Advice needed! 15 year old daughter G&T in gcses school not challenging her

(136 Posts)
Dreamgirls234 Fri 07-Feb-14 18:21:15

Hi all

My daughter is in year10 15 typical teenager except she G&T and school don't really do much to challenge her. Anyway she's doing her gcses and wants to go into law and polictics hopefully winning a place a Harvard or Oxford or Cambridge uni. Anyway when choosing her gcses she chose sociology history textiles (had to choose a tech subject) and business. She was promised in sociology and history and business we'll challenge you. Well they haven't and they just give her a textbook and she whist whizzes through the work and she isn't challenged with doing textbook work. The rest of the kids in the sociology class are just naughty and the teacher can't handle them. History she was being challenged but then her teacher left and they have a new one who was a journalist turn history teacher and he just doesn't challenge her and when she's finished leaves her to sit there until end of the lesson. I've spoke to head of house and they don't do nothing looked at G&T policies and not following through. Advice needed on how to challenge her even if it's at home?

Acinonyx Fri 07-Feb-14 18:46:40

This may sound harsh, but at 15, if she wants to do law at Oxbridge/Havard, she should be challenging herself. In the age of the internet - it's not that hard.

Dreamgirls234 Fri 07-Feb-14 18:55:09

She tries to challenge herself but I can't just let her come home to say school won't give me any more work when I've finished class work? Is she just expected to sit there and do nothing?

MillyMollyMama Fri 07-Feb-14 19:01:10

Does this school ever send any children to Oxford, Cambridge or Harvard? Sounds like they have no idea? If they do, Sociology and Business are questionable subjects for an academic profile. Talk to the school. It seems odd that they are allowing this to happen with a student who is, presumably, expected to get a fistful of A*s. Seems very complacent.

Dreamgirls234 Fri 07-Feb-14 19:06:33

MillyMollyMama no very rare do they send children to these top universities she's hoping to go to private school for sixth form which is where I think she'll be challenged she didn't want to choose business studies but had no other option except health and social care and art and I don't believe in health and social care or art so she chose business she does a second language outside of school and a alevel in history of art outside of school.shes expected to gain A*s and they just won't challenge her and I'm thinking is it begs to get textbooks and for her to study at home as well as school?

I think that reading around the subject would help her, along with encouraging her to develop an interest in current affairs.

Dreamgirls234 Fri 07-Feb-14 19:15:55

ThreeBeeOneGee do you mean reading around polictics and law or her gcse subjects? Thanks advice is very much appreciated

VelmaD Fri 07-Feb-14 19:22:23

Can she do an extra GCSE outside of school? Which could keep her focused and stimulated? A language would be a good choice.

lljkk Fri 07-Feb-14 19:28:00

For Harvard she needs exemplary extra-curriculars; they turn away loads of people who are megabrains academically; penny a dozen. What gets you in is being a national judo silver medalist, grade 8 piano, Chair of the school council AND flogging a business idea for $100k before your 18th birthday. Ivy League looks for leadership potential first and foremost; you need to do them proud after you've left. It may be too late for her to aim for Harvard if she doesn't have those kinds of thing lined up.

Whereas if she's on track for A* in GCSEs then she's still on track for Oxbridge.

Oakmaiden Fri 07-Feb-14 19:29:35

What does she want to read at university?

Bearleigh Fri 07-Feb-14 19:31:02

Can she take in a book relevant to the subject, only for grown ups, to read when she's finished doing the work?

But as someone else mentioned, she can challenge herself too outside school. My son who is the same age as her is teaching himself Italian and German from a website called Duolingo:

There are so many other things she can teach herself and stretch herself with. It seems to me that for bright kids, GCSEs are so easy, they need to teach themselves other things, or they would go mad. As she is doing so many non-traditional GCSEs it will be a good thing to have other strings to her bow anyway.

ThreeBeeOneGee do you mean reading around politics and law or her gcse subjects?

Both; the GCSE subjects now, and law/politics later. I went to a school where more than a quarter of the students went to Oxford or Cambridge. Reading around their A-level subjects is what they were encouraged to do.

