Remi.
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Hello,

Just wondering if anyone knows . . . is it possible to get on a PGCE course without a grade C in science GCSE, I was a bit of a muppet at school particularly in science and subsequently got DD.

Since school I have done well in education, got my A-Levels and I'm expecting a 2:1 in Sociology. My ambition is to be the head of a special needs school and I do currently work as a care worker and can get experience in a special needs school.

Hope you can advise me.

Thanks
Remi
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G_S
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why don't u just pick up gcse science at a college and re-do to get a c whilst studying at uni?
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Remi.
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(Original post by G_S)
why don't u just pick up gcse science at a college and re-do to get a c whilst studying at uni?
that is an option, just trying to find out if that is what I need to do . . .
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Princess Bubbles
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(Original post by Remi.)
Hello,

Just wondering if anyone knows . . . is it possible to get on a PGCE course without a grade C in science GCSE, I was a bit of a muppet at school particularly in science and subsequently got DD.

Since school I have done well in education, got my A-Levels and I'm expecting a 2:1 in Sociology. My ambition is to be the head of a special needs school and I do currently work as a care worker and can get experience in a special needs school.

Hope you can advise me.

Thanks
Remi
Depends on the subject and level you want to teach.
http://www.prospects.ac.uk/pgce_entry_requirements.htm
I think you need to retake.
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swallows
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For primary, you need science GCSE. For secondary, you don't.

I'm in a similar situation - and it's annoying. Due to the fact I spent 4 years of my schooling abroad in a foreign system (between years 8 and 11), I wasn't required to take GCSEs (and the country I was in didn't have an equivalent qualification. Even so, I opted to take 5 GCSEs off my own back to make uni applications easier (English Literature, English Language, History, French and Maths), gaining A*s (alongside studying a foreign curriculum - which included science...). I then re-entered the English system, gained AAAA at A level, a first class BA from a top 10 uni, and an MA with distinction from a top 10 uni. I've since been told that I'm not able to apply for a PGCE because I don't have a GCSE in science. The only way I can make myself eligible to apply is to take the science GCSE, which means I wouldn't be able to start until September 2012, which strikes me as crazy, considering they let people onto PGCEs with EE at A level and a third class degree. I understand that they want to make sure new teachers are well qualified, but it would be nice if they took individual cases into account on occasion. I've pretty much been put off teaching because of the idea of having to wait over two years to start the course.
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modgepodge
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(Original post by swallows)
For primary, you need science GCSE. For secondary, you don't.

I'm in a similar situation - and it's annoying. Due to the fact I spent 4 years of my schooling abroad in a foreign system (between years 8 and 11), I wasn't required to take GCSEs (and the country I was in didn't have an equivalent qualification. Even so, I opted to take 5 GCSEs off my own back to make uni applications easier (English Literature, English Language, History, French and Maths), gaining A*s (alongside studying a foreign curriculum - which included science...). I then re-entered the English system, gained AAAA at A level, a first class BA from a top 10 uni, and an MA with distinction from a top 10 uni. I've since been told that I'm not able to apply for a PGCE because I don't have a GCSE in science. The only way I can make myself eligible to apply is to take the science GCSE, which means I wouldn't be able to start until September 2012, which strikes me as crazy, considering they let people onto PGCEs with EE at A level and a third class degree. I understand that they want to make sure new teachers are well qualified, but it would be nice if they took individual cases into account on occasion. I've pretty much been put off teaching because of the idea of having to wait over two years to start the course.
Why do you have to wait til 2012 to start? Can't you apply now, saying you are sitting the science GCSE now, if they want to offer you a place, it will just be conditional on you passing the GCSE. You sound clever, a science GCSE should be a walk in the park for you. You might not even have to wait til this summer to sit it - you might be able to take it in January?
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swallows
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Hey, thanks for the reply. For the unis I'm looking into they only consider you if apply with the science GCSE - telling them that you're in the process of taking it isn't sufficient. It would make sense, as you say, if they did make an offer conditional upon achieving the GCSE (which, if they looked at my background I'd hope they could see I'd be likely to pass), but for some reason they don't. As a result, I wouldn't be able to apply this year, but would instead have to wait for September 2012 entry. There's definitely a chance of taking the Science GCSE this year, and then waiting until I got the results to go through 'clearing' in August next year - but I don't really want to do that. Even though there should be a standard quality level for PGCE courses, it isn't really the case. The more prestigious courses fill up quickly, and the ones left with vacancies by August/September aren't very highly rated - in league tables or by employers. Ah well!
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modgepodge
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It might be worth speaking to the unis - have you done that. I would imagine, most people who don't have a science GCSE at grade C don't have it cos they failed it first time round, suggesting they're not very good at science. Therefore unis don't want to offer those people a place as to be honest, there's a reasonable chance they won't get it. Obviously your sitution is rather different - maybe give them a call and ask?
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Angelil
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swallows: does the GTP have the same requirement?
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modgepodge
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Isn't the GTTR just what you apply to do a PGCE through? Sort of like UCAS?

