do you really think they will get better grades doing 2 not 3? Bear in mind dc often get a lower result in 'core' (the questions are a bit odd), which can be compensated for by higher results in the higher modules if doing triple to bring the overall grade up, but not if you do double, so it's possible that BA vs BAA or even AAA could be the final results for some children (of course you never know if your dc will have this pattern or not until it's too late).

I would think universities will care mainly about results not subjects at GCSEs; that a child with the opportunity and ability to do triple should be encouraged to (unless the alternative is another worthwhile subject instead); but that if your child really doesn't want to you shouldn't make them.

nextphase Thu 17-Jan-13 12:45:15

Is it double or triple in the same timetable space? ie if they don't do it, the are one GCSE down? In which case, how many total GCSE's are we talking about (9-8 - do tripple, 12-11, go with childs strength!) or cna you take a different option in place of the third science?

What does your child want to do later in life - look at the university admissions guides or UCAS for likely couses, and see what the requirments are.

DoItToJulia Thu 17-Jan-13 12:42:25

Not sure in this day and age, but I did triple when it was fairly new. My first degree was non science, my second was science. Both taken at Russell Group universities. The expectation was that I would have 3 sciences GCSEs. Most independently or grammar school educated peers had it and didn't even know there was a double award. This may have changed though. What is the other subject on offer? If t will stimulate your son more, it may be better for him?

beafrog Thu 17-Jan-13 12:31:03

If your child has no intention of doing science beyond GCSE, is there any advantage to doing triple science other than having an extra GCSE? I'm thinking ahead in terms of university entrance really - is there any disadvantage to having opted for core and additional for Russell Group admissions if you aren't applying for a science-based course? Or do admissions people assume that the brightest children will have done triple science? Would AA in double be better than ABB in triple? School have suggested triple, child is not keen...

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