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Mocks 5 weeks after going back?!

(40 Posts)
Mumtoteen77 Mon 14-Sep-20 18:10:38

My son returned to year 11 a week ago and found out the school are running their official mock GCSE exams mid October, I was gobsmacked. With all the different rates of learning over lockdown how will this be fair? My son did fuck all work, I encouraged, supported, and then nagged but nothing worked and he did not do the work set online by the school.
There was no interactive learning, no zoom or google classrooms they were just expected to get on with it all.
I’m sure some did and they will do well in the mocks but it seems very premature to be doing them so soon. The results will be used as a basis for recommended grading by the teachers (as exams could be cancelled again!) as well as for college applications.
The school is also concerned about their well being!
Has anyone else got this happening now?

OP’s posts: |
OverTheRainbow88 Mon 14-Sep-20 18:19:45

It’s probably to see where the major gaps in learning are and revisit those as they won’t have time to go over everything studied at home.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Mon 14-Sep-20 18:59:46

They will need some data as soon as possible.

DelurkingAJ Mon 14-Sep-20 19:01:17

DH’s school are so that they can find out where the gaps are. Otherwise they’ll be teaching blind.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Mon 14-Sep-20 19:01:34

I think this is what all schools should do - it's a perfect way of finding out who has what gaps, then set the streams and put those kids together who need certain areas pushed further.

balloonsintrees Mon 14-Sep-20 19:03:52

Our exam classes have sat baseline assessments over the past two weeks. We have presented it as a way for us as teachers to be able to target our teaching going forward. For example, if their exam skills are good, we can focus on knowledge or vice versa. If everything is kaput then we can skim through the remainder of the syllabus and from Christmas spends the remaining time plugging gaps and revisiting concepts.
If anything op, your son's school might be leaving it a bit late...

noblegiraffe Mon 14-Sep-20 19:04:07

We need to know who knows what. And who has done fuck all and needs catch up tutoring (if the govt ever get around to it).

There will probably be a second set of mocks next year too.

Mumtoteen77 Mon 14-Sep-20 19:04:16

I can understand that but to then also use results for predicted grades and college applications is just wrong, the gaps will be on record and used against the students before they have had a chance to catch up at all.

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Mon 14-Sep-20 19:06:13

If your DS is now worried about predicted grades being bad because he did fuck-all for the last six months then he’d better pull his finger out and do some major revision.

Lesson learned really.

Wineinthegarden Mon 14-Sep-20 19:44:39

If school don’t do that and we end up in lockdown again, then where do you suggest they get the teacher assessed grades from if they aren’t allowed to do any assessments?

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Mon 14-Sep-20 19:45:49

If your DS is now worried about predicted grades being bad because he did fuck-all for the last six months then he’d better pull his finger out and do some major revision. Lesson learned really


SimpleComforts Mon 14-Sep-20 19:49:13

That will be exactly why, to established did what, where the gaps are and give those that need it a bit of a shake.

Plus after the nightmare of this summer's exams, school will be determined not to get caught out with no student performance data.

Mumtoteen77 Mon 14-Sep-20 19:49:46

I can see the reasons for it and actually my son isn’t really that worried about it, I know the situation is tricky but I was hoping he would have a bit longer to get into the swing of school again and catch up more before the mocks. It’s worrying me more and I feel understandably protective of him in this situation.

OP’s posts: |
ameliajoan Mon 14-Sep-20 19:51:17

These mocks are important and now is a great time to do them; they can see the gaps in learning and where more focus is required.

If your son suffers because he didn’t do any work then it’s his own fault and a hard lesson to learn. Perhaps next time he’ll pull his finger out.

iMatter Mon 14-Sep-20 19:54:58

My Y11 boy has exams in 2 weeks. They are hoping to be able to do mocks later in the year (Jan) but it all depends on available teaching time and they have been told to treat these as mocks just in case confused

Ihatemyseleffordoingthis Mon 14-Sep-20 19:55:35

My DS is in Y11 and did next to nothing over lockdown, partly because his ostensibly outstanding school provided an utterly shambolic programme of work, partly because he was depressed and anxious, partly because he is a lazy arse of the kind that does well in a test.

I think it would be a nonsense for the current Y11 to receive grades that would affect their life chances 5 weeks after returning to school. Fine to test them for gaps, but for this to be their official mocks is unreasonable.

balloonsintrees Mon 14-Sep-20 22:06:38

Didn't we establish in the summer that mock exam results are very rarely the sole source of predicted grades...?