Dreamgirls234 Fri 07-Feb-14 19:59:43

Thanks all
She does Spanish gcse outside of school and history of Art alevel x I'm thinking maybe she could do psychology gcse outside of school VelmaD

Also oakmaiden
She wants to read law with criminology and at Cambridge they do a degree where you do social anthropology sociology politics and psychology so she will do joint honours
She does school council prefect duties house captain and plays flute outside of school and does youth council so she does extra curricular

Her gcses are English lit and lang maths higher triple science textiles (she didn't want to do but with it being a technology school she had to) business studies history Spanish French sociology I think she has done the traditional route because she's chosen languages and humanities. Any tips on how she can challenge herself? I think I'm definelty going to get her to teach herself some more languages and do gcses in them and read around her alevel subjects

claraschu Fri 07-Feb-14 20:12:42

She is doing an awful lot of exams already.

If she wants to go to university in the US, you should look into what you need to get in to a good university over there. They won't care much about extra GCSE grades, and they don't even look at A2 grades.

Oxford and Cambridge are also unimpressed by a huge list of GCSEs; 10 A* in traditional "serious" subjects is all they want.

Also, don't assume that Harvard is the best place to be an undergraduate. Lots of people told us that many undergraduates end up in huge lectures, with sections taught by grad students. This is different at Columbia, Princeton, Yale or Brown. Many people would choose Stamford above any of the Ivy Leagues, and there are so many smaller liberal arts colleges which are fantastic.

If you want specific advice about the US application system as a British student, PM me.

Oakmaiden Fri 07-Feb-14 20:19:56

Hm. Law with criminology. I was going to suggest she join an outside "club" or society relating to her interests - but it is going to be tricky with Law and Criminology... A debating club might be useful in the future/look good on her application/give her something to think about in class when she has run out of school work...

Dreamgirls234 Fri 07-Feb-14 20:20:20

She'd really like to go to Oxford or Cambridge but would also love to go to havard a girl we know who was G&T like my daughter said she would be better if she wanted to go to havard to do uni at Oxford or Cambridge then do a head abroad where she would go to havard. Is this better? She is doing strong traditional subjects with the exception of sociology textiles and business not being. Her plans for alevel are to study religion philosophy and ethics (we have been told by fellow oxford students they love religion candidates) economics English lit and French and psychology.

Dreamgirls234 Fri 07-Feb-14 20:23:19

So to wrap it all up what is she best to do?

Do some extra gcses out of school as well as in school studies and read law and polictics for her alevel and degree subjects?

English & French are both facilitating subjects at A-level. Might be worth taking a third facilitating subject, e.g. History if she enjoys it. Then fourth could be RS/Philosophy/Ethics or Economics.
In my opinion, Psychology A-level would open fewer doors for her.

Unless I've miscounted, she is doing twelve GCSEs. I would have thought that's enough.

Dreamgirls234 Fri 07-Feb-14 20:29:38

Just discussed with her ThreeBeeOneGee and she thinks that she would love to do religion philosophy and ethics history French English undecided on lit or lang please could you you message me threebeeonegee as I'm interested in your thoughts

HamletsSister Fri 07-Feb-14 20:31:21

She should read. And then read some more. And then read more.

Quality newspapers online. Novels. Books linked with her subjects. Biographies. Autobiographies.

If she has a book tucked into her bag she will never be bored.

napoleonsnose Fri 07-Feb-14 20:34:01

Might be worth having a quick look through the Russell Group Informed Choices leaflet, available in PDF format here It outlines what Oxbridge and the other Russell Group unis require/prefer as A-level choices. I agree with ThreeBee - Psychology may not be the best choice if she really wants to go to either Oxford of Cambridge.

Dreamgirls234 Fri 07-Feb-14 20:34:46

HamletsSister she read before bed at the moment she's reading the john green series and she's reading of mice of men in school she's read the classics and likes Martina cole books and the don't tell series. She loves reading autobiographies of celebrities she wants the Paul o'grady books. Although the school says she mustn't read in class only in form she got told off last year for reading once she'd finished her work.

Dreamgirls234 Fri 07-Feb-14 20:36:28

Thanks she's reading it now. Really helpful advice thanks everyone has anyone got any extra advice how she can challenge herself in school and at home?

napoleonsnose: great minds...! smile
I just sent the OP a PM with a link to their webpage.

I think many of us are saying similar things:
1. Facilitating subjects
2. Read a lot
3. Keep up extracurricular interests

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