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Art GCSE Early Coursework Deadline is really unfair

21 replies

Katymaus · 03/01/2024 12:38

Posting here for traffic and because I'd like to know what mumsnetters think before I (maybe) take it further with school ...thanks everyone in advance!

DD is in her GCSE year and was given a deadline of the first day back after Christmas break. This is not an exam board deadline, as far as I can gather, but a school deadline so they can concentrate on their final project from now on.
Every art student has had to work on their incomplete sketchbooks and pieces over the Christmas break while students in ALL other subjects had a complete break.
Dd has been stressed about it most of the past two weeks, decided to have the first week "off" because they'd just done three weeks of mocks and she really needed the down time but now doesn't have time to finish everything and will therefore get a worse mark.
It seems very unfair to give this deadline when students at other schools will presumably be able to work on their sketchbooks etc in tandem with doing their final piece. Dd will surely be disadvantaged at grading when grades are allocated according to this year's level of attainment nationally.
Am I being unreasonable to think this first day after Christmas break deadline is really unfair, unjust and could affect her grade by comparison with students nationally?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

74 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Nineteendays · 03/01/2024 12:41

I would have thought most kids in year 11 would have had to do coursework in the Xmas hols though. It might be stressful now but worth it in the spring when she can focus on her final topic and all of her other subjects without this coursework on top perhaps

Strictlyfanoftenyears · 03/01/2024 12:43

Its a great idea, it means they have one less gcse to worry about in the summer.

Blueeyes13 · 03/01/2024 12:45

My daughter also has the same deadline. She's happy she won't have it to worry about during her mocks or final piece. All her friends have some sort of revision/coursework to do over the holiday.

NotTheLastUserName · 03/01/2024 12:48

Presumably she has known about this deadline for so.e time before the Christmas break. And not just a couple of days...but known of the deadline for weeks/months.

And so it is unfair because she has left it to the last minute?

Sorry...struggling to see the unfairness here.

shepherdsangeldelight · 03/01/2024 12:49

DD spent most of the Easter holiday finishing her art portfolio.
It meant she had very little time for revision of any other subject.
So I think it's swings and roundabouts.

(I'm assuming the students had plenty of notice of the deadline, and it wasn't sprung on them just before the holidays, which would be deeply unfair).

Zwicky · 03/01/2024 12:49

I don’t think there is an ideal way of doing it that suits everyone. The portfolio is worth 60% and the final piece is 40% (with AQA) and there is a very real risk that a significant number of pupils will arse about tatting around the edges of their portfolio (which they’ve had 16 months to work on) to gain a max 1-2% extra marks at the expense of A- their final piece and B - every other subject. Procrastination is a huge problem at this stage in y11. There will be the occasional child who will manage to improve her portfolio whilst not disadvantaging her final piece and stay in top of her other 8/9 subjects but they will be in the minority and the timetable will have been done to boost the overall grade portfolio of the majority.
It is also absolute bollocks that non art students have had nothing to do over the Xmas break. Lots will have been working very hard. Art students also have the advantage of having the entire gcse over with before the written exams even start.

Isawitcoming · 03/01/2024 12:50

What about those students with Mocks straight after Christmas (like my DC). They haven't had a break from work either. Your child won't be disadvantaged. Was this sprung on you as a surprise, or did you know it was coming?

BrianBettyGrable · 03/01/2024 12:50

Regardless of the rights or wrongs of the deadline, I would get dd to talk to the Art teacher. Stick to the fact that she hasn't made the deadline with work up to her normal standard and ask what they advise.
One of my dds did Art GCSE so I do understand how big the workload is.

Overthebow · 03/01/2024 12:52

im guessing she knew about the deadline in as ace? She gave herself the week off and now won’t get it done, that’s not really the schools fault.

Pogonogo · 03/01/2024 12:56

My DD has two different art GCSE sketchbooks to finish and mocks to go back to next week. She is totally overwhelmed, but then she did choose to do two separate art subjects...
I don't think it is unreasonable to finish one sketchbook in the holidays, particularly if they have already had their mocks.
Most schools seem to have this as an internal deadline, but allow for some leniency.

KombuchaKalling · 03/01/2024 12:57

Why it unfair? If they were told today it was due in tomorrow then yes. But they have had plenty of notice. It’s actually a good idea as other people have said, she can concentrate on other things with it being out of the way

KombuchaKalling · 03/01/2024 12:58

Isawitcoming · 03/01/2024 12:50

What about those students with Mocks straight after Christmas (like my DC). They haven't had a break from work either. Your child won't be disadvantaged. Was this sprung on you as a surprise, or did you know it was coming?

This was me. I survived to tell the tale

Katymaus · 03/01/2024 13:11

Thanks for all the replies so far. I can see there is no perfect solution to how the mocks, sketchbooks, coursework and final piece are put into the schedule.

Just to clarify, when I talked about "all other students" not doing art having no work over Christmas, I only meant all other students at DD's school.

And they had about 6 weeks notice of the deadline, but 2-3 weeks of that was during the mocks for their other subjects, when, obviously, art couldn't be a priority

OP posts:
itsmyp4rty · 03/01/2024 13:13

Pretty sure ours had to hand their in before Christmas ready to start a new project afterwards. Their art mock was basically finishing off I think.

RhiWrites · 03/01/2024 13:14

I think you don’t have much of a leg to stand on if you didn’t raise it when the deadline was given.

Blueeyes13 · 03/01/2024 13:15

My daughter's art teacher told them to make their sketchbooks a priority even though they were also doing mocks, as the sketchbook would count towards GCSE but their mocks wouldn't. However, it's too late now to change things. Your daughter needs to speak with the her art teacher for advice. I wouldn't be encouraging mine to spend extra time on her sketchbook now at the expense of all her other GCSEs though.

ActDottie · 03/01/2024 13:20

I doubt students who don’t do art had a break. I know when I was year 11 I was definitely studying over the Christmas period and had coursework to do.

HobbitLass · 03/01/2024 13:24

YANBU. It’s one thing for the school to set an initial internal deadline to help students manage their time but if they’re actually planning on not allowing them to continue to work on their pieces prior to the actual exam board deadline then I would consider that arbitrary and an inevitable disadvantage.

bellinisurge · 03/01/2024 13:27

My Dd did Textiles GCSE last year. I remember a poorly managed (by the school) deadline over the equivalent Christmas. They weren't told how important it was to get the coursework done over Christmas and basically had to cram the work in at the last minute before the actual deadline.

mondaytosunday · 03/01/2024 13:32

Mine had her GCSE mocks after Christmas break so had tons of studying to do and she also did art.
That's just the way it is. For A levels she had to have first draft of History coursework in early January even though exam body deadline wasn't til February, and she had to have Art sketchbook handed in a couple weeks later. Trust the school - they must know how to space things out.

Willyoujustbequiet · 03/01/2024 16:36


Dd was the same last year - mocks up until the last minute then the whole class caught covid and everyone was ill over Christmas and couldn't work on their Art.

I spoke with the school and as its not an external deadline they were happy to give her a few more weeks. We weren't the only ones.

I'm sure if you approach the school they may be accommodating.

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