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Can't do triple science unless you're predicted at least a C in MFL

(85 Posts)
sandyballs Tue 11-Feb-14 10:22:10

To be fair I haven't discussed this with school yet, my DDs are year 8. But friends with older kids have been discussing it and getting tutors for languages.

Has anyone heard of this before, what on earth has achieving in a language got to do with science?

nickymanchester Tue 11-Feb-14 10:25:46

It sounds very much like the school are just concerned with their ebacc figures rather than anything else

sandyballs Tue 11-Feb-14 10:46:51

I'm quite ignorant about ebacc and other parts of older secondary education, I think I need to read up on it.

Metebelis3 Tue 11-Feb-14 12:12:28

My DS has a sort of similar issue - he is dyslexic and needs extra support for English so he has been put on the double science track for his options. He's top set for science, very good at it, and wants to do science A levels possibly (he's interested in engineering). The school is trying to do its best for him but...it seems wrong somehow. I'd rather he didn't do the compulsory PE or RE to be honest, than only did double science. (I have nothing against RE, I think it's a fabulous subject but I don't think he will do particularly well in it given his issues. I have many things against PE as a GCSE. Too many to number. )

MillyMollyMama Tue 11-Feb-14 13:34:26

It seems odd to judge likely performance in science by attainment in MFL. I would query this policy to see if it can be waived in certain circumstances.

I do not think there is anything wrong with PE GCSE for sporty people but it should not be compulsory. Also PE A level can be a useful 4th A level for aspiring Medics as it looks at the mechanics of the body so is not a waste of time for some.

There is also a common perception among parents posting on MN that Engineers do not need to write do do the job. They do. They write reports, put bids together to get jobs and write letters. They need to display a professional approach to work and that includes writing. Employers do want Engineers with good literacy skills.

bruffin Tue 11-Feb-14 13:59:26

Thats ridiculous. Dyslexic DS got a D in his german, but has been top set science all the way through and now taking maths and physics A levels. He has an offer from a RG university for engineering. The school will be doing themselves a serious diservice by adopting such a policy.

nickymanchester Tue 11-Feb-14 15:13:48

ebacc is just something that schools are measured on. I would suggest that it is really bad that they are trying to stop children doing triple science - presumably in order to give them extra lessons on MFL - as this is just to make them look better in the league tables and is nothing to do with what is best for an individual child. Or at least that is how I look at it.

curlew Tue 11-Feb-14 15:17:14

For a child capable of doing 3 sciences who has no additional needs, a C in MFL is not a high hurdle, believe me!

RunnerHasbeen Tue 11-Feb-14 15:20:51

Honestly, how likely I getting a D in MFL if your child is doing well in the other subjects, well enough for triple science. It is very rare for a child to get all As and a single D unless there is something seriously wrong with the teaching. If you really think your DD is heading towards a D in languages then that should be the bigger worry, not the school rules.

camptownraces Tue 11-Feb-14 15:24:48

I think nickymanchester is right: it's connected with timetabling additional language lessons for those who need more help with MFL, which then leaves not enough time to teach all the material for the three separate sciences.

MadIsTheNewNormal Tue 11-Feb-14 15:25:04

My DS got an A in German but he could not have coped with the triple sciences, and only got Bs in the double science exams.

nickymanchester Tue 11-Feb-14 15:26:30

Honestly, how likely I getting a D in MFL if your child is doing well in the other subjects

Happened to me - straight As in everything else but I was absolutely rubbish at French and had a real block with it.

sandyballs Tue 11-Feb-14 16:03:32

Interesting. I'll def speak to school. I see what you mean about if you're doing well enough to do triple science then language shouldn't be a problem but that isn't always the case. Particularly as they do science at primary school but not a great deal of languages apart from the odd bit of French, unless private. I just think it's an odd policy.

