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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?

internationallove985 Fri 05-Jul-13 12:08:05

I think your D.S needs both yourself your D.H and his boarding schools support not punishment!. xxx
Talk to him and see how you an make things better and discuss with the boarding school what can be done to help your D.S
Perhaps the whole top and bottom of it is is that he is missing you. However I wouldn't pass judgement on you for putting him boarding school as I don't know your reasons. xxx

stealthsquiggle Fri 05-Jul-13 11:31:13

OP - this didn't come as a shock when you got the report, did it confused? If so, what other feedback do you get from school. DS's (mostly boarding) school send monthly work reports, which are focused on effort rather than attainment, with attainment content only in end of term reports.

I wouldn't punish him. I would sit him down and do the "serious talk" about next year and what the impact of coasting through it would be - presumably he will be doing CE? ..and then have the same talk with the school, because if he is bright but lazy then the day to day job of keeping his nose to the grindstone is theirs

Floggingmolly Fri 05-Jul-13 09:19:07

Of course it is, Innacorner. But that's the point, isn't it, op would not have posted about punishing him for his appalling report if he'd got Level 4's...

Innacorner Fri 05-Jul-13 07:50:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mountainspring Fri 05-Jul-13 01:11:49

He's probably working hard on his social skills which takes a lot of energy and perhaps a reason why he chose to board.

This skills improvement may not have surfaced yet or be on his report - they don't set 'levels' for these - but there's no such thing as a lazy child, only one that's busy in an area you can't see or don't know about.

So, like all children, he is a survivor and knows what he needs to work on better than his teachers or parents.

When he's got these skills sorted and he's happy with him, he'll be strong enough to resist peer pressure and start working. The worst thing you can do now is show your lack of confidence in his good intentions causing a loss of the confidence he's been working on.

Social skills don't come naturally to everyone, especially to boys - and they are hard work to develop - adults go on lots of courses to improve them because they bad ones hold you back - well, maybe he won't have to go on all these courses as an adult now?

I wouldn't undermine his choices just yet and only suggest a move of school if he insists that's what he wants.

Ilovegeorgeclooney Wed 19-Jun-13 13:06:30

It might be that during prep he chooses to spend the time on the subjects he enjoys/with a strict teacher rather than on subjects he does not really like/can get away with scrappy work in. He is an 11/12 year old boy. Whether he wanted to go or not this year has been a huge change for him. Work missed in Year 7 can be caught up but fully adjusting is far more important. If the school have not brought this up before I would guess that certain teachers have not been very proactive and so, being an 11 year old boy, he thought it was fine to carry on as he has been.
I would just have a talk with him about doing better next year and perhaps have a push over the summer on how to organise yourself.

And would anyone care this much about a comparable Y7 at an ordinary (state school) ?
It's like the annual Trinity/Whitgift thread ... can you imagine anything similar for your two local schools ?!

AmberLeaf Wed 19-Jun-13 12:19:14

Thanks TolliverGroat, yes, that is what I was saying.

I agree with your second paragraph too.

valiumredhead Wed 19-Jun-13 12:16:29

Very true about the 'year 7 dip mumee

TolliverGroat Wed 19-Jun-13 12:08:32

And yes, you may well have meant you have input at home but the point is , no matter how much input you have at home you have no influence into what they do at school. Which is where the OPs son is.

But that was her whole point -- that parents of children at non-boarding schools have regular touchpoints with them in the evenings to pick up on any issues, and that parents of children at boarding school don't. So either (a) don't send them to boarding school (which is the approach of many posters on this thread) or (b) you need to be sure that the supervision they are getting in the evenings is good and can properly substitute for that level of parental involvement (which is what I think Amberleaf was saying).

A child slightly underachieving but still very significantly ahead of expected levels for his age may be "bad" but is it really "dire" and "appalling" and something that merits consideration of being punished all summer? And that's leaving aside the points that others have made that his primary levels may have been over-inflated (which the OP has agreed could well have been an issue with his primary) and that even if they hadn't been over-inflated it's very common to level off a bit in Y7 as you get used to a different way of working and being assessed. So the OP's son may not really be underachieving particularly anyway -- it may be that incorrect targets were set. Certainly when the OP saw and talked to the staff teaching her son in person no more than six weeks ago none of them suggested that he was underachieving.

SoupDragon Wed 19-Jun-13 11:59:03

Well, Amberleaf, you may think that a child under achieving isn't bad but I do.

And yes, you may well have meant you have input at home but the point is , no matter how much input you have at home you have no influence into what they do at school. Which is where the OPs son is.

mumeeee Wed 19-Jun-13 11:56:38

Children in year 7 quite often go down a bit from the grades they were getting in year 6. The levels sound the same but they are actually different hope that make sense. Also year 7's have q lot of changes to cope with, Secondary school is much bigger than primary schools. You DS has had an even bigger change as he now boards, I wouldn't punish him yes have a talk to him about his report but give him a break and let him enjoy his summer holidays. I would contact the school and ask them why they haven't made you aware of? these problems before.

valiumredhead Wed 19-Jun-13 11:50:15

Given he is choosing to stay with his friends that seems rather unlikely doesn't it?

