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 Post subject: Low grade GCSE
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:31 am
Posts: 140
I wonder if anyone can advise please. My DS is in Year 10 and has just received a U for his ICT GSCE coursework. I think this means that the maximum he can achieve if he sits the test is a D. We have been given the option for him not to sit the test, given his poor result (he is not the only one) and we have told him that he doesn't have to. Somewhat surprisingly, he has said he wouldn't mind sitting it. He is at a very good grammar school and should do well in his other GCSEs next year. Leaving aside what has gone wrong in this case, do you think it is better to have a low scoring GCSE amidst a (presumed) set of good results, or to give this up as a waste of time at this stage?


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 9:52 pm 
I think on a personal level i.e. doing what is right for your son, he should not continue with the GCSE. On another level I think it is shocking that a school can pick and choose who sits exams so it will reflect positively on their league tables and why is more than one student getting a U? I would not be happy.


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 10:24 pm 
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Thanks Tipsy for your speedy reply. To be fair to the school, they are investigating what has happened and they have left the decision as to whether to sit the exam up to us. I just wonder whether a poor GCSE result would reflect badly on my DS's future options eg university applications.


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 10:29 pm 
Fair enough Jiff. You have to think about DS in the long run and as there is a slight possibility it could reflect badly on any FE or uni prospects then I would let him leave it. Although it will leave you out of pocket you could always get him to sit an IGCSE version (if they have one) taht requires no coursework so all that work wasn't for nothing.


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 10:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 8:55 pm
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Location: Bexley
Jiff - at my sons' GS they do the ECDL Level 2 (European Computer Driving Licence) instead of GCSE ICT in years 9 and 10. There is no course work just eight modules and for each you sit an on-line test as and when you are ready to do them and after you have passed a pre-test for each unit.

I wonder if he should cut his losses with the GCSE and try something like this outside of school? He might be shutting a few doors these days if he doesn't have some sort of IT qualification under his belt and he could fit it around his other work.

Personally I think it's shocking that any GS is prepared to have a student leave KS4 without some sort of IT qualification under their belt. Or does a D count as a pass these days? (It's a long time since I did my O'Levels!)


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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 7:35 am 
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All GCSE grades A* to G are passes - it's just that a grade below a C is not worth much.

As a GS teacher I'm shocked that there was not some intervention earlier - it sounds as if they were not given clear guidence on the coursework by practising a piece first.

As to whether one D will 'damage' the overall picture - can it be delayed to Year 11 and the c/w redone?

Bexleymum - not all schools sit an IT qualification.


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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 2:06 pm 
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We had major problems at our school with IT GCSE coursework and the exams seem to have thrown up major problems too. I get the feeling that the coursework is open to very different interpretation regarding the marking scheme and most of my sons class had to resit it. My ds deeply regrets choosing IT as an option.

I would not enter my son for an exam that the best mark he can get is a D as many of the most competitive universities are looking at percentages of A/A* and that won't do him any favours and he would have to perpetually explain it.

Can they not redo the coursework?


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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:31 am
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Many thanks for your comments and advice. It is very helpful to have some positive ideas to explore with the school. Thank you.


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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 3:04 pm 
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Surreymum, I was interested to hear that your DS's school had had problems with the IT GCSE too. Was this recently and did the school review what had happened at all? It was very useful to hear your DS's view too. Many thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 7:17 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:28 pm
Posts: 197
Location: PENSBY
Hi
My DD is doing ICT and has had her course work marked by the teacher at least twice before the final mark -she has been told how to increase her mark from an A -did'nt your son get this type of help?
Since my DD took ICT we have seen that most of her class do not take it very seriously and her's was the only mark so high - most had a C or below.
Is the mark the teacher assessment or the official one -if it's only the teachers then surely they can advise how to increase it - DD has not had hers sent of for official marking yet.I know the mark scheme is very high DD said she needed over 90+ for an A*
If the school has sent the projects off without the teacher assessing them it sounds like they have really let your son down!!
good luck Pensby


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