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Anyone understand GCSE PE?

(33 Posts)
hanginginthere1 Fri 24-Aug-12 10:49:57

DD got results yesterday. A'S and A*'s, so we are very, very pleased.
Despite being predicted a* in pe, she got an A. OK, you might say, that is still very good. Unfortunately, however, she managed only a D in the theory paper of the Double award. S he was put in for this in addition to the single award. She gained full marks in the practical aspect of the course[County/national std in her chosen sport]. I am in no doubt that this D was due to poor/lazy teaching. the double course was tagged on at the end of the course, approx 3 lessons, one of which the teacher didn't show up for.No real preparation/practise etc. Without wishing to appear arrogant, DD is a very capable girl, as her other results show, yet she has basically failed this part of the course. I feel really angry about this, since there are other issues that we have not been happy with concerning her PE teacher. Have spoken to head, and expressed my concern, and he admitted that this result was "odd". The others in the class are similar.
We are going to get the single award remarked, since she was only one mark short of the A*. Head, of course, did not really want to listen to my daughter's concerns about her teacher, but assured us that the results would be analysed.
i have never fully understood what this double award was all about. At parents even, teacher talked about lots of different thing, e.g. coaching, that my daughter could do. When daughter asked about this, then told that there was no longer enough time to do this!
Can anybody shed any light on what this double award is really all about, and what questions I need to really be asking there teacher, byway of an explanation.
Not a rant about teachers, by the way. i am one myself. I do know however that some teachers will close ranks when being criticised, and a full explanation is un likely to be forthcoming.
My daughter is very upset. Her ambition is to study medicine, and rightly or wrongly, she feels that she has been deprived of at least one A* that she should have got.

ImmortalBeloved72 Tue 09-Jul-13 19:15:57

Really sorry to post in what is now an old thread but I really need some help and advice. My son had to pick his GSCE subjects just before school finished for summer. He was told that he couldn't do GCSE PE because he doesn't do 4 sports outside of school. He is a qualified junior leader and junior black belt in Ju Jitsu but that is only classed as 1 sport. How on earth can this be the case? Who brought in that rule? My son wants to be a Ju Jitsu instructor when he's older but if he can't do GCSE PE surely that isn't going to do him any favours. The PE teacher (complete idiot) said that there aren't as many restrictions in A level PE and that he could do that but between now and then things could change and knowing our luck we will be told that because he didn't do GCSE PE he can't do A level PE. Does anyone know anything about this, it is different on the mainland, we're in Belfast, Northern Ireland and I know examinations can be different.

bossboggle Tue 09-Oct-12 18:16:59

Yep, avoid it me thinks!! Stick with the academic stuff - it's a lot safer. My DC was very academic and very musical - I warned my DC's PE teacher (when DC had to do PE!) - if they had injured their hands or any other part of their body in unnecessary activities then there would be hell to pay! And I wasn't joking either - had Dc been injured in any way whilst doing mindless 'games' then I would have had no compunction in removing my Dc from the lesson instantly! As it was Dc removed themselves and concentrated on their academic studies which proved very worth while!! DC does exercise but choosing to do something that DC likes!!

georgiacarole Tue 09-Oct-12 11:55:53

My son has also had trouble with his PE GCSE results, he got 8A*'s and the rest A's with the exception of a B for PE. He got an A for the physical part of the exam but an F, yes an F for his written paper. How can an A* in all sciences obtain an F in such a paper? he had revised thoroughly sports psycology and structure even applied anatomy and physiology for sports.
He had an excellent PE teacher and it makes no sence.
Many of the other student had equaly low marks for their writtem part of the exam so my question is How have the exam boards produced such a paper that an A* student can only acheive an F mark? I have requested my sons papers and a remark but there is something very irregular about this PE subject GCSE and I intend to write to the board of examiners and the school regarding this matter.

floatingquoter Fri 31-Aug-12 13:56:39

we had no serious PE was I was at school. Fings have changed. Including spelling.

jo164 Fri 31-Aug-12 10:23:50

I am also a PE teacher, and would support the comments made by Jo1985. It is supposed to be an all around PE qualification, unfortunately not a GCSE in one specific sport which may be played to a high level. I assume that it was intended that by students covering a range of activities, it would make it accessible to a larger number of pupils. Perhaps it is something the exam boards need to think about though. Maybe a national level player needs to have more credit for that sport and less emphasis placed on others?
However it doesn't appear to be the practical which is causing the problem here. I would be asking for a remark of that particular paper, seeing as it was so far off the expected grade, and failing that at least get the paper returned. I have to say I find it hard to understand how an A* pupil can get a D on a GCSE PE paper...

