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GCSE PE - girls performances vs boys?

(34 Posts)
Bumbleboar Thu 17-May-18 11:56:03

My DD is doing GCSE PE, and is taking sports which are more typically played by boys (so for example, rubgy). She says her PE teacher has told her that she will never get a high score for the performance element, as the boys will always be better than her so he has to score them higher. She plays this sport for the County, so for a girl, is really good. But obviously, if you put her on a boy's team, she could not compete.

So, how does this work? In sports like football, rugby, tennis, athletics, women's performance is measured against other women. Is this not the case with GSCE PE? Or has the teacher (or my DD) got it wrong? I can see how this is tricky - as on the other side of the argument, why should a boy at a similar standard to my DD get scored lower than she does, if he is by comparison to his male peers, less good.

Can anyone advise me how this works!

OP’s posts: |
TeenTimesTwo Fri 18-May-18 10:27:12

To me judging e.g. speed or strength or kick/throw distance against boys sounds daft and therefore I presume is not what should happen.

Whereas accuracy of passing I can see could be judged.

I would query, though no idea who with.

Note, I know next to nothing about PE, being the parent of two DC with motor skills in bottom 1%. smile

Baroquehavoc Fri 18-May-18 15:17:20

Sorry, I can't help, I'm really just bumping for you.

But I think this point is relevant:
She plays this sport for the County, so for a girl, is really good. But obviously, if you put her on a boy's team, she could not compete.

Surely playing for the county does put her above the boys she is playing with who don't make the county team? I don't know anything about GCSE PE, but can outside school activities be used as evidence of performance? I'm sure I've seen threads where swimming and cycling were recorded out of school to support their gcse grade.

TeenTimesTwo Fri 18-May-18 16:50:15

As you are still waiting someone who knows, I'm bumping this so it gets above the idiot who spammed the board.

Have3kids Sat 19-May-18 08:06:24


My daughter did GCSE PE two years ago and also played rugby at the time she played for her county and for her divional area London & South East. Rugby was one of her main sports and her PE teacher assessed her against certain criteria that needed to be reached she also provided video evidence. I don't think she was ever assessed against alongside the boys I can ask her later on today when we meet up.

Boys county rugby is different to girls as most of the boys will have been playing rugby from the age of six years the level of rugby will be higher in most cases. Whereas a large number of girls don't start until secondary school however you usually find girls pick up the skills very quickly.

You can also use outside sports for gcse.

Hope this helps

Bumbleboar Thu 24-May-18 13:22:34

Thanks for the replies. It's interesting that I've not been able to find an answer yet. DD's PE teacher is obviously tied up at the moment with the year 11 students, and I've not found any answers online.

Is there anyone here who's daughter has got high marks for the performance part of PE in traditionally 'boy' sports? Does anyone know if the marking criteria are different for girls and boys? Is any allowance made for girls often having fewer opportunities to do some sports (ie lack of girls football/rugby teams), so recognising their ability may be behind those of boys of a similar age?

This is all becoming quite interesting - how does GCSE PE marking mitigate for socially constructured gender expectations? smile

Also relevant perhaps to English students who have chosen Gaelic football as one of their sports, so not just gendered - what if you are really good at it but don't have the opportunity to play because your nearest league is 300 miles away?


Back on topic - can anyone help wth how this works?!

OP’s posts: |
TeenTimesTwo Thu 24-May-18 13:48:54

I don't see how they could say 'not as good due to lack of opportunity'.

However, I also don't see how they can compare a girl v a boy on things like strength and speed.

Baroquehavoc Thu 24-May-18 13:59:51

Again, I know nothing about GCSE PE, but what happens about non team games like running and swimming? Do girls need to be as fast as boys to get the top grade?

Just bumping for you, really. smile

Ariela Thu 24-May-18 14:21:08

My daughter did PE, and this was the case . The teacher explained this as in most sports they can not physically do as well as the boys so are scored lower. We were not told this when choosing options. SO unfair. Luckily my daughter competed in riding to a fairly high level so was still able to get a B

TheBrilloPad Thu 24-May-18 14:25:10

If that's the rule, that's crazy. So in a co-ed state school, a girl who is at a high level could still get a low mark because she's not equal to the boys, but if she went to the girls only school down the road, she would be scored higher??? Surely that can't be possible.

museumum Thu 24-May-18 14:33:41

So the fastest girl in the country at 800m say gets a lower score than the tenth fastest boy in the country because he’s faster than her?
That’s most definitely not fair or sensible.

GU24Mum Thu 24-May-18 14:38:28

I'm not sure that's the case (though perhaps all exam board do it differently).

I was waiting at DD's swimming leson this week somewhat bored while she changed and ended up reading the assessment criteia for swimming and hockey which were pinned up there. For hockey, to get a top grade on one aspect the wording was along the lines of: executes all moves proficiently and rarely loses the ball to other players. Surely that is judged against the other players in a single-sex match as it's usually played single-sex as is rugby?

It would seem grossly unfair otherwise (though that doesn't mean it isn't I guess.....)

BackInTime Thu 24-May-18 14:58:13

Does anyone know if it is possible to get a copy of the assessment criteria for each sport?

GU24Mum Thu 24-May-18 15:13:30

Not sure where from but I'm sure you can. As per my earlier post, I saw a couple of them pinned up - and I also know that DD's school checked the criteria when she was thinking of having ballet (standard v high so she's opted for a different subject altogether!). If you know the exam board, you should be able to google it.

