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GCSE results not great. How do we kick our DCs into shape.

(22 Posts)
VoldemortsNipple Thu 25-Aug-11 13:33:18

DD is only in year 10 so has only got two results. C for English and D for science. She is in top set so she should have got better results. In all honesty she hasn't put the work in.

So now she has to resit in November plus pull her finger out to get decent results next year.

So what tips do you have for me to support her and others in the same boat.

niceguy2 Thu 25-Aug-11 14:46:19

I suspect the best way will be to employ both carrot & stick.

So look at what she's doing instead of studying. For example is she constantly on Facebook when she's supposed to be working? If so block it. Ditto with TV. Is she spending too long watching TV?

Carrot in the form of treats if/when she's finished pieces of work. Eg. a new top or CD.

Where is she doing homework? In her room or at the dining table? Are there distractions? Is she doing it in plenty of time or leaving it til last minute?

Speak to her teachers and see where they think the problem is. You will have a better position if teachers also agree she just needs to put more effort in. Otherwise you'll just be in for a teenage strop.

Lastly thing if it's worth getting her a tutor. As a child I hated it but looking back I'm glad my parents made me cos it's stood me in very good stead.

Changebagsandgladrags Thu 25-Aug-11 15:14:43

Does she find the studying hard work? Not academically I mean, but sticking with it? Some students just aren't able to keep their concentration up for long without being bored shitless. Look at short periods of study with something energetic mixed in.

Agree on treats and getting a tutor.

noblegiraffe Thu 25-Aug-11 15:23:39

What was she predicted to get? You need to speak to her teachers to find out what they think the problem is. Not enough effective revision? Lack of homework throughout the year? Not paying attention in lessons?

Is your daughter bothered? If she is, then this could be the kick up the backside she needs. If she is not motivated, well, you can lead a horse to water, but it has to want to drink. Discuss what she plans to do after GCSEs and potential jobs. Look at entry requirements etc. Ask her how much she thinks she will be earning if she gets Cs and Ds at GCSE then go on the internet job searches and show her what she might expect to earn. Then talk about how hard it is to even get those jobs.

cricketballs Thu 25-Aug-11 17:49:00

I wouldn't worry about the English grade, it is very common for year 10s to have a lower grade due to their age. I would look at this as a blessing that it has happened in year 10 and will hopefully help her to understand the amount of work needed for high grades next year

gingeroots Thu 25-Aug-11 21:32:19

Does anyone else feel that maybe schools shouldn't be entering students in year 10 .
I mean ,if it's common to get a low grade ,why bother - doesn't it undermine confidence ,entering kids for an exam where it's likely they'll get a mediocre grade ?

cricketballs Thu 25-Aug-11 22:08:03

they enter them in order to bag the C grade! In the schools I have worked in, very often if they have their C grade, they are then encouraged to not resit and therefore create a smaller class size for those who didn't achieve the grade which allows for more 1 to 1 teaching.

I can see it only getting worse with the recent introduction of the Bacc onto the league tables as schools are going to be 2 years behind in terms of options (not many students choose a language) and therefore once they have the C grade in maths/english then they will be moved into a MFL/history/geography course

There has been a study recently that does suggest that early entry is a disadvantage for students when they begin A levels/Uni as they lose certain skills through not having any practice for over 12 months; but league tables rule hmm

cheapskatemum Thu 25-Aug-11 23:00:54

I for one think that schools shouldn't be entering so many students for GCSEs in year 10. Some schools are even entering them in year 9!

Kez100 Thu 25-Aug-11 23:18:50

Having a daughter who missed Cs in English and History by 2 percent today (year 10) and now thinks she is a failure (comParing to strings of a stars from year 11s on TV) I agree!

VoldemortsNipple Fri 26-Aug-11 08:17:07

Thanks for all the replies.
DD was expected to get A grades across the board. She definatly didn't put the effort in. I t..hink she thorght she could wing it.
Thanks for the suggestions regarding homework and revision. We live in a relatively small house so homework has been done in her bedroom. We don't have a dining table as we don't have the space for one. It is a priority now to create a study area, so I'm going to make one under the stairs.

Last night we had a good talk. I pulled out the booklet we recieved when DD was chosing her options. This broke down the percentage of marks recieved for coursework and exams. DD got a real shock when she realised that her 6 pieces of coursework which were graded at an A, made up only 20% of her mark.

