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Year 6 Maths Meltdown :(

(35 Posts)
RockinHippy Tue 28-Jan-14 00:15:00

I'm very worried about my DD, her confidence has hit rock bottom with maths, very high SATs pressure in school - apparently school have to catch up on failures last year. Maths has always been a subject she loved & has excelled in.

She doesn't get on with the new Maths teacher, old school style of teaching & some of it very undermining & repetitive, test, after test - fast 10 minute 100 question tests (sounds a lot in the time but DD insists)

she's not learning anything new, but she sees that she is failing in these tests as she has health problems that make this format impossible for her further demoralising her - on top if that she lost her G&T status this year & has other heavily tutored DCs rubbing her nose in it that they have a higher grade this year. She is as frustrated as hell, but always wants to please & be the best, no matter what I tell her about SATs been for the schools benefit etc & just do her best - she is a massive perfectionist, anything less that top isn't good enough for her

I've pretty much given up with the school as though they care, their agenda is to up their SATs results & DD is just one DC who will do well enough anyway & entered the school at a high level etc, so no vast improvement either. Trying to talk to them, though they listen & seem to care, she has missed quite a but if school for health reasons, but its not affected her ability, but I don't feel they really get it at all - they say lots of very able DCs in class etc & she's missed school - Ive tried, maybe it will improve, but I'm just not really hopeful - trying to get DD to just see it as treading water in school & she will be out of there & lots if fantastic stuff to learn soon - it doesn't work sad

So I'm desperately trying to feed her interest & confidence boost at home - she was assessed privately - the feed back I got was that she is "exceptional" they had her doing year 9 work & she picked it up & mastered it instantly. She enjoyed it, but still not good enough for her sad

I bought access to IXL a national curriculum based online maths worksheet website - she loves it - raced through the year 6 stuff in no time - gives accolades & shows that the has mastered the whole yr 6 curriculum - so Im telling her SATs will be a breeze still not good enough for her sad

I leave her too it - she's having a great time attempting & getting right year 9&10 problems - until she gets one wrong

Melt down - floods of hysterical tears & berating herself for how stupid she is for over half an hour, she tells me 80% at a level way older than she is isn't good enough, she wants 100% sad - this is now a regular occurrence, its really scary to see & all my pep talk falls on deaf ears - I thought this confidence boosting stuff would help - its making it worse & I just can't get through & its scarring the hell out of me

I asked what she would say to someone her age who had just got 80% in a test aimed at 15/16 yr olds - she said, "wow, well done that is amazing" - I then asked what she should say to herself then - she replied "I'm rubbish, I fail everything"

How the hell do I help her see sense sad

pancakesfortea Fri 20-Jun-14 17:21:52

Great to read a happy ending.

disgracefullyyoung Fri 20-Jun-14 17:06:59

Oops, posted without reading whole thread. That'll teach me! Nice news, OP smile

disgracefullyyoung Fri 20-Jun-14 16:55:03

Here's my 2 cents, Rockinhippy, based on what I know from dh (partially home schooled, got into Oxbridge for maths aged 14, now phd etc. etc.) and ds (at school, finishing yr 6, basic ability tests show he's also v good)...

Most really good mathematicians struggle a lot with maths at this level. Many teachers are awful and many approach the topic in a way that's completely alien and utterly repellent to their minds. Cue all sorts of problems, often resulting in perfectionism and low self-esteem when they're already conscious of being good at maths.

Clearly there's lots more going on in your situation, but I'd say one of the best things would be to try and find someone to teach dd maths on the side - someone who really gets that the kind of maths they teach in the curriculum is incredibly boring and who'll help her to relax and try approaching math problems in interesting ways. Basically, someone who finds the process more interesting than the answer, and who'll help her to get some distance from the school and its measurement of her ability. We've had to do this with ds, and the nice thing was that it tackled all the problems at once - the perfectionism, the low self-esteem, the boredom, the need to use his mind to explore his abilities with worrying about proving himself.

Obviously tutors can be pricey, but I bet there might be some things online for homeschoolers, or a maths student. If it's best to do it yourself, there's some good material published by the Mathematical Association. Good luck! PM me if you think I can help any further.

lougle Fri 20-Jun-14 16:25:46

Great news!

