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triple or double science

Discussion in 'Science' started by redwater, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Hi
    I am trying to find information on the criteria for sitting triple or double science, don't seem to be able to find an answer.
    My son achieved level 6a June 2011 end of year 8. Year 9 he has started the aqa physics, chemistry and biology syllabus have recently been into school for parents evening but did not get any answers regarding my question.
    would appreciate any help
    concerned parent
  2. In our school, we don't have specific criteria for the pupils to study triple or double science - pupils choose triple science as an option. We do however make sure that the pupils are aware of how much extra work there is in the triple science course.

    We suggest that unless the pupil is in set 1 or 2 for maths (out of 4) that they don't do triple as the chemistry and physics part of the course is quite maths heavy.

    If your child was achieving level 6a at the end of year 8, then I would say he is more than capable of sitting triple science. It does depend though on what he is hoping to study at college - is he hoping to study sciences? if so then triple science is a must!

    I hope that answers your question a bit - but please feel free to ask more!
  3. Hi ns324
    Many thanks for the quick reply, my son is in group 2 of 6 for maths also sciences. He is hoping for a career in engineering. I do have to push him to revise as he can be lazy, he seems to be a natural with physics and chemistry but he's not so keen on biology. I wouldn't want to demand he does the triple, I only wish for him to do what he is capable of but I am little concerned regarding the lack of information supplied by his school. He recently achieved an A* for his first term physics test, I'm not sure what he achieved for his chemistry and biology as the wrong results have been recorded on his report. A number of students from his science class have been informed they will be taking the triple science but my son has not been included. I believe him to be above average in his class so I am unsure why he has not been selected.
    Many thanks for your help, is much appreciated.
  4. PinkHelen

    PinkHelen New commenter

    I believe (but am not totally sure!) that any child achieving at level 6 or above in year 9 is supposed to be allowed to take triple science. Not sure if that is true - it was quoted by our old head of department many times. Most schools are rather vague on the necessary attainment to take triple science, and it might have changed since our HoD left as we haven't had any info since.
    It is usually taken as an option though - is this the case at your son's school? Has he chosen his GCSE options yet? Does Triple Science take up an extra option? - all things worth considering.
  5. Different schools have very different criteria for studying triple science. For some it is only available for the top science set, for others it is available as an extra subject option. If the school is highly academic triple sciences are studied by the majority of students.
    From your son's performance so far he should be capable of doing well BUT if
    this would be a cause for concern- especially as the class may be covering 3 GCSEs in the time allocated for 2. Don't forget that there will also be a lot more coursework involved in addition to the exams.
    If your son has more than one science teacher they may not all be supportive of him doing triple award.
    Students are able to do well in AS/A2 chemistry and physics after dual award science so don't worry that his options will be limited in the future.
  6. This is simply not true. Up until recently many schools did not offer triple science yet their students still managed to study veterinary science and medicine at university. I also have friends who have studied sciences very successfully at Durham and Oxbridge with dual award science GCSE.
    The transition for dual award GCSE to AS is tougher than from triple
    award but for motivated students it doesn't pose any major problems.
  7. I'll rephrase - rather than a 'must' triple science makes the transition to A Levels much much easier. In the past most schools didn't do triple science and of course the students went on to study successfully, however, now with triple science being much more widely available, ALL the colleges in our surrounding area expect pupils that are going on to study science at A Level expect pupils to have studied triple science. This is what I meant by a 'must'.
  8. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    In the past, double award had sufficient science to enable students to have a reasonable grounding in most areas of study ready for A level. Now, double award does not have sufficient for a seamless transition, and grade inflation means that the GCSE grades are a very poor predictor of A level success. A B grade at OCR GCSE means less than 50% in the exams.
  9. Hi
    It sounds like your son's school is running a 3 year gcse course, as we are. We run OCR not AQA, but it works the same. So our model is this:
    Yr 9 Students do B1,2,3 C 1,2,3 & P1,2,3. They would have sat exams in these in june, had the modular path not been scrapped this year in favour of terminal exams. The weakest students would switch to the applied course which prevents them doing traditional science a levels. They would have the chance to resit some of their poorest graded exams from y9
    Y10 students do B4,5,6 C4,5,6 P4,5,6 (or the applied course). Again, they would have then examined in June.
    Students who have achieved well in these exams would then progress to yr 11 doing triple units B7 C7 P. Students doing less well would not do triple and would resit.
    Now that we do not have the advantage of the unit exams, we are running internal ones which give us the information needed for the same model.
    In the past, we have offered triple in the option blocks. If this is the case, we have no criteria and any student is able to choose it. We have had students in set 5 of 5 for dual science taking triple. We do ensure all our students are informed about the choices we they are making and I think that if you are still unsure you should ring the school and ask to speak to the head of science.


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