Advanced search

So how ^do^ you handle it when your kid is the only one in his class who didn't pass?

(22 Posts)
Idreamofsunshine Mon 21-Oct-13 18:47:17

We are in a similar situation. Most boys here seem to have passed. However we didnt give ds any tutoring which everyone else seems to so i have just said this ti him and he seems ok. Just to reassure you others are in the same boat smile

Xochiquetzal Mon 21-Oct-13 17:16:32

I'd avoid discussing it infront of your son, coz obviously it might be a bit awkward for him hearing how proud his friends mum is, it really depends on the friends parents though, I'd avoid the competitive ones but I wouldn't avoid the nice ones.

Saying this, my brothers friends are a very close group - go to church together and the families are friends etc. and coz I only have my brother during holidays, some weekends and when my parents are in hospital I don't know the more competetive parents, I know my parents have been avoiding them since KS1 SATs though.

PatoBanton Mon 21-Oct-13 07:45:31

btw is anyone else feeling awkward about talking to the other parents?

I've spoken to a few of the girls' mums who didn't pass, which was lovely, and without any problem as we both have a child who didn't get through.

But I've been dodging calls from parents whose children I know have passed, or are very likely to have passed. I just don't want to speak to them.

Not sure if that is normal. I think because they will feel awkward - but also because a lot of them KNOW from our prior conversations that he won't have been likely to pass and some are kind of competitive and I don't want to talk to them about it, because they are probably not doing it for the best reasons.

Others will be genuinely lovely but some, well, you know. I'd rather let the children discuss it than get involved.

PatoBanton Mon 21-Oct-13 07:42:29

Thankyou, these are really good suggestions and I am trying to do most of them whenever me and ds talk about it.

Will get onto the websites though pronto - he needs to feel positive about it, wherever he is going.

Xochiquetzal Mon 21-Oct-13 00:00:36

We are going through this at the moment with my baby brother, all his friends are off to the local super-selective grammar and that's where he has always wanted to go, especially as my other little brother is there, little sister is at the equally selective girls grammar and literally everyone else in our family has gone to grammar school/selective private schools. Poor kid is feeling a bit lost.

All I've found that has made him feel better is concentrating on all the things that are better/more fun at the local comps and getting him to look through school websites with me (Mum and Dad don't do computers) and really bigging up the good bits.

Also telling him how many of my friends from Uni, a lot of who get higher marks than I do, didn't get into grammar.

PastSellByDate Sun 20-Oct-13 06:33:58


My DD1 also didn't succeed in scoring high enough to enter a grammar school. She was 1 of 12 at her school taking the test and only 2 have scores sufficiently high to feel they have succeeded, but these two are DD1's dear friends and DD1 has also realised that they would be going to a different school and had a bit of a cry.

We've resorted to the platitudes:

Everything happens for a reason.

This is what is meant to be.

You did your best. That's all we can ask.

At the end of the day in my heart of hearts I know that it has been a lot of work to get my DD1 to this point and know that the local grammar schools here really turn up the pressure on children to achieve. We have a friend who's daughter just started and the workload she describes is truly terrifying (I know my DD1 who is used to little or no homework would find it tough going). I have my doubts about how well DD1 would do in that kind of high pressure regime when she was one of the poorer preformers. I also worried about what kind of effect being the less able student in a group would have on her emotionally.

DD1 is most likely going to a nearby local comprehensive and most likely with very few members of her friendship group. She's glum about it but I have pointed out that neither Mum nor Dad have many friends still from primary school. Life is full of opportunities to make friends and you will go on to acquire friends after primary school.

As parents, DH and I have been discussing the benefits of going to a school where she will be treated as more of a high flyer and the confidence that will bring for her. The reality is that once you start your Senior School, within a few short months that becomes your world/ your reality. Your concerned about what occurs there and really take little notice of other schools (unless your competing against them in sport, in a joint school orchestra, etc...)

This is a hard life lesson and I totally understand the upset it is causing you and your son, as we're also going through it ourselves, but there is never any shame in setting your target high.

Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all.

Trying meant he had a chance to stay with his friends - and that was worth going for. It didn't work out - but there is no shame in having tried.

Finally, around here you can transfer to the grammar schools for sixth form if your GCSE scores are high enough. If something similar is available where you are it is worth letting your son know he does have this option and if he sets his target high and works hard he may well rejoin his friends in a few years.

Regardless, doing well at GCSE is important and will be benificial wherever he goes for sixth form.


CurlyhairedAssassin Sun 20-Oct-13 00:05:23

shock at pixiepotter's advice. I agree that that is quite misguided advice for a number of reasons!

pixiepotter Sat 19-Oct-13 20:27:13

Whatever you do, do not follow night1971's advice! He is 11 not 3 !

night1971 Sat 19-Oct-13 19:30:07

Don't tell him at all! Make yourself the bad guy and let him off the hook.

What you have to say is: I have been doing lots of thinking and I don't like X school anymore but I love Y school. So I phoned the headmaster at X and asked him to take you off the list. Simple.

Have done this. It works. Pressure off the child. All your fault. At least that way he can go into school and blame you! Would be VERY surprised if anyone dare challenge you.

