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Scottish education question - to be freaking out a bit?

(88 Posts)
scottishschools Fri 08-Feb-13 21:19:09

Sorry am posting on here for more traffic as am panicking a bit.

Daughter is in third year and has always been bright but has fallen in with a pretty bad crowd this year and I've suspected she has lost interest in school. This was confirmed at parents night tonight when to our slight horror her teacher said he doesn't think she should sit her higher English till the end of sixth year though he still needs to decide for definite!

This is an option for the 'less able' pupils. I am really upset she has gone from being a bright, interested student to 'less able' and feel sure that with enough encouragement from us, tutors, etc, she can definitely deal with the Higher at the end of fifth year. I know she is capable. She wants to go to university to study French and I don't know if this would mean that no decent university would accept her, if she sits one of her highers at the end of sixth year. I think this has given her a fright and she has promised she will take her work more seriously. If however her teacher is adamant that she is not to do the exam until the end of sixth year is there anything I can do? Are there any Scottish education people there that would know?

Sorry please don't flame me, am just very upset to see my once able girl now down at the bottom of the class and potentially mucking up her opportunities.

amck5700 Fri 08-Feb-13 23:02:14

redlac, In practice yes, probably only a few will defer, but even if your child will be 5 in September then you can still defer. Maturity varies but it is almost never a mistake to defer and can be a mistake not to.

Doha Fri 08-Feb-13 23:27:29

Although DD is a bit older than your DD she is in her 6th year doing Higher English, The school recommended that she took English is stages so she did an Intermediate 2 in 5th year and got a B from a prelim fail with he help of a tutor. She has just sat her prelim Higher and feels she is more prepared for it after learning at a slightly slower rate.

Wowserz129 Sat 09-Feb-13 00:07:00

It won't make the slightest but of difference to universities what year she obtained her higher if she wants to study French. Only difference will be she can't take advanced higher. S3 is way to early to be worrying about it anyway!

Skinidin Sat 09-Feb-13 00:17:28

I would say it depends on the Uni.

Edinburgh won't look at them unless they've got at least 4 A's and a B taken in the same year. I would say St Andrew's is the same.

But I'm certain no decision is taken about this in S3.

And my daughter's maths teacher told us she was innumerate when she was in S2.

She got an A at Int 2 when she was in S4.

She is now studying Eng Lit at Edinburgh.

Don't let one teacher put you down!

HelpOneAnother Sat 09-Feb-13 00:35:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 09-Feb-13 07:18:49

Bluer- I didn't say teachers should only have twenty minutes, I said they could give their pupils twenty leaving them with forty. No, I am not on the senior management team in teaching, but if your management team are suggesting the same thing there's probably a reason for that. As I said, I don't know anyone nowadays who has the luxury of a full hour for their lunch every day.

tabulahrasa Sat 09-Feb-13 08:35:24

I've never been in a school with an hour long lunch break.

Most schools already have lunchtime study sessions, after school study, teachers are available during study leave and some offer sessions during Easter holidays - resoundingly most pupils just don't go to them.

Schools can't force reluctant students to give up their free time.

AngusOg Sat 09-Feb-13 08:41:33

I certainly would expect under performing children to be given extra help over lunch time if required

Apologies OP, this is way off your topic.

I would expect under performing children to have parents who get them off social media sites and games consoles. Who monitor TV use. You know, so they can do their homework, study work etc.

I don't know anyone nowadays who has the luxury of a full hour for their lunch

No, neither do I. It doesn't happen at my school either.

^ It should also be pointed out that Scotland has the worst literacy and numeracy rates in the uk and worse than parts of eastern Europe and Mexico according to the OECD^

It does? Which set of data are you using for this?

so Angus attitude isn't surprising

Angus's attitude, as you so prettily put it, is down to being sick to the back teeth of entitled parents thinking that they have a right to things which are entirely voluntary. I will happily give pupils my time, but I will choose to do so. I will not give time to pupils who waste theirs as detailed above.

tabulahrasa Sat 09-Feb-13 09:08:28

Also, I've never met a teacher who would turn down a request for help from a pupil - if a pupil comes to you saying they're having trouble understanding something they are offered help.

roughtyping Sat 09-Feb-13 09:29:17

To the poster worrying about how deferring affects pupils - don't smile my DS is a December 2003 baby, there are kids in his class who were born in January 2003. The only difference between them is their height grin. There may initially be a gap in terms of phonics or whatever but this will close very quickly. DS has always been in top groups despite being one of the youngest.

