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GCSE PE - DD missing other lessons due to sport commitments

(22 Posts)
MyballsareSandy2015 Thu 03-Dec-15 09:28:40

DD (year 10) is very sporty and would love to eventually teach PE, so has taken PE as a GCSE. Recently, however, the PE Dept have been arranging tournaments/matches in school time, meaning DD has missed other lessons.

Come to a head of yesterdsy with DDs maths teacher 'yelling' at her for missing her class due to a badminton tournament at another school. The PE teacher had emailed the maths teacher but she kept saying that maths was more important and she didn't want DD to go to the tournament.

Views please. Obv maths is very important and DD won't be able to teach without good maths results but she also needs a good PE result. She's doing very well in maths, top set 'accelerated'.

Surely she shouldn't have this conflict between two subjects she's chosen, she was a bit stressed this morning as missing Spanish later for a handball competition. Is this normal practice?

Ladymuck Thu 03-Dec-15 10:06:57

How many lessons is she missing? A one-off is not unreasonable, but 2 tournaments one day after the other would be a concern if it is a regular occurrence. Is there a HOY who could let you or your dd know what is expected?

ifonly4 Thu 03-Dec-15 10:10:18

I suspect it's fairly common. My niece was expected to be in four places at once on one occasion and got stressed and upset about it due to pressure from teachers. My DD is in Year 10 and so far has had two things clashing - she spoke to both teachers who both wanted her to attend, but one told her she had to manage her own time, luckily no one yelled at her. She chose the thing that interested her most and did the last few mins of the other. At her school they are expected to copy up notes from lessons missed and take time to understand them which she'll do.

The only thing I'd think about, is your DD predicted to achieve a grade in maths she'd be more than happy with and could continue with if she wanted?

Lozza1990 Thu 03-Dec-15 10:37:08

Depends how often. A one off is fine, especially if she is doing well I wouldn't worry too much. If it's going on constantly I would be a bit annoyed.

Stillunexpected Thu 03-Dec-15 15:21:20

DS1 did PE and it didn't seem to infringe on other lessons to this extent. He also played rugby and occasionally missed a lesson or two to play a match. This was very much the exception rather than the norm though and his rugby was separate to PE so he would have missed those lessons anyway even if he hadn't been taking it for GCSE.

I don't think it should be normal that doing a GCSE in one subject should mean stealing time from other subjects. Are you sure that all this sport is related to the GCSE specifically? Surely missing the badminton tournament, for instance, wouldn't impact on your daughter's overall grade in PE?

I can understand the teacher getting fed up if this is happening on a regular basis. I can't imagine other teachers getting very far if they decided e.g. that the class needed more time to finish an art project so they would just grab some extra time from Science!

AuntieStella Thu 03-Dec-15 15:28:31

I have a sporty DC, and yes she misses some lessons for fixtures. It happens in all schools that play competitively, doesn't it?

The school purple effort into co-ordinating fixtures with lessons and other events, and as parents we really don't see what goes in to this. We just know that it works, and that an eye is being kept that academic work is not suffering.

It sounds as if you've been unlucky with your school's admin standards.

Yankeetarts19 Thu 03-Dec-15 15:30:01

My ds is doing GCSE pe,it dosent get in the way of his other lessons and if it did they would just give him the work he missed to do at home

Yankeetarts19 Thu 03-Dec-15 15:32:12


Akire Thu 03-Dec-15 15:35:03

I would want the PE teacher to talk to her other teachers who had a problem. She has to do GCSEs if they demand X time off in school time it's not her fault. If she said no presumable fail PE. It's a no win situation. I would not stand for her being shouted at. Either school make all matches out of school time or timetable so all Friday afn is set aside for PE and matches with other schools.

lljkk Thu 03-Dec-15 15:37:08

Is she finishing the PE GCSE this yr (2016).
I'm slightly confused because I thought the GCSE was changing (for those finishing in 2017) to 70% theory & 30 or 40% practical, so shouldn't need so much time off for practical side. No one ever told us at GCSE evenings (old or future format) that the GCSE required lots of extra time out in day for assessment.

I may need to be corrected.

strawberryandaflake Thu 03-Dec-15 15:37:27

She won't get in to teaching without a good grade in maths.

PE departments are always crap at organising matches. Have a go at them! I hate when my students go to a match when they have coursework, for example, because the PE dept haven't bothered to check with the staff (which they are supposed to) if students have any other commitments. It's always to awkward to rearrange.

If that's what she wants to do, GCSE PE really isn't that useful, you need to academic subjects to be considered.

Yankeetarts19 Thu 03-Dec-15 15:44:05

My ds has just started his GCSE this year,so far I would 90% of it has been classroom based

jeanne16 Thu 03-Dec-15 20:07:55

I am a maths teacher in a secondary school and there are constant issues with pupils missing lessons for all sorts of things- the school play, sports fixtures, visits to lectures, art galleries, music lessons etc. The pupils are meant to catch up missed work but very few do so properly. Schools never seem to have anyone to oversee this sort of thing.