RockinHippy Fri 20-Jun-14 15:28:17

Not had to ask for anything

RockinHippy Fri 20-Jun-14 15:26:18

Just trawling through my old threads as I know there's one I need to reply to that has just fallen off my list, realised this needs an update & a thank you to you too insanity

I DID pull DD out of school, home schooled for a term until I could get her in elsewhere - turned out the only local school with a place that we had applied to had similar issues to her old one as regards SATs & behaviour - so I ended up getting a phone call form an "educational inclusions" person, who offered us a place at another school which he felt would fit DD much better - there was no place there, but they made one for her smile

This is her second term back in school & what a difference a school makes, she absolutely loves it,has made lots of new friends & it's amazing how different the behaviour is at this new school - DD has not had an injury since starting there, so the longest she has gone injury free in a very long time. She goes to school with a smile on her face & loves hanging out with her new big group of friends out of school & is really enjoying the lessons too.

DD took ill SATs week,she forced herself into school regardless, even though the teachers tried to send her home, she wasn't stressed at all about the SATs themselves, though admits she probably hasn't done as well as she could have as she was so ill, but seems quite relaxed about that - completely different teaching style & honesty about what SATs are really about - she ended up in hospital, so she was really ill, but did it anyway

As for the CAF - her new school can't understand why we ever needed it & they have been fantastic at supplying all she needs to make her school work as achievable & pain free as possible, I have had to ask for anything smile

So thanks for your advice to remove her from school - it's made a world of difference & I have my DD back again smile

insanityscatching Mon 17-Feb-14 14:23:44

Sorry I'm slow to reply, this thread fell off my lists and I don't look on here as a rule as I don't consider dd gifted. So sorry to read things haven't improved for dd at school.
There's no pressure in dd's school, not for those who can achieve a level 4 and above anyway. There's been no practise papers, no homework, it's been very much school as it usually is. They've had a theatre performance, celebrated Chinese New Year, done a production based on WW2 and dd went on the week long residential last week.
Very few won't achieve a good level four and there'll be a good percentage of Level 6 but not because the children will have been forced to cram for months on end beforehand because attitude to SATs is really relaxed.
I definitely think you are doing the right thing looking elsewhere, I've never regretted moving dd only regretted I didn't do it sooner.

RockinHippy Mon 10-Feb-14 00:50:58

Excuse typos, stressful week has me exhausted & autocorrect

RockinHippy Mon 10-Feb-14 00:48:19

So pleased for you & your DD insanity I love the attitude of your school & think DDs could learn a lot from it.

The bulk of the repeated accidents for my DD are just that, but I do sometimes wonder if its as boisterous in other schools - that said some accidents have been dealt with really badly & added to DDs anxiety in school in that she doesn't feel some first line accident staff just don't believe her - which has been born out by 3 bad incidents in a week just before Xmas, one of which wasn't documented at all & as a result I nearly didn't get it checked in A&E - turned out it was a full on punch that left her concussed & still dealing with sinus problems now & we don't yet know if that's going to heal angry the same week they left her hopping around all afternoon on an ankle injury that needed crutches & A&E thought was a probably fracture in the top of her foot -

So where as I used to think they were good with tithings like this & have been better with DD since, I found out this week they've done similar with another DCs who gas his legs jumped on angry

I'm in the thick if it here, exactly as you describe, DD brings it all home & has been worryingly fragile, but realising the school just aren't really hearing me at all over the SATs stuff - DD has been home all week & its taken that long for me to see her smile again.

Think its a battle we just can't win & we now have an appointment with another school tomorrow, its scary, but seeing DD crying her eyes out as we attempted a SATs practice paper, she's missed doing them at school & I thought it might help her realise how easy its going to be for her, tested with & without the extra time & she really does need it, but school still dragging there feet & I just don't understand why at all sad -

The teacher is not only bullying herself, but is encouraging competition between the DCs, meaning DD is getting the Mickey taken out of her by other DCs too for messing up simple questions, not because she doesn't understand the subject, but because she just can't think straight from pain & stresshmm she is just so frustrated sad

We had a SATs presentation for parents - the teacher even undermined the HT in front if DCs & parents & blatantly lied - I became aware of other parents rolling eyes & sighing at some of her comments & found myself doing something I really didn't think I would ever do in a school - I heckled her over a few lies blush

It also came out from DD that her other teacher has taken finished literacy work off her & made her do it again & again, as her writing wasn't neat enough - I thought this had been sorted & he'd backed off, he has, but has complained to the head that DD won't have enough work for SATs - now turns out its because he's decided he wanted perfectly neat writing or not at all, he's made DD rewrite some of it 3 times & then got very cross with her when she couldn't do any better - for 2 marks hmm

