Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Hello BTEC, My Old Friend

Last week, the Science Department announced a dramatic reshuffle of Year 11 top-set science classes, in perhaps the most important year for them academically. Those who got B's or lower overall in either core science or additional science would not be allowed to continue their studies into the third year of the science curriculum. They were told they would instead have to retake the subjects they didn’t get A's in, despite having studied nearly all of extension science’s chemistry unit in class this year.

The top-set teachers could offer little explanation other than that letters had been sent to the affected students’ homes (after the decision had been made, without consultation of parents or students). They added that they were themselves were against the change, but upper management was unwilling to hear their opinions (where have we heard that before? -Ed). Allegedly, one higher-level science teacher, in support of the reshuffle, told them “Tough.” when told the opinions of those who work closest with those most affected.

Once again, the school has made a poorly advised decision, purely in the pursuit of more affable results come August 2016. Of course, students can still do science at A-level with double science, but, then again, you can do the same with B's in triple science. Furthermore, you can even do science A-levels at Hampstead with a D (and a little lube). This affirms that this change is purely cosmetic. There is no consideration for those that would like to study science as it interests them and don’t want to spend another year reading the same ‘jokes’ from a battered CGP textbook, and instead science lessons will become tantamount to revising core content most have already done.

This is not the first time the school have pulled a stunt this crass. Weeks before the previous academic year's exam season start, Year 12 students underachieving in one or more subjects were told publicly in an assembly, in front of their peers they would be dropping a subject that day, before they had even had a chance to fail it, without prior consultation of parents. All this is a further shade of wrong on the part of the school management, and could even be considered an impeachment of their obligatory duty of care.

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