Sunshineandsparkle Mon 14-Sep-20 22:10:09


If your DS is now worried about predicted grades being bad because he did fuck-all for the last six months then he’d better pull his finger out and do some major revision.

Lesson learned really.

I couldn’t have put it better myself. Instead of blaming the school, maybe start with your lazy son. When he does do badly though, I’m sure you’ll be there to make excuses for him and bleat on about how unfair it is.

OhToBeASeahorse Mon 14-Sep-20 22:14:00

So, in a nutshell, what you're saying is it isn't fair that your son is being pitted against pupils who had EXACTLY the same opportunities as he did, but it isnt fair because some of them chose to take them.

It's a harsh lesson to learn but if he hasntt learnt it by now then he probably needs to.

Lockdownseperation Mon 14-Sep-20 22:16:43

Partly it maybe to put a rocket up the students who have not done any work. After that there will be something like 25 teaching weeks left, assuming they don’t have to isolate at any point.

maddy68 Mon 14-Sep-20 22:18:12

Normally they're before Xmas. So probably doing them a few weeks earlier to check gaps in learning

AlexaShutUp Mon 14-Sep-20 22:33:22

So, in a nutshell, what you're saying is it isn't fair that your son is being pitted against pupils who had EXACTLY the same opportunities as he did, but it isnt fair because some of them chose to take them


My year 11 dd worked bloody hard in lockdown. She didn't find it easy at all, she is very extroverted and found it hard to stay motivated when learning on her own. However, she knew she had to keep at it because she'll be doing her GCSEs this year. She too has mocks this side of Christmas, and may find them easier than some of the kids who did fuck all during lockdown. Surely that isn't unfair, though, just a reflection of a different work ethic?

By year 10, the kids are old enough to know that they need to put the work in to get the results that they want, so surely your ds must have realised that doing nothing for 6 months would not exactly end well. Hopefully, the mocks will put a much-needed rocket up his arse and help to focus his mind for the year ahead.

Mumtoteen77 Mon 14-Sep-20 23:02:28

I do wonder why people have such extreme views on here, I never said my son doesn’t need to get on top of his work and get on with it. That is exactly what he is doing now, I’m not making excuses for him but I do see the whole picture and know why he found it hard to get on with the work he was set. The school were rubbish at helping students who were finding home learning tricky , many teenagers found it hard especially boys.
I didn’t post wanting an argument about this, this is in chat to see if anyone else is in a similar position. Lockdown was a huge challenge for many adults and children and now those in year 11 are having to cope with the effect it has had on their GCSEs . I just want to be supportive in a way which doesn’t antagonise him and having his mocks so soon is challenging, I do wonder where kindness is hiding on here these days.

OP’s posts: |
AlexaShutUp Mon 14-Sep-20 23:18:07

I'm sorry, OP. My post was a bit unsupportive, I realise. I was irritated by your suggestion that it was "unfair" that the kids who had worked during lockdown would have an advantage - why shouldn't they, after all? Lockdown wasn't easy for any of them.

However, having paused to reflect, I don't think your post was really about the unfairness of it at all. It was just an expression of the worry that you're inevitably feeling about how your ds is going to make up the lost ground and what will happen if they can't do their exams and have to fall back on predicted grades which may not reflect their actual ability. I think we're all worried about this, it's a shit situation for this year's Year 11s and Year 13s. If it's any comfort, I really don't think schools will base predicted grades solely on mock scores - the mocks will just be a part of a much bigger picture.

I'm still hoping that they'll be able to do their exams as usual by next summer...fingers crossed!

balloonsintrees Mon 14-Sep-20 23:41:12

Have you considered that your way may be more unkind?
This evening I have been marking Year 13 mock papers in Philosophy; one student has done no work over lockdown. I know this as I met with him and parents before the summer and despite given specific, targeted resources, he still has done nothing. Instead of losing a term of faffing, where I have nothing to make a judgement on (because he will do the boy thing of burying his head in the sand), I have clear evidence to work with and to enable him to progress. I can see he has a reasonable knowledge but he hasn't moved his essay writing beyond the GCSE format. Over the next two weeks, we will work on essay skills, he will be able to express himself better, marks go up and he feels more confident. This is achieved before the end of September and still leaves us a huge amount of time to plug gaps and finish the syllabus.
The school aren't being cruel in setting mocks so early, it is a diagnostic tool to enable targeted therapy to ensure students can progress.

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