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Sacrificing Triple Science

Discussion in 'Science' started by desparatedan, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. The school I am currently in has reduced the teaching time for triple scientists to 5 hours per week. In my view this is at least 2 hours per week too few. After contacting a former colleague who teaches in a school that used to allow 7 hours per week, I found that he too was trying to teach triple scientists in 5 hours per week.
    Is this the same in other schools?
    Is triple science seen as the option that can be sacrificed to allow various GCSE equivalent courses to be taught that are not needed by most pupils who follow the triple science course?
    Is this another step along the road of schools caring more about the school results compared to those of individual pupils?
    What is your experience? What do you think?

  2. Do the students have to come to lessons after school to make the time up? Parent power any use to you in your situation?
  3. We teach triple science with just 5 hours a week. We get them started at the very end of year 9 (but this only gets us about 10-15 lessons ahead). It is OK.
  4. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    9 hours a fortnight for us.
  5. We have been told it would interfere with languages lessons going on before/after school.
    Parents are starting to complain but it will take some time.
  6. We have 15 hours over a two week timetable ...
  7. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Keep very quiet then!
  8. We are 5 hours a week, but with no transit time to lessons you can lose 5 mins each period - so thats 4 1/2 a week.
    The speed at which we are moving through the specification leaves little time for any form of assessment or to recover material students are struggling with. From a teachers point of view the teaching is not enjoyable, as there is little time for practical work and you are continually looking at the calendar to see how many weeks are left till the exam.
    The answer is simple - if you are not willing to provide more lesson time offer students triple science as an option. That way you will get the interested students who are willing to give a little more.
    Why will schools not do this - I believe many students would drop MFL to do science and the SMT are unwilling for this to happen, so they go for this compromise which in the long term produces students who are prepared for passing a GCSE exam but not ready for A level.
  9. You have summed up my feelings exactly Stewie.
    I still manage to do a fair bit of practical but I rely heavily on the excellent attitude of the kids who realise they are getting a raw deal and work hard to make up for it both at home and in the lab.
    They are all being forced thruogh a lesson of btec work skills as well. The y11s have just finished 3 weeks of reviewing work experience. They are not impressed. The required provision for citizenship could easily be covered in one lesson a fortnight but this would take more thought for SMT and hence is a non-starter for those who believe the best solution is the first that comes to mind.
  10. hcb

    hcb New commenter

    Independent school: Triple science gets same time as double award (top set only) of 2 hours per science per week, but with masses of time lost between lessons (no allowance for changeover) and for 'enrichment' (school trips).
    Meanwhile maths gets 3hrs 20 mins per week and all other gcse subjects get 2 hrs 40 mins.
    Well obviously physics is much easier than history/french/ drama/ textiles etc..
    Then they publish the value added for each subject and guess what - maths does very well and the science subjects do not!
  11. gregodowd

    gregodowd New commenter

    Exactly hcb and this year we're teaching triple science to pupils with C grade targets and trying to get them through.
  12. bogstandardcomp

    bogstandardcomp New commenter

    Currently 15 hrs over 2 weeks and I think its a push to get in all of unit 7 in OCR 21st biology
  13. Dont start me on Maths - 9 lessons a week to do 2 GCSE's whilst Science does 3 in 6 lessons a week.
    I am also aware that in lots of schools there is a policy for C/D candidates to have to drop a GCSE subject (for instance MFL) and that lesson time goes towards Maths.
    As suggested Maths will appear to have very good value added.
    Just make science an option. Solves the problem.
  14. enjolras

    enjolras New commenter

    Glad, I think, that maths is not only considered special in our school. All of our students take triple science although there is streaming in maths. My suggestion of more flexibility in our approach to options was turned down because of "timetabling difficulties". My reply was that these "difficulties" are really "priority choices". If a better deal for the sciences were considered important enough, it could be arranged. Unfortunately it comes much lower down the pecking order.
  15. we have 4 hours a week as core, which rises to 5 hours a week for additional in year 11. They take triple science as an option, and this year there are 2 groups - i group gets 2 hours option time this year, and will get 3 hours a week option time in year 11 ( the other group is vice versa). This eaves us (from last year) 1 lesson down a week for year 10s, and 1 lesson a week for a year down for the 7s (P, C and B). Not sure how well it will work yet.
  16. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    State schools get judged on 5 A*-C including English and maths. Thus the unparalleled enthusiasm amongst school managements for maths and English.
  17. Evertonian

    Evertonian New commenter

    We have 4 hours a week to do Core and Additional over 2 years. I would like to see Triple happen on another 2 hours if possible eventually. That is tight but doable...trying to use post-Easter (or soon after) Year 9 to do some ISA (AQA investigation) work to maximise time.
  18. The true sciences (physics and chemistry) should be given more time - we need more graduates in this area. Biologista are two a penny and its a relativlely easy degree.
  19. I have wanted to offer it as an option at my school but been refused by SLT as it would potentially take the best pupils away from Geography or History because of the way options are blocked. This would seriously detract from their results. I think the answer is something similar in other schools.
    We are left with teaching triple in double award time (5hrs a week) . We did try after school classes but enthusiasm wanes in winter months and numbers quickly drop.

  20. One of the reasons behind our reduction in time to 5 hours per week is so that every pupil can have an hour of citizenship per week. Surely, the mandatory requirements for citizenship can be covered in 3 extended learning days.

    What happens in your school?

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