I've got to the bottom of why though & why only the bright kids - I read the latest Ofsted - the school has had a slap on the wrist for falling G&T & most able DCs at yr 6 SATs level & are all out to put that right - but they are completely missing the point that the amount of pressure they are laying on is going to be counter productive, because these DCs are generally more highly strung sad

insanityscatching Wed 05-Feb-14 11:21:18

Well heard last night at Parents' evening that the school have taken advice and because dd has a statement that documents the processing difficulties and the requirement for extra time then dd can have the extra time regardless of the fact that she's wouldn't struggle without it.
Her teacher said that she should have the opportunity to show what she can do just like the rest of them and the extra time will remove that time pressure because in school they give her extra time as a matter of routine.
So good news here at least.
I think the wrong school or an unsupportive school can have a huge detrimental effect on family life tbh. I know that when dd was so unhappy she brought that stress and unhappiness home and school seemed huge, now she's happy school isn't that big a thing in her life.
I'd be hugely concerned about her having repeated accidents, are these documented? does your dd confirm that they are accidents and it's not because of rough play in school?
I am sad for your dd because no child should be made so stressed and unhappy by a teacher who should do better. Talking to dd's teacher last night there is real warmth from her to dd and she celebrates her success as much as I do. All children should be entitled to that IMO.

noblegiraffe Wed 05-Feb-14 11:03:33

I don't know how these things work, but can you get a referral to CAHMS about her mental health?

RockinHippy Wed 05-Feb-14 10:38:06

Thanks insanity that's good to hear that your DD is back in school & enjoying it again.

I've kept mine home this week with our GPs backing - another thread I started where teacher insisted she write with her left hand as her right arm is in a cast after yet another accident in school - she also told her she would be doing a 45 minute test, that will see her regrouped into a lower maths set, broken arm or not - teacher has told her several times she will be putting her in a lower set as she doesn't deserve to be in the top one, which just isn't true angry

I am on the verge of pulling her out of school, but scared as to how I will cope myself TBH, I know I can handle teaching her at least as well as they do, but I have health problems too & worry how I will physically cope, but then part of me realises that a big part of the massive stress we are both under is down to school, having to cope with frequent injuries all of which seem to happen there, this last couple of years at least, accudents which she never fully recovers from before the next one hits & she's expected to perform like a seal whilst exhausted & in pain sad

I'm also concerned as I'm hearing that I need the writing assessment test in place before high school & if I pull her out, that won't happen, lots to think about & a complaint to write up, one I know they will try to wriggle out of & blame other things going on for DDs fragile mental state - one if the things that peed me off about the CAF was inaccuracies in the paperwork - is ended with those inaccuracies still there, one saying DD needs counselling & support for bereavement issues, when she is coping just fine with that. We've talked lots, she knows her own mind & is a deep thinker & an eloquent speaker & she wholly blames school stress, previous bullying & a teeny bit still going on & mainly this one teacher for her sadness & anxiety, but despite my saying that in every meeting, it was never corrected on the paperwork, which I think speaks volumes about the CAF system hmm

insanityscatching Mon 03-Feb-14 13:08:29

Sorry to hear you've all had a bad weekend. I removed dd from a school in y1 after the teacher caused her to self harm and she was on the verge of a breakdown. Despite going through the HT and governing body complaints procedure I felt it for the best to pull dd out. If it happened again I'd pull her out and then complain tbh because those extra weeks whilst I tried to make her teacher accountable damaged her further.
When she she started in her current school she was like a rabbit caught in the headlights but the school have put her back together again. She genuinely adores her teachers and she sang a solo in the Christmas concert (she has perfect pitch and a huge voice for singing) and took to the stage like a pro because her confidence and self esteem has been restored.

RockinHippy Mon 03-Feb-14 12:54:13

Thanks everyone, apologies I'm slow to reply, its gone from bad to worse this weekend & she has been ill with her stomach too.

What little free time I have had over the weekend, I have used to speak with a few of friends & family members in the teaching Profession & have gone into more detail than I'm able to here as to the type of things said & done by this particular teacher, all of whom know DD well & were horrified & advised I either pull her out of school (that came from a HE hater too shock ) or escalate to a formal complaint about this teacher, which after she's now made DD write with her left, less exercised & therefore more prone to pain hand & told DD she is doing the 45 minute test & will be graded on it anyway, despite the broken arm, lack of sleep & pain. On top of this I have DD home today.

