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I love teaching BTEC Science and my pupils love doing it...

Discussion in 'Science' started by myorangecrush, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. I love BTEC Science. It has a place. It doesn't suit my potential doctors, engineers, lawyers and other academia subjects but it suits my nice, hard working, focused Y11 and Y10 pupils.

    My BTEC Science class believe they can achieve academically and are all going to college. My mirror GCSE group (same FFT grades) are feeling doomed to failure and have little ambition.

    My BTEC Science class I can leave for 4 lessons in a three days without setting cover because they know what they're doing and how to do it. I came back to a stack of marking. My GCSE group stole my air freshner and my rulers and didn't do any work for the two hours I missed.

    My BTEC Science class are starting to feel like all the hard work they've done for the past two years is worth nothing because that's what the government says.

    A bright child can pass a GCSE in Science without writing a word in class, bar during coursework. A BTEC Student can't do that.


     
  2. I love BTEC Science. It has a place. It doesn't suit my potential doctors, engineers, lawyers and other academia subjects but it suits my nice, hard working, focused Y11 and Y10 pupils.

    My BTEC Science class believe they can achieve academically and are all going to college. My mirror GCSE group (same FFT grades) are feeling doomed to failure and have little ambition.

    My BTEC Science class I can leave for 4 lessons in a three days without setting cover because they know what they're doing and how to do it. I came back to a stack of marking. My GCSE group stole my air freshner and my rulers and didn't do any work for the two hours I missed.

    My BTEC Science class are starting to feel like all the hard work they've done for the past two years is worth nothing because that's what the government says.

    A bright child can pass a GCSE in Science without writing a word in class, bar during coursework. A BTEC Student can't do that.


     
  3. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Whilst I don't particularly like teaching it I also feel that for the less able but hard working students this course is ideal. There is plenty to keep them occupied. They can achieve and they feel this. The same classes in previous years doing core and additional would have 2 years of misery and a feeling of failure.
    But putting any child who is capable of a C or better at GCSE on this course would be a betrayal.
     
  4. fiendishlyclever

    fiendishlyclever Occasional commenter

    I think the problem with BTEC is the fact it was given the equivalence of two grade C's when it doesn't have the same demand as GCSE at that level. A more realistic point score wouldn't have led to schools adopting it wholesale for the wrong reasons.

    It does suit many learners but I've also seen many low-FFT-predicted children shoved through it not for their benefit but for that of the school.


    I don't think BTEC is suitable for all - and many of the tasks schools set don't really test science ability. I don't think GCSE is the answer either - the government seem determined to change that exams into a memory/literacy exam rather than a chance to demonstrate science ability. What we need is a KS4 qualification with decent assessment that suits the needs of the learners. But what would I know?

    Rob Fiendishlyclever.com
     
  5. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    The problem with BTEC is that will have reduced value - not in terms of league tables but actually as a qualification.
    I know of schools who have pushed their cohort through 'BTEC Science in a day' which involves students being sat in a room for 6 hours and filling out all the paperwork in order to get BTEC...no Science taught, no Science learnt, no skills developed...but a BTEC gained.
    It means that the qualification will become of less value to everyone...why should an employer consider that it shows any real ability, talent or skill. Loads of kids will have that piece of paper...some will have worked hard and been good applied Scientists...others don't deserve the qualification at all.
    It's a real shame for the vocational qualifications that they have been hijacked in this way to boost schools league table positions.
    Mark
     
  6. I wouldn't go this far with my group... but they all say I am their favourite teacher (My GCSE class hate me) and they all wish they could do A-level science. The GCSE class never want to see science again. As it happens we offer level 3 BTEC. It is heartbraking hough that the other BTEC group has distinctions across the board and my group don't because I am trying to make them do it without copying straight out of books... but hey ho!
     
  7. sep2

    sep2 New commenter

    I totally agree with the first post. I loved teaching BTEC and much preferred marking it to a pile of books.
    I worked in a tough school and my kids worked their socks off and actually had more scientific understanding than they ever would had they done core science.
    I hate the idea that ALL students should do BTEC but I also think that for the Dr's and Vets etc the current science course is dull and bland and lacks the good bits that used to be included.
     
  8. Orion

    Orion New commenter

    I think it coudl have been a really good course but in reality it is abused by schools for league tables.
    Sad reality is as previously sad many pupils who cannot work on a course with exam are simply coached through it and copy each others work to pass.
    Shame.
    Employers will soon catch on and end of not trusting BTEC.
    Should go back to exam at end of 2 years and no reatake. Then we would see real retained knowledge and skills which develop over 2 years not just cramming and cheating.
     
  9. Orion

    Orion New commenter

    I think it could have been a really good course but in reality it is abused by schools for league tables.
    Sad reality is as previously sad many pupils who cannot work on a course with exam are simply coached through it and copy each others work to pass.
    Shame.
    Employers will soon catch on and end of not trusting BTEC.
    Should go back to exam at end of 2 years and no reatake. Then we would see real retained knowledge and skills which develop over 2 years not just cramming and cheating.
     
  10. I agree with Rob & other comments- schools are using it as a way to boost their league table scores by shoving unsuitable kids through the course and glorified copying out rather than actual teaching and learning. Pity for the kids who put the effort in and get the same qualification as one that just copies out of the book.
     
  11. wire247

    wire247 New commenter

    <font size="2" face="Tahoma" color="#000000">I agree with most of the comments posted above. I heard a rumour today that the government are planning not to fund BTEC. Seems to fit in with the ethos of the recent white paper and the creation of Ebac. Not totally against the reforms, but surely there is a place for a BTEC type course. I'm all for academic rigor, but anyone who lives in the real world knows that there is no 'one size fits all' solution. Our year nines are taking their options at the moment, and it is good that anyone who is capable is being pushed into a more academic curriculum. There are, however, going to be a large minority for whom we cannot offer a suitable choice. With a smile on my face I endorsing the choices they make, knowing that they should be doing something more suitable. It's the lack of progression that concerns me. It will be compulsory for them to stay in full time education until they are 18, doing what? We had loads of students who went on to study level three BTECs.</font>
     
  12. blazer

    blazer Star commenter


    I agree, there is a place for an alternative to GCSE for the weaker kids. We used to have one, it was called CSE!
     

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