I believe that the GCSE grade C for primary teachers so anyone applying to be a teacher through any scheme will have to have it. It's fair enough that if you're going to be teaching science, you have a fair grasp of it yourself.
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modgepodge
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Isn't the GTTR just what you apply to do a PGCE through? Sort of like UCAS?

I believe that the GCSE grade C for primary teachers is a government requirement, so anyone applying to be a teacher through any scheme will have to have it. It's fair enough that if you're going to be teaching science, you have a fair grasp of it yourself.
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vickiw89
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Hi

I have a similar problem. I hated science in Year 9 so i only took one science GCSE (chemistry), I then decided science was for me and am getting a 2:1 in my masters chemistry degree at durham. Without the other sciences at GCSE would i be able to teach chemistry? I have the knowledge for biology and physics just havent taken the exam and probably wont be able to in time.

Vicki
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k1tsun3
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(Original post by swallows)
For primary, you need science GCSE. For secondary, you don't.

I'm in a similar situation - and it's annoying. Due to the fact I spent 4 years of my schooling abroad in a foreign system (between years 8 and 11), I wasn't required to take GCSEs (and the country I was in didn't have an equivalent qualification. Even so, I opted to take 5 GCSEs off my own back to make uni applications easier (English Literature, English Language, History, French and Maths), gaining A*s (alongside studying a foreign curriculum - which included science...). I then re-entered the English system, gained AAAA at A level, a first class BA from a top 10 uni, and an MA with distinction from a top 10 uni. I've since been told that I'm not able to apply for a PGCE because I don't have a GCSE in science. The only way I can make myself eligible to apply is to take the science GCSE, which means I wouldn't be able to start until September 2012, which strikes me as crazy, considering they let people onto PGCEs with EE at A level and a third class degree. I understand that they want to make sure new teachers are well qualified, but it would be nice if they took individual cases into account on occasion. I've pretty much been put off teaching because of the idea of having to wait over two years to start the course.

I can't believe they don't recognise the science course you completed abroad. I completed a High School diploma in the US, and that was an acceptable equivalent for the GCSEs.

Are any of your A levels in Science? If so, will that not suffice? I do find it a bit ridiculous when applicants have a more than acceptable mark in a subject at a higher level than the GCSEs and are still told they must either take or retake the GCSEs for the PGCE. I had trouble getting my High School transcripts, and had I not managed to get them, I would've been told to leave the course. I think it would've been crazy since my degree is in English and I took 3 Maths modules at uni.

Best of luck! I hope it works out for you.
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Angelil
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Sorry, I meant GTP :o: oops :o: eited!
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swallows
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(Original post by k1tsun3)
I can't believe they don't recognise the science course you completed abroad. I completed a High School diploma in the US, and that was an acceptable equivalent for the GCSEs.

Are any of your A levels in Science? If so, will that not suffice? I do find it a bit ridiculous when applicants have a more than acceptable mark in a subject at a higher level than the GCSEs and are still told they must either take or retake the GCSEs for the PGCE. I had trouble getting my High School transcripts, and had I not managed to get them, I would've been told to leave the course. I think it would've been crazy since my degree is in English and I took 3 Maths modules at uni.

Best of luck! I hope it works out for you.
Hi! The problem is that in France, where I was between years 8 and 11, they don't take exams at 16 like they do in the UK (GCSEs), only at 18 (the Bac which is the A level equivalent). As I re-entered the English system for A levels (at 16), I don't have an equivalent science qualification. I certainly studied science up until the age of 16 in France, but didn't take an exam in it. That's partly why I took 5 GCSEs while in France, to make university applications easier - to show that I had something other than A levels to my name. I couldn't really have done more than that as I was already studying the whole French curriculum (which, for an English person who arrived with no French was pretty tough!) as well as half of the English curriculum on the side. My A levels were in English literature, History, History of Art and French. So I have no science qualification whatsoever.