She is a tearful depressed mess & wont get out of bed, just lies there staring into space - this isn't the first time we've had this recently, last time was after an incident in school where she initially wasn't believed & she was injured, she spent 4 days lying staring at the wall that time & part of it was also how demoralised she felt about these daily tests - Im so worried I am taking her to see our GP later sad there have been other failures in duty of care recently, dealt with badly afterwards too & I'm passed listening to the promises of the HT, no matter how much I personally like her.

The other thing that really bothers me, that might sound odd, but DD loves music, she has a natural talent for that too & has sung none stop since she could form words, she's always singing, always such a happy soul no matter what life throws at her, but I rarely hear her sing any more, not since the beginning of year 6, this last 2 terms she never sings at all that's just not her sad

Thanks insanity DD does fit number 3 & as I said above I have medical & OT backing on that & she is now below the 5c that she is more than capable of, though up until the last meeting I have hit the same brick wall as you as far as her being bright enough to do well, so no allowance to be made, which is just so bloody unfair on kids like ours its okay to have a disability, they make allowances for that, but not if you are clever & have a disability - just wrong sad

Thanks Pancakes - I was always a perfectionist myself, though due to health problems, I've not been that way since DD was tiny, something I had to work really hard on & then I actually found really liberating. I was always brought up with praise for effort rather than results anyway, despite probably being G&T myself - (no register back then, but doing Art & Tech drawing A- level at 13 & like DD, top of top sets for most things etc) so I basically do all that with her anyway. My competitive perfectionist streak served me well in my profession, but I also know it made me vulnerable to manipulation by unscrupulous employers & stress too, so I'm really aware of saving DD from that.

Auntie thank you, you've pretty much backed up the conversations Ive had this weekend, I've also seen messages between DD & one of her friends over the weekend, also a bright spark & complaining this teacher told them they didn't deserve the 5b mark they got in another subject not even taught by this teacher & if she had been marking they would have git a 1cshock - they also confirmed her standing her own DD up in front of the class as an example of how well the class was expected to do - from this & a few earlier incidents, bizarrely it seems this teacher has a problem with bright DCs confused

Auntierosemary Fri 31-Jan-14 23:55:02

I would copy and paste some of this thread into a letter to the head - make it clear how concerned you are and spell out for him/her exactly what the teacher is saying and doing. As a teacher, her methods and approach sound weird as hell and definitely not how I was trained. If the head knows exactly what is going on and how strongly you feel about it he or she will surely intervene in some way. If not, go about it more indirectly by talking to other parents and teachers and gathering a bit of momentum together to put the pressure on. Either that or ask to get your daughter moved to another maths class. Sounds like it is pretty toxic for her in that setting.

pancakesfortea Fri 31-Jan-14 23:38:06

I'm a bit of a perfectionist. It means that you want to do something perfectly or not at all. Something I've had to learn through life is how to take pleasure and pride in the journey, not just focus on the outcome at the end.

A good way to get there is to spend time doing stuff you're not very good at. As a child I hated school sport because I wasn't very good. As an adult I take huge pride in plodding slowly round 10ks and half marathons because I know I've pushed myself and work hard.

Really bright kids get a lot of praise for outcomes ("Wow what a great score!") when other kids are being praised for the effort ("Wow, you worked really hard at that."). For some kids I think that means we are storing up problems once they do stretch themselves and suddenly can't get the high scores - because they aren't used to taking pride in the journey.

insanityscatching Fri 31-Jan-14 18:16:57

This is the criteria posted from the .gov website

Standards and Testing Agency DfE

General article
Updated: 27 November 2013

-Can the child respond appropriately to a simple request or instruction given in English, with or without prompts or aids.
-Can the child respond appropriately to a simple request or instruction in English, without prompts or an aid or having to lip read.
-Can the child persist at a task for at least 15 minutes with no difficulty and no prompts.
-Can the child achieve at least level 3 on practice mathematics national curriculum tests, with or without help with reading questions.
-When writing independently, can the child spell at least 75 per cent of words correctly and achieve at least level 3 on practice spelling national curriculum tests, either dictated or signed.
-Can the child read text with age-appropriate content aloud and fluently with no or very few errors.

If scores are needed to answer the questions, you will not need to include results within the form but the scores must be made available if they are requested during a monitoring visit.

