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DD in Yr 10 is going to fail one of her GCSE's.

(22 Posts)
oopslateagain Tue 05-Mar-13 08:50:15

One of her options was Art, she is massively overwhelmed with the amount of homework required and she is simply not interested in the subject. She loved it at junior level, but it's completely different at senior level.

I've spoken to the HOY and requested a meeting with the art teacher, but DD is in bits, she's been in tears over this several times and she's been awfully quiet and hiding out in her room a lot, it's obviously getting her down. The school is understandably reluctant to let a student drop a subject almost halfway through. I'm concerned that DD is going to end up failing Art, but I'm more concerned that worrying so much about one subject is going to impact the rest of her coursework.

I'm not sure where to go with this - the HOY wants us to sort out a 'schedule' with the art teacher so DD can slowly catch up on the homework she hasn't done. A couple of weeks ago, she started doing two lunchtimes and one after-school session a week in the Art room, plus an hour a day at home. But honestly, to watch her sitting there staring at the art pad with tears running down her cheeks (yes it is that bad) is gutting. sad

Looiloo79 Tue 05-Mar-13 08:59:00

My daughter chose art for her gcse and I agree there is a lot of course work and homework involved. She loves the subject and puts alot of hard work into her projects. Like your dd she stays back after school to finish pieces off.

Unfortunately I don't think they would allow her to change subjects half way through as she won't be able to pick another subject but there may be an option to opt out if it completely. Alternatively could she change it to Btech level as that only takes a year to complete and is a little easier.

rainingcatsandsprogs Tue 05-Mar-13 09:06:24

Ideally a dc should finish (and pass) all their subjects but when I was taking GCSE's (so many moons ago) I ended up deliberately failing one by not even attempting to get the coursework finished as, like your dd, it was making me incredibly miserable. It wasn't art but the workload was massive and it wasn't a subject I was remotely interested in, I'd only taken it because it was the best of that category of choices. Difference was I made the decision by myself and didn't even tell my parents I was doing 'so badly' until after my GCSE's because they'd have prioritised 'finishing everything' and wouldn't have appreciated that I really did know what I was doing. Giving up on that one psychologically meant I had a lot more energy to focus on the others and I ended up with all A's and B's which I'm certain wouldn't have been the case if I'd been carrying on in tears about that difficult one. I've never regretted failing that one.

Obviously it's much better than you're involved and helping dd and if a solution can be found to allow her to continue happily then great but I'm just saying IME failing one isn't a huge deal if it means all her others will gain.

Hullygully Tue 05-Mar-13 09:12:40

Persuade the school to let her drop it, they will if you are politely insistent.

oopslateagain Tue 05-Mar-13 09:17:15

I'm actually thinking along your lines raining, if art is making her this miserable and they won't let her drop it, she'd be better off accepting now that she won't pass, then giving her other subjects all her attention.

All her other subjects are projected as A - A* with one B. Art is the only one where her grades are actually falling.

Notquite Tue 05-Mar-13 09:21:06

Get her out of it if you can. My yr 10 DD is taking Art as it's a hobby and is enjoying it, but she's mentioned that people who don't really love it are finding it very hard to keep up with the coursework. I don't think it's worth perhaps compromising other subjects to keep on top of it. Certainly not worth all the tears.

BeckAndCall Tue 05-Mar-13 09:25:44

If its making her this miserable, then she should drop it. There is no point stressing for one subject which is not a key requirement.

My experience of art GCSE is that it is by a factor of 10 the most time consuming subject if you are aiming for an A or A*. If she has the passion it will not be impossible to catch up. She will also need to stay on top of each topic area from now on.

I don't understand though the 'staring at the art pad' comment as that is only a small part of what she should be doing to put together her workbook - she might find it easier to start each topic with an ideas board, do some work researching specific artists relevant to that topic, do some copy sketches of artists' work and THEN comes the inspiration and direction for her own pieces - the structured approach will get her a fair distance even when her own inspiration is lacking.

orangepudding Tue 05-Mar-13 09:26:08

I think you should insist she is going to drop it. It's such a labour intensive course which is really difficult to do if you aren't interested in.

Theas18 Tue 05-Mar-13 09:28:57

What would happen if she didn't sit it?

It's making her miserable, and it is going to drag her overall profile down for applications later. How many subjects is she taking? For instance if she gets 9A and a D in art , I would think Uni application would look better with just the 9A on.

My DS doesn't have an ICT GCSE THere was a disagreement between school and the examining body . The whole year group was withdrawn from the qualification (though continued to study it of course) as it's a selective school, and they felt the disagreement/low mark would prejudice uni applications, but not having ICT GCSE would not (after all by doing all their other GCSEs they automatically demonstrate functional ICT literacy!)

rainingcatsandsprogs Tue 05-Mar-13 09:32:41

If none of her other subjects are falling and she's predicted decent grades like that I'd definitely drop Art like a shot. Having slightly fewer high grades, especially the core ones like Maths etc, are worth far more than a full complement of GCSE's where one or more core ones have suffered slightly. Plus if thinking of the future, if she's that miserable now she might be burnt out by the end of GCSE's and it might even affect her first year of A-levels/future qualifications.

nilbyname Tue 05-Mar-13 09:33:23

With kindness, I would insist she steps it up, and finishes what she started.

