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bacteria, immunity, and bull semen. - helen-louise
baratron
baratron
bacteria, immunity, and bull semen.
I am going crazy here.

As you know, I teach science. There are 3 possible options that students can sit for GCSE science at age 16: single science, double science and 3 separate sciences. Single & double are combined science which have aspects of biology, chemistry & physics. Most students do double science. The exams for all of these are next Wednesday, 7th June, in the afternoon. Every kid in the country, just about, will be sitting a science exam on that day, and I'm completely overworked right now with tutoring and group classes.

So, I'm trying to find out what the various double science syllabuses want the kids to know about white blood cells, disease, immunity and vaccination etc. There are 3 possible exam boards for these public exams, and each board offers at least 2 double science syllabuses to add severe overcomplication; but most of my kids are doing one of 2 syllabuses. Which theoretically should make things easier. Except, while AQA Co-ordinated specifies an entire page of content, going into a fair bit of detail about what's required, Edexcel B has all of 3 very vague lines. And I can't find a single exam question from an actual recent past exam on the topic. I can only find questions from books that are written to be roughly the same difficulty level, not actual past papers. This is despite there being 3 exam boards with 6 current syllabuses. I can find 3 separate science past paper questions on bacteria, disease and immunity coming out of my ears, but no double science ones. Am boggling, here.

I don't want to waste my time or theirs teaching them stuff they don't need a week before the exam, but why is it on the syllabus if they never ask about it?

The bit that kills me most about both of the Edexcel 3 separate science syllabuses is the bit about artificial insemination of cattle. I mean, have these examiners ever MET a class of 15 year olds? Let alone tried to TEACH them about this! The June 2004 paper, for example, features a picture of an "artificial vagina used to collect semen from a bull", for god's sake. I can't look at it without laughing!

But even worse than that is the stupid names the stud bulls have. "Ranby Viceroy is a Friesan bull. His semen is collected four times each week and each sample is diluted 50 times before storage. How many pregnancies could Ranby Viceroy be responsible for in one year?"

At least it's "Ranby" and not "Randy" - but it's near enough to kill all the dyslexics, for starters.

I honestly believe the examiners have never met a 15 y.o. in their lives, let alone ever tried to teach one, let alone tried to teach a whole class of them.

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Current Mood: confused confused

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Comments
thekumquat From: thekumquat Date: 30th May 2006 22:35 (UTC) (Link)
If you think that's bad, spare a thought for my friend L. For biology A-level 1/4 the course was an option, either microbiology or 'applied animal biology', including artificial insemination.

L broke her right wrist and hand and hurt her left just before A-levels and couldn't write. She got extra time and a computer for typing answers, but got an assistant to draw any diagrams. Her assistant for the animal paper was our lecherous always-wanking housemaster, and having to tell him "up a bit, left a bit, no in the vagina"... let's just say she did resits as the better option!
epi_lj From: epi_lj Date: 31st May 2006 01:09 (UTC) (Link)
...or they have, and are snickering in projected shadenfreude as they write it.
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