Possibly not. I remember watching a programme a couple of years ago, maybe a Dr Winston Child of our Times, there was a teenager who on the surface LOVED boarding, never wanted to come home as he had too much fun with his mates and was too busy doing activities. When pressed though he said he found going home too hard as it made him realise how much he missed his parents/home life and it was just easier and less upsetting if he stayed at school.

AmberLeaf Wed 19-Jun-13 11:48:10

But this is happening in class amber you aren't there then

Lots of things happen in class when Im not there, but I am available daily to address those issues and I do.

GiveMumABreak Wed 19-Jun-13 11:47:38

Maybe he is missing home?

My son is in year 7 and has needed constant support, encouragment and more love and attention this year than ever before.

It has been a challenging and gruelling year helping him learn how to be more organised and take responsibilty for his belongings, homework, revising for exams etc. (but he has excelled this year, emotionally, socially & academically)

I think he needs more support from you, and not punishment?!?

AmberLeaf Wed 19-Jun-13 11:41:56

Are you with them at school, supervising them? I am a SAHM and I have no input as to whether my children are putting in the effort during the school day

I meant at home in the evening, but Im sure you knew that really. Surely it goes without saying that I am not at school with my children.

The point is, as my children are not boarders, I can have that daily input.

because because by no stretch is level 7 bad!

It is if the child is capable of, say, level 8

No it isn't. It may not be what the child is capable of achieving, but it is still not bad.

Badvoc Wed 19-Jun-13 11:41:21

Perhaps the schools targets are unrealistic?

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Wed 19-Jun-13 11:38:19

But this is happening in class amber you aren't there then.

ilikemysleep Wed 19-Jun-13 11:36:42

I went to boarding school (parents working abroad in country with no affordable secondary provision). I coasted through y7, did very little, and came top of my year. This was because my y7 work was entirely work I had done at primary. It made me very lazy. Year 8 I thought I could do the same, and came half way down the class, which was a tremendous shock to me. I don't recall my parents ever saying anything about it, but it taught me that I cannot do lbugger all and expect to be right at the top. It was a very useful lesson to me. I would not say that I totally transformed, but I never did that badly again, I did enough work.

My dh went to a rather crappy 80s comp and a sixth form college, got very poor results given how bright he is, but with no work. He didn't learn his lesson in how to fail until university (for some reason they let him in without required A level grades, he scraped through 1st year and crashed and burned in second year ). He still says failing that year at university was the most important thing he ever did. He now works very hard, is a company director on a very nice salary. I'm sure if he'd kept in scraping through with no effort, that wouldn't be the case.

EugenesAxe Wed 19-Jun-13 11:23:34

I agree with Blu and would advocate a nurturing response here. He's either lazy, or rebelling because he's unhappy and wants your attention. Punishment risks either making him rebel more to play into your image of him (in spite of his own future prospects depending on it), or seek more drastic ways to get your attention.

I also think everyone saying that the school needs to buck its ideas up has a point.

SoupDragon Wed 19-Jun-13 11:18:01

because because by no stretch is level 7 bad!

It is if the child is capable of, say, level 8

SoupDragon Wed 19-Jun-13 11:16:22

if one of my children is not making enough effort, I can have a daily input into that and supervise what happens

Are you with them at school, supervising them? I am a SAHM and I have no input as to whether my children are putting in the effort during the school day.

AmberLeaf Wed 19-Jun-13 11:06:10

No Im not saying that at all Wheresmycaffeinedrip.

Im saying, if an issue arises, I am available to address it if need be.

I have two secondary aged children and for the most part they get on and do what they need to do...independently.

I wouldn't be happy with the tone of lack of warmth and lack of support I'd be picking up from a report like this from a school who are not only providing an education but also care for my child.
Would seem to me that they're trying to encourage a culture of blame of child and unrealistic expectation which I find very negative.
He's doing well, he's settled well, what more do they and you want of him ?
If they've given him these high targets I'd be expecting them to help him to reach them ! They can't pass the whole buck onto him, he's only 12 !
Also, he's doing well anyway, and I'd expect more acknowledgement and praise of that fact, especially in his first year as a boarder.
Basically not a balanced, supportive, or warm report.
I'd be much more unhappy with the school than with my DS.

pianodoodle Wed 19-Jun-13 11:02:13

I haven't read the whole thread just the OP but without wanting to be rude - it could be a combination of other factors too - but how sure are you that he's exceptionally bright?

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