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School report aibu to punish him? WWYD

(221 Posts)
Meloncholymum Tue 18-Jun-13 13:19:48


My son has just received an appalling report for his end of year. Basically he hasn't reached his target grades in nearly all subjects and his class work and prep is 'unsatisfactory'. DH is furious and I am disappointed - he is exceptionally bright but clearly not doing the right things to achieve.

He is a full time boarder and comes home some Weekends and holidays - which we thought was the right thing - but I am beginning to question the decision.He is in year 7

DH is threatening to take his beloved xbox and birthday present away and to make him work all the summer break.

WWYD - is it unreasonable to punish him or is this report just a reflection of him adapting to big school?

Meloncholymum Tue 18-Jun-13 13:49:50

Thanks Squeaky - personally I never saw the point in having children and not trying to do my absolute best for them, but thats just me

WilsonFrickett Tue 18-Jun-13 13:49:59

So again, he's doing OK in Science Maths and English, but his report is 'appalling'? I'm really not getting why everyone's world has fallen in for a report which simply seems a bit uneven... I suppose that's what happens when you buy in an education though.

Helpyourself Tue 18-Jun-13 13:50:54

You're not listening.
You've opted out of parenting him by sending him to boarding school and now you're wondering whether to punish him because he's failing.
Whether he says he wants to be there or not is a red herring. He could have all sorts of reasons for wanting to be there which don't mean he should be there; he's not the best judge of that because he's 12.
I've had 2 dcs at boarding school, one much younger, btw, so don't kid yourself that we don't understand the reasons he's there and the pressures you're under.
This isn't working.

Meloncholymum Tue 18-Jun-13 13:51:36

Yep Wilson - we did buy an education and for good reason. It is not so much his attainment (he will be sitting some GCSE's next year anyway) but his effort and independent learning grades which are appalling and the words used by the teachers - which describe many a boy that I have taught but I didn't think it was my son

You live and learn

IWipeArses Tue 18-Jun-13 13:53:17

do you see him enough to judge what he's like?

IWipeArses Tue 18-Jun-13 13:54:06

I mean, they change so much at that age.

WilsonFrickett Tue 18-Jun-13 13:54:25

I think most 11 yo boys who are attaining, would find it hard to put in further effort. And as I said earlier, perhaps he's never been taught independent learning skills. Honestly, this sounds like a mountain out of a molehill. Tell him to pull his socks up. Let him fail. But don't punish him for being cocky enough to manage his work without putting in any effort.

xylem8 Tue 18-Jun-13 13:55:15

If he is working at level 7 in most of his subjects at the end of Y7, then he is doing very very well! If the school have set him higher target grades than this, then it is the school at fault! What grades did he get in his SATS-
Your poor boy is performing exceptionally well!
You should be giving him a big hug and taking him out for a meal to celebrate

xylem8 Tue 18-Jun-13 13:55:50

Oh and get him out of that crap school!

Meloncholymum Tue 18-Jun-13 13:55:56

I agree that they change a lot during the months - we see him about every 2 weeks and sometimes more (his school is in a city that I fly into every 3/4 weeks) Over the Autumn and Spring terms we saw him about once a week - and his GP's take him out after chapel on a Sunday.

There is lots about him I dont know but there is lots we do (and even more when I used his phone the other day!)

cory Tue 18-Jun-13 13:56:28

It is normal for pre-teens to be hormonal,it is normal for them to need to adjust to new circumstances, it is normal for them to entertain a certain amount of rebelliousness.

The fact that you have worked hard to give your son a break doesn't actually change any of that: it is a nice thing you have been able to do for him (assuming that he is enjoying it), it is not a contract that binds him to become a high achiever.

But the chances of his achieving to the best of his ability will be greatly enhanced if you can keep channels of communication open. Ime knee jerk reactions are bad, bad idea with this age group.

Gubbins Tue 18-Jun-13 13:56:51

He sounds like me. I wasn't the class clown, but I was a dreamer, who was an expert at postponing work until the last possible moment, which was often after it was due in.

