Pressure on daughter

(99 Posts)
Kara742 Wed 09-Oct-13 22:47:16

My 14 year old daughter is in yesr 10 at school and has recently received her predicted grades for gcse. She is taking English language, English literature, maths, further maths, Latin, classics, triple science, food/nutrition, drama, pe, Greek, philosophy and is predicted an A or A* in all of these except Greek (B) which is excellent and I have told her how proud I am. The problem is that now she has seen what she is predicted she has been panicking about the tests and seems continuesoy stressed and worried. It doesn't help that recently she had to miss a few weeks if school because if a burst and infected appendix... How can I get her to stop panicking so much?

BlackMogul Wed 09-Oct-13 23:59:15

Is this really 14 separate GCSE's? If it is, I can see why she is panicking. She needs no more than 10. You need to talk to her and the school about her stress levels and the number of exams she will be doing. No MFL in there but lots of classical languages? Why? Why on earth does she have predictions at the start of year 10? How can they know, she has only just started. No university needs this number of GCSE's.

BackforGood Thu 10-Oct-13 00:05:32

What BlackMogul said.
Is this a grammar or a private school ?

NoComet Thu 10-Oct-13 01:00:54

I hate target levels and predicted grades, why can't DC simply do as well as they can.

I know it's all part of the schools monitoring of teaching and checking Pupils make the right amount of expected progress, but it puts silly pressure on many children and dampens the ambitions of others.

DD1 has idiotic predicted grades, from her CATs. She's dyslexic and works very hard, but I don't think she'll get all of them.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 10-Oct-13 01:54:06

What others have said and why food tech, drama and PE ? It is good to do one of those artistic /practical subjects, or more if you are taking them further eg performing arts but they have heavy coursework loads and will certainly add to her stress levels.

BeckAndCall Thu 10-Oct-13 06:28:12

I think the advice to drop a few subjects is misplaced - if she's started year 10 it's already likely to be too late - the timetable is set and she's already doing it. Nevertheless, I think it's too many and I'd bet money it's not an independent school where they know that there is no point to more than 10.

If she's the type to panic, then she would have equally panicked at a set of predictions that said she was going to get 14 C grades - if she's going to panic, then she's going to panic - it's not the grades, I suspect, it's the realisation that this is the real thing this year.

Tips to help her stop panicking? Pick 3 subjects which do not matter to you ( guess which 3?) and tell her that when the pressure gets too much for homework and coursework then she should back off these subjects to concentrate on the others.

And just encourage her to keep on top of her homework one day at a time ( not one week at a time - it's a daily build up). Suggest to her that you can review everything at Christmas and maybe withdraw her then from some subjects - and remind her that her school thinks she has telnet and potential and they usually get these things right!

curlew Thu 10-Oct-13 06:40:50

That strikes me as a strange collection of subjects-does she have a specific plan that needs them?

Loonytoonie Thu 10-Oct-13 06:49:52

Her school will be doing half-termly tracking of her grades but we don't actively show them this early on.

I agree with the others - hell of a lot of pressure and, if these GCSE's are coursework based, a hell of a lot of work. As proud of her as you are OP (I would be too smile), you may want to consider telling her to have a re-think.

We don't put that kind of pressure on the MAAT's in our school, certainly without a strategic plan of support in place.

Your daughter has missed a bit if school too with her appendix (sounded nasty), so it's no wonder she's stressed. New term, options have begun, LOTS of copying up to do...

Too much on this young girls plate.

friday16 Thu 10-Oct-13 08:39:42

I'd bet money it's not an independent school

Doing Philosophy, Latin, Classics and Greek? It's sure as hell not the comp round the corner, either.

I think it would helpful, and avoid drip-feeding if the OP gave us some more background. A school which does those four subjects is already fantastically outside the mainstream; they are also bizarre in their own terms, because "Classics" (presumably "Classical Civilisation") is normally offered as an alternative to Latin and/or Greek. But to also offer/insist on Drama, Food Tech and PE? While teaching no humanities (there's no geography or history) and no MFL? It's a genuinely peculiar combination of GCSEs.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 10-Oct-13 13:26:37

kara my DDs were at one of the most selective indies in the country and they only allow pupils to do more than 10 if they have another native language that will not be extra work. They do offer drama as an after school extra and eleventh but many quit because of the additional workload. They advise the very academic to do one practical/ artistic subject on the basis a change is as good as a rest but no more unless they are artistic/ want to take them further, because of the workload. They offer Latin, Greek and Religion and Ethics but I cannot imagine what that is worthwhile your DD would gain from Classics as well, even at A level, or even degree level, it is seen to be something you do if you don't do Latin and Greek (nothing wrong with that just it's an either \or) To be fair they would not insist on History and / or Geography if they had other humanities, the emphasis on those two is all Gove's own and certainly my uni like just as much to see Religion and ethics, not sure about Philosophy hmm

However I am quite sure you could very easily take pressure off your DD without any consequences except for her schools statistics and position in the league tables.......

Shootingatpigeons Thu 10-Oct-13 13:28:29

And that is true, no MFL may cut off some uni options.

