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New GCSE science for weak students - what shall we do?

Discussion in 'Science' started by theoneinthecorner, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. theoneinthecorner

    theoneinthecorner New commenter

    In previous years our school has run science plus for our low ability cohort in Y9 & 10 and then moved on to a science core GCSE in Y11.
    This has worked well with children with a variety of needs. I will never forget a mother being so happy her daughter had a GCSE at results day. It was a grade F, but with her having Downs she was over the moon.
    With double science the new GCSE it seems this path is blocked. The material needed to recall for two GCSEs and the exam hours make it unsuitable.
    We can do the entry level course and leave it at that, but previously the students were pleased to be doing a GCSE like their peers, and i would like to continue with that.
    An alternative is to do entry level and then try say a single GCSE or an iGCSE in one science such as Biology, I assume i am allowed to do this as we will have taught the PoS through the entry level. I also assume that the single GCSE could count in the "other" bucket for P8
    In the end performance measures are not the drivers, but rather a success curriculum for our students.
    Has anyone got a plan or any comments on this conundrum?
  2. misspiggy82

    misspiggy82 New commenter

    One of the routes we discussed was only teaching half of the combined course and then only ask students to sit half of the papers. They obviously will not be able to achieve a high grade, but we thought if they could do really well on three foundation papers, this might at least get them a grade.
  3. AQAEducation

    AQAEducation New commenter

    Hi there

    We have come up with some solutions that may be just right for you. We think that the vast majority of students should be entered for combined science but some can follow different routes to get there by the end of year 11.

    We’ve designed one route that uses the new entry level as a way to deliver combined science. It is coteachable and offers a safety net for students that may struggle. We’ve also written a scheme of work that maps across to combined.

    Please take a look here: http://bit.ly/1UhEm7s

    We want to support you and help you find the right route for your students – please speak to our team on 01483 477 756 or email gcsescience@aqa.org.uk

    Many thanks
    Niall Keating
    Customer Support Manager
  4. Edexcelscienceteam

    Edexcelscienceteam New commenter

    Just a note on the performance measures. A separate science GCSE will actually count in bucket 2 of progress 8. For Ebacc then you have to attempt 3 separate sciences for 2 to count, but not in progress 8.

    Another option for you, as you've mentioned that performance measures are not drivers, is the new IGCSE single award in science we are developing for first award in June 2019. Information on the single award isn't on the web yet, but we expect it to be available in the next couple of weeks. However, the double award is available (which the single award will be taken from) to give you an idea of the style of qualification: http://qualifications.pearson.com/e...rnational-gcse-science-double-award-2017.html

    Edexcel science
  5. Ssn77

    Ssn77 New commenter

    I teach in a sixth form where some students do a retake single award science GCSE. ELC is not an option, as these students already have D/E grades in double science (or sometimes a level 2 BTEC).

    Some students want a grade C in GCSE science to apply for a particular university course or apprenticeship, or maybe to achieve 5 A*-C grades. We teach the course in a year.

    At present the only option I can find is to change from AQA GCSE Science to the CIE IGCSE which still offers a single science option. The Edexcel IGCSE would be of interest, but we would need it before 2019.
  6. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    In the medium term AQA's single award equivalent technical award might be good, but it's not starting for a couple of years. I'm off to a course on the co-taught GCSE / elc. My pupils' problem is that we don't have teaching time for double award.
  7. fiendishlyclever

    fiendishlyclever Occasional commenter

    The downside of the technical award is the content will be different to the combined GCSE as the government doesn't want to dilute the gold standard! Unfortunately all the GCSE alternatives are not ready yet - so it isn't only the government that hasn't given much thought or time to SEN students.

    My governors are unhappy about GCSE science and are discussing it again at our next governors meeting. They feel that there are too many exams for SEN learners and too much pressure (we are doing 2x GCSE with current Y10 but with exams in each year and coursework).

    The problem for me isn't the level of demand - my students can cope with the content (my year 9 gave anyone who would listen a lovely description of the Doppler effect) - it's having to recall two years worth of content in a high pressure high stakes environment. That doesn't look likely to change in the current political climate :(
  8. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I went to AQAs EL - GCSE 1-3 meeting on Tuesday.
    AQA seem well aware of what is needed for these students.
    They offer single and double award entry level. They have produced documents setting out what extra content is then needed after EL to firstly get a grade 1-3 GCSE (not too much) or then to get a better GCSE (quite a lot).
    Unless something happens to change my mind, this is going to be my chosen option.

    Single award EL requires 3 modules with a test and practical assessment for each module, double another 3 modules. It looks flexible.
  9. neeny468

    neeny468 New commenter

    We started with the single CIE iGCSE at the start of the year and soon realised it wasn't going to work, we have reverted back to the edexcel double GCSE course over 3 years and for those that just aren't going to cope with the colume and recall we are going for the EL. It looks like AQA and Edexcel are headed down the same route of single/double EL linked to the GCSE, although we are still waiting for final specs and confirmation from edexcel on the EL courses. The current plan for us is that we will be teaching GCSE to all of year 9, having chosen some of the less challenging topics (?) and then split them at year 10 to continue the GCSE or do the EL at single or double level depending on the students. Would be interested in resource sharing for anyone that would like to... we have so much to generate between the 2 of us and the exam board resources aren't really suited to our students.
  10. Evertonian

    Evertonian New commenter

    ELC for those who can't get GG equiv (1/1). We're doing iGCSE with out lower ability at present and they all passed apart from our couple of ELCs that we didn't enter so it could be okay depending how much more demanding the new GCSE than iGCSE.

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