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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:25 pm
Posts: 6
My child is a pupil in year nine at the local selective school.The child is currently sitting in their bedroom revising for the school's examinations in early May, surrounded by text books and workbooks.
I happened to pick up one of the science work books and I was appalled to find that the science teacher had not marked it since last September!
My child has been receiving homework from this teacher throughout the period which has been completed on time but without any form of inspection from the teacher that it has been completed or even to see if the homework answers were correct!
My child also had this teacher for the same subject in year eight and we had the same problem .
How can my child possibly use their own work to revise from when they have received such a lack of guidance and support for two years?
I did complain to the key stage manager about this lax attitude at the end of year 8 and I received a reply from the head teacher which rather sarcastically expressed sorrow over my disappointment with the teaching arrangements but went on to imply that the pupils did achieve good grades at gcse in this subject.
I have discussed this problem with a friend who is a science teacher at a different school.His opinion was that it was laziness on the part of the teacher not to take the books in and mark them or to make comments about the work or give levels.

I do not want my child to suffer because I have spoken out over my perceived view of the school's apathy in this matter.I do not consider myself as a pushy parent but having been to a selective school myself,albeit thirty years ago ,I do not feel this teacher is providing the level of support that I would expect from a science teacher at a supposedly academic establishment.

My problem is now how to help my child.As I have already contacted the school regarding this problem and as I have previously stated above the head teacher dismissed my concerns I am left wondering what to do next.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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What is the school policy? There should be some guidance on what to expect - I am expected to mark every fortnight but find weekly suits me best. Work sampling is done to check we are marking and giving the right sort of feedback - this should be the norm.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8208
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Spangle - welcome to the Forum.

What a ridiculous situation! I'm afraid you need to forget that you are British And Don't Make A Fuss and go back to the school again.

The school probably has a homework policy somewhere (try their website) and that probably includes a reference to marking.

Regardless of that, if your child's other books are being marked, then the simple question you have to ask is: "If all the other books are marked, marking of homework is clearly considered to be important, so why is marking not important for Science?".

Write a polite letter or email to the Head, stating that regrettably, you once again have to draw this problem to his/her attention. Ask what the school's policy is on marking of homework. Ask why Science is an exception. Make things a little uncomfortable for him or her, but always be very polite. Your child should never suffer provided you remain polite - I had to write to my son's school last year about a dismal failure in one area of teaching, but despite that I am still on excellent terms with the Head and the Head of Year.

I completely agree with your friend the Science teacher - this is just sheer laziness on the part of the teacher concerned. I have a feeling that Guest55 (who is a teacher) may be along with some suitably "pithy" comments on the matter before too long! :lol:

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Darn - you see what I mean? She nipped in while I was still writing! :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:30 pm 
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I agree with Sally-Anne - it is totally unacceptable. I have also had to complain about a similar issue but if you are ever so polite the school cannot take offence.

If that fails to resolve the issue go to the Governors - if that fails - go to the LA


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:45 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:43 am
Posts: 118
Have come across this too.

One of the teachers has become quite notorious for it and some of the children have been hoping that they will have him so that they don't have to do any work!

Unfortunately my DD has him for GCSE and coursework handed in at Christmas still hasn't been marked.

Also heard about another teacher teaching the wrong syallabus!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:21 am 
I can go one better, I'm afraid.

At my son's comprehensive the only teachers who ever gave homework were the art teachers he had and one of the English teachers he had in Year 9. We asked the head on Year 7 why no homework was given and he said that they didn't believe in demotivating the boys when they were younger and homework would be given when it was more important.

By the time he was on year 9, we had a new head so we asked him why no homework was given. He told us that he had organised a consultative committee on the whole issue and to 'watch this space'. We're still watching and son is on year 13!

We also asked individual teachers and they said it was pointless giving homework because most of the children didn't bother doing it and then they had to waste time in class, chasing it up.

Fortunately my experience of my daughters' grammar schools has proved much better than this, with only my youngest's science and French teachers not bothering. Could be a coincidence but they are the only male teachers she has.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:27 am 
I think Sally-Anne's paragraph on the email you should send is excellent.

What is worse - no marking or seeing that work has been marked correct when it is incorrect? Mmmmmm... :x


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 374
Location: Bucks
I agree completely with the pro-active comments mentioned but it may not be a quick fix situation, so knowing that exams are happening soon-ish, why not suggest revising/making notes from the BBC Bitesize Revision website or similar- then if the school work is missing any vital chunks, at least you have another perspective on the subject.

Good luck and sort them out, regardless of the walk of life you work in, there are always lazy individuals who need a firework put somewhere appropriate :wink:

Ambridge


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:39 am
Posts: 109
I would be interested to know the level of marking that children experience in grammar schools generally. I have been horrified at the level of marking experienced by my DD. Modern languages exercise books are taken in once a term, or thereabouts. Maths exercise books are never marked - only the assessment homeworks (set after completion of a topic) are marked. In two years, my DD's drama book has been taken in once - and returned without comment. Last year's drama teacher used to ask the girls to hold up their books so that he could see if they had done their homework! I finally found a comment against an English short story my daughter had written a few weeks back - the first comment she has had this year. Other subjects are better marked, but no work is taken in as often as fortnightly. Is this level of marking unusual? I can't understand how it gets past Ofsted. I have checked the schools website, but they don't post policies there - I'll have to make a specific request for this info.


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