Unsatisfied with school

(32 Posts)
b0nker5Mum Fri 07-Dec-12 14:48:51

I?m new to this so please bear with me.... I will try make this long story short!!
My daughter is in year 11 in an independent school, her predicted GCSE grades are mainly As and Bs.

Her English predicted grade is CC. The English department (there are less than 15 children in the class) seem to want to scrape them through with a CC IMO so the school can keep their status of 100% A-C. The whole class has suffered a bit and none of them reached their predicted grades last summer. I, amongst many of the other parents, have had to call in an English tutor who is a teacher in a local state school and thinks she is capable of a B or above but the school have only entered her for foundation (guaranteeing the C grade for their stats).

The problem she now has is that most of the sixth forms want a B grade for maths and English (she is A* maths) so she will struggle to get in to study the A levels she wants to do.

I am fuming with the school I pay a lot of money and now I wish I had sent her to the local comp. this is just the latest thing in a succession of problems with the school.

I guess I just needed to rant as I feel like there is nothing I can do now but wait and support her.
Thanks!

chloe74 Fri 07-Dec-12 15:33:50

I don't get it, you pay for an independent school (and a private tutor), shoot a rocket up their asses and if they don't play ball you should consider your DD sitting English in a different Exam center. There is NO way you should accept a foundation paper. Is changing school an option?. Have you and the other concerned parents put the head straight?

b0nker5Mum Fri 07-Dec-12 16:09:41

I have spoken to a few other Mums and I think the general consensus is not to rock the boat (I suspect my poor DD has worse results than their dds).

I have had several meeting with the class tutor and the deputy head and the general answer is she is immature and needs to grow up (they have said this about most of the girls tbh!) and the English department seem to just get defensive.

The head teacher is leaving next week so hopefully the new head will shake things up a bit even though it’s too late for year 11 now.

I think changing schools would be detrimental so late on in the course so I have no choice but to keep her there and she is generally doing well in all her other subjects.

The other problem is the English teacher has often accused my DD of cheating by getting her tutor to do the homework (the accusation was before we hired the tutor so it was all her own work) so DD feels like she is being bullied by the teacher and cannot do any right, whether this is true or not when you have a teacher constantly telling you your work is "rubbish" (actual words) it is easy to become disaffected and uninterested and stop trying.
I even had to explain to the deputy that perhaps they need to try encouraging the girls. I thought it was common sense that if you encourage you get better results....

I just don’t know what else to do; I think it is unacceptable in a class of 6 for English for any of them to be working towards foundation. I have discussed DD problems in English at every parents evening and the school have always said she will be fine.

chloe74 Fri 07-Dec-12 16:32:32

Why wouldn't you rock the boat? you are paying for an education and they are not providing you with one. If you bought a Rolls Royce and it only went up to third gear wouldn't you complain until it was fixed. Your child's education is much much more important and you cant do much about it after the exams are over. Its not a state school so you have to assert your right for the education you are paying for, demand it. Even if you consider it to late to change schools you can still do the actual exam paper in a different school, it does happen.

b0nker5Mum Fri 07-Dec-12 16:49:48

Thank You Chloe you are right.

I will definately look into her sitting at another school but she still needs to attend the lessons so unfortunately we have to make use of the teacher for what she is worth.

I will speak to her tutor and see whether he can offer any suggestions....

mummytime Fri 07-Dec-12 17:59:21

I would complain extremely loudly. It is not just Sixth forms which require B grade in English, some Universities do (unless you can prove you are dyslexic).

chloe74 Fri 07-Dec-12 20:35:32

Is there any other English teachers, could they be changed into a different class?

Floralnomad Fri 07-Dec-12 20:42:00

Tell the current school you want your daughter put in for the proper exam , if they have an issue tell them you'll pay for her to do it , and get the tutor to prepare her . Is it possible that she could do both the exams( foundation and other) ,my DS did that for maths at GCSE as it was his dodgy subject and he got a B in the higher paper.

tricot39 Fri 07-Dec-12 21:49:30

Surely it is your choice whether she sits the foundation or upper tier english. The school can advise but in the end it is you who is responsible for her education. You merely delegate it to this school. It might be worth reminding them of this.

Tigerstripes Fri 07-Dec-12 21:52:11

You can't sit both foundation and higher at the same time as they are in the same exam slot. I tutored a girl last year whose schoowanted to put her in for foundation, her mum thought she could get a B and wanted higher. She fought the school, won and with my he'll the grl got her B. I suggest you do the same for your DD.

RiversideMum Sat 08-Dec-12 07:37:50

I'd be asking for a refund to cover the cost of the tutor. Step back a bit and think about how bizarre the situation is. You definitely need to get this sorted out and a new HT seems like a good opportunity.