Once the form has been completed, you will be given advice on the most appropriate access arrangement for the child. This may be the use of additional time but we may advise further arrangements, for example a scribe or reader.

Then further advice by teachers was that as dd will achieve level 5 even without extra time she wouldn't be entitled to extra time even though she has a statement and has documented processing difficulties and her statement states she needs extra time in tests/exams.
It seems a very narrow set of criteria to me anyway.

RockinHippy Fri 31-Jan-14 17:25:36

Thank you, I can appreciate that's been your experience with your own DD insanity & I haven't just dismissed it out of hand, DD loves Sheldon in the Big Bang, so I suspect she would think an AS diagnosis would be "pretty cool" anyway smile

But as much as I can see where you are coming from, it really doesn't fit her at all, she hasn't learnt to mimic desirable behaviours, she's ALWAYS been that way. She also doesn't have any problems with picking up on the subtleties of social interaction, she actually surprisingly astute with that, again since tiny. She just makes a conscious decision that she doesn't like certain behaviour, won't accept it & removes herself from the situation if she can. If she can't, she deals with it - according to her earlier teachers - maturely & diplomatically.

She's very sociable otherwise, usually life & soul of the party, always has been, she's just a bit of a mother hen & doesn't like to see people looking sad or left out, which has backfired a few times as they then won't let go & have become jealous or aggressive if she doesn't want to be exclusive.

She does get on with other older groups of girls, just not the ones in her class, she says she finds them a bit childish & doesn't like the way they bitch about each other behind their backs & all are very bossy resulting in constant arguments, she gets on great with 2 of then away from the group though, even as a group with her other non school friends. It does seem the group dynamics there is OTT as its something another friend of hers complained about when they met away from school.

I have wondered & looked into things in the past & again after reading your reply & where as she does share some traits, reading the "Debrowskis Sensibilities" fits her far better, almost to a tee, so I'm just not convinced.

I'd never have a CAF or TAC because I tend to think that they are used to lay blame rather than offer support and dd's statement and a bolshy demanding mother gets far more effective support for her anyway

That made me laugh, that's pretty much exactly it - grin

DD has seen an OT, who along with our GP is backing the extra time for test & she has equipment as you describe to help too, though a glove they prescribed doesn't look like its going to happen due to supplier problems & shes had a lot of injuries this last 2 years, so physio that was meant to be for core stability has just been playing catch up sad - fantastic to know it can make that much difference though, that is fantastic to hear & makes me very hopeful for the future

Interesting what you say about the level 5c benchmark though, DD was there up until recently & this teacher using testing to grade, she has now dropped below as a direct result & I'm battling to get them to make the assessment now, meeting earlier went quite well, though they just keep saying the criteria has changed recently, but now think they can see a way to work it for DD, but its now wait & see but I will be chasing it up next week when I have see them over another related problem -

I think I do need to find out exactly what the new criteria is for myself though, then there's no room for them back tracking. I think a big part if DDs problems is the sheer frustration she feels at playing with a half deck of card, so to speak

Thanks again for your help smile

insanityscatching Thu 30-Jan-14 11:35:49

Again your last paragraph describes dd who is too empathetic, she takes on the waifs and strays too because she knows what are desirable behaviours and will mimic them even if they don't come naturally.
Once she got to y5 that's when the friendship difficulties kicked in. Like your dd she finds the bitchiness, the dramas, the swapping sides very difficult because she doesn't pick up on the subtleties of social interaction and so she has a lot of support in school to cope with all of that.
I wouldn't rely on a school to recognise AS or HFA in a well behaved, high achieving girl tbh, dd was diagnosed at 2 without the diagnosis now school would have no concerns even though it's a fantastic school with many children with additional needs.
I'd never have a CAF or TAC because I tend to think that they are used to lay blame rather than offer support and dd's statement and a bolshy demanding mother gets far more effective support for her anyway.
Has your dd seen an OT regarding her difficulties with writing? Dd has done a programme of exercises for the last five years that have improved her core strength and hypotonia to the point that she now writes at the same speed and with the same fluidity of her peers with no aids whereas in y1 she needed pencil grips and a writing slope and a step for her feet.
I asked on Primary about extra time in SATs for dd because she has processing difficulties but the opinion I got was that because she will get level 5's then even her statement won't get her extra time. School need to be making assessments and documenting difficulties now for your dd to secure extra time I think.
My advice would be to see your GP, ask for a referral to either a developmental paed and find out where her needs lie. Without establishing where the difficulties lie there is no chance of addressing them.