With good support and lots of help and encouragement she can turn this around and get a good grade. She has ability in the subject, she used to enjoy it? I would give it 4 weeks of really trying to turn it around, and that is not just doing the time, but having a new attitude towards it. If she is still far from catching up and doing it through gritted teeth, then yes drop it.

Work out a plan with her, her teacher and HOY. Get her buy in.

I can see why she wants to drop it, and I can understand that it is very difficult for you to see her like this, but I don't think it is a good lesson to set her that if she stopped enjoying something or it stops being easy for her, she can just stop.

Wat will happen at Uni? So much more independent study is will she cope?

ZZZenAgain Tue 05-Mar-13 09:34:41

I would let her drop it

MrsHoarder Tue 05-Mar-13 09:41:51

I would let her drop it. At a-level and university changing your mind between years is expected, so why not at school?

Make it clear that by doing this you expect better grades in everything else, but don't make her burn out for another 14 months because she made a bad call a year ago.

oopslateagain Tue 05-Mar-13 09:47:33

By "staring at the art pad" I meant, the whole thing, sitting there doing research on her laptop and taking notes etc, not literally staring at a blank page, sorry that wasn't clear.

Nilbyname I'm hoping we can sort something out so she can start to catch up, I think there is such an enormous backlog of homework now that it's overwhelming and she doesn't know where to start. But there is more homework every week, huge amounts, so how she's going to catch up I really don't know. Hopefully we can sort something out so she will end up with something at the end of it...

...but I'd rather she gets straight A's and A*'s in all her other subjects than spend so much time on Art that her other grades start to drop.

Mrsrobertduvall Tue 05-Mar-13 12:00:10

I know someone who has dropped 2 gcses in year 11 due to pressure.

I got a U in physics because I hated it and so didn't do any work or revision. I got 9 other O levels and have survived.

slipshodsibyl Tue 05-Mar-13 12:15:41

Art is devilishly time consuming. You don't say how many subjects she does in total but if it is quite a lot, I am not surprised she meight feel a bit snowed under. She should give it up. Unless she is really rather good at Art it is a harder one to do than they realise when choosing.

annh Tue 05-Mar-13 13:20:45

What are her other GCSE subjects? How many is she doing in total?

Wishiwasanheiress Tue 05-Mar-13 13:22:03

I agree with slipshod. I took gcse art. I got how the exam worked. I wasn't the best in the class but I was good what pulled me further forward was that I understood the form in answering the question, structuring work, research, ideas and follow through to final piece. It was very time consuming. It wasn't hard academically (like maths) but it was difficult in time, organisation, structure and commitment. I did well and also helped those that didn't. Many picked it for light relief. Many thought u just made the final work little realising the method behind of 100hrs work and more pictorially timelined and exhibited. For those kids it was a massive shock.

Firstly, is she actually any good? Does she like the subject? What is it that has failed her? Time? A subject to answer? Ideas? Depending on these answers I would discuss options with the school.

It is not worth losing all other marks for this. That said is that truly the case? With a good plan and support she could with hard work turn this round. There's alot of time still.

Go in open minded. Listen to the school. Listen to ur daughter but be wary as she probably presently just wants to make it all go away.

oopslateagain Tue 05-Mar-13 14:01:40

She's doing 9 GCSE's. Homework is around one to one and a half hours per subject per week, which she's staying on top of with no problem. Art is nearer 4 or 5 hours a week.

She is actually very good at art; her art teacher said she is one of the "most able" students she has had. I think the main problem is that she is interested in one particular area but the GCSE is obviously a wide-ranging subject and she is having to study artists that she has absolutely no interest in. It would be the equivalent of making me write an essay on Twilight. But, you know, if it were maths or English we'd be sitting down making her study harder whether she was interested or not. That's why I'm in two minds whether to really push her to try to catch up, or to accept that she's not going to get a good GCSE grade and let her drop it (if the school will agree).

Remotecontrolduck Tue 05-Mar-13 14:08:07

If it's taking up a lot of time and putting her off school, definitely drop it. Art is a bitch even for the most able and enthusiastic. At this moment in time, she needs to be motivated and aiming for good grades in English, Maths and the like, not crying over her sketch book, losing the will to live. Is there anything else she could do in it's place seeing as that will 'only' leave her with 8? (probably not as it's well into the year now)

LittleWhiteWolf Tue 05-Mar-13 14:10:55

Let her drop it. Whatever she wants to do next will define what is important to her to pass. If she needs Art to do Art at the next level (which it sounds like she does not!) then she should stick with it, but she probably doesn't need it. What she probably needs is 5 A*-C grades; everything is really not worth the stress she is putting herself under, poor love.

HeathRobinson Tue 05-Mar-13 14:13:09

I'd drop it.

Perhaps she could do a short-course GCSE instead? I know they do them in PE and I think, RS. Or just use the timetabled art lessons as study time for her other subjects.

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