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Miserable - my GCSE results worst in school

Discussion in 'Art and design' started by holytoast, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. I am feeling very down after yesterday's results, I am HOD department in a boys Grammar, with only one class going through this year. 27 boys, several who were really talented, but TBH, the rest were average to poor, needing a lot of motivation to get things done. I was off on maternity for 6months of their course, and the department has many other issues, the least not being another memberwho is dfficult to manage, no technician, no support from SLT to speak of, and about 5 new iniatives this year alone which have been introduced to us, one of which is to re-plan the whole 7/8 curriculum to involve drama and music.

    So my results were the worst in the school, I have been there 3 years, I know they were expecting much better this year, although they have improved no end on previous years, (before I joined) they are worse at the top end than last year. 85% c and above, 25% A - school target is 50% A, and obviously 100% c and above.

    I am going to get a right telling off, I think a lot is to do with just not knowing where the grade boundaries would be for a C with the new spec, with the 4 that got a D there are some very good reasons,( like they didn't come in when I asked them to to sort out their portfolios, they did something totally off plan for the exam etc, parents weren't supportive), although one was totally unexpected, and I think they all missed out by one or two marks, which is just awful for them.

    I just feel like I am doing everything I can, I literally cannot think of anything else. I previously was very successful in my last post, although it was mixed, I actually think I did better with the boys, got them on side and got some good results from my classes. I worked so hard with some students towards the end of the year to try and get them through, and it has paid off mostly, just a few that slipped through the net.

    I just need any positive advice of things I could try, or things I can say or do when I face up to the head of year! It's going to be messy! I will of course hold my hands up, I don't think being away helped. the grade boundaries didn't help, but really I just need to think of another way to approach this to avoid more of the same next year!

    thanks to anyone taking the time to read this, sorry for the essay.
     
  2. I am feeling very down after yesterday's results, I am HOD department in a boys Grammar, with only one class going through this year. 27 boys, several who were really talented, but TBH, the rest were average to poor, needing a lot of motivation to get things done. I was off on maternity for 6months of their course, and the department has many other issues, the least not being another memberwho is dfficult to manage, no technician, no support from SLT to speak of, and about 5 new iniatives this year alone which have been introduced to us, one of which is to re-plan the whole 7/8 curriculum to involve drama and music.

    So my results were the worst in the school, I have been there 3 years, I know they were expecting much better this year, although they have improved no end on previous years, (before I joined) they are worse at the top end than last year. 85% c and above, 25% A - school target is 50% A, and obviously 100% c and above.

    I am going to get a right telling off, I think a lot is to do with just not knowing where the grade boundaries would be for a C with the new spec, with the 4 that got a D there are some very good reasons,( like they didn't come in when I asked them to to sort out their portfolios, they did something totally off plan for the exam etc, parents weren't supportive), although one was totally unexpected, and I think they all missed out by one or two marks, which is just awful for them.

    I just feel like I am doing everything I can, I literally cannot think of anything else. I previously was very successful in my last post, although it was mixed, I actually think I did better with the boys, got them on side and got some good results from my classes. I worked so hard with some students towards the end of the year to try and get them through, and it has paid off mostly, just a few that slipped through the net.

    I just need any positive advice of things I could try, or things I can say or do when I face up to the head of year! It's going to be messy! I will of course hold my hands up, I don't think being away helped. the grade boundaries didn't help, but really I just need to think of another way to approach this to avoid more of the same next year!

    thanks to anyone taking the time to read this, sorry for the essay.
     
  3. joli2

    joli2 New commenter

    There is a point at which it isn't you, it's them. It sounds as if most of your D grade students got what they deserved. I really object to this idea that the teacher should be lilling themselves, pulling them through the exams when there's little effort on the part of the students/they don't take advice.
     
  4. I can understand why you're beating yourself up over this, however, you need to look at the wider picture. As their teacher you do have responsibility to do your best to get them through but they also have a responsibility to learn and do the work. Have you kept a record of extra-curricular drop-in sessions? Invites to targetted catch-up sessions? Did you keep a copy of letters sent home about concerns/praise? This is something have I tried this year in a bid to keep evidence of any interventions I have offered for when exams meetings take place. On the whole pupils responded well, mainly because I was very frank in the tone of my letters.
    This year has been tricky with it being the new syllabus (I'm with AQA) and not having an idea about where the boundaries were. Having said that now looking at the marks I wouldn't have marked any differently - the pupils achieved what they deserved. One of my pupils was one mark off a C which is disappointing but he was awarded what was due to him for the work submitted. He really didn't put in what he was capable of - there are no winners in this situation and its not what we are in the job for, no-one wants to see kids underperform. This year I need to look at how I identify pupils like him earlier so interventions can start earlier.
    My advice for your meeting would be to focus on the positives firstly - who actually met their target and why/how they met their targets - level of commitment etc. Then reflect on who didn't meet them and why, and more importantly what interventions you tried. Also include what you've learnt from anything that didn't work and what you intend to do differently this year. I find if you have already planned a list of things you know you need to do this will take the sting out of any awkward meetings as it puts you in the driving seat a bit.
    Good luck
     
  5. Thanks, that does make sense, I need to just have a look at the individuals I guess, there were some real successes in the group with some getting C grades when they hadn't done anything just a few weeks before the exam - I know this is down to the letters I sent and the extra sessions I ran.There were also some great successes which had nothing to do with results, boys who made fantastic work and really came on over the two years. I feel awful for the one student who lost out on a C, when really, I let him slip through as I had so many other in dire situations and he was quiet and just got on with it - however, it turned out he really didn't have a clue and he went right off plan with his exam. I do know I made efforts for him and offered him help he didn't take too though. I will just go in with a positives/negative and plan of action I think, face it head on and hope my wrist doesn't get slapped too badly!

    It's true there is so much pressure on us to do it for them though - if you ask the heads of learning at our school, it's all about independent learning, letting them find out for themselves, blah blah blah..however, they still want the results, and usually that seems to need micro managing and spoonfeeding! It's crazy, they won't get what they want unless they take the pressure off.

    Thanks for the comments, feeling a bit better now.
     

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