RockinHippy Thu 30-Jan-14 10:49:50

I should have added blush

She's now sporting a broken arm sad spent the day down A&E after yet another accident in school, but I suppose on the plus side, that means the pressures off for a while & she doesn't need to worry about any tests for a while smile

RockinHippy Thu 30-Jan-14 10:03:16

Thanks insanity to be honest, they way things are going with her, I am close to doing just that, but its a bit more complicated as I stupidly allowed myself to be talked into signing up to a "CAF" one that really isn't working & is of no benefit to DD at all, quite the opposite as its meant I was lulled into a false sense of security & relaxed a bit, meaning DD has been let down on a few things - the writing assessment & extra time for exams for example.

I have sat in meeting after meeting expressing my concerns over this & how badly writing for long stretches, especially with the expected "joined up writing" affects her - not once has anyone explained how to go about this, nor have they done anything about it - that took me researching & I'm now half way there, but still fighting for extra time for maths exams, even though its a 45 minute paper, that expects no calculator use & workings out written down.

The CAF purely seems to be about keeping DD in school & having spoken to friends who work in similar areas, turns out around her its a precursor to SS involvement, something I am deeply insulted by, slightly worried by too, having heard the experiences of another family at school who asked for help with their DDs agressive outbursts, only to be accused of exposing her to DV at home & it was learned behaviour, which couldn't be further from the truth, she was being bullied in school.

So I am currently in the process if trying to drop the whole CAF thing, otherwise I worry I may risk SS involved if I do suddenly pull her from school - trust me, we are really not the sort if family SS needs to waste time on, but I feel the TAC/CAF don't want to acknowledge that part of DDs anxiety stems from problems in school & as in the other case, are covering the school/LEAs backside. I may be just been paranoid here, but the Lead Proffessional Inwas assigned is just plain awful & seems to have had an agenda fron day 1, she doesn't know us at all & constantly makes inaccurate assumptions, yet does nothing to help, as was promised.

But if things don't improve, I am likely to pull DD from school anyway, though socially I do worry that's not best for her either as she's an OC

& TBH I have wondered about AS & though never suggested in school, who are well versed in ASD, I have looked into it myself, but though DD definitely has a few traits, it really doesn't fit her at all, if anything DD is TOO empathetic, & has always been extremely sociable, wading in & taking any DCs that look like they are struggling under her wing & helping them join in.

Its only this last year or so where she's withdrawn from the girls in school, but that's very much a conscious decision which she explains well, she just doesn't like the group dynamics & is bored by the bitchy small talk, but stills sees some of them individually outside if school where they discuss diffent things.

insanityscatching Wed 29-Jan-14 11:01:30

Does your dd have an ASD? Is she being assessed for that? How you describe her is a lot like dd who has autism. Her school handle her with kid gloves and even more so at the minute to ensure she doesn't crumble because of SATs pressure and transition to secondary anxiety.

insanityscatching Wed 29-Jan-14 10:56:57

Why not home school until Y7? Dd's Y6 and if her school was in anyway like your dd's I'd pull her out now until secondary even if she does have a statement. If she has health difficulties and there is so much SATs pressure then for her to be in the best place to start secondary school a break now could be just what she needs. Most secondary schools make their own assessments anyway so the SATs results won't matter and if she doesn't do them they'd have to assess her anyway.
Get rid of the stress, allow your dd to follow her own interests and help her build some emotional resilience to cope with the new challenges coming in September.

RockinHippy Wed 29-Jan-14 10:51:24

Sorry x post with the last 2 replies must learn not to start reply and then go off and get side tracked

I think my last reply covers both answers, but yes totally agree & its what we have ALWAYS done & still find ourselves in this situation, hence why I am tearing my hair out & feel like somehow I have let her down, but I can't for the life of me work out where I have gone wrong & trust me, I have done some serious soul searching

I also have the added problem that DD over reacts to my saying "no" to anything, even a simple no to a snack as I'm about to serve tea, gets a cowering "sorry, sorry, sorry" as if I've just had a real go at her, or I am abusive, which again couldn't be further from the truth, I'm a much older & therefore calmer mum & can honestly say I have never lost it with her, firm, when needed, yes, extremely big/tall DH is the same, but leaves discipline to me as he worries he's too intimidating if he tells her off,

I've spoken to her at length about this & she blames the bullying she's been through in school, but the school don't want to hear that hmm but I find it soul destroying to have her react that way & away from her sight have shed many a tear over it.

