Looming GCSE's and ds who hates subject-opinions please

(16 Posts)
craftybelle Mon 06-May-13 21:26:15

wow, thanks everyone! It is so helpful to read the range of replies.
To mummytime, it's the case studies that put him off, but also his apparent inability to develop his answers. To be truthful, I think the teacher is pleasant, but totally disorganised since taking on the Subject leader role and this has affected her classroom teaching, unfortunately. But he is also a lazy sod when he wants to be, so she probably didn't stand a chance!
I found a teacher's forum about the OCR Geography course and there were loads of kids last year who struggled with the final paper. Many grades were way lower than expected and the final paper seems to be a problem to many kids. He has decided to definitely do the Foundation paper and to concentrate on other stuff.
Mrsjay-Thanks so much, that's really encouraging. I agree, it's about my dream for him, not his! He never ever moans about spending time on creative work, so I need to back off and go with the flow. Funnily enough, I was steered into a job I hated, so I am annoyed with myself for not having the courage to set him free without worrying!

eatyourveg Fri 03-May-13 19:16:49

I agree with mummytime if he can get the case studies sorted he's half way there.

With ds1 his dgd read them all onto a cassette and ds played them back as he went to bed, almost like a bedtime story. A dictaphone would do just as well

Saying that though, if, like others have said, his other subjects would really suffer, then I'd forget it completely - I think I'd much rather a U with a string of high grades than a rogue F or G but I realise I'm the only one who would probably think so.

Cooroo Thu 02-May-13 13:12:52

My DD decided to strategically jettison Textiles (didn't finish making garment) in favour of her stronger subjects. Pity she didn't put the work in earlier, but at this stage I think it might be the right decision.

Maryz Thu 02-May-13 12:47:01

What have they done to geography sad?

Mine have all hated it. Fine in 1st year (physical geography, geology, volcanoes, rivers and lakes, the burren, some stuff on countries, map work etc).

After that it goes all "social geography". All population studies and socio-economic crap.

I would let him concentrate on the others. But I have also had a look at past papers myself (Irish Junior cert, so easier than GCSE) and discovered that there are a couple of topics that come up every year and I'm going to make ds do a crash course in a couple of these just before the exam in the hopes that he will manage to scrape through.

Startail Thu 02-May-13 09:18:19

Contour lines unless you went to a Steiner school <sorry only joking>

History would have been the third time DD had done WW2 (My bestfriend and her honorary god mother is Jewish, she really didn't fancy an in depth study of the holocaust. Ann Frank's diary had her in tears in Y6)

Also the History dept. dole out more HW than everyone else put together.

as to the OPs question, I think this late in the day with 12 subjects it really is a question of is Geography important, for DD who wants to do the biological end of science it is, but if it isn't then risking other grades isn't worth it.

mummytime Thu 02-May-13 09:03:50

My children love Geography!
OP which aspect of Geography is in the exam? Is it Physical (rivers and glaciers etc.) or Human?
My DS enjoyed Physical but found Human tedious. From his experience you really need to learn your case studies and be able to swing them into your answers. Ask his teacher for specific information on exactly where your DS is losing the marks. BBC Bitesize is also good for presenting the information in a more palatable way.

mrsjay Thu 02-May-13 08:43:13

but all those laylines and whatever <yawn> I much preferred history at school poor geography getting a hard time

Startail Wed 01-May-13 23:56:21

It can't be that hard my little cousin teaches A level grin

mrsjay Wed 01-May-13 20:34:14

I think geography is hard dd couldn't wait to drop it I suppose they cant be good at everything

Startail Wed 01-May-13 19:22:21

I'm not sure what it is with geography, but DD1 is having a fit about it too.

Fortunately she is in year 10 and has time to get her act together, but she says there's a lot of it and it's all horrid long words she can't spell.
(Ok I know she's dyslexic and looses marks for spelling) normally she can live with that, but the Geography is really panicking her.

This is the same child who gets 99% on a higher core science paper, which I know has plenty of technical terms because I was testing her.

lljkk Wed 01-May-13 19:10:23

I would concentrate on meeting what the requirements are for where he wants to go next (BBCCC or whatever the marks need to be).

mrsjay Wed 01-May-13 16:16:49

DD1 is working toward a creative industries degree crafty I was a bit meh about it she was really quite bright at school and couldve done something academic she has an interview with the bbc scotland next month to talk about an internship over the summer , let him go the way he wants, I know it isn't you dream for him but ....

craftybelle Wed 01-May-13 13:51:52

Thanks both-he will do well at Maths, Science, ICT (two GCSE's in that), which is why his hatred of Geography surprises me! He will prob get A's in those. Likely to get B's in English, RE (compulsory), Resistant materials, Citizenship, a C in French and currently looking at the examiner ripping up the paper and sending it to the media for a laugh in Geography.......!!
The strangest thing, though, is that although he is good at the Maths etc, he wants to do creative options a College, more Media production type stuff. Of course, being old school, I am worried he is wasting his time, but his results a GCSE are more luck than effort, so at A level, if he went for the hard academic suff, he might struggle when he needs to step up a gear. Have had email from his teacher who has suggested the foundation paper, which is easier, so that's probably our best option.

mrsjay Wed 01-May-13 08:56:01

dd is the same with one of her subject she actually wishes she had taken chemistry instead of physics she is doing her exams at the moment scottish exams started on monday and she is fretting al I have said is try your best and try and focus on the subjects she will do well in a pass or fail really won't damage them for 1 subject imo .

lljkk Wed 01-May-13 07:47:32

Not at expense of other grades unless you think they're only very unimportant subjects.
What if anything do you think he will do well at (sure Bs or better)?

What does he want to do after GCSEs?

craftybelle Wed 01-May-13 07:10:42

My son is an average student, doing 12 GCSE's and will prob achieve a range of grades A-C. This has been an element of luck and some work, but he is basically reluctant (in our day, he would have been called a lazy git!).
Anyway, it's become clear that although he is currently on a Grade B/C for his Geography, it's based on specific pieces of coursework, for which he was able to do research at home, and one small exam. Now he has started to revise, it's become clear that his knowledge is so bad, due to a total lack of interest and effort in class, that he will need to do 3 times as much work in this subject, as he would do for others, just to get a pass grade. In the class mock, he achieved a an F/U!!! His teacher is pleasant, but somewhat ineffective at enthusing the students.
So, do we allow him to just accept he has cocked up and accept that he will probably not now pass it and put the effort into everything else to maximise those other grades, or tell him to work all hours to get this pass in geography at the expense of other grades?

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