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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 12:59 pm 
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Hi, my (comprehensive-schooled) Y9 dd has chosen her options and said that she wanted to do both French and Spanish (they are strongly encouraged to do at least one). Anyway, only 5 in the year of 240 want to do both languages, so they are going to put on a twilight class for those 5 in whichever language fits best into the timetable when it's finalised - which is fantastic, I'm very appreciative.

However, I would really prefer it if that would then free up an option block for her during normal school time, so she could have 2 or 3 lessons a week of library time to replace the homework time she's missing by staying late. Atm, having had a brief conversation with the Vice Principal, they're saying no, it means she will have the 'chance' to do an extra GCSE. Given that she will already be doing 11 (Maths, Eng x2, Sci x3, RS, French, Spanish, History, Textiles) plus whatever they decide to do for ICT (used to be another compulsory GCSE but they have told us it probably won't be a GCSE next year with all the changes going on), I'm really not bothered about her doing another one! Especially as she'll be in the everything in one go 2014 cohort. More work in less time just sounds like unnecessary stress, tbh.

Also, her alternative that she put on the form is Media Studies, which is what they are planning to put her in for the extra one, and she's now worrying because none of her friends are doing MS (I know, I know!) and she thinks that it might be a less-academic group, which can equate to more-rowdily-behaved. She struggles with her classes which are less well behaved already - the thought that the triple science classes might be quieter and more studious than the double science groups (same option block, triple just gets squished into less time) was what finally made her decide to do triple, given that although she likes science, she's not likely to be doing science A levels.

So, wondering what to do. Firstly, is it all likely that she could get the lessons as private study? Do schools let Y10s do that? Should I try to persuade them now, or let her start the courses in September and see how it goes?


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 7:24 pm 
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I suspect you will have a fight on your hands. This is an issue I've never understood with schools - why twilight always has to mean 'extra' - but it makes no sense to me, particularly if you have a studious DD and the twilight is treated just like any other 'on-curriculum' subject. You will need to make a strong case for the language, and a strong case against the additional subject, and then just persist. It seems to me a no-brainer that a child has a better chance of succeeding with fewer GCSEs - and it's not as if sacrificing media studies at GCSE is going to have an effect on A level choices. Sacrificing a language may well.

I have won a similar fight in the past, but it was painful, and took a will of iron and nerves of steel.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:02 pm
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Quote:
I have won a similar fight in the past, but it was painful, and took a will of iron and nerves of steel.


Words of encouragement - any advice on how i persuade the Head of Science to move DC into set 1 (in set 2) despite having practically 100% in unit tests throughout year but did not perform so well on exam day - 90% - friend with 92% in set 1 althoughDC has better all year through assessments but made errors on calucalations not an issue understanding physics concepts.

Faculty head said 'no' on phone - i have put a letter into Head
what next? -
what's the school's persuasion tipping point?
thanks for any advice


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:43 am 
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Aliportico, Minesh

As Y says, persistence and resilience.

I would forget about being too nice (or at all nice); just be clinical and always start each stage of request with a hard copy letter and one signed by both parents. Having worked in schools, I can assure you that they hate anything in writing. They also really don't know how to negotiate or even slightly accept that they are in any way imperfect, spending all their time telling kids what to do, with some diversion only in dealing with the really crazy parents. ... Write to Head first and then Chair of Governors. Be bold and never give up.

Perhaps Aliportico's case is a bit stronger than Minesh's at present. Minesh will need more evidence, more names and marks. Try asking for other pupils' records with their names blacked out - they will love that!

Good luck - I am happy to help more by PM if this would be useful.

WH


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:52 am 
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I forgot to mention that, often, all a Head of Dept does is rank pupils by Exam Mark on an Excel sheet and then draws a line between sets based on class size. So their argument is often very weak. ... And they can always squeeze another body into a classroom.

WH


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:23 pm 
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Have to say I don't agree with you workhard, sorry. :( At my school heads of department would only move a pupil at the end of year 10, ie halfway through a GCSE course, if there is a good reason, and as many said to Minesh on other threads, in response to the same question, if sets are parallel and doing exactly the same work, with the same predicted grade for a child, not many would see that as a good reason. Personally I think the Chair of Governors would be reluctant to wade in over this. I can't see any reason for a school to give in to a request for other students' marks when the setting has no practical implications for the child.

Aliportico: my DD did Greek as a twilight subject, in addition to her other GCSEs. There is no doubt it was a lot of extra hard work, but she feels it was definitely worth it. There was no option to drop another subject instead (but we knew that from the outset) so I can't advise on the likelihood. Again, I would always advise talking first of all rather than going heavy on the governors or sending letters in - in my view this ought to be a last resort rather than your initial approach. I am sure the school would be willing to discuss any concerns you have over workload - it is a good start that they are prepared to facilitate the extra subject and I am sure they will be keen to put your mind at rest. Good luck. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:12 am
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Location: Berkshire
I would agree with Amber, as my son is y9 just now and has been told in no uncertain terms that the setting is done by the staff and no amount of whining and cajoling or yelling by parents will make a difference. And I guess that's fine if you're happy with the setting, but not so if not.

Mind you he was also told that setting was done by continual monitoring of class work plus the end of year exams, and a bad result in one test wouldn't necessarily mean the child being moved down, so I think the setting process might generally be a little more robust :D

I can't advise on a twilight subject,as we've had no experience , good luck with that.


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