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GCSE practical mark

(5 Posts)
Dramadrama Sun 16-Mar-14 12:21:51

My son, year 10, a keen actor at school, has been doing the AQA drama course. He appears to have fallen out with his teacher and we are concerned that this has affected the mark he received for the first practical (performance). My son has worked very, very hard with his group. I have heard him Skyping the group many times at home, trying to resolve issues. He also IMs and FBs the group. He wrote parts of the script that other members of the group were supposed to write. He has sourced props. In rehearsals he pays attention (unlike others who are on their phones) and gets on with the task in hand. The teacher tends not to attend their rehearsals very regularly, letting them get on with it, and asking another member of the group (a friend of my son's) to report on what happens to her.

At the time of the technical rehearsals, the teacher accused him of not passing on an important message along with a sheet of paper to another group. He says that my son has been over-competitive within his group and in relation to a second drama group the teacher also teaches. My son vehemently denies that a verbal message was given along with the sheet (and his friend, who was there, can back him up on this). We emailed the teacher and politely explained that we were very concerned about this and giving our son's version of the events (which can be backed up by a witness). We were very careful the way we phrased this email and actually thanked her for helping another family member attending a school drama performance, so I don't think we can have come across as obnoxious or pushy. She refuses to back down on her version.

He feels that the teacher just doesn't like him and has marked him down for the part of the practical relating to working in a group and preparing for the performance. He feels that all his work in the group supporting his peers has been overlooked. Another member of the group who did not even know their lines at the technical rehearsal actually received a higher grade and the teacher said loudly in front of my son 'I know you've had problems in your group,' glaring at my son.

I am worried that she will continue to mark him down on the preparatory parts of the practical. The performances themselves take part with other assessors present, so I am not concerned about this aspect of the marking as there would always be someone else there, but I am concerned that she can mark him on the group sessions when she's not even in the room most of the time.

We have suggested to our son that he very politely asks if he could have some feedback at a convenient time to the teacher so that he can improve his marks on the next two practicals (they choose the best two marks of the three practicals). I suggested that he make a list of things he has done to help other cast members and the group as a whole. Obviously, if there was an issue in the performance itself, that is a whole different matter as there would have been another assessor present and though our son will be disappointed, he will take it on the chin, but it's the pre-performance angle that concerns us.

If our son gets no helpful feedback as a result of this I do not know what we should do. Other parents have complained about her in the past and their children appear to have received very bad marks. Our son has taken part in school productions and received good reviews. He has never had any 'problems' with any other drama teacher, or with any other teacher in the school. His reports are always excellent and he is expected to get all As and A*s in GCSE. He is very team-minded, taking part in DoE and Young Enterprise.

I am now almost tempted to suggest to our son that he ask at this late stage to swap from Drama and sit triple science instead of double (the only subject that would be a neat swap) to avoid further aggravation, but it seems a bit harsh when he loves Drama so much.

Any advice would be gratefully received. Thank you. Sorry this is so long.

secretscwirrels Sun 16-Mar-14 12:50:43

I think you are getting far too involved in this. Performances are often recorded for moderating purposes.
It does sound as though your DS has been quite dominant in the group if not "over competitive".
At this stage in year 10 it would be a big leap to switch from Drama to a science. If he doing well in all his academic subjects why not let him relax and just enjoy the Drama and not worry about the grade? Drama is notoriously difficult to get A* in anyway.

Dramadrama Sun 16-Mar-14 13:28:24

I'm not worried about the performance for the reasons you give. But if he is being too dominant in the group, this is what he needs to know for all kinds of reasons, not just drama. But I think it's a good point about just going with the flow with the Drama.

Agggghast Sun 16-Mar-14 13:41:07

The final performance will be marked externally by a visiting examiner and filmed so your DS will be safe there except if he is dominant in the group this might upset the balance of the group.

Dramadrama Sun 16-Mar-14 13:47:07

Yes, I am not worried about the performance, for the reasons you give, it is just what happens in the rehearsals I am a bit concerned about. Thank you for all the responses.

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