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Music teacher teaching science....

(20 Posts)
Fruitflylady Wed 09-Sep-20 21:41:02

I understand the difficulties schools are facing, trying to set up and maintain ‘bubbles’, which means some teachers are spread a little thin, but....
My DS (year 10), came home yesterday telling me some of his science classes will keep be taken by his music teacher....who is also teaching one of his friends Geography.
Any other schools doing this?
I’m a little concerned; DS is in top sets and hoping for good grades; you’d think the school could spare an actual science teacher for kids taking GCSEs next year!
What can I do about this? Any advice...?

OP’s posts: |
Londonmummy66 Wed 09-Sep-20 21:44:05

Not unusual for music teachers to be very good at maths and physics (and possibly done a joint degree in something like music and acoustics...)

HPandTheNeverEndingBedtime Wed 09-Sep-20 21:45:09

Teacher could have A levels or a joint music and environmental science degree and therefore able to teach all three. If they have environmental science degree they'll probably have been given unit's on Atmospheric chemistry, oil, renewable energy, fossil fuels there is plenty of cross over between science and geography.

We have an ICT teacher teaching some science lessons this year just because it's not his normal specialism doesn't mean he isn't qualified. Teachers teach out of their specialism all the time you just probably wouldn't know about it.

PamDenick Wed 09-Sep-20 21:52:37

Schools are just surviving at the moment. They are trying so hard to keep open as safely as possible that some things aren’t perfect.

Fruitflylady Wed 09-Sep-20 21:58:15

You’re right, he may have qualifications I’m unaware of. I’m trying to keep an open mind at the moment, it’s just one of a number of issues we’ve had with the school over the years, and this teacher doesn’t have a great reputation in getting his students the best grades...

OP’s posts: |
Generallybewildered Wed 09-Sep-20 22:30:10

Why are you surprised? There weren’t enough science teachers to go round in “normal” times. I qualified 18 years ago and I am literally the only one of my science PGCE class still teaching.

clareykb Wed 09-Sep-20 22:33:16

My brother is a maths teacher and teaches German too-even in "normal time"... He has a GCSE and has been on a lot of skiining trips that is as far as his qualifications go. He does only teach Y7 though.

Sunshineandsparkle Wed 09-Sep-20 22:42:13

A teacher can be directed to teach any subject to fill gaps in the timetable. They normally try and play to a teachers strengths so it could be that he has a joint honours in a science too. A friend told me last year that a German teacher (actually German) at her child’s school was teaching English as well. To be fair to the lady, she probably had a better understanding of the grammar than the other English teachers 😂. A few parents complained but I think were told that the teacher has a degree in English also and to basically mind their own business.

maddy68 Wed 09-Sep-20 22:48:15

Most teachers teach more than one subject

Malmontar Wed 09-Sep-20 23:07:37

DD started y7 last sept and had 5 science teachers before we even got to lockdown. I don't really care what they teach though, the best one she had out the 5 was the one who usually taught D&T, she was an amazing teacher and got her to love science.
The actual science teachers were the worst at controling class behaviour. Obv just our experience but there's definitely a shortage- and we're in London so don't usually feel the brunt of these shortages.

raddledoldmisanthropist Wed 09-Sep-20 23:20:05

Even if he has relevant qualifications and is a good teacher Science GCSEs are by far the most content heavy and pedagogically challenging. You only get good with practice. Any new teacher will not be as good as an experienced one.

That said, schools are in a massive bind trying to keep bubbles small. Teaching this year will be ropey in many schools. Personally I would check that he is qualified and if he is I think that'll do.

If he isn't qualified I'd be pissed off at him having a GCSE class.

lakesidefall Wed 09-Sep-20 23:26:20

There seems to be a significant link between being good at music and maths so I'm not terribly surprised by this.

I'd keep an open mind for the moment.

AlwaysLatte Wed 09-Sep-20 23:27:54

Highly unlikely that that teacher doesn't have an equal or at least adequate qualification, hence being appointed.

raddledoldmisanthropist Wed 09-Sep-20 23:35:59

Highly unlikely that that teacher doesn't have an equal or at least adequate qualification, hence being appointed.

They haven't been appointed. The school is filling gaps in a difficult situation. I've had to teach geography without even a GCSE in it.

Meredusoleil Thu 10-Sep-20 09:35:02

What is it with the subject of Science in particular?!? It must be a huge shortage subject with regards to teacher recruitment and retention as we are having issues in my London Borough too apparently!

Dd1's Science teacher will also be her PE teacher by the looks of her timetable. Is there a crossover between these two subjects? I can only think maybe he did a Sports Science degree 🤔

LolaSmiles Thu 10-Sep-20 09:39:29

Even before Covid, it's not uncommon for teachers to teach outside their main subject. Sometimes the teacher has a joint honours degree or has done additional training (such as a subject knowledge enhancement course), others they try to play to staff strengths and interests, others they are thrown into a new subject and have to get on with it.

Secondary schools are having very real issues recruiting for English, Maths, Science and MFL in many areas. As an aside, that's why it's laughable how many posters on other Covid threads are saying teachers should quit their jobs because someone better will do the job.

OverTheRainbow88 Thu 10-Sep-20 09:47:44

When we teach outside our subject we usually teach year 7-8s. In a school of 250ish teachers I don’t know any teaching GCSE outside their subject!

raddledoldmisanthropist Thu 10-Sep-20 10:22:23

What is it with the subject of Science in particular?!? It must be a huge shortage subject with regards to teacher recruitment and retention

Yes. Maths is almost as bad.

Meredusoleil Thu 10-Sep-20 10:42:17


*What is it with the subject of Science in particular?!? It must be a huge shortage subject with regards to teacher recruitment and retention*

Yes. Maths is almost as bad.

Maths has always been bad, even when i was teaching secondary over 6 years ago! So much so, that I was asked to teach a KS4 class for half a term (I have A Level Maths and did some s part of my degree too)!

ChristmasCaper Thu 10-Sep-20 11:43:54

I don't know if this is widespread or if your son is at the same school as mine but ds is in the same position and I was quite shocked. They were apparently told it's because Y11 are the priority.
I know they're trying to keep the same teachers for the years 10 and 11s but it's a concern

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