Can DS refuse to re-take this GCSE?

(53 Posts)
BaconAndAvocado Sat 07-Sep-13 23:09:59

DS (year 10) recently got an A for his Maths GCSE. He informed us yesterday that he, and all his peers, except the one student who achieved an A*, are going to re-sit the exam to try and get a higher grade. In his case, an A*.

Does this make any sense at all?

He says he's not bothered that he has to take it again in November but he will also be sitting his English Language exam in November, which is not his forte. So he will be spending time revising for the 2, rather than just the English.

busymummy3 Sat 07-Sep-13 23:50:24

Send in a note saying you do not wish him to resit as happy with A grade he has so far and would rather he concentrated on getting a higher grade in English or he could just sit it without revising and see what he gets you never know.....

confuddledDOTcom Sun 08-Sep-13 00:25:37

That's stupid! Has that come from the school? What does it tell students when an A isn't seen as good enough?

longingforsomesleep Sun 08-Sep-13 02:37:36

He's obviously extremely good at maths to get an A at the end of year 9. At our grammar school top set does it in the November of year 10. They insist that anyone who doesn't get at least an A resits. If your school won't accept less than A* it seems a bit bonkers getting them to do it in year 9. But maybe they think he can get the A* without too much extra effort?

I'd be more worried about why he's doing Eng Lang at the start of year 10 if he's not very good at it? At our school it's done at the end of year 10. But having said that, is there much revision to be done for Eng Lang?

Personally I think it's OK for those who excel at subjects to do them early but I think it must be demoralising to have to resit exams when you shouldn't have had to. And when you list your qualifications you can't really put "A in Maths - but I sat it two years early" can you?

I wonder what they would do with him if they agreed that he won't resit his maths? Start him on AS now - as presumably the one person with the A* is doing?

creamteas Sun 08-Sep-13 09:23:54

This might be asking him to do this for league table purposes, so his actual grade matches his target grade (so he meets the expected level of progress)

I would talk to the school, and see what they say. I have manage to negotiate similar changes for my DC, but this is usually because of their SEN.

Wonderstuff Sun 08-Sep-13 09:27:54

Seems odd. Our early entry policy is to not early enter the brightest students as the evidence is that they will do better at the end of the course. I'd talk to th e school about why they feel an 0A* will benefit him.

noblegiraffe Sun 08-Sep-13 09:28:02

Does he want to study maths for A-level? If yes, then he should push for an A*. No doubt about that.

If he has now sat his GCSE what will he be doing in maths for the next two years?

No it doesn't make any sense OP. I do sympathise. School has given my dd all A* targets. The lovely effect of this is that anything less than that is seen by her as a failure. She is very stressed already and it's only September (Yr 11). I am very angry about this because it means that good grades - A or B - are effectively being dismissed.

I think that unless you are parenting an extremely bright child who outs a lot of pressure on themself you can't 'get' this. Of course I want her to do well but not at the expense of her peace. OP - if ds wants to retake then ok but if he is reluctant then I would put foot down with school and tell them to just deal with the fact he got an A. Well done him btw.

Nerfmother Sun 08-Sep-13 09:40:43

Dd is at grammar (yr ten) and has about three predicted B grades - she is devasted! The pressure to get all a* grades is ridiculous and totally skews people's thinking about what good results actually are.

Kez100 Sun 08-Sep-13 13:41:48

I have had various examples of this with my children and their friends.

One got a C grade Maths but target was a B - had a bit of hassle with the school but, in the end, school relented - after all, what is the point if the student is adamant - they won't work towards it.

Daughter who didn't want to resit one additional science paper but did in the end, with one weekends revision, got 3% more and literally managed to just get the next grade boundary! Was delighted.

Another in a similar position to above. Just refused to sit the exam. Was in school but refused to go to exam room - said she would kick and scream if they made her. She didn't sit it.

I would let the student decide. However, my advice to the child would be - if they are wanting to study Maths further then it isn't just about grades - continuing to study Maths up to starting A level is a good thing. However, consider also what will they now be filling their time with if they do not re-sit - that might be even more useful. Also consider if an A* might help differentiate them at all on a CV or UCAS application in future.

BaconAndAvocado Sun 08-Sep-13 15:11:42

longing DS sat the exam last June in Year 10, he's just started Year 11.

noble he does want to study Maths at A level but I now know the school is resisting all of the children who took this,exam.

