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Hi. I`m needing a science for a pgce. Do they offer individual science these days or is it just combined? What`s a good exam board? And does anyone know in Bath where I could sit the biology gsce?
7 years ago

Biology Question asked by Georgie

Hi there, The new version of the single is called `combined science`. A good exam board iso AQA. If you need a tutor the first session with me is free. Hope this helps, S.McRae
21/08/2016 23:15:59 | comment by Shakeela
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All three sciences are offered, however if you are doing a pgce i would suspect the minimum requirements would be core and additional science, in other words two gcses. I am not sure you can do just biology.
31/08/2016 21:11:18 | comment by [Deleted Member]
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19 Answers

Hi, if you are needing a GCSE in Science for entry then you can select one individual GCSE - Biology, Chemistry or Physics. Edexcel also offer Human Biology iGCSE and Cambridge offer Physical Sciences iGCSE (a combination of physics and chemistry).
I would strongly advise that you check with the college in writing (or email) to make sure they will accept one of these as the GCSE science.
There are plans for a single GCSE Science - but they don`t start until 2017, and in my experience it`s usually a good idea to avoid brand new courses for the first few years.
Exam boards. I would advise taking iGCSE (International GCSE) since it is aimed at those who cannot do practical experiments in a science lab. The assessment is by written exams. Cambridge and Edexcel do them. AQA are stopping them.
Having tutored students for Edexcel and Cambridge both produce very good text books - very important resource.
Choose a subject you find most interesting. Most choose Biology because it isn`t as difficult to understand, BUT the exam questions are almost cryptic in wording, so you need to work at exam technique and a lot of content so revision technique has to be good also. Physics (if you get it) is more straightforward, Chemistry also straightforward if well taught. Happy to advise more.
Answered by Michael | 7 years ago
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Hi Georgie

I know they (PGCE) offer individual science (Biology) nowadays.

But not sure where in Bath you can sit GCSE (I assumed that`s what you meant because you wrote GSCE). I would suggest you check with the colleges such as Bath College or University of Bath. They might be able to give you suitable recommendation.

Answered by [Deleted Member]
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Hi it is possible to take GCSE biology OCR offer this but you could also do a combined science course also offered by OCR can`t answer the question about bath however the subject spec`s change for 2018 exam series
Answered by Tim | 7 years ago
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Hi, you can do individual sciences. The best option might be to get an IGCSE as this course doesn`t need coursework. There are various choices available, but you might want to put "fast track gcse science for pgce students" into your search engine. There are options there. You might also want to ask your training institution for advice as I`m sure they have lots of people in your position. You will probably be able to get onto a distance learning course then find a local exam centre to sit the exam. Good luck!
Answered by [Deleted Member]
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It really doesn`t matter if you do combined or or seperate sciences. If you do combined you usually specialise in one at A`Level. As for exam boards. I have taught OCR, AQA and Edexcel. I prefer OCR and AQA but it is down to preference in terms of assessment and what suits the students. Generally the content is the same for all exam boards.

Good Luck

Answered by [Deleted Member]
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Hi Georgie,

You can do biology on its own as a separate science. Aqa have a good syllabus and the set books along with online resources are good also.

To sit the exam you could contact your local high school and enquire about sitting the exam as an external student. You could also volunteer to help at the school which will help you with your PGCE application and you may get some free tuition also.

Failing that most FE colloges will help or contact AQA themselves who will put you in touch with their local providers.

Good Luck,

Answered by Stewart | 7 years ago
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You can do individual sciences, or combined science as a single GCSE (core style), as 2 GCSEs (additional style) or triple science (which are the individual sciences). I would recommend double or triple for a PGCE as you will be expected to be able to teach all 3 to GCSE level and most universities won`t allow you on the course without this knowledge.

As far as exam board, they mostly cover the same topics, but you can look at their specifications free online. I personally prefer AQA, with Edexcel as a close second. But you`ll need to find a college in your area where you can sit them, so you`ll probably have to do whichever board they run.

Phone around colleges in your area and ask (some universities may also do it). Some will run courses, some may let you study it yourself and sit the exam there.
Answered by [Deleted Member]
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Hi there,
They should all be Science in Secondary Education and while you`re there you might focus on your specialism but you will be trained to teach all of the sciences. Sorry I can`t help you on Bath though.

All the best,

Answered by Chris | 7 years ago
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Hi Georgie,

You can still do the sciences separately, so if you would just like to do Biology then you can. Any of the exam boards: Edexcel, AQA or OCR, will be fine. The specifications are online, and you can have a look at some papers.

I do not know Bath, but if you were to get in touch with local schools (not sure your age, but maybe your old secondary school) or colleges, they may let you sit the exam there. You would have to pay the exam fees, but you will have to do that anywhere.

