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Writing off one GCSE to focus on others

(26 Posts)
TheDonald Tue 28-Nov-17 22:00:06

It's RS. Dd will be sitting 10 GCSEs in total and is currently on track for a couple of 6s, and the rest at 7+ except for a 2 in RS.

It is a compulsory GCSE at dds school. They teach it over 3 years for one hour a week. For several months last year the teacher was off sick plus they didn't know the syllabus in y9 because it hadn't been released.

The class have been told there is no way they will finish the content in time and they are being set homework to research huge amounts of the course so they can move on to the next topic.

Dd likes the teacher and doesn't want to let her down but doesn't really care if she gets a 2. She'd rather spend her time on youtube focusing on her other subjects.

I am pretty sure that the school won't support her to withdraw so if she just turns up on the day and gets a 2 or 3 is it going to have negative consequences or can she just deny she ever took it in the future?

She could probably pull it up to a 5 if she really worked at it but I don't know if she will want to plus there are other subjects which need her attention, but she's not sure if it's going to have an impact on sixth form or uni applications?

TeenTimesTwo Wed 29-Nov-17 08:55:32

She can't deny she ever took it, grade will have to go on university applications.

In my opinion she would be better off not taking it than failing it.

As the class have been told there is no way they will finish the content in time I think you could make a good argument for her not to be entered. 9 GCSEs at 6-8 is better than 10 at 6-7 and 1 at 3.

wishfortime Wed 29-Nov-17 09:13:39

When I was at school I wrote off RS (or RE Bach then), but still sat the exam. On results day I got 4A*s, 6As and then an ‘E’ in RE.

It stuck out like a sore thumb on my CV/uni application and I just wish I didn’t sit the exam to begin with.

wishfortime Wed 29-Nov-17 09:17:26

To add - I wrote it off because I wanted to concentrate on other subjects. I didn’t think the effort I needed to put in was worth it. It was only taught one hour a week, other single GSCEs were 3 hours a week

Astronotus Wed 29-Nov-17 11:11:03

Our school allowed pupils to decline RS because of the family's religion.

ScipioAfricanus Wed 29-Nov-17 11:11:16

She shouldn’t take the exam. It will mess up her CV and she will have to declare it.

It sounds like the school have failed the pupils from what you say and I would suggest you get some advice about how to withdraw her from the class and have her not be entered for the exam (entries aren’t until Spring). The school won’t like this course of action but they will be hard pressed in the circumstances if you are insistent enough.

If this fails, she should devote some time to getting a decent grade. She sounds intelligent so with some help from you she could push up to a 5 as you think. It’s very unfair though. I was made to do compulsory DT GCSE at school (a subject I was hopeless at) and am still bitter!

pipilangstrumpf Wed 29-Nov-17 13:45:12

If she can't withdraw from it, she should probably try to work hard to pass it, as apparently all grades will be on your gcse certificate.

Wolfiefan Wed 29-Nov-17 13:50:40

You need to speak to the school. Unlikely they will let her withdraw. What would she do for the time she should be in this class?
You need to address the issues in the course. What needs to be covered and how is this going to be done?
Is she Y11?
Oh and get her off YouTube

BubblesBuddy Wed 29-Nov-17 13:52:55

My DD was forced to take a GCSE early - a few years ago now. ICT: A subject she didn’t like or ever need. Got a B. Everything else was A* when she was in Y11. Refuse to sit it! DD still annoyed now, years later.

knittingwithnettles Wed 29-Nov-17 13:58:48

I'm going to disagree. RS is one of the few GSCES where you can woffle quite a lot and you will get a high mark for being articulate!

Ds2 was predicted a U at this stage in his RE testing, his target was a C (bare minimum they targeted students at) He received a very high B with one mark off an A. He still doesn't know the difference between Catholics and Protestants and yet he still has appeared to cover the curriculum. And he missed the entire course in Year 8 and 9 because he was not in school.

Go for it, she will get a 5 at the very least.

BertrandRussell Wed 29-Nov-17 14:02:42

A clever thoughtful child would have to work pretty hard to get. 2 in RE!

I would be pretty pissed off with the school, frankly. What have they told parents?

TheDonald Wed 29-Nov-17 18:40:27

Thanks everyone. The reason I said I think it's unlikely that they will let her withdraw is that the only arguments we have would equally apply to the whole class. I think if it was just her who had an issue it might be different.

I will see how the mock goes in January and maybe speak to the school after that.

knittingwithnettles Wed 29-Nov-17 18:51:25

ds2 aced it by reading through the revision book (published by exam board so comprehensive) and writing flashcards. As I say he had a U in January and a B by May! Once he worked out how to apply the mark scheme it was much more obvious how to revise the material succinctly.

ChocolateWombat Wed 29-Nov-17 19:12:15

As a parent I would write in about this to all of the teacher, Head of Dept and Head of Year and Deputy responsible for curriculum.

I would raise concerns firstly that you have been told by DD thatyour DD who is on track for 7s is on for a 2 in RS and that they have been told the course won't be completed - I would ask for confirmation that 2 really is her likely grade and ask what is happening about completing the course - approach it as you can't quite believe she is on track for only a 2 or that the school cannot fully teach the course.