I just think his school, an ordinary Comprehensive (we live in an 11+ part of the world, so,there are grammars around) is, like most other schools turning into an exam factory.

As far as I know, the only other exam he's sitting in November is English.

Coconutty Costa Rica Sun 08-Sep-13 15:16:48

I think its bonkers that A* is now the target for all bright kids to get rather than the absolute exception for the most gifted.

It devalues all other grades when in reality an A or B are great.

NatashaBee Sun 08-Sep-13 15:20:03

Will the universities he applies to look as favourably on an A* knowing its a resit rather than a first attempt?

LoopyLoopyLoopy Sun 08-Sep-13 15:24:36

The general rule of thumb is that kids shouldn't be advanced if it risks them obtaining a lower grade than they would have achieved at the end of their course.

In this case, the school clearly feel that he is an A* candidate, therefore IMO they would be letting him down if they didn't support (and pay for) the resit. Whether he takes them up on that should be his decision.

What are they planning to teach him now that the GCSE has been completed? How will they maintain motivation? Will he be taking A level Maths early?

noblegiraffe Sun 08-Sep-13 16:33:09

Universities don't give a toss about GCSE resits, just A-level ones.

If he wants to do A-level maths then he absolutely should resit and work to get an A*, he will be jeapordising his chances at A-level otherwise. I can't stress that enough. (Maths teacher).

I hope the school will then put him through a further maths GCSE rather than statistics, or starting A-level early. But I have my doubts about a school that has entered a whole class load of students in for GCSE maths in Y9. Appalling decision.

ohtowinthelottery Sun 08-Sep-13 16:54:23

DS did his Maths GCSE early - one module in Yr 9 and 2 modules in Yr 10. He got an A overall. He was 2 marks off an A* for 1st module, a definite A in module 2 and an A* in module 3. He refused point blank to resit module 2 - as did a number of other students in his group. He needed an overall A to go on and study Further Maths GCSE in Yr 11 so he didn't see the point in re-sitting.

Interesting that you say they should have an A* at GCSE to do A level Maths noblegiraffe. DS has just started on his AS level Maths course and wants to carry it on to A2 as he wants to do Physics at Uni. Do you think he will struggle with the work having only got an A?

mumeeee Sun 08-Sep-13 16:59:49

I think it's silly making him resit he has an A and that will be good enough for university.

BaconAndAvocado Sun 08-Sep-13 17:07:52

Good pointnatasha

Another good point noble

We've had a chat with DS this afternoon and he's completely nonplussed about doing it again and wants to try and get an A*, so I guess that's my answer!

mumeeee Sun 08-Sep-13 18:31:12

Well if he wants to try and get an A* then he should go for it.

BaconAndAvocado Sun 08-Sep-13 20:59:26

noble he has already started GCSE Further Maths last week to sit the exam next June.

friday16 Sun 08-Sep-13 22:08:28

"As far as I know, the only other exam he's sitting in November is English."

I thought all the November sittings had been stopped?

noblegiraffe Sun 08-Sep-13 22:25:25

No, there will always be exam sessions in November in Maths and English for resits. After this year, they won't be allowed for first sittings (early entry).

noblegiraffe Sun 08-Sep-13 22:31:05

ohtowin it's less of a problem if he has studied further maths. A lot of the C1 module is A* methods from GCSE, and with slightly harder questions. It tends to be gone over quite quickly at AS level because of the rush to prepare for a January module (as used to be). As a lot of students already know it from GCSE, those that don't, struggle to keep up and many flounder.

ohtowinthelottery Mon 09-Sep-13 11:45:40

Thanks noble , that's useful to know. DS has been at college 4 days and he said that the Maths so far is just a repeat of what he did for Further Maths (as there are new students who have come in from other schools who haven't done Further Maths).
He has already swapped groups as he discovered his group where doing the Statistics option whereas the other group were doing Mechanics. As his interest is in Physics, Mechanics seemed a better option for him,

peachpudding Mon 09-Sep-13 12:29:47

Its wrong that parents and schools have abused the early entry exam system but we are where we are.

Due to grade inflation an A is only seen as an average grade now. If he is capable of an A* then he should get it otherwise he will be disadvantaged.

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