One of my DDs is a 4A in Spanish and a 6C in science at this stage of year 8. The other 5C in Spanish and 5A in science.

curlew Tue 11-Feb-14 16:05:47

They're both well on track for Cs, then, sandyballs!

kslatts Tue 11-Feb-14 16:11:15

Does seem an odd policy, my dd is doing double science as she is not in top set, but everyone in top set are doing triple regardless of which other subjects they are taking.

sandyballs Tue 11-Feb-14 16:43:07

That makes sense to me, if you're in top set you should be deemed 'bright' enough to go for the triple. Apparently not at DDs school.

circular Tue 11-Feb-14 19:54:57

Does seem strange, although DD1 (now yr12) nearly missed out on triple science as her eoy 9 English level was only just 5A. Strangely, her French and German were both 6A. I think 5A English and 6A maths and science were the criteria at the time.
She did do triple science GCSE, as well as French. Ended up getting a high A in French and B's for both English.
Makes me wonder how difficult MFL GCSE is if that can happen?
Oh, and she had extra one to one in English in yr10 for a term, and attended a study centre for 2 years.

ChocolateWombat Tue 11-Feb-14 20:49:46

I think the school has a system for making judgements about overall ability. Predictions of a number of D grades will suggest not being in the top ability bracket and triple science is probably deemed demanding and only suitable for those in the top ability bracket.
So there isn't a direct link between MFL, but between the overall academic profile and opportunity to do triple science.

gardenfeature Tue 11-Feb-14 21:20:49

I would think that it should be down to what grade they are in Science - a Level 7 would be Triple potential no matter what grade MFL. Two grade As in Double would be better than three Cs at Triple and Double Science doesn't stop anyone doing A Levels in Science.

Metebelis3 Tue 11-Feb-14 21:23:51

Nicky it was a long time ago but I had to work about 4times as hard for my A in French as for my As in everything else! Some of us just find languages hard. sad

Re engineering - yes I'm aware they need to have literacy skills but there's no suggestion my DS isn't expected to pass both English exams - just that being severely dyslexic he needs much more support than others. I think that's fair enough. I don't think enforcing compulsory PE GCSE is the way to go for him, if triple science has to be sacrificed to facilitate everything else. The school are now looking at his case again. Hopefully that will happen for OPs DD.

Metebelis3 Tue 11-Feb-14 21:31:23

chocolate In DS's case it's the need to find time for some 1-1 ( or 2-1) English that's the problem. He has complex needs and is considered very high ability, but his confidence in his ability to write, and spell sad is rock bottom. If they were still having the spoken English he'd be in a better position as he'd be a solid A* (thanks to audio books he is extremely well 'read' and very articulate - but not on the page). He's not just top set science, he's top quartile of top set. Mad really - his sister, at a different school, is ultra un-sciencey only interested in science for its fictional potential, and was forced to do triple science when she'd rather have done drama! Luckily DD2 who will go to the same school like science (for now). Unluckily she also likes drama!

Bunbaker Tue 11-Feb-14 23:24:46

Metebelis3 Are you sure that the PE is a GCSE course?

PE is a compulsory part of the curriculum, DD will still do PE is years 10 and 11, but not to take a GCSE. She will have to take a GCSE (that I can't even remember the name of) which is a cross between RE and Citizenship. I'm not overly happy about that.

Incidentally GCSE PE is quite an academic subject and involves a lot of theory and essay writing.

S4Worries Tue 11-Feb-14 23:38:09

It's discrimination against dyslexics!

Starballbunny Wed 12-Feb-14 00:23:19

Tell me about it DD1 was an A in core science and will get A/A* at additional and would have got 3xA/A* at triple, but being dyslexic the head of science stuck her in the top double set.

She's been their fucking unpaid TA for two years and her teacher just grins and says don't bother coming to the revision sessions. angry

Tying science to MFL would have seen them in court for disability discrimination

horsetowater Wed 12-Feb-14 00:28:35

That's absolute codswallop. My dd is doing triple science, she's not top of the class and she's not doing a MFL. I wanted her to do history and geography so she had to drop MFL.

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