LadyBeagle, a friend's girlfriend has just qualified as a doctor, she did a chemistry-related degree (not sure what exactly) then wnt back and did medicine. Took a long time, but she's doing what she always wanted.

Bonbonchance Sat 09-Feb-13 09:39:29

Just a few points, I know quite a few secondary teachers, and I know they might have ideas about exam routes for their pupils at this point, but definitely no decisions on highers so early on. Still lots of time.

(Sorry OP off topic now)Re: getting 5 As in 5th year for medicine, my friend didn't get anything near that in 5th year, did a science degree, worked hard & did well. Went back to do medicine, did amazingly and finished top of her class, working her first year as a doctor now. Yes she's in debt, but she really wanted to be a doctor not matter what & her wages will make up for that! All is not lost if you don't get 5 As!

Deferred entry: as a teacher in nursery & primary, deferred entry mainly occurs with the January & February born children who aren't quite ready for school, children can be 4 on 28th February & due to start in August or 5 on 1st March and start the same time. Jan & Fen born (especially boys who quite often mature a bit later) just sometimes aren't ready so parents & nursery staff can make the decision quite simply to defer. Occasionally earlier born children (typically October, November, December) children can be assessed if parents wish and a joint decision can be made to defer. Can honestly say that in my experience (teaching in nursery and P1, P2) deferring has only ever been a good thing for ALL the children, as they are all a more even level of development, maturity & able to cope with school, which usually is what contributes to a happy class which works well together.

chocoluvva Sat 09-Feb-13 09:51:58

Scottishschools, the (scottish) school my DC goes to - he's in S2 - said that the majority of pupils will sit the new equivalent of the standard grade credit level or the new equivalent of the Intermediate level in S4.

I would think that the head of the english department would have the final say, if need be. My experience of the current/old system from seeing my bright but uninterested older DC (S5 now) is that the bright pupils seem to manage to do well in S4, without doing a huge amount of work, but the highers, especially English, are a different kettle of fish.

Scarlett, I sympathise with your worry about your daughter being the youngest in her class. Could you defer her entry into P1. The primary teachers I know are usually grateful to have fewer 4Y0's in their class. My DN (who is very very bright - his vocabulary is amazing) started school aged 5years 8months (dec birthday). Mum and teachers think was a good decision.

chocoluvva Sat 09-Feb-13 09:54:29

Sorry - premature posting!

Often they settle down in S4 as it gets closer to the 'real thing'. Or even settling down in S5 will do (at a nervewracking push!).

Goodtalkingtoo Sat 09-Feb-13 09:55:36

Sitting the higher exam in 5 th or 6 th years makes no difference and the "less able badge won't follow her up, I have just been through the Scottish system with my daughter who is now in uni studying to be a teacher.

Don't panic.

My daughter needed 4 highers/advanced highers altogether, she knew here's
F she wouldn't pass them all if she done them at one time, so she sat half in 5 th and half in 6 th. when applying for uni it made no difference.

Your daughter has time to pull it around,

bluer Sat 09-Feb-13 10:11:59

Haha Scarlett I was only kidding...our senior management team in my school wouldn't suggest out for the very reason that we get excellent results, best in our authority and high across Scotland. we do offer supported study after school once a week but I think requiring twenty mins at lunch all the time would suggest that there's something wrong at the school, suggests the kids aren't getting what they need during lessons iyswim

bluer Sat 09-Feb-13 10:18:04

Oh and the entitlement attitude doesn't help...remember a lot of what happens for your child is down to the goodwill of teachers. We don't get paid for supported study, we do it for the love of our kids. We don't get paid to spend hours of our own time marking, preparing etc. in fact we are a profession that couldn't work were it not for goodwill...I don't know any teacher who only works the 35 hours we are contracted don't take advantage or you might friends your dc teacher is suddenly less available grin

Indecisive90 Sat 09-Feb-13 11:48:44

There seems to be a bit of false information flying around about universities on here.

