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to be furious that my son got a C for his project?

(42 Posts)
fostermumtomany Fri 30-Sep-11 03:42:39

the project was to bake and decorate a cake by yourself with help from parents.
he is in year 9 so is quite old enough to use the oven etc, although i still supervised (neurotic mother me), he baked said cake from scratch from a recipe he googled, once baked he decorated it beautifully with an angry birds picture that he firstly drew freehand, then cut out of icing he made himself and coloured it with food dye, the result was brilliant. i posted a photo of it on facebook and everyone on my friends list said how good it was.
now i am bragging here massively and i really dont care, but i want to mention that my son is in the top 20% in the county we live in for his art skills so that tells you how good he his at art.

anyhow, he took his creation into school, and was awarded a c grade. which is fine and i am proud of him, but what has really annoyed me is that another boy in his class, whose mum is a professional cake maker, admitted his mum had made his entire cake and he had only told her what he wanted, and he got an a+.
now im sorry but that is very unfair imo. my son worked for hours on his cake on every tiny detail, this boy said "mum i want a star wars cake" and it was presented to him fo rhim to submit at his project.
personally i dont think that is right and iam wondering whether to phone the school and complain.
you see to me that gives the kids the message that if you dont follow the rules you will be rewarded.
now am i being unreasonable?

Marne Fri 30-Sep-11 03:48:51

It doesn't sound fair but i would leave it, tell your ds how proud you are of his cake making skills and the fact he did it by himself, your always going to get the kids that get there parents to do it for them but its not going to get them anywhere when it comes to sitting GCSE's.

whackamole Fri 30-Sep-11 03:52:14

No it really doesn't sound fair but at Year 9 teachers are really not expecting parents to be doing the competitive parenting thing and doing all the work.

I'm not sure I would say anything. It would probably mortify your son to know that you did.

itisnearlysummer Fri 30-Sep-11 05:54:04

I would want to say something. But I wouldn't. We have a 'friend' who does this sort of thing. She pretty much does her DCs homework for them because it's so important for them to be top of the class.

We're assuming that her plan will start to fall down when it comes to GCSEs, or A Levels and, if not before, University.

mummytime Fri 30-Sep-11 06:05:21

Ummm are you sure it was just the cake they were graded on? Because at my DCs school a large part of the grade would come from their written work, on how they choose what to do, a flow chart of how they did it, then an evaluation of how it went and the finished product together with possible improvements to the process.

But this is the reason that "coursework" for GCSEs now has to be done in the classroom (and having recently supervised my son doing some h/w, it is very hard nt to help them with grammar and punctuation).

LoveBeingAMummyAgain Fri 30-Sep-11 06:09:54

There always going to be parents who do this, they are the ones whose kids still live with them at 35 wink

I agree the important thing is to focus on how well your son did. Did he get any feedback on how he could have improved his own score? Apart from ordering a cake from his friends mum that is grin

Is it just me or is she never gonna get orders from others mums doing that? Of course it could have been a marketing strategy, it may have backfired though if others feel like you.

I have never understood why parents do this.

Do they think that the teachers cannot clearly see the difference between the child's abilities in class and those that come into school from homework?

"My God, Little Jonny has grasped the Theory of Relativity overnight. Yesterday morning he didn't even know his 3 times tables. Praise be The Lord, it's a miracle."

No. They know. And parents who do it look like fools. They laugh at them.

Callisto Fri 30-Sep-11 08:24:47

Actually, in lots of cases, not following the rules does tend to reward the rule breaker. Most really successful people, especially entrepreneurs, tend to not follow the herd. So I think the most valuable lesson your son could take from this is that life can be unfair, maximum effort can result in minimum reward and school is not the be all and end all.

Obviously, Star Wars Mother is a loon and is not doing her son any favours.

hobnobsaremyfave Fri 30-Sep-11 08:28:19

My MIL would have done this sort of thing with my BIL he was so helicoptered as a child I'm surprised he didn't take off.
Unsuprisingly he still lives at home, is 35, unemployed and spends all his spare time with his mother.
OP your son will be far better off in the long run.
Oh and life sadly is not always fair.

ForYourDreamsAreChina Fri 30-Sep-11 08:28:38

YANBU but I'd let it go and trust to karma. One day star mother boy will have to wipe his arse on his own and he won't be able to.

aldiwhore Fri 30-Sep-11 08:31:33

I agree Callisto I wish I didn't but I do.

If the grade was on the cake alone, I'd contact school and ask what the grading criteria was... maybe it didn't taste very nice, maybe there was a plop of icing on the tray, its hard to gauge.

I'd certainly be asking for feedback.

