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GCSE Module Resits - help and advice needed please!

(11 Posts)
ADifferentMe Wed 30-Sep-09 18:09:21

Mid year 10 DD was predicted straight As at GCSE except for French. She sat the first papers in the three separate sciences and RS in June and heard this month that she'd got two Bs and two Ds (only two points off C for Chemistry and Biology, but still pretty shocked).

She certainly wasn't alone in getting disappointing results and I can't complain at how much work she did. The teachers are apparently blaming the fact that the girls had five weeks off school before the exams - two weeks work experience, half term and two weeks study leave/school exams.

The head, however, has said that each girl is only allowed to resit one module. We've had no information from the school, all this is coming via DD1.

Any views on whether this is normal/acceptable? Or suggestions on what we should do? I'm going to ask the school whether her version of events is accurate wink. I know DD2s school let them resit without question if they think they can improve a grade.

TheFallenMadonna Wed 30-Sep-09 18:12:00

We are asking any of our triple award students to re take any paper in which they achieved lower than their target. I'm surpised at the school's attitude, becase you need your top sets to get good grades really. Do check with the school.

ADifferentMe Wed 30-Sep-09 18:13:53

Thanks - she's at a selective (state) grammar and I'm amazed if what she's saying is true. More than 60% of girls got 5 or more A/A*s this summer so I thought they'd be trying to repeat that next year.

scaryteacher Wed 30-Sep-09 18:38:45

afaik, and I am an examiner, RS isn't a modular exam. It sounds like she has done 1 complete paper (half course) and sat that, then will either take the next paper next year for the full course, or will just stay with what she's got and have an extra free period a week.

Unless she has two periods a week it is impossible to teach the half course in less than two years on an hour a week, so did she start RS GCSE in year 9?

ADifferentMe Wed 30-Sep-09 18:50:39

Sorry to sound dim, but what's the difference between two half courses and modules? She missed the whole summer term in Y9 when I think they started the GCSE so we're both a bit vague. From what you're saying, I assume she now has half a GCSE and can make it a whole one next summer?

RS is supposed to be one of her G & T subjects and she really enjoys it - she was predicted A*.

MmeProf Wed 30-Sep-09 19:04:00

The awarding body won't care how many resits she takes. It is all £££ for them.

She needs to pace herself, which is probably why the school is recommending only one module resit.

The actual UMS points don't really matter at this stage (ie the two points off a C), as the marks from all the modules for each qualification get added together. The biggest leap is going to come from her weakest papers, and there should be a possibility to consider resitting her practical based modules (IAAs or ISAs, depending on the board), but this is a lot of work for the teacher which they may not be willing to do.

When my DS did AQA triple science two years ago, his school made everyone resit the Y10 work who got less than 100%. The rationale was that every little mark counted towards the overall grade (he had to resit 2 papers, and did end up with 3A*)

As a parent, I would be keen to resit what I could in November. It is long enough away to not impact too much on the June exams, and it is probably not that far away from their mocks, so they should be in exam mode. It would be a lot of work but presumably some of it will consolidate knowledge required for the other modules.

Maybe it is just a case of you coughing up the dosh? Perhaps the school is only willing to fund one paper? You really need to speak to the school.

ADifferentMe Wed 30-Sep-09 19:11:13

Beautifully put, MmeProf grin. I was wondering if the dosh was the issue - the teachers are insisting that it's the head who is refusing to allow it.

I'll contact them tomorrow. I was a bit surprised we hadn't been told anything but DD says the school think it's not our business hmm

webwiz Wed 30-Sep-09 22:20:22

At my DCs school you pay for any module resits but the subject teacher has to authorise it (presumably to stop you wasting your money when there is no hope of an improvement!). School was quite keen for them to resit if they hadn't met their target grade because after all a higher grade is better for everyone.

My DDs took one of the RS papers in year 10 and the second in year 11 but some of their year did resit the first paper in year 11 without having any extra lessons - one of DD2s friends went from a C to an A.

I think sometimes in year 10 they are not quite ready to be taking external exams, the extra year just gives them that extra bit of maturity.

I'd get in touch with the school to see what the official line is.

scaryteacher Thu 01-Oct-09 07:27:55

Modules are small chunks (topics) that are frequently tested, i.e after finishing a particular topic/module you take the exam, with the possibility of resitting.

The half course GCSE RS is a full two year course of study at 1 hour per week, leading to a two hour exam if you don't do coursework, and a 1 hour 30 minute exam if you do. It is a proper GCSE exam in which you are examined on all the areas covered within the syllabus. Best way to describe it is a bit like the O levels were, if you don't do coursework.

If you do full course, then there is another course of study leading to another exam. We used to have short course on the timetable and then teach after school for those who wanted to do the full course.

If you want to resit, you have to do the whole exam again at the next exam series, not just bits of it.

snorkie Thu 01-Oct-09 09:10:50

I think you should also find out why there is such a big discrepancy between predicted and achieved grades because children predicted As simply shouldn't be achieving Ds imo as there's a huge difference and as well as looking at retakes I think you need to find out the underlying reasons. If it was a number of children, then were the predictions too optimistic or has the teaching fallen short for some reason. If it is just her, then has she been concentrating in class and doing her homework satisfactorarily and if not why haven't they followed up on it sooner. If it's down to missing summer term in yr9 (which sounds plausible) then why wasn't she given a suitable catch-up work scheme and the potential impact on her grades discussed - presumably she has missed some other subjects too - maybe there is other work she needs to be doing to catch up on those as well.

ADifferentMe Thu 01-Oct-09 10:20:07

Snorkie - those are amongst my list of questions for when the teacher calls me back today.

We have made a few complaints about the RS teaching and didn't feel they were taken seriously, although we know we weren't the only ones complaining.

DD definitely leans more to arts/humanities subjects but all three science teachers have said over the past 18 months how much progress she's made and she's doing everything that they ask to the best of her ability, hence the As for effort and prediction. Usual comment is that they wish all kids were like her. I do think the predictions were optimistic as she claims she wasn't the only one and one of her friends actually got a U.

We had a chat last night and she is keen to resit - she's very ambitious (we often wonder if we took the wrong child home from hospital wink) so I'll take my lead from the school as to whether she should resit.

ScaryTeacher - thanks, that's a lot clearer.

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