are the arts doomed?(11 Posts)
I now officially detest Mt Gove and his meddling with a passion. I have looked at the " unusual and extreme insults" thread to try to find one but there isn't anything that goes far enough. " I hope your rabbit dies and you can' sell the hutch" is a start....
Enough of the meddling MID COURSE. If changes "have " to be made OK but not for kids who are already half way through surely?
Poor DS has done modules at AS and will do linear A2s. i understand they are separate exams but it's one course all through surely?
And now, his school (grammar, normally fairly sanguine and standing up to external pressure) has , again mid course, slashed his music teaching time from 10 to 8 lessons a week. There is, of course still the same curriculum to cover ( and drama has gone from 8 to 4 making it night impossibly I'd think). He's been told it's to put more input into maths and science (which they are in the top handful of schools for results in the country, every year anyway).
I'm really cross for DS . He is likely to need an A* in his uni grades. Yes he's good at the other subjects and could get it there, but music the most likely one.
So A* on 25% less contact time. Doeable but not exactly easy or fair.
Vent over ( probably!)
To be fair to Gove, the school's timetabling decisions are not his choice, especially a it sounds a though they sell themselves as specialising in science.
The exam changes are bloody stupid though. They need more time before being started, but this government know they will be out in 2 years so can't do things at a sensible pace. Far more important to make you're mark than to ensure you don't stuff up a year group's a level results.
Surely it is up to the school how they spend their money? Get together with other parents and complain. What plans do they have to maintain/improve standards in arts subjects.
DD1 is also at a grammar with one of the highest results in the country and they were told at the beginning of their AS course in September that they have less contact time than other schools because of budgeting; this has been the case for some years, but the curriculum and independent work are meticulously planned.
I know it's the schools budget choice. and for a class of 7 I'd understand if they didn't run the course at all but to run it in a half hearted way is unfair. The current class will no doubt be fine as they are good musicians anyway but it's made me start feeling down the back of the sofa for my pennies in case we need to pay for the youngest at 6th form as she'll no doubt do music too.
Theas - have they let a teacher go? Cut someone's hours? Or not replaced someone who is leaving (or going on Mat leave I suppose)? This could be the only way in which cutting music contact hours could result in an increase in effort on maths or sciences. You won't get a music specialist A level teacher who can also teach maths A level to the standard I guess your school requires (even though most musicians are also mathsy and doubles maths, physics and music has always been a popular A level combo (and even, physics and music degrees cf Piers).
If they have cut staff, this will be directly attributable to Gove and his systematic destruction of arts ed. He is on a one man mission to devalue arts ed qualifications. It's desperate.
Theas - what does your DS hope to do after A levels?
We feel your pain Thea. First year ever DDs school won't be running music A level. They have run it in the past with just 2 or 3.
She was planning to leave anyway (strangely as Physics & Music, had it been running would have clashed) and is holding onto several 6th form places. but worse nightmare would be to make her choice on results day, then enrol and find music scrapped at new school.
And of course no guarantee it doesn't get scrapped for A2.
Out of interest, how come the music time is twice the amount as drama? I thought all A level subjects were 4 or 5 (hour) lessons a week.
No idea why drama has been hit so hard. personnel reasons I surmise as ds favourite drama teacher has left. lessons are 30 mins ago up 4-5 hrs a week.
Can you afford private lessons, could that fill in the gaps?
lljkk I don't think it'll come to that (he already has instrumental lessons so the performance side is covered). If it's a problem the teachers will be supportive- all his teachers are very good for all subjects- eg in study leave he did loads of past papers and the teacher made themselves available to help if anyone found " sticky areas" .
It's just the whole concept of pulling back arts support (which naturally will make arts less popular/only taken by a few very determined kids etc so demand goes down, and less demand means less provision!) that irks me!
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