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Moving from foundation tier to higher tier (science)

(14 Posts)
RedSkyLastNight Mon 15-Apr-19 12:47:26

Y10 DS has admitted today that his school will be setting foundation and higher papers for year 10 exams in the sciences (in previous years they just set a single exam). DS will be sitting the foundation papers. DS has a target of 7s and aspirations of taking science at A level so this is a blow to him. He knows full well that school has made this decision because he's spent the last year coasting and doing the minimum(if that) amount of work whilst "assuming" that year 10 doesnt matter and he can pull it back in year 11. Yes,we've had many chats about this and in the end I had to back off because it wasn't helping. At the end of the day I can't make him work. However this has been a wake up call so wondering what he needs to do to recover the situation, if indeed it is recoverable. Clearly acing his year 10 exams would be a good start!

OP’s posts: |
Seeline Mon 15-Apr-19 12:50:25

It will be down to the school really. Yes, do really well in these exams, and then have a chat with the relevant teachers.
For what it's worth, doing double won't necessarily stop him from doing science A levels, as long as he gets decent results. He may need to do some catch-up work over the summer before he starts though. there is a lot of extra stuff covered for the Higher level.

clary Mon 15-Apr-19 13:00:59

Foundation paper is not the same as double science AFAIK Seeline - it's a paper where the highest possible grade is a 5, which would then be an A level issue. I taught MFL but I wouldn't put a student who had gained a 5 on the F paper in for a level. Otherwise I agree, liaise with the school and point out to your ds that he needs to work!

clary Mon 15-Apr-19 13:02:04

Disclaimer : I may be wrong, and science may work differently from maths and MFL.

Heyha Mon 15-Apr-19 13:06:26

These are internal exams, right? So can either request a switch to higher on a promise to revise his backside off (presumably his class have covered the harder work so he won't be coming at it completely cold) and see what his staff say. Or take the hit and do foundation but I suspect all that will do is limit which set he can go in next year. It may not- we used to sort our spreadsheet of each year group by score, carve them into 8 sets then go through each class as a team to see who looked like they were in the wrong place either academically or socially (kids in bad combos, that kind of thing) and jiggle it round.

Worth a quick chat with staff if you can, they will value your concern and support.

RedSkyLastNight Mon 15-Apr-19 13:12:05

You are right clary. DS is taking triple science, not combined, but if he takes the foundation tier, he won't be able to score higher than a Level 5, which it looks like most 6th forms consider too low for A level (though actually his current school will "consider" DC who have a Level 5). Clearly it's not just about getting onto an A level course anyway, it's how he'll cope when/if he gets there.

OP’s posts: |
Seeline Mon 15-Apr-19 14:08:51

Ah - apologies!
But yes, we found at least a level 6 was required for A level, but usually a 7.

TeenTimesTwo Mon 15-Apr-19 15:47:51

I would consider him asking if please will they put him in for the higher exams and that he promises to work hard to show he can do it.
They may have just said Foundation to shock him into action...

Justgivemesomepeace Mon 15-Apr-19 15:52:17

If he works hard and proves himself, they have time to switch him to the higher. My dd is in yr 11 and about to take her gcse's. They only confirmed a few weeks ago that she could do the higher paper.

RedSkyLastNight Mon 15-Apr-19 15:59:30

His exams are basically straight after the holiday, so I don't think we have time to request he sits different papers. Nor,to be honest is DS impressing so far with his level of revision. He keeps telling me I need to trust him, to which I have retorted that I would if he'd given me any indication that he knew what he was doing. Anyway, he assures me that he understands that he needs to do well in at least science, so I have backed off now. There is only so much you can do as a parent if your child desnt want to do it for themselves. Hopefully if he does do well in these exams we are in a good place to ask for him to sit the higher papers when he does mocks.

His school teaches science in mixed ability groups, and I've never before realised that suiting "able but lazy DC" was such a benefit of mixed ability teaching. At least he has been and will continue to be taught all the higher paper material for now at least.

OP’s posts: |
Heyha Mon 15-Apr-19 16:02:37

OP, if the exams are in April/early May and DS is in year 10 then these are mock or end of yeqr exams, surely? I did ask this upthread but think lost in the discussion.

RedSkyLastNight Mon 15-Apr-19 16:05:26

Yes, they are year 10 exams. We're a year off gcse still ...

OP’s posts: |
Heyha Mon 15-Apr-19 16:11:45

That's good then 🙂 time for someone to run off an extra copy of the higher papers if they agree it'd be worth seeing what he can do with the amount of work out in this time.

Or could do foundation as planned and try the higher at home if you want to get a feel for it. I'm struggling to see how they'll go through the papers in a mixed class afterwards if some have done higher and some foundation though, I've done it with an option subject and it's a bloody nightmare. They aren't just all doing foundation for ease, are they?

physicskate Mon 15-Apr-19 22:54:26

From a (former) science teacher's perspective about a level: it's very normal to get two grades lower at a level than gcse. This is 'expected progress'. So getting a 5 means expected progress at a level would result in a d or an e.

Obviously, many individuals can make better than 'expected progress' because learning is not such a linear process. 'Expected progress' is a statistical tool for large cohorts, but may give your dc something to think about: the better he does at gcse, the more likely he is to do better at a level.

He needs to wake up now and pull it back together. Easily do-able. He should show his teacher all of the make-up/ extra work he's putting in and start pulling his finger out in lessons through effort, focus and participation, particularly if a level is something he wants to pursue so that the teacher can help him better prepare for the huge step up.

Get the cgp workbook (not just revision guide). I'd also recommend the Collins workbooks, as they do tiered workbooks to three levels so he could see what sort of understanding is required for what grade banding.

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