Also make clear if either of these are the case, you would like to withdraw her from that GCSE. Be clear that because she will have to put it on UCAS and CV you would prefer 9 good GCSEs and not to have a low grade.

Say you would like to come in and discuss. Ask for a meeting ASAP.

And at that meeting if it turns out she really is on for a 2 (they are unlikely to say they won't cover the course) then be insistent that she isn't entered. Don't simply ask if that would be possible but be very clear that you want her withdrawn and will put it in writing. If there is resistance, say you are unhappy and put your request in writing. It will be possible for her to be withdrawn.

Of course it may turn out that she is on track for a better grade and the course will get covered - check with DD that she has told you accurate info before contacting school.....but if what she says is correct, I agree it would be better not to sit the subject.

Sadik Wed 29-Nov-17 19:53:53

Surely - given you have the right to withdraw your child from religious education - you can just exercise the right at this point?

We withdrew dd from RS at the start of yr 10 for various reasons (including the fact that it was being taught by a retired vicar who patently wasn't going to cover the curriculum as he used the lessons as an opportunity for Christian propaganda . . . ). Wasn't an issue at all, and she uses the lessons to get homework / revision done in other subjects.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 29-Nov-17 22:34:05

I agree with, Sadik. I think the fact that the subject is RE gives you a slight advantage. You have the right to withdraw her from the subject.

Glumglowworm Thu 30-Nov-17 11:37:22

My school insisted on us doing a Business Studies course that I think was part of a NVQ but not the whole thing. Me and one other girl refused to do it, we went to the lessons because there was no where else for us to go, but we messed around did homework for other subjects. We were both high achievers doing 11 or 12 GCSEs.

It sounds painful and pointless for her to continue doing RS, so I would be pushing for her to opt out. They may still insist she physically attends lessons if they have nowhere else for her to go, but she can use them as study periods for her other subjects

imokit Thu 30-Nov-17 11:50:27

Withdraw her and tell the school that she will go to the lessons as per the national curriculum but not sit the exam.
Kick up a big enough fuss until they agree.
Find out what course they're doing - exam board, plus syllabus and get the relevant textbooks and your dd to do it on her own (including in those lessons).
A 2/failing grade looks worse on a CV/uni application than 1 grade fewer.
That said someone who can write well enough to get 6s in subjects like English should be able to do the same in RS. Decent writing and answering the question with good exam technique can pass you with minimal knowledge.

fidgettt Wed 06-Dec-17 15:23:56

Surely you could force the school not to enter her by citing data protection? State that you refuse to permit them to release her details to the exam board!

I think it'd really piss them off, but perhaps that doesn't matter much?

Or have they already done the paperwork for exam entry? Is it possible to telephone the exam board yourself to withdraw her? I assume not.

lljkk Thu 07-Dec-17 22:05:25

Would not have impact on any 6th form application where I live. Zero impact. The highest thresholds we're looking at are 6xB (6 x 6), and 7/A in A-level subjects. They don't ask about the others.

As far as university, I am doubtful it would have an impact, but depends what she applied for, one presumes. There must be some course somewhere that would insist on minimum grade=X in every GCSE subject. The courses we have looked at (eg medicine for DD) a single 2 would not matter.

Teddygirlonce Sun 10-Dec-17 10:19:50

Who puts failed GCSEs on their CVs/job applications?

Surely one 'fail' in something like RE - with all the rest passed at Levels 7/8/9 - isn't ever going to deny entry to an academic course as long (as the rigour of the other subjects proves robust enough to stand up to scrutiny)? I would have thought that some admissions tutors might regard it as showing some character/backbone. So it might make a candidate stand out positively for knowing their own mind and not being a total exams automaton?

FWIW I would totally advise to sacrifice the one subject for the benefit of others, particularly if doing 10,11 or 12 in one 'sitting'. DC1 over-invested (revision-wise) in his disliked (and weaker subjects). So although he passed all 11 that he took (AND got his EBacc), the time spent on doing loads of revision in his weaker ones definitely did have a negative knock-on effect on grades in some of his stronger subjects. Would he have been better on paper getting nine subjects with more As/A*s than 11 with fewer top grades? I think so.

ChristmasTreeLight Sun 10-Dec-17 10:27:36

For UCAS you have to enter the result of energy subject you were entered for. They take a very dim view of it if they find out you’ve left one off. I would definitely withdraw.

ChristmasTreeLight Sun 10-Dec-17 10:35:25

*every subject

Teddygirlonce Sun 10-Dec-17 12:48:43

That's true, ChristmasTreeLight. It's so long since I did my UCCA form that I don't recall such detail! Still don't think one 'fail' grade in an otherwise stellar line up of results is going to hold anyone back though - not unless one suddenly decides one wants to study something super related to the 'failed' subject.

Surreynewbie Sun 10-Dec-17 12:53:24

You'd have to put it on uni applications if she takes it.

You have a legal right to withdraw your child from RS. Research it. You'd have to agree to provide work of a religious nature as per the legal guidelines but doubt it would actually be checked up on.

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