I loved boarding. The freedom, the lack of supervision (There were about 25 girls in my boarding house, with 2 members of staff looking after us. Poor women didn't have a clue.) the ability to muck around with my mates rather than getting down to my prep. I wan't naughty; the staff all loved me; but in terms of getting work done it was the worst possible situation for me. It wasn't until O levels when girls who were considerably less clever than me outperformed me by dint of sheer hard work that I began to suspect that I might need to put a bit of effort in.

Looking back I think the best thing for me would have been day school, with a tutor once or twice a week to stand over me and crack the whip.

gymboywalton Tue 18-Jun-13 13:58:35

how is he failing if he is working at level 7 at age 11?

that is exceptionally advanced.

his targets are too high.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 18-Jun-13 13:59:13

Take the boarding away for a second. If there's a reason whereas he's upset or struggling or needs help then yes that needs intervention now and working with school to achieve this.

If the subjects he's failing in are genuinely subjects that he struggles with and won't achieve as well in as that's just his academic level and is doing well everywhere else then again that's just something you will have to accept and not punish.

But he's 11 and old enough to understand how to behave at some point the boarding issue has to stop being an excuse for disrupting classes and not putting effort in to his work. After all that's something you would tell any kid his age at state or private school.

squeakytoy Tue 18-Jun-13 13:59:47

"There is lots about him I dont know but there is lots we do"

see, I find that an incredibly sad thing for a parent to be saying about their CHILD...

mercibucket Tue 18-Jun-13 14:01:33

he was level 7 in primary, he is level 7 now? maybe primary had a funny idea of what level 7 is or something? i am not seeing a problem here, unless it is one of grade inflation

Meloncholymum Tue 18-Jun-13 14:02:29

Squeaky - it would be sadder if you knew everything about your DC's - they have to grow into independant people and me not knowing everything about my 12yo is part of that. Heck - I dont even know everything about my 9 yo!

cory Tue 18-Jun-13 14:03:05

My ds is in Yr 8 and he isn't working at level 7 in any subject as far as I'm aware. I still have hopes that he will make his way in the world, if not necessarily in the way I had envisaged.

Meloncholymum Tue 18-Jun-13 14:03:57

Yep - his targets could be too high, that is possible - he is bright but kids grow into it and attainment changes over time - he may have levelled out?

lottieandmia Tue 18-Jun-13 14:04:43

Level 7 is surely very good for the end of year 7. I think you are being very hard on him.

It's also important to remember that children don't always make progress in a way that is linear. They may make leaps and bounds and then plateau the next for a bit.

cory Tue 18-Jun-13 14:04:52

Very common for some overlap of grades between primary school and secondary ime: in primary you get so much support and they do sometimes tend to be a little kind in their interpretation of achievement. So it does look like dc are standing still or even dropping grades when actually they are just learning in a different way.

cory Tue 18-Jun-13 14:05:34

and what lottieandmia said about the line of progress

Meloncholymum Tue 18-Jun-13 14:05:49

Cory - I think you are definitely on the ball about the Primary....

piprabbit Tue 18-Jun-13 14:05:56

I'd be looking to the school - they have your DS under their influence almost full-time, they are professional educators, your DS has been struggling all year and they have not tried to address the issue with you, they are charging you for the privilege.

I would want to know a) if their expectations of your DS are reasonable b) when did they realise your DS was struggling c) what steps they have taken through the year to address the situation.

Thanks Squeaky - personally I never saw the point in having children and not trying to do my absolute best for them, but thats just me

See, I don't see the point in having children and then at the age of 11 shipping them off and only seeing them once every 3 weeks....but that's just me!!

I used to work with a guy who went to boarding school. He openly admitted to me that he didn't really love his parents as he hadn't lived with them long!

I must say though, when I was a kid and read the Mallory Towers and St Claire books I begged my mum to go to boarding school.....luckily what I wanted at that time was irrelevant.

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