Best wishes,
Answered by Kirsty | 7 years ago
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Hi, they do offer individual sciences - Biology, Chemistry and Physics are all highly sought after and you can get a grant from the government to do a PGCE in one of those subjects.
As a teacher it probably won`t make a difference which one you do because you will most likely end up teaching all three as most schools although want a specialist don`t have the capacity or the staff to let you do solely one science.
Exam boards vary massively - AQA were always my favourite as the coursework was less strenuous than others and the topics covered are generic. If you start teaching most likely you will experience a number of exam boards though as schools regularly switch to try and improve pass rates etc.

Hope this helps :)

Answered by [Deleted Member]
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You would be far better off taking combined for a qualification for pgce if you going to do primary. For all others single sciences wold be preferable. Have a look at the examining boards,their syllabi are much the sme now as are he style of Q.
Answered by [Deleted Member]
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You can either do double award in which you will study all three sciences. You will take two papers, each paper will have three components, biology, chemistry and physics and which ever grade you get will be regarded as 2 grades e.g. AA, BB, CC
Or you can do separate sciences in which you will take biology, physics and chemistry, you will sit three separate exams and get grade for each subject and altogether it will make total of three grades.
You can check local schools. They all offer both options.
Hope it is helpful
Mrs siddiqui
Answered by Zahida | 7 years ago
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Most adult education centres will help you out in sitting a GCSE. You can sit a gcse in Biology only, no problem. If you need any help on the topics, let me know and we can run some sessions over skype / FactTime.


Answered by [Deleted Member]
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If you want to study a PGCE you will need to have a degree and some experience working with you people. If you want to take a PGCE in science you can choose your specialism, biology, chemistry or physics. If your degree is science based you won`t have a problem. If you`re degree isn`t science you may need to do a science conversion/subject knowledge enhancement course. These are often funded by your institution of choice when you`ve been accepted. Good luck!
Answered by Caroline | 7 years ago
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Your best bet is to approach the science department of a school you are familiar with or contact the exam boards directly and see what they say. WJEC, AQA, OCR are exam boards I have used for my subject. I would also look at distance learning maybe via the Open University? Good luck!
Answered by [Deleted Member]
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I`d look at the Edexcel IGCSE options. IGCSE because, as someone already said, it avoids any internal assessment (so is much more suitable than GCSE for a private candidate). Edexcel because it`s much easier to find an exam centre for Edexcel exams than for CIE, which would be your other option.

Yes to single sciences I had a student this year needing a science for a PGCE who took Human Biology, which suited her very well (she checked that the college to which she wanted to apply was happy with that option, and you should do the same). Being strapped for cash, she did most of it by working through the textbook and doing lots of past papers, and just had a few sessions with me. I don`t think that there is a single combined science option any more (though CIE may be an exception to that) and you probably don`t want to double your workload by doing double science.

As for exam centres: get in touch with local schools and colleges and ask them, but don`t leave it until the last minute to do so (for a summer exam, I`d be asking around in October/November time).
Answered by [Deleted Member]
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I`d suggested doing `Core Science` GSCE for a PGCE, this is the last year you can do it as a single GCSE. I personally prefer AQA, it`s more straightforward, and so is the coursework. I would have thought you would be able to sit it at any college.
Answered by Yvette | 7 years ago
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Im not sure if you can sit individual subjects anymore. In schools you either do single award science (where you study all three sciences and get one gcse), duel (where you study all three sciences to a higher level and get two GCSEs) or triple science where you study each individual science to a higher level. I would assume you would have to study at least double science level to go on to do a level and degree science for a PGCE.
I would make sure it is a well known and respected exam board (e.g. aqa or OCR)
Answered by Louisa | 7 years ago
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I assume you mean GCSE and not PGCE? (PGCE is a teacher qualification and it also has subject streams so your question is confusing).

As for Science GCSE - there still is double, additional and triple science.

Double = you do physics, chemistry, biology and cover the same depth in all three.
Additional = you study one more science at a wider depth. You can decide which one you are good at.

Triple= You do each of the science as single award and aim for 3 separate grades.

If you are sitting as a private candidate then most centres tend to offer an IGCSE (these are single awards, i.e. separate subjects) and the Exam board is Edexcel. Just google IGCSE private candidate in Bath (or come and take the exams in London). There are plenty of private centres which will let you take the exams (some will also offer tuition).

Again, I am not sure what you are exactly after. For GCSE OCR is not a good exam board but schools still pick it because they have low grade boundaries. AQA tends to be "easier" some say and Edexcel is quite standard. For getting a good grade, I personally don`t think that an exam board makes a world of difference - it`s your own preparations that really matter.
Answered by [Deleted Member]
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