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AQA GCSE Literature

Discussion in 'English' started by Bev179, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Parent asking for advice please
    Son is Yr11, he has some SEN, he's in mainstream.
    Last week I was advised he would not be taking the GCSE Lit exam.
    This week I was offered that the 3 hours usually spent in English is used for 1-1 personalised study support in another subject.
    In Lang son had FFT-D prediction of D, his TA's through yrs 10/11 have been E's and F's. He achieved a D (36 points, presumably borderline).
    Requesting the reason why he wasn't going to be sitting Lit exam, I was informed by HOD Eng that they are studying 16 poems for the next stage, it won't be appropriate for son and he won't manage.
    In a further email I was informed children need to compare 4 poems. His teacher predictions for Eng Lit is an E, but he may scrape a D. HOD Eng states 'prediction is', not 'asperational target is'
    Throughout yrs 10/11 the school have insisted his difficulties lay with punctuation and the need to proof-read. However when the school applied for a statement in Jul 10 his English teacher notes his areas of difficulty are slow speech, lack of analysis and she thinks he doesn't understand all the lesson.
    He has had next to no homework/research to do throughout yr's 10/11.
    As far as I am aware he has completed all his coursework to date (or if he hasn't we haven't been told), he has had to do no resits that we are aware of.
    He is the only child in his class to be informed he is not doing the exam. Yet I am aware other childen in his year, with the same grade and lower (F's) for Lang, are still doing the exam.
    I feel I am missing something, or is this common practice?
    Would a school remove a child from Lit just to make up ground in other subjects?
    Are the poems studied for Lit from the same range as those studied for the Lang exam?
    Can I ask how many CA's do children complete for Literature?
    Would most of the CA's be completed by now?

    Thank you










     
  2. Parent asking for advice please
    Son is Yr11, he has some SEN, he's in mainstream.
    Last week I was advised he would not be taking the GCSE Lit exam.
    This week I was offered that the 3 hours usually spent in English is used for 1-1 personalised study support in another subject.
    In Lang son had FFT-D prediction of D, his TA's through yrs 10/11 have been E's and F's. He achieved a D (36 points, presumably borderline).
    Requesting the reason why he wasn't going to be sitting Lit exam, I was informed by HOD Eng that they are studying 16 poems for the next stage, it won't be appropriate for son and he won't manage.
    In a further email I was informed children need to compare 4 poems. His teacher predictions for Eng Lit is an E, but he may scrape a D. HOD Eng states 'prediction is', not 'asperational target is'
    Throughout yrs 10/11 the school have insisted his difficulties lay with punctuation and the need to proof-read. However when the school applied for a statement in Jul 10 his English teacher notes his areas of difficulty are slow speech, lack of analysis and she thinks he doesn't understand all the lesson.
    He has had next to no homework/research to do throughout yr's 10/11.
    As far as I am aware he has completed all his coursework to date (or if he hasn't we haven't been told), he has had to do no resits that we are aware of.
    He is the only child in his class to be informed he is not doing the exam. Yet I am aware other childen in his year, with the same grade and lower (F's) for Lang, are still doing the exam.
    I feel I am missing something, or is this common practice?
    Would a school remove a child from Lit just to make up ground in other subjects?
    Are the poems studied for Lit from the same range as those studied for the Lang exam?
    Can I ask how many CA's do children complete for Literature?
    Would most of the CA's be completed by now?

    Thank you










     
  3. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    Well, twelve for the Foundation tier.
    Yes, but they can compare two and then mention third and fourth. No need to write about all four equally. Some comparison and comment on language is needed for a C.
    There are three pieces for Lit. Two of them are crossover pieces from English. The third is response to a post 1914 play.



     
  4. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    Oops. Didn't mean to post. Was going to add:
    Yes, most classes will have completed coursework (y10 are doing CAs, y11 coursework).
    The poems for English are from the Different Culture section. The Lit poems are pre 1914 and post 1914 (either Clarke/Heaney or Duffy/Armitage).
    If the school are entering most students for Literature, could it be that your son has a genuine difficulty responding to literature? I had a B/C grade student last year who just could not deal with non literal language and was unable to understand characters' emotional responses. He did A' Levels in Maths and Sciences but could not cope with Literature.
    I think the school could well be genuinely trying to help your son get better grades in fewer subjects. After all, they're not going to have him sit in lessons and not enter him for the exam. Three hours a week of 1:1 tuition sounds very worthwhile.
     
  5. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    I meant I had a B/C student a few years ago. I also had a student last year who had similar issues but was of much lower ability - we withdrew him from Literature because he just refused to write in the Mock exam. He got a D for English and results showed that he scored 0 for the poetry section.
     
  6. Thank you for the response Gloria. I asked a similar set of questions to the HOD also how the extra support would be used etc. she responded by stating thank you for your email we have put him in for the exam as requested!
    Ed psych, OT and paed, suggested he drop some subjects Jul/Sep 10 to concentrate on others, head vetoed this in Nov because all his teachers state he is doing ok; in English he just needs to concentrate on punctuation and topic sentences. Later in Nov I was told he would have help with organisation and putting his thoughts in writing.
    He had difficulty with the language component, so he would certainly struggle with literature. Son is very literal, he has difficulty with meaning behind poems eg Search for my tongue - he thought at first it meant the character had two tongues in her mouth, each fighting to speak their own language!
    1-1 does sound good, but one of the two subjects school now have concerns with is one where his subject teacher stated 'he is not an average student, he has no latent ability, no original ideas, and awful handwriting' (Oct 09, I accessed Jun 10). The teacher who wrote the above is empathetic with son, has a good grasp of his difficulties etc. Though I hate to agree with his assessment he is correct.
    The week after this was written, I was informed by the subject HOD that son had been moved into the GCSE gp for that subject as he was doing well, confirmed same week by head. (HOD teaches him the lesson twice a week, other teacher once). He was only moved back to doing accredited in Mar 10, when I queried sons complaints that it was too hard and he kept coming home for about 3 weeks stating that his teacher was going to phone.
    In a similar situation with other subject they want to put in support for
     
  7. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    It does sound as if the school are acting in you son's interests. Children on the autistic/Aspergers spectrum often get stressed with writing about literature. While they don't have to write an empathetic response, they do need to show awareness of attitudes and feelings from analysis of language. It's not enough to learn some notes on a poem.
    Your son will probably thrive in a college where he can follow a BTec course or similar in something that interests him and where there are no exams to worry about. I'm sure he has ability in some subjects. A Grade C in English is worth having but nobody needs Literature unless they're going to study it further, soI wouldn't worry about him dropping it.
     
  8. Thanks again Gloria.
    It is just a shame that his school won't explain their reasoning in the way that somebody else will take the time to do on a Sunday night. I'll stick another email into school tomorrow and hope I don't get threatened with a Complaints and Harassment policy again.
    At the moment we can't even get son to consider/look at FE. He has struggled all the way through school with little support, and can't see the benefit of staying in an educational environment.
     

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