PatoBanton Sat 19-Oct-13 19:26:14

Oh x posts - that is marvellous too.

I will try and think positive and maybe he will pick up on that.

Thankyou x

PatoBanton Sat 19-Oct-13 19:25:10

Oh Rusty that is very encouraging. Many thanks and I will possibly take you up on the PM offer, I'm not sure how it works yet, meetings this week coming.

Sorry you have been there too. It is very cruel, they are only little.

areyoubeingserviced Sat 19-Oct-13 19:24:54

Tell your D's not to worry.
Tell him that it will be OK
Best friends Ds missed out on grammar some years ago. He was devastated. He eventually attended the local comp where he achieved fantastic results. He is now in his second year at Oxford studying Law.

He always says that not getting into the grammar made him even more determined to do well
I assure you once he starts secondary school next year he will be absolutely fine.

RustyHalo Sat 19-Oct-13 19:21:45

I'm so sorry you are going through this Pato, been there with DS & it does hit them very hard. Lots of cuddles & reassurance that you are proud of how hard he worked & then focus on all the positive points of the school he will go to. He will probably find he is in top sets at his new school & this will boost his self-esteem.

DS did get to Grammar on appeal so if you decide to go down this route then PM me & I'll fill you in on our experience. However, it sounds as though you feel your DS may be better at a non-selective school.

As far as friendships go, DS still meets up with friends from Primary that went to 5 different High Schools plus he's met a big group of new ones too.

It'll all work out ok but I know he won't be thinking that now. It's a very cruel system.

PatoBanton Sat 19-Oct-13 19:19:10

Well he's in a single intake school but I think one boy is going to one religious school, another is going to the other religious school and one is going to the academy.

We will look round of course - seen one already and was told he will have trouble getting in as he's not baptised, and I'm not really prepared to go that route if I don't believe in it as that's just wrong.

We'll see the other one next week and the academy whenever they have appointments left. We've been to look at a Steiner but it was a bit odd.

picnicbasketcase Sat 19-Oct-13 19:10:06

Go to as many open evenings and open days at the other possible schools as you can. Are there any children from his school not going to the grammar, so he'll be reassured that he'll know some people, even if they're not particularly close?

PatoBanton Sat 19-Oct-13 19:05:43

Fuzzy you are right, he needs distracting. I'm trying to be positive about other schools but a lot of them are dire.

We'll keep looking.

PatoBanton Sat 19-Oct-13 19:03:42

Oh it is awful for them. My friend said the same - she hates the system, too, and we went round the grammar together and tbf I split with his friends that night because I knew he probably wouldn't get in (the super selective one) and thought it would be easier if he didn't experience it with them, if that makes was lovely there and we all wanted him to go there, and that is where many of them will be going.

I've told him we will keep in touch but he said, rightly, that it isn't the same - it's the day to day nonsense in such a small school, with the same 11 lads you've known since you were 5 that is going to be so hard to replicate.

I am desperately sorry for him.

Fuzzysnout Sat 19-Oct-13 19:03:24

Tell him how proud you are of him anyway and that it really doesn't matter. Distract with activities he enjoys and don't mention school choices for a little while.

Once you have to start selecting be positive about possible new schools.

It feels like the end of the world now, but it really isn't. He can & will still be really happy & do well at his new school.

picnicbasketcase Sat 19-Oct-13 19:00:44

I think all you can do is tell him you're proud that he tried his best, reassure him that he'll be fine in the school he goes to, will make lots of new friends but that you will also try to make sure he still sees his grammar school friends on weekends whenever possible. I think I'm quite glad there aren't any grammar schools in my area, so it wasn't an issue - it seems like quite a tough thing for children to go through.

RandomMess Sat 19-Oct-13 18:59:16

With lots of hugs and cuddles and that some of his current friends he will keep in touch with and he will make new ones which is what would have happened had the all moved to grammer anway.

lljkk Sat 19-Oct-13 18:57:20


PatoBanton Sat 19-Oct-13 18:56:19

Not including girls...or the ones who didn't take the test.

But of all the boys who took the grammar test, I think he is the only one who didn't make it.

I am gutted for him, and he only took it as he wanted to try as hard as he could to be with his friends next year.

The possibility of appeal is there but I honestly don't know on what grounds as he would probably struggle in grammar.

I don't know how to make this better for him. We don't yet know for sure if the last two have passed but it is very likely that they have and he will find out on Monday from them.

He has been very quiet since he found out he didn't pass and we have had some tears. There is also the complete awkwardness with other parents, because no one wants to talk about it in case they come across as smug or gloating...this is what my close friend said yesterday, though she is the least gloaty person ever in the world - her son passed with top scores, and I am so pleased for him, and the others.

He's not a schooly type of boy but he lives for his friends and he's got to face the thought of being with none of them next year. They are his life.

How the hell do I handle this for him? I almost wish we hadn't let him do it but he really wanted to give it a go, and was convinced he was in with a chance. (I didn't know one way or another, but suspected he might not be up to it, so tried to prepare him honestly).

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now