Kara742 Fri 11-Oct-13 18:34:05

Thanks everyone for your advice, I have spoken to her many times about dropping them but she seems determined. The school she goes to is quite unique. It is free but only the people who score highest in entrance exams get too attend. I would also like to clarify that despite doing all these different gcses she is not behind with homework and still managed to make time for army cadets and a variety of sport clubs. She has also caught up on all backlog of work. I should also explain that although she gets the equivalent to 14 gcses plus a French gcse which she has already taken due to my dh being French and talking to her mostly in French, some of these are combined, such as due to the school she attends she started gcse Latin earlier so studies Latin for year 9 and half of year 10 then will have the choice too get another gcse in Latin or a gcse in classics. She has already decided she wants to do classics. Also English lang/lit are combined so although she gets two gcses it works a similar way. Another problem is that although she is very academic she is also very artistic and sporty and could not bare to give up one of the subjects she is doing. As I said she has been studying with the same workload since the beginning of year 9 and hasn't had a problem, I think as this is the first time they received a gcse predicted grade it has worried her. Out of all of them I think she is least interested in Greek and philosophy so I will talk to her and the school about possibly stopping one or both of these subjects. Thanks again everyone for your advice, hopefully she'll relax more soon, so far I have just reminded her that she can always talk to me about any worries she has but ill talk too her tomorrow morning :-)

curlew Fri 11-Oct-13 20:25:23

Bu why is the school letting her do such a bizarre selection of GCSEs?

friday16 Fri 11-Oct-13 20:37:15

The school she goes to is quite unique. It is free but only the people who score highest in entrance exams get too attend.

It strike me that on this evidence, the school is unique in the sense that anything really, really mad is unique, and another qualification for attending would be parents who don't really understand UK education terribly well. Sorry, but irrespective of what your daughter thinks she wants to do, she's being spectacularly ill-advised.

Kara742 Fri 11-Oct-13 22:19:08

She is being allowed to do such a strange variety because she hasn't chosen a set path and so decided she wanted to keep her options open by doing a large variety and I would like to point out that I do understand uk education and her school is currently outstanding in ofted and the only reason she is being allowed to take this many options is because they think she can cope with it and she started studying for her gcses a year before most schools. However, I agree that the she is under too much pressure and plan to hone the school first thing Monday

Shootingatpigeons Fri 11-Oct-13 22:25:51

Also don't underestimate the pressure when it comes to the actual exams especially if the fall of the dice means they are concentrated on certain days, doing so many increases the chances she will face a logjam of exams without time between each to prepare. That can mean a difference in grades achieved and a complete blow out in stress terms.

NoComet Fri 11-Oct-13 22:37:16

That being the way I like exams, one in the morning on in the afternoon and the same tomorrow.

No time to panic.

All these drawn out modules, CAs and exams in Y10 would have driven me crazy.

Fairenuff Fri 11-Oct-13 22:40:44

My dd took 13 gcses in a regular state school. Not that unusual, surely?

Unexpected Fri 11-Oct-13 22:43:57

This really is an odd collection of GCSEs. There is no history/geography and no MFL? Rather than keeping her options open, I think she is closing off paths at a very early stage. No-one needs 14 GCSEs, particularly a combination like this. Are all her friends also doing 14?

Shootingatpigeons Fri 11-Oct-13 23:01:07

starballbunny Not if you are prone to anxiety, and especially not if you have Specific Learning Difficulties as I and my DDs do, when it becomes beyond exhausting.

Mynewmoniker Fri 11-Oct-13 23:04:41

Does the school have a counsellor she can go and speak to?

NoComet Fri 11-Oct-13 23:37:41

I don't know about that our most anxious class member got himself in a massive long term state over the one long project we had to do and it got in the way of everything else he should have been doing. This is a bad idea in Y11

It was worth 20% of one subject and being marked by a lovely teacher who was certain to give the absolute max he could get past moderation. Tiz was not required.

I'm dyslexic and disorganized, I'm better when I don't have too much time to think. DD1 claims she likes things being spread out, but we have had some close run weeks when CAs, real exams, mock exams and in and out of school concerts have all collided. Some how she got 99% on a science paper in the middle of one of these messes, but I'm not quite sure how?

NoComet Fri 11-Oct-13 23:52:08

However to get back to the OP, 14 subjects is too many.
Personally I'd look at food, PE, philosophy and, as its the worst grade Greek.
How much do Classics and latin over lap does she need both.

Does she love drama, DD1 does but it does generate work a lot of time limit work because of being examined in sections.

Further maths, I assume follows on from doing maths early? It did for DH and I did an extra paper because our top set too had completed the syllabus with time to spare. So that may not be extra work in quite the same way.

NoComet Fri 11-Oct-13 23:53:06

sorry for waffling, bed time

Thumbwitch Sat 12-Oct-13 06:34:38

I don't understand why she is doing maths and further maths at the same time?
Admittedly it is back in the dim and distant past, but I did O level maths a year early and then A/O maths at the same time as all the rest. Then I did practical Art in the first year of 6th form, and still only have 13 in total.

Our school insisted on at least one humanity, one science and one modern language, as well as English language and maths. Not sure how she's managed to miss both a humanity and a modern language, as others have said, it is actually potentially limiting her later choices not to have those.

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