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Anyone understand GCSE PE?

(33 Posts)
hanginginthere1 Fri 24-Aug-12 10:49:57

DD got results yesterday. A'S and A*'s, so we are very, very pleased.
Despite being predicted a* in pe, she got an A. OK, you might say, that is still very good. Unfortunately, however, she managed only a D in the theory paper of the Double award. S he was put in for this in addition to the single award. She gained full marks in the practical aspect of the course[County/national std in her chosen sport]. I am in no doubt that this D was due to poor/lazy teaching. the double course was tagged on at the end of the course, approx 3 lessons, one of which the teacher didn't show up for.No real preparation/practise etc. Without wishing to appear arrogant, DD is a very capable girl, as her other results show, yet she has basically failed this part of the course. I feel really angry about this, since there are other issues that we have not been happy with concerning her PE teacher. Have spoken to head, and expressed my concern, and he admitted that this result was "odd". The others in the class are similar.
We are going to get the single award remarked, since she was only one mark short of the A*. Head, of course, did not really want to listen to my daughter's concerns about her teacher, but assured us that the results would be analysed.
i have never fully understood what this double award was all about. At parents even, teacher talked about lots of different thing, e.g. coaching, that my daughter could do. When daughter asked about this, then told that there was no longer enough time to do this!
Can anybody shed any light on what this double award is really all about, and what questions I need to really be asking there teacher, byway of an explanation.
Not a rant about teachers, by the way. i am one myself. I do know however that some teachers will close ranks when being criticised, and a full explanation is un likely to be forthcoming.
My daughter is very upset. Her ambition is to study medicine, and rightly or wrongly, she feels that she has been deprived of at least one A* that she should have got.

longingforsomesleep Fri 24-Aug-12 13:15:28

watching this thread with interest. DS2 has just finished year 10. Already has a few GCSE A grades under his belt and, in his last report, was predicted A/A* in every subject ..... except PE where he was predicted a B. He is a very good sportsman and clearly has no problems academically. I did speak to the Head of PE briefly to say that his PE grade stuck out like a sore thumb. I know there's a personality clash between DS and his PE teacher but even so!!!

I'm seething as ds was dithering between history (which he was excellent at) and PE when choosing his options and I sort of steered him towards PE thinking it would be easier and take the strain off him a bit. Big mistake on my part I think.

hanginginthere1 Fri 24-Aug-12 14:50:44

Still time yet. Your sitn sounds quite similar to ours. I feel as if the teacher has blinded us with science, talked the talk and then not delivered.
Again, my daughter has also had some issues with her [female] PE teacher.
How crazy is this? My daughter is a national standard tennis player. Over the course of the whole GCSE, she was required to use a tennis raquet just once. She was provided with one by the school. It had plastic strings, and was so badly warped, that she was unable to hit the ball. this was her practical assessment session! On another occasion, she wanted to represent her school at an inter school tennis tournament, but told she was not allowed to because she was too good and had represented her county. We wonder why school sport often leaves much to be desired.
My advice to you would be to monitor the PE very closely. Make sure your son knows where he is regarding grades/coursework etc. Don't hesitate to question the teacher if you need to.

SecretSquirrels Fri 24-Aug-12 15:39:10

I thought it was just our school but maybe it isn't.
DS1 just got an A in PE.
He regretted choosing PE fairly quickly because he discovered that no one ever achieved A*. He is very athletic and academic and yet never had a hope of an A*.

hanginginthere1 Fri 24-Aug-12 16:02:40

This is very interesting. Why?

