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To be LIVID with DS's secondary school

(75 Posts)
LemurintheSun Sun 05-Mar-17 12:32:45

OK, so it's a couple of months or so before GCSE's begin. DS's best subjects are Chemistry, Physics & Maths; so his A Level applications mainly focus on those subjects. In November, his target grades for all three sciences were As. He didn't do brilliantly in his mocks and got a B and two Cs; but his predicted grades in all three sciences remained Bs, according to info provided at the parent's evening last month. To stay in his current school he would need an A and two Bs in science; to go to another local school to which he has applied, he would need to get those three Bs, and then there is a local college as the final back-up, where he could take A levels or BTECs. I've just seen his exam timetable, which shows that he has been put down for the foundation level exams in biology, which means a max grade of C is possible according to DS. No-one from the school has formally told us any of us this, which has huge implications for his future. (Also applies to one other subject, but that is not something related to his future intention, so I'm inclined to let it lie.) I will be phoning the school on Monday. What should I say, without swearing profusely? AIBU to be LIVID that they would think of doing that without discussing it with us properly?

MoominMamma3 Sun 05-Mar-17 12:36:06

There's no point being annoyed until you know the facts. I can't see why they'd predict him a B and then put him forward for a paper he could only achieve a C in.

I'm also surprised his school will only keep him on for A Levels with ABB at GCSE, seems quite high standards.

Ultimately, I'm sure it will be fine OP. Have a chat with the school, don't go in guns blazing and make a plan from there.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 05-Mar-17 12:37:28

Have theye talked to him about it? That would always be my first discussion. With the student.

Sung Sun 05-Mar-17 12:38:51

Tiers for exams can be changed right up until the day (cost implications for the school increase though). They just needed to get their entries in - it is very common to change tiers for some students after that (earlier the better due to cost - it is free up until a certain date).

In light of the above, livid is on OTT reaction. In the first instance your son needs to speak to his teachers about a tier change. Maybe follow that up with an email confirming he will be changed to higher tier or querying why they still think he should sit foundation tier. Only after that insist it is changed to higher tier.

Joey7t8 Sun 05-Mar-17 12:38:53

If his teacher is predicting him a B, then it's almost certainly an admin error. It will be something that can be rectified.

TotalPineapple Sun 05-Mar-17 12:38:53

What did he get in his Biology mock? Usually they do Foundation if they are likely to get a C, since that way they have a safety net, unless he has a good chance of getting a B, and no chance of a bad day it's the best option.

I'm not sure what the current procedure RE: communication is as it's a while since I was at school and my DC isn't there yet, and parents seem much more involved. My parents would have assumed that the school knew best.

madrose Sun 05-Mar-17 12:39:08

if he has a decent controlled assessment/ISA, and gets good marks on his paper he could get a B.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 05-Mar-17 12:39:42

If he has applied for Chemistry, Physics and Maths, why are the schools specifying a Biology grade?

Rickandmorty Sun 05-Mar-17 12:40:36

Is the prediction what the teacher is predicting or what his target grades are based on ks2?

TotalPineapple Sun 05-Mar-17 12:41:00

Sorry, I've just re-read and realised the BCC and the predictions you mentioned were the sciences not his 'good subjects'.

Did he know he was down for the foundation paper, what's his take on it?

winewolfhowls Sun 05-Mar-17 12:45:12

Probably a typo on the timetable otherwise I can't imagine changing papers so close to the exams, because surely the content taught varies.

xyzandabc Sun 05-Mar-17 12:52:19

Is he doing duel science or triple science?
Is the ABB required definitely for the 3 science subjects? As if he's not doing Biology at A-Level, I can't see why they would want at least a B in it. Could the ABB be for Chem/Phys/Maths that he actually wants to study?

He is right, the highest you can get on the foundation paper is a C grade. The only exception to this is if there is a coursework element and you get 100% or very near to it. This happened to a couple of our student last year and we questioned it with the exam board before the results went out as we too thought that only a C was possible for foundation students. The board clarified that if they did well in the foundation paper and got an exceptionally high coursework mark, that would indeed give them enough points for a B grade overall.