Without knowing anything about your DD or the school, the fact that she has A*-B predictions in everything else would suggest that their predictions in English (and for it to be language and literature) are somewhat strange.

seeker Sat 08-Dec-12 07:55:32

I would be on the head teacher's doorstep first thing on Monday morning, and I wouldn't leave until this was sorted.

When did you get the predicted grades? whwt happened when you queried them then?

And what possible harm could rocking the boat do?

BrianButterfield Sat 08-Dec-12 07:58:28

That's very poor on their part. We enter over 300 students for GCSE in Year 11 and probably under 30 of them do foundation. If we think there's any chance of a C at all they do higher. I would be delighted with a class of 15 and they would certainly all be aiming for their highest grades, not a scraped C.

LadyIsabellasHollyWreath Sat 08-Dec-12 08:11:35

Agree with everyone else, unless your DD has bona fide specific special needs A/B in everything except English has to be crap teaching. Do not accept a foundation paper, give the school a rocket, tutor her (unavoidable at this stage) and make it clear to her that this is important.

marriedandwreathedinholly Sat 08-Dec-12 11:04:48

OP without wanting to be rude if your dd is in a class of 15 and likely only to get a CC for English with the help of a tutor have you not seriously considered whether she might be dyslexic. Has this been thoroughly investigated. That is an incredibly low grade for a well supported child who appears to be of above average intelligence.

seeker Sat 08-Dec-12 17:37:00

The more I think about this, the more baffled I get. Has she not handed in any coursework or something (clutching at straws). If she's being predicted A/B for History, for example, it can't be a dyslexia type problem. Orcould it?

You can get a B on Foundation level.

Sorry, just realised that will be wrong if she's doing Lang and Lit separately.

Though technically it is possible to get a B on a Foundation paper if it's outstanding. It's rare, as they are supposed to cover F-C, but it does happen.

ohfunnyface Sat 08-Dec-12 17:56:41

Don't rely on the exam board giving a b on foundation paper.

Insist they enter her for higher- we're entering ours now, it needs to be done ASAP.

I have heard of this happening too often at one of local indies. Good for me, as I get the money tutoring for a re-sit and redoing the cw for a separate entry, but just awful for the children involved.

Moominmammacat Sun 09-Dec-12 15:44:39

The school should be giving her extra help, not you forking out for a tutor. My DS was useless at maths and got two hours one to one for a month before higher tier GCSE, partly because they wanted to get him thorugh, but also because they wanted to maintain their excellent 5 A*-C results. And at a state school ...

PottedShrimp Mon 10-Dec-12 22:05:56

You are paying the entrance fee for the exam. You decide if she is to do the higher paper. Simple. They will put her in for it if you tell them.

Mutteroo Tue 11-Dec-12 02:44:40

This could have been about my DD! She started at an independent school half way through year 9 after numerous issues at her state comprehensive. All seemed to start well but then we began to have grave concerns, but nothing we could put our finger on. DD was put in the lower stream English class and entered for the foundation paper. She felt bullied by the teacher who had initially asked DD if she was dyslexic. The school tested DD (with an inadequate series of tests) and Announced all was fine and this was when the situation worsened. I only have this second hand, but details are confirmed by DD' classmates; the teacher often told the girls that she preferred teaching at her old state comprehensive, called the girls lazy and would burst into tears at the drop of a hat. DD was accused of being the laziest of the lazy and constantly called stupid. DD was in fact diagnosed with Dyslexia in the July of year 10 after her younger brother's dyslexia was picked up by his school! I asked his LS teacher about his sister's symptoms and it was this teacher who recommended I pay for an Ed Psych report to confirm what the issues were. Best money I ever spent that. Yes complex story which doesn't end there. DD's school re-tested her and decided she had an auditory processing disorder (correct but its associated with her dyslexia) and the school informed me I would need to pay for additional help. Like hell I was! Long story short, DD got free extra support for her final year which was also the year we found the school was in serious debt and when it merged with another school. The predicted C grade in English and A in Maths turned out to be a D in English and C in Maths! DD then retook her English the following year with the help of a tutor and gained a B grade, thus enabling her to attend the local state sixth form.

So in my own humble opinion OP - FIGHT! I did, however maybe not hard enough. I don't wish to leave you with more concerns......and I'm sorry I probably have. Speak to your daughter's English teacher again.. Don't allow any BS because they'll try this tactic and if necessary take the matter as high up as you need to.

Good luck!

teacherandguideleader Tue 11-Dec-12 07:38:50

Bizarre - at both schools I have worked at any child who has a glimmer of hope at getting a C does higher. Apparently it is easier to get a C on those papers than on foundation where they have to get virtually everything right. No idea if this is true - my subject has a single tier of entry.

OddBoots Tue 11-Dec-12 07:50:39

I've heard of some schools using a double entry - entering both GCSE and iGCSE in some subjects as both count and you can just use whichever is higher. Could you look into her doing an iGCSE either via the school (which sounds unlikely) or as an external candidate elsewhere?

NEC iGCSE English

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