hanginginthere1 Fri 31-Aug-12 09:15:21

Thank you for your reply.
You make some valid points. I just have difficulty getting my head around the fact that my daughter was almost on full marks practically, is an A*A student in all 3 sciences, and then comes out with a D in one of the theory papers.

senua Thu 30-Aug-12 09:13:36

Thanks for your reply Jo which throws up some interesting questions. As I am sure that you are aware, if you are top-level in any sport then it is very time-consuming. It is difficult to give much time to other things, let alone another sport. Are you saying that GCSE PE is only suitable for 'jack of all trades and master of none' and actually is weighted against specialist top performers?

It shouldn't be that hard for a county/regional/national level sudent to get an A*/A grade, surely? Someone at that level is often playing up a few age-groups in their specialist sport and we are only talking about GCSE level assessment in their other sports for goodness sake, not Olympic selection! If so many students can get A grades in Maths and English when taken early then why is it so difficult for the best sportspeople to get A grade when taken at the correct age?

lljkk Wed 29-Aug-12 14:50:22

JO1985 What do you think are the best GCSE options for someone interested in a career teaching PE, or other sports tuition?

Jo1985 Wed 29-Aug-12 13:03:24

As a PE teacher I have found this conversation quite interesting. I cannot speak for all of your experiences unfortunately but can maybe give you all a bit more insight into the PE course and the problems that are often found. In some cases PE is still seen as an 'easy' option. (I am aware that this isn't necessarily the case in all of your situations) The theoretical side of PE requires students to have a good scientific knowledge, an awareness of the structure of sport and PE and an understanding of the psychology of sport. None of these concepts are easy, although most students that are academic will manage to grasp the concepts. The theoretical side generally only counts for 40% of the overall grade and then the practical 'coursework' accounts for the other 60%. One of the biggest problems we are faced with as PE teachers is that some students are county/national standard in one sport but dont always find it easy to transfer their skills. (depending on their sport obviously) GCSE PE requires students to pick at least 4 sports that they are good at and they must be assessed in each of these. If a student is an outstanding horse rider or trampolinist for example, they are not necessarily going to find it easy to transfer their outstanding ability to a range of sports and therefore their talent in one sport is not going to particularly help their score. Someone who is a team footballer who can then transfer their skills to netball, rugby and badminton could potentially score more highly than someone who competes nationally in one sport. I hope this helps a bit to make things clearer and I am aware that it doesn't solve the problems that many of you have faced.

hanginginthere1 Sat 25-Aug-12 21:50:36

I think maybe we lose sight of the fact that there is a difference between Physical Education and Sport. There certainly seems to be a problem with kids who are both gifted academically and in sport, and the way that they are perceived in schools, and in particular within PE depts.
My daughter sets herself high standards and is sometimes annoyingly dogged in the way in which she per sues these standards. She is very fortunate in that she has been able to experience things in Sport that the average teenage girl has not. I just wish that her PE teachers could embrace and celebrate this. She has experienced plenty of the down side too.

SecretSquirrels Sat 25-Aug-12 18:44:25

Similar experiences with PE teachers here.
DS very academic and complained (to me) of the theory lessons being dumbed down and patronising. He excels at athletics, represented school at regional level and is otherwise a good all rounder.
But he isn't in the football team...... and that seems to be important.

longingforsomesleep Sat 25-Aug-12 18:42:36

Hang - that's absolutely awful.

It's so hard as a parent to stand back and watch things like this happen to your child. DS1 had a problem in a school team he played in - the captain had a clique around him who all played for the same club. He deliberately and methodically sidelined ds1 over a number of years to the point where, despite being a really good player, he was completely and systematically humiliated. The PE teacher in charge failed to understand what was happening. Finally, during a post-match talk I realised that my totally laid back, gentle, uncomplaining boy was shaking with anger and emotion - so much so that he went over to the PE teacher who had allowed this situation to continue and oh so politely and articulately told him where to stick his team. I felt like punching the air - we can't fight their battles for them but I was so pleased that he'd stood up for himself. The PE teacher was a total idiot who simply couldn't see that the exclusion my son was being subjected to was bullying.

senua Sat 25-Aug-12 18:42:08

I think I know the reasons for this, but could never voice them of course.

