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Progress 8 and separate sciences question

(24 Posts)
Zero2Hero Tue 05-Dec-17 15:55:31

Last week I went to a presentation at our secondary and I just want to check I understood what was said.
A parent suggested offering two sciences instead of separate sciences and the deputy head replied that now schools can count students who have only two sciences into Progress 8. Does that mean that students can do just, say, Physics and Biology but no Chemistry? I thought the only choice was either all the three sciences or combined science but it sounded that's not the case anymore. Did I get the wrong end of the stick?
Being able to pick individual sciences sounds a good idea to me but what do teachers actually think?

sashh Tue 05-Dec-17 16:11:23

In theory yes you can provide separate science GCSEs. And computing/computer science counts as well/

In practice the school may only offer double and triple.

Zero2Hero Tue 05-Dec-17 16:41:33

Thanks sashh,
Our school does triple or double and that's it as far as I know. No option of picking a single science or two.
All the above was part of a wider conversation about science provision at this school and I did wonder whether they were considering offering single sciences even if it would be a timetabling nightmare and probably not financially viable either.

Middleoftheroad Tue 05-Dec-17 20:10:02

Can somebody please explain the difference between triple science (does this just count as one GCSE or three?) compared with single sciences. So if a school offers triple science you just get one GCSE split between three subjects? One school offers triple science with a gateway to physics, a gateway to chemistry and a gateway biology. Why does it not just say GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry?

Middleoftheroad Tue 05-Dec-17 20:13:20

And one offers core and additional science - can somebody explain. That's another science GCSE?

Cathpot Tue 05-Dec-17 20:13:46

Triple science means you do all 3 full sciences and will receive 3 GCSEs. Double science is when you do all 3 subjects but with a third less content in each, so you are awarded two GCSE for science . Inexplicably our exam board calls this double option ‘triology’.

EllenJanethickerknickers Tue 05-Dec-17 20:25:48

Core and additional aren't current GCSEs. They stopped last year. You can take double science, worth 2 GCSEs which is combined science and includes all 3 sciences. Triple science is another way of saying 3 single science GCSEs now. Three individual grades.

You can do just one or 2 science GCSEs but that's not the norm. Sometimes, low ability DC might just take level 1 science in Y10 and then just one single science in Y11 now that Core science has gone.

At my school some DC taking 3 single sciences have dropped chemistry. hmm They will still have 2 GCSEs for the Ebacc basket for progress 8. (IMHO they should have dropped to double science)

Zero2Hero Tue 05-Dec-17 21:15:53

I think in an ideal world kids should have to option of choosing between combined, triple or single science subjects at KS4 depending on interest and ability. Some kids won't want to take science subjects beyond GCSE if their interest lies elsewhere and some may be interested in just one specific science. Of course it's not an ideal world!

Middleoftheroad Tue 05-Dec-17 21:16:47

Thanks! And Triology? Crikey...shock

AlexanderHamilton Tue 05-Dec-17 21:19:14

I wish that Ds could just take physics & chemistry single sciences as he will get good grades in those but is likely to fail biology. However timetabling would mean that would be nigh on impossible.

clary Tue 05-Dec-17 21:31:07

A friend's daughter just did chemistry and biology so two thirds of triple science IYSWIM.This was a small private school tho, if that makes a difference.

Zero2Hero Tue 05-Dec-17 22:33:41

DH did badly at Biology in his day but very well at Physics and Chemistry. He has a degree is in Chemistry from a very good University and a very good job so in the big scheme of things his rubbish Biology grade didn't really matter.

AlexanderHamilton Tue 05-Dec-17 22:45:26

Because he will be doing double science not triple his biology grade will bring his other two down if you see what I mean. Yes issue with biology is related to his autism in that he can't cope with human biology at all.

catslife Tue 12-Dec-17 11:39:15

* the deputy head replied that now schools can count students who have only two sciences into Progress 8.*
Unfortunately this deputy Head was incorrect. It is true that Science only counts twice in the Science part of Progress 8 but this is so that pupils who only take double science (new combined Science) are not disadvantaged compared to those who take 3 separate Sciences. For the latter the 2 highest grades count for Progress 8 (Computer Science could also be included) but this is conditional on the pupil having been entered for all 3 Sciences. So entering them for only 2 subjects wouldn't be an option.

Zero2Hero Tue 12-Dec-17 13:15:29

Thanks catslife
Can I ask one more question?
For the latter the 2 highest grades count for Progress 8 etc
Let's say someone is entered for triple science and gets a 7 for each but 5's or 6s in every other subject, in this case would only two of the 7's count towards Progress 8?
I probably misunderstood the Deputy, I was sitting at the back and didn't catch every word.

TeenTimesTwo Tue 12-Dec-17 13:28:53

Zero I think what cats is saying is
- If someone takes triple science then in the double science bucket, the best 2 out of the 3 grades will apply.
- But if they have only taken say Phys & Chem and not biology, then they can't be used for the double science bucket.

Actually, broadly speaking, I think this is right for 99% of pupils. I think it is better to do a bit less of 3 subjects than to drop one at 14. (I say this as someone who had to choose between Phys&Chem OR Biology for O level).

IsabellaDMC Tue 12-Dec-17 13:45:34

AQA call one dual award option "trilogy" because the exam and spec are split in to the three sciences to be taught by three specialist biology, chemistry and physics teachers. They also run "synergy" which is the also a dual award qualification but split in to two so as to be taught by two science teachers.

catslife Tue 12-Dec-17 14:18:35

teen you have interpreted my meaning correctly.
Let's say someone is entered for triple science and gets a 7 for each but 5's or 6s in every other subject, in this case would only two of the 7's count towards Progress 8?
For Progress 8, 2 of the grade 7s can be counted in the Science bucket.
BUT there is another "EBacc subject" bucket where the highest grade in an EBacc subject can be counted. So in the scenario that you have suggested, the 3rd grade 7 would be counted in the EBacc bucket.

Zero2Hero Tue 12-Dec-17 15:24:45

That's much clearer, thank you all!
Need to go and read up about EBacc subjects and what falls into what bucket a bit more grin

TeenTimesTwo Tue 12-Dec-17 19:57:13

Zero Do you need to know? (Or are you just interested?)

Ultimately the pupils pick their GCSEs from option blocking given by the school. Your DC should pick the best options for them ignoring what it will do to the school's figures.

Progress 8 score, positive is good, negative not so good.
But lots of fiddling in the measure anyway I believe.

Zero2Hero Wed 13-Dec-17 10:52:59

Teen Yes, I am interested, my DD will pick her options next year so I need to know/understand how it works to enable her to make informed choices. Also aware of measure fiddling, another school nearby is great at it grin

TeenTimesTwo Wed 13-Dec-17 11:10:58

You probably won't be able to pick 2 out of 3 sciences as the school won't want to encourage it so won't allow for it in timetabling. <waits to be proved wrong>

Zero2Hero Wed 13-Dec-17 12:05:17

Most likely I misunderstood what was said at the presentation, I didn't think it would be possible to pick 2 out of 3 sciences either (not at this school anyway) and that's why I came on here to ask.

Cathpot Thu 14-Dec-17 16:45:44

isabellaDMC embarrassingly I didn’t know that about synergy syllabus - I’ve got a group and teach all three sciences to them using the triology syllabus . I’m going to have a chat at work tomorrow to check I am the only muppet who didn’t know this.

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