I do find if frustrating though. While I don't have a qualification in science, I studied it up until the age of 16 as I said (and the levels expected in the French system are higher than GCSE I might add). Even if it's asking them to trust that I'm not a cretin science-wise, and I understand they want to make sure teachers have sufficient levels of knowledge and skills, I'd have hoped they'd be able to make exceptions if someone has a - slightly bizarre! - educational background based on the fact I've achieved very highly elsewhere. I don't mean to sound arrogant but I technically couldn't have done better than I did at any level of my education - the GCSEs I did take (A*s), A levels (AAAA), BA (first), MA (distinction). And the thing that's stopping me from doing a PGCE, which has really quite low entry standards generally, is the lowest level qualification of the lot that I didn't even have the option of taking in the first place. After putting in years of hard work to (so I thought) give myself the best opportunities, I really resent having to delay PGCE completion until 2013 by having to get a qualification I could sit now and pass well but can't because of the faff that surrounds registering for, taking and getting the results for one silly GCSE combined with the early closing dates of many of the better PGCE courses.

To make the whole thing even more ludicrous - science has recently been taken off the core subject list for primary.

Self-satisfied rant over!
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swallows
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(Original post by modgepodge)
Isn't the GTTR just what you apply to do a PGCE through? Sort of like UCAS?

I believe that the GCSE grade C for primary teachers is a government requirement, so anyone applying to be a teacher through any scheme will have to have it. It's fair enough that if you're going to be teaching science, you have a fair grasp of it yourself.
I think you need it for all means of entry, yep.

I agree that if you're going to be teaching science at primary (even if it's no longer a core subject) you need to have a fair grasp of it. But the assumption is that not having a science GCSE means you failed the science GCSE, which isn't true in my case as I wasn't in the English system at GCSE age. I have a good grasp of science, having studied it up to (and beyond) GCSE standard in the tough French curriculum, but in France they don't take the equivalent of GCSEs, so I wasn't in a position to gain either the GCSE or a French equivalent.

As I said before, It does grate that the standards required generally for a PGCE are so low (CCC at GCSE, EE at A level and a 3rd class degree) and that even though I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum and have specific 'mitigating circumstances' they won't look beyond my lack of a science GCSE.

But I appear to be going round in cricles. I'll either have to take the science GCSE, meaning I won't be able to finish the PGCE until 2013, or change my plans. Maybe I'll do a PHD? I'd finish it at the same time as the PGCE if I did! Carazay.
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modgepodge
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I don't think that science has been taken off the core curriculum you know. Due to a change in government in may, the planned changes were not introduced in September (where i suppose science could have been removed but i don't think so). I've just started a PGCE and we've been talking a lot about the changes or no changes to the curriculum. And we spend an equal amount of time in science seminars as we do English and maths. We have 4.5 hours per week of each of them, compared to say 1.5hours in total on history and 1.5hours in geography, in the last 4 weeks!! (so an average of about 20mins per week)
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swallows
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(Original post by modgepodge)
I don't think that science has been taken off the core curriculum you know. Due to a change in government in may, the planned changes were not introduced in September (where i suppose science could have been removed but i don't think so). I've just started a PGCE and we've been talking a lot about the changes or no changes to the curriculum. And we spend an equal amount of time in science seminars as we do English and maths. We have 4.5 hours per week of each of them, compared to say 1.5hours in total on history and 1.5hours in geography, in the last 4 weeks!! (so an average of about 20mins per week)
That's interesting. It was certainly supposed to be removed as a core subject from 2011 onwards. As you say, the fact it's remained may have something to do with the change of government. The three core subjects were supposed to change to English, Maths and ICT.

EDIT - Having just looked into it a little further that's exactly what happened - the Conservatives decided that they wouldn't implement Labour's planned primary curriculum changes.
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Mary Thomas
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I am also looking to re take my gcse science, I was wondering if any of you know if the IGCSE is valid I don't want to pay for an online gcse course if it is not valid for entry for teacher training. I am very good at studying and would hope to take the exam after 6 months of studying instead of taking a part time course for 12 months. If anybody has any information or advice I would really appreciate it
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Pierson
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Yes, IGCSEs are accepted by many, if not all, course providers but if you have an idea of which providers you are going to apply to, it is worth double checking with them because when it comes to equivalent qualifications each course provider decides what is and isn't acceptable for themselves.
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