This is one reason I don't like home projects of this nature... from my point of view, its very hard to let them get on with it, I stick my oar in! An even playing field would require that every child makes it in class time, but I'm sure this has logistical problems.

A C in Home Ec is no major shakes though, unless he wants to be a chef.

scottishmummy Fri 30-Sep-11 08:31:40

gosh yes agree.it is unfair.give son big hug,priae his honest and hard work. do acknowledge sometimes life is unfair.but he did right thing

GypsyMoth Fri 30-Sep-11 08:35:47

You actually don't know the 'truth' here tho. It would be a fair conclusion to arrive at, with his mum being a cake maker, the boy may well just be SAYING his mum made it

Teachers are not stupid when it comes to this kind of thing

cory Fri 30-Sep-11 08:36:57

No too sure of the idea of the mother of a Yr 9 pupil contacting the school to ask about grading criteria- surely it is the responsibility of a child this age to get information on feedback himself? Your ds should be dealing with this, not you.

But if it is GCSE coursework, then it will mostly be about the portfolio, that is the reasoning he has put in about the cake making process. Dd is expected to pass her PE BTech despite being unable to do much practical PE due to disability; the coursework is weighted far more heavily.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 30-Sep-11 08:38:46

Also, any mother who did this is likely to LIE about it and claim she only supervised.

So you'll still look like a twonk.

MmeLindor. Fri 30-Sep-11 08:39:28

While I agree with Aldi about a C in Home Ed not being that important, the OP's DS worked bloody hard to make a cake, and did it all himself.

That should be rewarded.

Why was he given a C? Was there a reason given?

aldiwhore Fri 30-Sep-11 08:39:36

Fair point cory yes I agree, HE should be seeking feedback, I'm forgetting how old a Yr 9 is (I'm still in the old school mindset of yr1, 2, 3 etc for high school!!)

fostermumtomany Fri 30-Sep-11 09:39:45

see thats the thing, i know he is old enough to sort this for himself but as a mum it made my blood boil!
the project was just to make the cake, there was no written work involved as it was for art.
he wants to be an interior designer so has chosen art, graphic design, it etc for his options as has this other kid.
however you have made me think of something i hadnt previously thought of, if his mum is doing all this for him now, he is going to come seriously unstuck at g.c.s.e level isnt he!
i wont ring the school, as you rightly point out my son would be mortified. im just so angry on his behalf that he worked so hard for so long to make it perfect and got the grade he did.
is there anyway i can post a pic on here to show you it?

MmeLindor. Fri 30-Sep-11 09:46:09

Put it on your profile. It sounds fab.

I would get him to ask for feedback from the teacher. If he doesn't want to ask, can he email or send the teacher a quick note.

He can say that he was slightly disappointed with the C as he had put a lot of work into making and decorating the cake, and would like to know what he could have done to improved his mark. So that the next time he could do better..

something along those lines?

Aitcherella Fri 30-Sep-11 09:54:24

I would hazard a guess that the teacher is fishing for a discount on a cake from A+ boy's mum!

StealthPolarBear Fri 30-Sep-11 09:58:16

I will definitely not be doing this competitive mum thing. Any cake I submit might get a D at best smile maybe a C for effort!

OP, it does sound really unfair, but it would be difficult to do anything

Miggsie Fri 30-Sep-11 10:02:31

The teacher should have asked them to bake a cake at home then bring it in and ice it in class. Anything else is pointless.

aldiwhore Fri 30-Sep-11 10:06:02

To be honest to BAKE a cake and decorate it is a weird art project... sure the decoration is art, but some great artists can't bloody cook!!

OP I'd be fuming too. YANBU for that.

NorfolkBroad Fri 30-Sep-11 10:17:49

That is a really horrible situation and I would be just as infuriated as you OP. Miggsie, I totally agree with you, that would be a much better idea. I am a teacher myself (little ones though) and at my school we avoid things like this. Instead we do stuff in school or we invite parents in and do things as a community event - not possible in a big school I guess.

Anyway, I know it is probably "right" to leave it but I would be tempted to write a note saying that you think it is very unfair that your child did all of the work himself etc and that other children admitted to your child that their parent had done it all for them. I wouldn't name the other child and i suppose it could be awkward if they push you for it but it might highlight the inequality in such situations.

Actually MmeLindor said it really well without referring to the other child.

cory Fri 30-Sep-11 10:25:42

MmeLindor's approach sounds perfect. If you contact the school then you are just buying into this whole "Mummy looks after me"- concept.

Frankly, it's all hearsay anyway. How do we know the other boy isn't bragging because he doesn't think it's cool to be seen making an effort?

And in terms of your son's longterm development, he will get a lot more out of being given feedback and suggestions to improve than just getting a higher mark for a project he has already finished.

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