If I can give any advice to parents it would be to make sure their DCs do not miss lessons as it has direct impact on grades.

woodlands01 Thu 03-Dec-15 20:50:59

Agree with jeanne16. I taught in a school for 14 years that allowed this and the results went from bad to worse and I expect it to be closed in 2 years. I now teach at a very successful school and missed lessons is kept to a minimum and no year 10s or 11s are allowed to miss Maths or English EVER. I would talk to the Head or SLT responsible for curriculum and explain your concerns. Since when does a PE teacher over-rule a Maths teacher?

roguedad Fri 04-Dec-15 07:53:50

Sounds like the PE department is out of control. There needs to be a much better balance of priorities. It is only acceptable to miss core academic material for perhaps an exceptional competition. I would not put up with this at all.

Bunbaker Fri 04-Dec-15 08:07:54

I don't think many lessons were missed, if at all, at DD's school. The students who took PE GCSE had to stay behind every Monday for extra PE lessons instead.

AnotherNewt Fri 04-Dec-15 08:10:51

Schools can and do run a good programme of sports fixtures, plus other outside events (chess, maths olympiads, debating competitions) plus days out at universities, special events etc.

And I think it's absolutely right that they should.

But it does take effort in both co-ordination and communication, and having the sort of school ethos that supports it (a school that only accepts it for exceptional issues will be quite different from one that welcomes additional enrichment events).

Needmoresleep Fri 04-Dec-15 09:10:09

Been there. Have the T shirt. I agree with advice from teachers who have posted.

DD got selected for her (independent) school's first team at a very young age, which meant she had to be available for matches on the afternoons scheduled for sixth form games. My understanding is that Games staff got the Head's permission. We were not consulted but I suppose we could have objected. It meant that she missed a key double lesson in the same subject each week. The teacher was clearly unhappy and wrote my daughter a stinker of a report. (I assume she hoped whoever checked the reports noted that she could not be expected to get results out of a pupil she never saw.)

Anyway come Easter in Yr 10, DD promised me she has been copying notes from a friend and had kept up to date. Hmmm. I bought a GCSE revision guide and started testing her on the topics she was supposed to have covered. She knew nothing, which sparked a pretty historic row. DS came out of his room and was pursuaded to dust off his GCSE notes and go through the material with her. The upshot was that she came top of the year group in the summer exams, which sparked a rather strange end of year report from the poor teacher.

Honestly don't do it. The games department may want results, but these should not be at the expense of an individual pupil. We could let it ride because it was Yr 10 and because we knew our DD had a genuine aptitude for the subject she was missing. (I would have objected had she been missing English.) DD, who was desperately keen to play for the team, was also under no illusions that her academic work would be allowed to suffer. We also accepted that if she was not being taught in school she would have to self teach or be taught at home. Also, and inevitably, though the Head had been consulted, I don't think her teacher was, which put my DD in an awkward position.

kjwh Fri 04-Dec-15 10:09:08

The opposite applies too. My DS missed untold Physics lessons last year because the Physics teacher was also a games teacher and his once-a-week Physics lesson was last two periods Friday afternoon which seems the most popular time for inter-school sports. Very, very seldom was the lesson taken by another Physics teacher - mostly it was a supply or a different subject teacher and usually just a scrappy worksheet to go through without any teacher support. Must have missed 10-15 lessons. We were VERY pleased to get a different teacher this term!

kjwh Fri 04-Dec-15 10:14:22

Personally, I also suffered when I was at school. I did stage lighting for the school plays, so not sports related, but the same thing happened. We were required to attend all rehearsals, which basically meant regular lunchtime sessions which over-ran into the first lesson of the afternoon, meaning I missed a lot of lessons. My grades suffered badly because of it. The teachers were annoyed at us, but the drama teachers were annoyed at the subject teachers for not giving us support for stuff we missed, and we were all stuck in the middle, whereas really the teachers should have sorted it out between themselves and come to a compromise. Eventually I had to give it up because it was really damaging my education and stressing me out.

dodobookends Fri 04-Dec-15 10:23:26

Sandy we were in a similar situation with our DD (dance training), and perhaps I could suggest that you request a meeting with the Head of Year so you can discuss everything with them, and explain your DD's career aspirations. Your poor DD shouldn't be getting it in the neck for absences arranged by another teacher. If you pass the buck to her HoY (and get them on your side), then they will have to then speak to both the teachers involved and come up with a solution.

Madmog Fri 04-Dec-15 10:31:25

My DD is in Year 10 and I can think of a number of reasons why she'll miss other lessons. Geography - school arranges field trips. French, she's had speaking controlled assessments with time slots. Music, it's compulsory they do instrumental or vocal lessons as well which are easier for her to have in school as I don't have access to car to take her elsewhere, also need to take part in extra curricular activities which mean missing lessons. PE - they often finish late impacting on next lesson. Annual maths challenge can't remember what it's called, but DD always gets an award so encourages her in this subject. There's probably more.

DD wants A grades and she's working very hard to get what she can, so she does copy up notes, asks friends about lessons and checks what homework has been issued.

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