Ariela Thu 24-May-18 15:56:52

At my daughters school the boys taking PE outnumbered girls about 3 or 4 to 1, so of course it was unfair that we weren't told how it was scored....the riding was easy peasy to score well in because it was very very basic level compared to the level she was riding at.

BubblesBuddy Thu 24-May-18 19:17:41

I’m not sure if she’s doing AQA, but their full GCSE specification is on the web. It lists the permitted sports. For Rugby Union it clearly says they are assessing technique. It describes fully what technique is required to get the higher marks, and indeed the lower marks. This is surely treating students equally. If the boys display superior technique, you would have to live with that. It’s not about what level (county, school, club) you play either. That’s irrelevant. It’s about technique. If the technique isn’t there, then the higher marks cannot be attained, by anyone.

Can your DD be assessed in a girls’ match for her county/club? Does the school have a girls team? Whether it’s a boy or a girl displaying the skills makes no difference whatsoever. The teacher is an idiot. It’s not about relative strengths of boys and girls or comparing boys and girls. It’s about the assessment of Actual Demonstrated Skills and Technique and what marks these are awarded in the spec. The spec is illuminating so do read it even if it’s not your exam board. I can’t imagine there are wild differences between boards though.

Toomanydecisions Sat 26-May-18 10:21:58

Not sure if you've found the answers yet, but wanted to help. I'm a secondary PE teacher.

All students performances are assessed against a set of criteria set by their exam board. If you speak to the PE teacher they should be able to give you a copy of the sports your child has chosen.

Rugby would work the same as something like Rounders (which can be taken by both sexes). She'll be asked to play a game (if she can't do that at school, you can submit video evidence for the teacher to watch), perform some drills and she'll be assessed on how well she performs. It isn't that she will be compared against the boys and not receive as high a mark at all. It might be the Teacher was expressing worries that she might not be able to play a competitive game in school due to lack of girls? And Health and Safety rules state she can't play with the boys.

If you find out her exam board, I'm pretty sure you'll be able to find out the sport specifications online.

Hope this helps.

GlacindaTheTroll Sat 26-May-18 12:58:19

If the school does not offer girls rugby, then your DD needs to be assessed via her club play. Which would be either by video, or - if this is still possible under the new spec - asking if the club she plays for has any coaches who are also secondary PE teachers who might be prepared to do the admin to assess the sport for a pupil at a different school to theirs.

She should still be able to get full marks for all the assessed criteria, which are more to do with knowledge, skill and attitude than sheer physical strength.

Heifer Sat 26-May-18 13:02:24

This is the AQA board marking Scheme (page 116 for Rugby Union)
Hope it helps - it's helping me as DD will need to decide which 3 sports to pick so it will enable her see what she needs to do in each sport to get certain points.

hmcAsWas Sat 26-May-18 15:03:21

My dd got 18/20 for girls football.

It's a small independent school so there was no girls football in school but she has been playing for an external girls team since the age of 10.

She has also played for her county.

We submitted video evidence from training and actual match footage. Whilst 18/20 is a good mark we were marginally peed off (not enough to query it) she really is an exceptional footballer.

The boys on her PE course scored lower for football than her except one lad who got 19/20. He doesn't play county football - but plays for a typical Sunday league men's team. PE teacher was overly impressed that he was playing with adults (although he is 16 and 6 feet)

She got 19/20 for athletics but she did win medals in sprinting at the ISA National finals. She wasn't judged against boys for that (luckily no teenage Caster Semenyas as yet)

Her individual sport was trampolining - a mediocre 14/20 I think

BubblesBuddy Sat 26-May-18 16:47:56

Who you play for is irrelevant. County or local club. As the teacher says above, it’s what you can do compared to the criteria to be assessed. A county team might be rubbish! Who knows. The boy footballer might just have better skills, whether he plays with men or not.

hmcAsWas Sat 26-May-18 18:54:36

County players have to go through competitive trials. You can't be 'rubbish' and make the grade. You really don't sound like you have much of a clue

BubblesBuddy Sat 26-May-18 20:43:30

Some counties don’t set the bar as high as others. Not all trials for counties are identical. Any more than they are for clubs. These trials still have nothing to do with the GCSE. Yes, I do know what I’m talking about! If all county players were equal in terms of skill there would be no winners or losers when they play each other. Obviously some counties are weaker. Smaller ones must be at a disadvantage by sheer lack of numbers to choose from and even in larger counties, quality will depend on who is actually taking up the sport.

Heifer Sat 26-May-18 22:05:24

Got to agree that County level sport doesn't always mean much. In hockey it's hard to get in to county level (Junior Academy Centre), when age 12-14 but buy the time they are 15/16 you don't have so many turning up so you could certainly be selected when you're not all that good (depends on the county obviously).

BackforGood Sat 26-May-18 23:38:17

My dd didn't opt to do PE, as it happens, but plays football at quite a high standard, and on her team, many - probably most of them are doing GCSE PE. Every week for 2 years, there have been parents trying to video, (for the opposition teams as well, quite often), as they can demonstrate their skills - or 'technique' as it says in the spec - much better whilst playing at this higher level, than they could in a staged match in school, where they just wouldn't be able to recreate the same level of play.
It isn't about 'comparing with boys', and I would certainly have had that discussion with the PE teacher, as it shouldn't actually be about comparing with anyone, whatever their sex, it is making judgements against the criteria set.

All that said, I'm so glad dd didn't do it - the filming has been a nightmare for the other parents.

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