Go on. Tell!
gwan, gwan, gwan. You know you want to.grin
Our mistake was to pursue the county thing under our own steam. It put the teacher's nose out of joint.

hanginginthere1 Sat 25-Aug-12 17:41:28

Yes, always a personality clash with the [female] PE teacher! My daughter was devastated to be left out of the school magazine celebrating sporting achievement. It was as if she didn't exist. I think I know the reasons for this, but could never voice them of course.

longingforsomesleep Sat 25-Aug-12 16:05:27

Senua - interesting isn't it? We floated round ds2's last parents' evening on a cloud of pride at hearing all the lovely comments from his teachers (especially as it came soon after ds1's rather challenging parents' eve....)

Last appointment was with his PE teacher who asked us if we were having a good evening. "Brilliant" I said beaming at him. His response was... "Well I'm about to put an end to that ...."

senua Sat 25-Aug-12 15:09:37

Another one here. DS is very good at his sport (county standard) and I thought that PE would be fun and an easily achievable good grade.
His practical let him down. His teacher has issues with him. I'm sure the two aren't connected. not! grr.

Mutteroo Sat 25-Aug-12 14:35:52

Can I add my DD's experience with PE. She took GCSE PE 3 years ago and while she enjoyed sport, she's not of a national or county standard, though a good club & school swimmer. She gained a B for the practical aspect of the subject which even she felt was marked too high.

Just shows you there are 2 sides to this story; but I admit there's too many irregularities with this year's results in quite a few subjects!

longingforsomesleep Sat 25-Aug-12 14:08:11

I think part of the problem is that PE teachers are expected to teach such a wide range of sports but are only going to be experts in a few. My DH has played a couple of sports to a very high standard and coaches a couple of them now he is semi-retired. He is often to be seen at school matches spitting feathers when PE teachers give duff advice or fail to recognise/encourage potential (and it's not sour grapes, he's not talking about ds!)

lljkk Sat 25-Aug-12 12:35:53

Sorry your offpspring have had such an unfair time, but thanks for the warnings. One to question closely or avoid altogether, methinks!

basildonbond Sat 25-Aug-12 12:27:17

ds is doing GCSE PE next year ... he's very sporty and assumed that it would be a guaranteed A* but maybe not ...

his report at the end of year 10 said that his swimming technique was 'quite good' ... he's usually in the top 20 nationally for his age group and event ...

I suspect he's going to need to do a lot more work to get the marks up ...

hanginginthere1 Sat 25-Aug-12 11:36:08

Cansu, Fully agree. The point is she was more than capable of getting one, and feels that she was let down by bad teaching on one part of the course. How does a pupil go from getting A'* to getting a D? The school described it as odd. I would describe it as something completely different!
Happy... crazy, crazy crazy, but not surprising. I often feel that kids who are genuinely gifted in a particular sport are penalised/held back in PE.

happyinherts Sat 25-Aug-12 09:31:22

My son has represented GB at cross country and is a top UK age grouped ranked track athlete

During fitness related practical work at school he was told he had not put in any effort to do the exercises. He could have done a hundred more in the time but was assessed to have not put in any effort because he hadn't gone 'red in the face' Morbidly obese boy who did 3 press ups and did go 'red in the face' was awarded a higher grade because apparently he had worked harder.

Do not understand practical PE whatsoever. My son was very very disillusioned. Achieved a B Grade overall therefore written exam must have been very good to make up marks, but still very very disappointed.

cansu Sat 25-Aug-12 09:26:39

Lack of an a star in PE is unlikely to harm kyour dd ambitions to be a doctor.

hanginginthere1 Sat 25-Aug-12 09:24:49

If pe teachers do not have time to prepare properly, due to ext a curricular activities, they should not be teaching GCSE in the first place.

hanginginthere1 Sat 25-Aug-12 09:23:04

Yes, you have a point. unfortunately. that does not apply to my daughter's school, since her female pe teacher does as little as she can get away with! This is a high achieving comp school, and it makes me so angry. OH used to be a PE teacher and I know how hard he worked, so this is not a rant at teachers.

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