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Combined Sciences or 3 separate Science GCSEs?

(13 Posts)
wineoclockthanks Fri 22-Apr-16 17:32:24

We're at GCSE decision time!

DS1 needs to make his GCSE choices - he likes science but if he takes the 3 he won't be able to take History which he also likes.

He doesn't know what he wants to do as a career (not medicine though).

Does anyone know if there any disadvantages to 'only' having the Combined level please?

roguedad Fri 22-Apr-16 18:00:39

It's odd that triple science is fighting just with history - what else is he doing and what are the options? Opinions on here differ on the merits of double or triple. I think the latter is helpful for people going on to A level sciences as otherwise there is some catching up to do, but I've also heard people say they have manage that OK.

gazzalw Fri 22-Apr-16 18:07:36

I think it's considered the more academic option to go for three separate Science GCSEs BUT having said that DS is doing all three (at his school it's the norm) and he really only likes Chemistry. It is extremely unlikely he will be doing Science A Levels.

OP, I would think for your DS, particularly if he's not yet decided on his career pathway, is better having a 'broader brush' of GCSE subject studied. Others may think differently though.

wineoclockthanks Fri 22-Apr-16 18:08:29

Thanks for replying - it's not a fight as such, but if he does the Combined he can choose 2 extras, the second of which would be History if that makes sense.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Fri 22-Apr-16 18:27:00

Science teacher here. I think he should do combined and keep his options open, for all reasons given by other posters. It's only considered the more academic option for people definitely doing a level sciences. For academically minded students in the Arts, freeing up an option for another GCSE is sensible.

Even then, it will not prevent a student from doing an A level science if they chose to. Many students manage it very well.

teacherwith2kids Fri 22-Apr-16 19:23:31

That's the reason why DC's school only do double science - they get 5 options. So DS does double science, 2 languages, 2 humanities and a perfoming arts subject. (The only compulsory ones are double science - except for a tiny handful - 2x English and 1x Maths).

The 'science vs history' thing seems to me to be very sad.

teacherwith2kids Fri 22-Apr-16 19:24:49

(Their A-level Science results are extremely good, and equal to a similar localish school where quite a few children do triple. I suspect it means that the a-levels set off at a faster pace because there is more to cover, but there seems to be very little impact on A-level science results)

PonderingProsecco Fri 22-Apr-16 23:24:20

So there is combined = to two gcses and triple = to 3?
All new this year?
So confusing!
Science is important, but so to are subjects such as history......

Balletgirlmum Fri 22-Apr-16 23:31:04

Does he prefer science or history & is he more likely to go for arts/humanities subjects or maths/sciences at A Level?

Double science is entirely adequate if that's what a student prefers.

PurpleDaisies Fri 22-Apr-16 23:33:25

Another science teacher here. The way science GCSEs work is (almost always) students sit two biology, two chemistry and two physics papers to give them two science GCSEs. If they choose the triple course they cover an extra module of each subject to give them three science GCSEs overall. Effectively the combined course is 2/3 of the triple course.

It isn't science vs history, it's three science GCSEs vs two science GCSEs and history. It's absolutely find to do combined science even if he later decided he wanted to do a level science. I have three science a levels and two science degrees with combined science. It sounds like he should do history.

catslife Sat 23-Apr-16 09:12:43

Agree with other posters that it is still possible to take A level science subjects with Combined Science. (The entry requirements could be slightly higher for combined than for separate Sciences. At the sixth form where dd wants to go it's A/A for the current Double and BBB for triple but this will need to be change for the new 9/1 grades) .
History is a good solid academic subject and would keep further options open in future if he likes it and is unsure what he wants to do in future.
Although plenty of pupils take A level Science(s) without 3 separate Sciences at A level, it is extremely unusual for someone to take A level History without taking the subject at GCSE.
Hope that helps

teacherwith2kids Sat 23-Apr-16 10:50:06

At one point - as someone with a science PhD - I was really concerned about DCs' school only offering Double science (the board they do offers double / triple in a slightly different way from Purple's - 2 papers each at 3 different levels, each paper with Biology, Chemistry and Physics).

I contacted the Oxbridge college i did my degree and PhD at. They confirmed that they have students who did both double and triple on their science courses, and they certainly didn't discriminate against double science takers (this was particularly in the context that my DCs COULDN'T do triple at school, but the information was still interesting).

wineoclockthanks Sat 23-Apr-16 11:26:34

Thank you everyone for your comments. Feel much better now that DS can chose exactly what he wants to do.

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