Have they spoken to your DS about it? Please do not go in LIVID, that is a complete overreaction. Get DS to speak with his teacher first, if that doesn't resolve the matter, then ask to speak with the teacher and calmly and politely ask why he has been entered for foundation when you/he thought he would be going in for the higher paper because he needs a B to stay on for 6th from. It could be as simple as he's been muddled up with another student by accident, or it could be that his work isn't up to scratch and they don't want to risk him getting a U.

Certainly in our school this is why we give out provisional timetables at this time of year so that students can check their entries and let us know if they think anything is wrong or has been missed off or they can query things they don't think are right, such as entry tiers. If the teacher agrees, after a discussion, that it can be changed to higher, then there is time to change it.

Please calm down before you do anything though.

BitOutOfPractice Sun 05-Mar-17 13:00:51

I'm also surprised his school will only keep him on for A Levels with ABB at GCSE, seems quite high standards

This is very standard. At DD1's sixth form science students had to have all As is the subjects they wanted to take

BeaderBird Sun 05-Mar-17 13:04:03

Get a grip.

Entries can be changed easily so push for what you want which is a change of tier. It's either an admin error or his teacher has decided that, in balance, he would be more successful with the foundation paper.

highinthesky Sun 05-Mar-17 13:06:27

Speak to DS and then the teacher.

I would be amazed if this had been done intentionally without previous discussion with DS. It's not on that the teacher gets the brunt if your ire without knowing the full story.

fruityb Sun 05-Mar-17 13:07:37

I've had tier entry errors many times - if a parent rang me LIVID I'd be LIVID right back lol. They can change it on the day if need be. Calm down!

highinthesky Sun 05-Mar-17 13:09:26

Don't undersetimate the jump between GCSE and A-level btw, esp maths and physics. Without natural ability at these subjects, no student is likely to achieve A-C grades at A-level.

DS needs to knuckle down and fast.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Sun 05-Mar-17 13:11:53

Are you sure he's allowed to take science A levels with Bs? In our area, all the schools and Sixth Form colleges have a rule that you can only take Maths, Physics or Chemistry A level if you got an A in it at GCSE. Not sure about Biology as neither of my dc did Biology A level. I would double check.

Bluntness100 Sun 05-Mar-17 13:12:19

I think being livid is a weird reaction. Surely you need to try to understand if it's both correct and if so why they have put him in for foundation biology. It may be an error or it may be there is a good reason for this based on his performance.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sun 05-Mar-17 13:15:20

Maybe it is a mistake, or maybe it will be the motivation he needs over the next few months to prove his Biology teacher wrong. I would query it and find out what he would need to do to get his marks up again.

EmpressoftheMundane Sun 05-Mar-17 13:15:34

Don't be livid. Be alarmed. Take action. Speak to the school; sort it all out while there is time. Also, don't forget to be calm and polite when you do!

MrsGuyOfGisbo Sun 05-Mar-17 13:16:46

I'm also surprised his school will only keep him on for A Levels with ABB at GCSE, seems quite high standards
Waste of everyone's time to do an A level and get a poor grade in it.
A level is a big leap in maturity and if the pupil only gets C GCSE in science or maths they will seriously struggle at A level.

Morphene Sun 05-Mar-17 13:24:20

highinthesky 'natural ability' has sweet FA to do with results at either GCSE or A-level in Science subject. I do think that GCSE grades are a reasonably good indicator of A-level success however, so I wouldn't recommend anyone getting a C in sciences or Maths taking them at A-level.

noblegiraffe Sun 05-Mar-17 13:27:32

Query it with the assumption that it's an admin error because it would be very odd for a teacher to bump a kid from higher to foundation a) if they are predicted Bs and b) without actually mentioning it to either the child or the parent.

No point in being livid until you know that he has actually been intentionally put in for Foundation. Then you can argue the toss.

Ele13 Sun 05-Mar-17 13:29:11

Given it's likely that the school can just change it, I think popping in/ dropping them a line/asking your son to explain to them his intention to knuckle down so could they move him to higher tier please would likely be the best option.

If he wants to do well at a level, it really is worth making a good effort for gcse as strong GCSEs make for an important base to build on for a levels.

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