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Single combined GCSE and media studies - advice needed

Discussion in 'English' started by Toony, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. I hop that you might be able to offer me some advice.
    I've received a letter from my son's school today to say he is going to be put into a group that will take a combined single GCSE in English and the remaining English sessions will be spent preparing for a media studies GCSE. He is just coming to the end of year 9.
    My son has dyspraxia and appalling handwriting. He left primary with a level 5 in reading and level 4 in writing. CATs tests taken in year 7 gave a score slightly above 100 in all tests.
    He has had a very poor teacher for the last two years who seems to spend the whole time trying to control behaviour issues and is retiring at the end of term. He has a twin sister who has also confirmed that there is very little teaching going on!
    In his most recent tests he scored a D - not sure what this means really - as I'm not sure if this was a 'GCSE' type grade.
    I'm am very worried about what this might mean for his future. I'm not at all happy at the idea of him doing media studies - is this just to make the school statistics look better?I am not happy about him being in the bottom set with children who don't want to learn.
    I would welcome some advice. I am a primary school teacher and would like to know other's opinions on this route before speaking to the school.

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  3. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    Unless your son wants to do English post-16, it won't matter that he doesn't do Literature and he may enjoy Media more. The new Lit spec is certainly more challenging more students who are not Level 6 or higher when they start. Being dyspraxic shouldn't come into it although Media has the advantage of using computers for a lot of classwork and less writing in the English Controlled Assessments.

    Cynically, you could say it's better for school stats because it might be easier to get a C in English than English Lit because the students won't have had the pressure of covering Lit as well. That said, better to have two Bs or Cs in English and Media than risk a D or worse in either Lang or Lit - better for the school and students.

    The bottom set issue is valid. That might be negated by a strong tea her and a small set. Is that your main concern or does your son want to do Lit?
  4. Thanks for the helpful reply Gloriasunshine. I am very concerned about the lowest set issue as he got put in a lower set for spanish in year 8 and ended up with the worst spanish teacher and lots of behaviour issues stopping any learning going on.
    My son is very quiet and will not cause the teacher any behavioural issues - I think given some enthusiastic quality teaching he ought to be able to scrape a C grade!
    Can you tell me whether there are different tiers of papers? I am concerned he might be entered into an exam where he won't be able to get a higher grade.
    Why would the school not spend more time concentrating on getting a better grade by spending more time on the English rather than getting them to take the media studies?

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