She's generally a stressy anxious mess, that paints a smile on at school & it's scaring the hell out of me sad

RockinHippy Wed 29-Jan-14 10:36:17

You know, I'd end up getting tough. "I'm not giving you any more maths work until you learn not to stress out about it so much!" And i'd keep hollering that message at her

Mmmm, now that's an interesting idea, I will certainly give that some more thought - though the big stressor is maths in school & not much I can do about that one, maths at home was about showing her its not her but the teaching methods that are failing her, but its backfired by her wading in over her head & still expecting to get 100% - as things stand at the moment I would gladly let her drop it all together, but I can't

Ive even tried to encourage her deliberately mess up the ridiculously frequent test papers, write zero in every box, or similar, to make point, but she absolutely refuses, she just doesn't have my anarchistic streak sad

Please tell me you didn't choose this school for its high academic results

Absolutely not, I knew that she would do just fine academically in any school, so it was never an important factor. In fact we had friends baulk at our choice as it used to be known as a bad school, but its our most local school, the ethos was extremely caring & supportive, it had the highest cultural & class mix of all local schools, is a very creative school, I had a good feeling about the HT & it has a huge outside green space, the only local school that does, which as city dwellers, with no proper garden, this was the deciding factor. Thanks to teaching friends, we even had inside knowledge & offers of support to get DD in, on extra scholarships/bursaries for a local private school, which is one of the top schools in the country - turned it down as it didn't feel right & felt the high pressure ethos if the school just wasn't a good idea for DD. So as much as I can see where you are coming from, it really isn't us at all.

Though whilst DD has been at her primary school, it has gone from doing okay, to "outstanding" which it really did deserve - but staff have owned up that last years SATs results were down a lot as they didn't put pressure on the DCs, so this year the school is under pressure to perform & its passing down the line big time, this new Maths teacher has a completely different teaching style to the usual school ethos.

There's too much pressure on your dd . She's now started to pressurise herself which is worrying

Yes definitely - she has always put more pressure on herself, than we ever could, my mantra with her has become "ease up, its not important, nobody is going to die" but its like banging my head on the wallsad

However you feel about it some of that pressure will have come from home and the expectations of her being gifted and talented

I totally get why you say that, I would probably write the same myself, but it really couldn't be further from the truth, I actually think the whole G&T register thing is a load of bollox as it doesn't take into account a lot of important factors & DD didn't even know she was on the list until last year as we have never told her

SHE is the one concerned about losing status, from chats Ive had with her, she feels the maths teacher has it in for her & is manipulating it so that she could remove her from the list, she feels the up coming tests are about moving her down the sets as she is been set up to fail

my attitude is "so what", you do that badly, it looks bad on the teacher, not you - cue hysterics that she doesn't want to be in the lower groups because they mess around too much & she gets roped into helping them with their work, which she doesn't want to do anymore - I'm sure a lot of this is paranoia on DDs part, but got to admit, even DH commented after parents evening that this teacher came across as if she really didn't like DD & I have had some quite odd conversations with the teacher myself, so I can see why DD might get that idea, but I think its a general attitude, not just DD.

& as for failure been a good thing - Ive tried REALLY hard to get that across to her - when she has the screaming habdabs over getting wrong, I hug her & ask what did she just learn by getting it wrong, eventually she gets it & can answer that she learnt XY or Z, but does she hell remember that next time around sad

We are also not academics, but a couple of old punk rocker creatives, even if I dont look it these days, its still very much who I am - though I was very much like DD in school, I was an art school drop out, who went on to have a very successful artistic career - we thought it fantastic that for years DD wanted to be a tattooist & probably very secretly slightly disappointed that she now wants to go into medicine,

so I can't emphasise enough that the pressure really doesn't come from home, its ALL DD herself & currently her maths teachers & I have found it bloody frustrating sitting in CAF meetings, expressing my worries over this, to have the Lead Professional, who doesnt know us at all, l tell me I need to back off & let her failhmm they are only interested in the fault not lying with the school & don't listen at all - I'm so concerned I'm actually very close to pulling her out if school, but not sure that's for the best long term

Piqueaboo - yes, that's definitely another factor, sadly its also a factor in her worsening health problems sad

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