You do not need 5As to apply for medicine, Glasgow and Edinburgh at least will consider applicants with AAAAB including Chemistry, Biology and either Maths or Physics. I haven't checked other unis. So LadyBeagle's son could have applied. If he did apply and unfortunately got rejected then it was probably down to UKCAT or personal statement.

And having checked Edinburgh's page for French minimum entry requirements are 'SQA Highers: BBBB, or more if two sittings, including a language other than English. Standard Grades: French at Grade 2, English at Grade 3 and Mathematics or an approved science at Grade 3' so they certainly will look at grades below AAAAB.

I think the best thing to do here is look at university entry requirements, speak to your daughter and let her see what she needs to achieve if she really wants to study French. I'd agree that S3 is too early for a school to really make a decision although I don't know anything about this new system. If you and your daughter both went in with all the information you need and the attitude that she will work hard then I'm sure they'd let her sit in S5.

Skinidin Sat 09-Feb-13 13:12:10

A good source of information ( the best I reckon) is The Student Room. They have dedicated fora to Scottish uni's and Scottish Qualifications. We found them incredibly useful.

I may be a little out of touch. Retired as secondary teacher just over a year ago, but have just been through the joys of two kids going through UCAS in the same cycle. Both started this last September.

It was a very stressful time. As for med school, my daughter's friend did not get a place at med school despite 6 A's at Higher ( genius girl). We reckon she had not done enough of the right work experience and scored poorly on the tests that would be med students take.

She is now reading Pharmacy and hoping to transfer at a later stage.

AmelieRose Sat 09-Feb-13 13:18:42

Indecisive, yes 4As and a B are advertised as the entry requirements but I assure you 5 As in one sitting gives you a much better chance because places are difficult to get, especially at Glasgow, Ed and St Andrew's.

And to reassure you OP, the decision about Higher English would not be made in S3. However to echo what some others have said - she would need to do Nat5 in S4 otherwise she wouldn't get into Higher in S5.

I speak as a Scottish English teacher and HoD.

sarahtigh Sat 09-Feb-13 13:36:24

but surely if she is in 3rd year she has not even sat her standard grades yet

AmelieRose Sat 09-Feb-13 13:39:06

Sarah This year is the last year of Standard Grades, so anyone in S3 now will sit the new qualifications.

Indecisive90 Sat 09-Feb-13 13:40:10

AmelieRose, that's possibly true, I'm not an admissions tutor. Are you? It seems logical that those with better grades are in with a better chance but grades aren't the be all and end all. I know people who got rejected with 5As and people who got a number of offers with AAAAB. There's so much more to a med school application, such as your work experience, interpersonal skills and UKCAT/BMAT for some unis. So I'm not sure how you can 'assure' me that it gives you a much better chance. It's one grade at the end of the day, as long as you meet the minimum you can be considered for a place. And yes, I know how competitive it is.

I've used The Student Room too and it is really useful, good advice from Skinidin.

Skinidin Sat 09-Feb-13 13:45:32

Yes, The Student Room is the way to go.

Excellent stuff on there. My son found it really helpful too, he's at DJCAD now and I really think he wouldn't be without looking at people's portfolios on there.

and I'm an art teacher btw blush

drizzlecake Sat 09-Feb-13 13:46:37

3rd year is a bit early but can you interest her in what uni she might go to and where? Taking my DCs to open days at unis was a real wakeup call for them ('OMG I'm going to live here on my own with all these other people my age--- brilliant'). And helped to focus their school work a bit .

You could buy some prospectuses and look at the sports and pastimes available there, the social and night life, then her lazy friends might not seem so bright.

drizzlecake Sat 09-Feb-13 13:48:18

Oops, you order prospectuses, you don't buy them.

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