Thanks for the tip noblegiraffe on talking about jobs she can expect to get. I spoke about that and also told her to be realistic about taking A levels when her GCSE results are not to her potential. I can only hope something has hit home.

We were told that they do english GCSE in year 10, so they can concentrate on English lit in year 11. In DSs school, they start GCSEs in year 9 for the kids in the top sets. This won't be DS because he is in the lower set. I think kids in lower sets start on vocational courses instead. It's all about giving the school a year to improve their leauge tables for 16 year olds. If they don't get the grades in year 10, they have another year to improve them.

Cherrypi Fri 26-Aug-11 08:22:27

Government have band year 10 GCSE entry for courses starting 2012. Good thing I think. Back to linear.

MigratingCoconuts Fri 26-Aug-11 08:32:20

yes, we are moving to a linear system again.

Schools do this precisely because of girld like your DD. To give the minority who fail to get the predicted grade a shock and get them to strategically retake. this is one reason why GCSE grades are going up. And its not just about securing C grades as now outstanding school look to reporting % a*-b grades.

The new Government think this is too easy and that students should take the vast majority at the end of the course....

MigratingCoconuts Fri 26-Aug-11 08:35:39

GCSSE year 10 enteries are not banned in the new course starting this september. You will still be able to take modules in January. But you will only be able to take one retake over the entire course and 40% of your grade must be made up from modules taken in your last sitting.

Its to stop strategic re-taking to improve grades.

MigratingCoconuts Fri 26-Aug-11 08:44:31

sorry...I missed out the bit where I was talking about GCSE Science blush

spiderpig8 Fri 26-Aug-11 08:49:35

School are to blame.They have let her down by enetering her early when she wasn't up to it.
Our school don't enter children early unless they are 99% certain they will get A*

MigratingCoconuts Fri 26-Aug-11 08:54:56

...or she is to blame for not taking the revision required seriously. She's clearly up to an A grade and may be this is the kick up the arse she needs to understand what levels of work are required for success at GCSE

MigratingCoconuts Fri 26-Aug-11 08:59:33

She may have taken all parts of the GCSE at present but the school will not actually cash it in until next summer thus giving a year to look at the different modules she did, spot which one(s) would make maximum impact on her grade if improved and them support her through the retakes.

its how they ensure your kids get these very high sets of GCSE grades at the end of year 11...

rainbowinthesky Fri 26-Aug-11 09:03:22

Ds was like this at the start of Y10. I didnt bribe him as he wanted him to be self motivated. Parents evening in the Autumn Term was horrible. However, something clicked and he changed nearly over night. He then worked really hard for the last 2 terms including retaking exams he'd taken in Y9 and beginning of Y10. In his own words he turned into one of those people whom he had looked down on ie someone who worked hard!
Nothing we did worked.

foreverwino Fri 26-Aug-11 09:52:24

If she didnt even understand the relative weighting of cw to exam she wasnt ready to take it.

VoldemortsNipple Fri 26-Aug-11 14:41:05

I think the problem was that they got all the coursework out of the way by February and then started working through the pre realease book. She was given homework to do on the book but she didn't take it seriously because it wasn't going towards her final mark. She said to me last night, the teacher told her she was doing it wrong but didn't advise her how to improve it. Personally, I just don't think DD realised that if she had took the time to find out where she was going wrong and fixed it and improve her homework/classwork it would improve her GCSE result.

Also she's a do as little revision as possible as late as possible. I must admit that I am the same. I know she needs to start early but I don't have a clue how to set up a revision timetable or how many hours she should be doing. If she has homework, does she still have to work through a revision book on top of homework.

Come September, we think she has to have extra lessons after school if she is to resign the exam in English. I don't know about science, but I presume it will be the same.

VoldemortsNipple Fri 26-Aug-11 14:42:08

Resit the exam

coolascucumber Fri 26-Aug-11 16:52:35

DS1 has just got 3Bs for Geo, History and Maths modules in Year 9, after months of nagging and stress to get the revision done, but he will still be retaking to try and get the As that are his target. I'm not sure this helps the students at all as it is very hard to get their motivation up for retakes and teaching moves on to the next part of the course.

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