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Year 10, not sure what to think!

(8 Posts)
decisionsdecisions123 Mon 20-Jul-15 11:51:56

So we've finished year 10 and received a set of exam grades. Some were better than expected. An E and A G for the exam part of 2 exams. How does anyone even manage to get a G?? Grades seem to vary wildly between Bs and Gs so not sure what to think.

Anyway, onto science. I am not told that they pretty much never do practicals in any of the sciences. I remember doing lots in chemistry and a fair few in physics when I was at school. Apparently it's the physics teacher who stands at the front and does a few for the students to watch and they have only done 2 practicals in chemistry for the whole of year ten due to having newly qualified supply teachers all year. Same for biology, only a couple of experiments on leaves all year. Should I believe this?

noblegiraffe Mon 20-Jul-15 11:59:21

What are your DS's predicted grades? What did he get for effort and behaviour?

If a student has severe learning difficulties then a G can be a major achievement. If not, I'd be very concerned.

It's possible they haven't done many practicals if they have had supply teachers, or if he is in a poorly behaved group who can't be trusted to do them safely.

Happy36 Mon 20-Jul-15 14:48:37

In our school, there is not enough money to buy resources for science experiments so the students watch a teacher demonstration. Also some of our labs are technically too small for the number of students in the classes so it's unsafe to have them all doing practicals. Lastly, we have only one lab technician for 9 labs so I presume sixth form or Yr 11 classes get priority for the lab technician's time. Contact the head of science to find out.

Well done on the B grades! : )

totallybewildered Mon 20-Jul-15 18:40:00

This doesn't ring true, as he would have been doing practical controlled assessments, etc. although there is a critical shortage of science teachers in some locations, and non science teachers would not be insured to do it, so if he has had supply teachers all year, it is possible that he won't have done his controlled assessments.

The best thing you can do, if that is the case, is contact your MP and highlight the damaging effect the teacher crisis is having on your son.

colander1 Mon 20-Jul-15 20:04:09

Sadly this is becoming more common. There just aren't enough science teachers in certain areas - London and the SE for starters. More and more science lessons are covered by non-specialists meaning there will be no practical work carried out. As a science teacher it makes me very sad for the future of science education in our country.

It is one of the (many) reasons my 2 are in the private sector.

I would suggest you contact the head of science for clarification (assuming there is one as some schools haven't been able to recruit anyone). Such a shame as we are going to end up with a generation of kids who have no interest in science and who will be faced with an increased demand for technological solutions to scientific issues.

Rosieposy4 Mon 20-Jul-15 20:15:28

Perfectly possible no practicals, we do plenty, but our sixth form drwas from other schools, mostly commonly 2 and t h kids from those have done basically no practical science at all sad

decisionsdecisions123 Tue 21-Jul-15 11:37:14

Thanks all. It is a London school and it does seem like they get through a fair number of teachers and have supplies in. Seems totally different to when I was at school, and the same teachers stayed for years and years. He hasn't been identified as having and specific needs but I have always worried about his writing skills and his maths. He seems to forget everything Almost instantly. I am surprised with the g and e grades as I haven't been called in to school to discuss how poor those grades were likely to be. Similarly I was even more surprised to see that he managed a B for his controlled assessment for part of his English grade. I did expect to see lots of c and d grades.

He does need to focus more in school and put more effort in but I always felt that the problem was that he struggled with academic work and when he joined secondary he just messed around rather than admit he didn't get what was going on. Teachers have always said he could achieve so much more etc etc but but the truth is I never thought he couldn't be an a grade student.

I feel that talking to school is a little pointless as i have asked for ideas on how to improve his maths/literacy since primary but never really got anywhere!

noblegiraffe Tue 21-Jul-15 12:16:31

It's possible he got the B on his controlled assessment as schools cheat give rather more support than normal when completing them.

It sounds like you need to go in and have a proper meeting with the school to discuss his unacceptable grades. Ask for the SENCO to be present as if he is having academic difficulties then he really should be properly assessed.

Use the English controlled assessment to your advantage. If he can achieve that grade, then why is he not getting that in exams? What support is being put in place? Does he qualify for extra time in exams?

Also he might need a rocket up his arse in terms of behaviour and effort. Does he know what his (limited) options are if he fails his GCSEs? Has he looked into college courses? Does he realise that he will need to continue taking maths and English until he passes?

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