SecretSquirrels Fri 24-Aug-12 16:44:45

It seems to be the practical test.
He got A* in the exam which is basically anatomy but lower marks in the practicals. They have to do 5 sports I think and can include something they do outside of school for example rowing or fencing.
Even those who were high achievers at club and county level in their particular sport did not get overall A* for the practicals.

hanginginthere1 Fri 24-Aug-12 17:12:28

I think my daughter got a* in practicals, and in some of the theory, but it was the D in the double award that stopped her getting an overall a*.
We were told that she could do a wide range of sports, but it soon became evident that this wasn't going to happen.
IMO the class were badly taught in the theory. I have just spoken to a Governor who admitted that the schools getting lots of complaints about PE.

longingforsomesleep Fri 24-Aug-12 23:22:13

I am told that one of the issues at my son's school is that the PE teachers are expected to do so much extra curricular activity (school matches after school and Saturday mornings) that they don't have time to prepare lessons properly.

hanginginthere1 Sat 25-Aug-12 09:23:04

Yes, you have a point. unfortunately. that does not apply to my daughter's school, since her female pe teacher does as little as she can get away with! This is a high achieving comp school, and it makes me so angry. OH used to be a PE teacher and I know how hard he worked, so this is not a rant at teachers.

hanginginthere1 Sat 25-Aug-12 09:24:49

If pe teachers do not have time to prepare properly, due to ext a curricular activities, they should not be teaching GCSE in the first place.

cansu Sat 25-Aug-12 09:26:39

Lack of an a star in PE is unlikely to harm kyour dd ambitions to be a doctor.

happyinherts Sat 25-Aug-12 09:31:22

My son has represented GB at cross country and is a top UK age grouped ranked track athlete

During fitness related practical work at school he was told he had not put in any effort to do the exercises. He could have done a hundred more in the time but was assessed to have not put in any effort because he hadn't gone 'red in the face' Morbidly obese boy who did 3 press ups and did go 'red in the face' was awarded a higher grade because apparently he had worked harder.

Do not understand practical PE whatsoever. My son was very very disillusioned. Achieved a B Grade overall therefore written exam must have been very good to make up marks, but still very very disappointed.

hanginginthere1 Sat 25-Aug-12 11:36:08

Cansu, Fully agree. The point is she was more than capable of getting one, and feels that she was let down by bad teaching on one part of the course. How does a pupil go from getting A'* to getting a D? The school described it as odd. I would describe it as something completely different!
Happy... crazy, crazy crazy, but not surprising. I often feel that kids who are genuinely gifted in a particular sport are penalised/held back in PE.

basildonbond Sat 25-Aug-12 12:27:17

ds is doing GCSE PE next year ... he's very sporty and assumed that it would be a guaranteed A* but maybe not ...

his report at the end of year 10 said that his swimming technique was 'quite good' ... he's usually in the top 20 nationally for his age group and event ...

I suspect he's going to need to do a lot more work to get the marks up ...

lljkk Sat 25-Aug-12 12:35:53

Sorry your offpspring have had such an unfair time, but thanks for the warnings. One to question closely or avoid altogether, methinks!

longingforsomesleep Sat 25-Aug-12 14:08:11

I think part of the problem is that PE teachers are expected to teach such a wide range of sports but are only going to be experts in a few. My DH has played a couple of sports to a very high standard and coaches a couple of them now he is semi-retired. He is often to be seen at school matches spitting feathers when PE teachers give duff advice or fail to recognise/encourage potential (and it's not sour grapes, he's not talking about ds!)

Mutteroo Sat 25-Aug-12 14:35:52

Can I add my DD's experience with PE. She took GCSE PE 3 years ago and while she enjoyed sport, she's not of a national or county standard, though a good club & school swimmer. She gained a B for the practical aspect of the subject which even she felt was marked too high.

Just shows you there are 2 sides to this story; but I admit there's too many irregularities with this year's results in quite a few subjects!

senua Sat 25-Aug-12 15:09:37

Another one here. DS is very good at his sport (county standard) and I thought that PE would be fun and an easily achievable good grade.
His practical let him down. His teacher has issues with him. I'm sure the two aren't connected. not! grr.

longingforsomesleep Sat 25-Aug-12 16:05:27

Senua - interesting isn't it? We floated round ds2's last parents' evening on a cloud of pride at hearing all the lovely comments from his teachers (especially as it came soon after ds1's rather challenging parents' eve....)

Last appointment was with his PE teacher who asked us if we were having a good evening. "Brilliant" I said beaming at him. His response was... "Well I'm about to put an end to that ...."

hanginginthere1 Sat 25-Aug-12 17:41:28

Yes, always a personality clash with the [female] PE teacher! My daughter was devastated to be left out of the school magazine celebrating sporting achievement. It was as if she didn't exist. I think I know the reasons for this, but could never voice them of course.

senua Sat 25-Aug-12 18:42:08

I think I know the reasons for this, but could never voice them of course.

Go on. Tell!
gwan, gwan, gwan. You know you want to.grin
Our mistake was to pursue the county thing under our own steam. It put the teacher's nose out of joint.

longingforsomesleep Sat 25-Aug-12 18:42:36

Hang - that's absolutely awful.

It's so hard as a parent to stand back and watch things like this happen to your child. DS1 had a problem in a school team he played in - the captain had a clique around him who all played for the same club. He deliberately and methodically sidelined ds1 over a number of years to the point where, despite being a really good player, he was completely and systematically humiliated. The PE teacher in charge failed to understand what was happening. Finally, during a post-match talk I realised that my totally laid back, gentle, uncomplaining boy was shaking with anger and emotion - so much so that he went over to the PE teacher who had allowed this situation to continue and oh so politely and articulately told him where to stick his team. I felt like punching the air - we can't fight their battles for them but I was so pleased that he'd stood up for himself. The PE teacher was a total idiot who simply couldn't see that the exclusion my son was being subjected to was bullying.

SecretSquirrels Sat 25-Aug-12 18:44:25

Similar experiences with PE teachers here.
DS very academic and complained (to me) of the theory lessons being dumbed down and patronising. He excels at athletics, represented school at regional level and is otherwise a good all rounder.
But he isn't in the football team...... and that seems to be important.

hanginginthere1 Sat 25-Aug-12 21:50:36

I think maybe we lose sight of the fact that there is a difference between Physical Education and Sport. There certainly seems to be a problem with kids who are both gifted academically and in sport, and the way that they are perceived in schools, and in particular within PE depts.
My daughter sets herself high standards and is sometimes annoyingly dogged in the way in which she per sues these standards. She is very fortunate in that she has been able to experience things in Sport that the average teenage girl has not. I just wish that her PE teachers could embrace and celebrate this. She has experienced plenty of the down side too.

Jo1985 Wed 29-Aug-12 13:03:24

As a PE teacher I have found this conversation quite interesting. I cannot speak for all of your experiences unfortunately but can maybe give you all a bit more insight into the PE course and the problems that are often found. In some cases PE is still seen as an 'easy' option. (I am aware that this isn't necessarily the case in all of your situations) The theoretical side of PE requires students to have a good scientific knowledge, an awareness of the structure of sport and PE and an understanding of the psychology of sport. None of these concepts are easy, although most students that are academic will manage to grasp the concepts. The theoretical side generally only counts for 40% of the overall grade and then the practical 'coursework' accounts for the other 60%. One of the biggest problems we are faced with as PE teachers is that some students are county/national standard in one sport but dont always find it easy to transfer their skills. (depending on their sport obviously) GCSE PE requires students to pick at least 4 sports that they are good at and they must be assessed in each of these. If a student is an outstanding horse rider or trampolinist for example, they are not necessarily going to find it easy to transfer their outstanding ability to a range of sports and therefore their talent in one sport is not going to particularly help their score. Someone who is a team footballer who can then transfer their skills to netball, rugby and badminton could potentially score more highly than someone who competes nationally in one sport. I hope this helps a bit to make things clearer and I am aware that it doesn't solve the problems that many of you have faced.

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