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Sometimes I think that getting an A* is all that matters....

(57 Posts)
Sparklingbrook Fri 14-Jun-13 09:36:44

I am starting to feel that's what DS1 (Year 9) thinks. sad had Parents Evening yesterday and he's a bit down now.

Iamnotminterested Fri 14-Jun-13 09:52:18

Sparklingbrook, Cs will be fine in this house if it's any consolation.

Who is putting pressure on him, other children being competitive or the teachers?

Sparklingbrook Fri 14-Jun-13 09:56:11

Difficult to say Iam. In a nutshell he changed schools last year and ended up in the top Maths set. We didn't think that was the right set but he's done really well keeping up. Turns out next year he is going to be in set 2. He now thinks he isn't doing as well as he thought.

He has a friendship group of quite high achievers which doesn't help. So there is a competitive element.

wordfactory Fri 14-Jun-13 09:57:30

So your DS thinks only an A* is good enough, OP?

Hullygully Fri 14-Jun-13 09:58:59

Tell him to buck his ideas up in that it is best to be in the set that works at the pace and in the style best suited to each child. You all still take the same exam at the end and he has every bit as much chance of a good result as the rest.

ie nip any low confidence etc in the bud...

Sparklingbrook Fri 14-Jun-13 10:00:27

I think he does word. We have never said anything about grades but i think he has got it into his head that that is the aim. now he is dropping a set he has assumed he can't get an A* but TBF I don't think he would anyway.

Sparklingbrook Fri 14-Jun-13 10:03:18

That's what I am afraid of Hully I need to put a huge positive spin on the Set 2 thing.

Changing schools has worked wonders for his confidence. he's had a good year and this is the first time he has had his confidence knocked.

Also he wanted to be considered for triple Science but i don't think that will happen either.

Hullygully Fri 14-Jun-13 10:10:34

Yes you do, really forbid any down on himself nonsense. Why not check with his tutor about triple science, and insist on it if necessary, it's the same standard, just a bit more of it. If ds wants to do it and is prepared to work hard, absolutely no reason he shouldn't do it.

Sparklingbrook Fri 14-Jun-13 10:18:26

The Science teacher was asking whether at A level he was thinking of Science or Humanities. If it's the latter then triple Science isn't really for him, and emphasised how much work it is.

He is 13, and has no idea what he would like to do beyond Year 11. I feel he doesn't want to burn any bridges at this stage.

I think I am just going through the post-parents evening dip TBH.

Hullygully Fri 14-Jun-13 10:21:21

That's bollocks, sparkling. He shouldn't limit himself now, triple science is much too valuable not to attempt.

Sparklingbrook Fri 14-Jun-13 10:25:24

Well he is still on the list for being considered for it Hully so we will see what happens.

I did feel a bit bad for us not knowing what his future career plans are. grin

Iamnotminterested Fri 14-Jun-13 10:25:46

Harsh, Hully.

monikar Fri 14-Jun-13 10:26:50

If he is in the second set he will still be entered for the same exam and so an A* is still available to him, just as it was before.

It could be possible that he will increase in confidence next year as he is likely to be near the top of this second set. My DD found in year 10 that sometimes the children are required to help others with concepts and so if your DS is one of the more able, he will be one of the ones others will turn to.

It may be a blessing in disguise. In my experience with DD (17) I found that her being in top sets for some subjects was a disadvantage - I often felt that she would benefit from a slightly slower pace and be given more practice in some areas.

Also, to get A* the students have to achieve an overall UMS of 90% which is very high.

Good luck, hope that helps a little.

Hullygully Fri 14-Jun-13 10:27:38

try reading properly iamnot

Sparklingbrook Fri 14-Jun-13 10:30:26

Thanks Monikar I do believe a slower pace is what's required for DS1. I can understand why he sees it as a blow but I think once he gets started he will realise it's better for him. Really it's a shame he ended up in the top set to start with, but they had to start him somewhere.

Iamnotminterested Fri 14-Jun-13 10:33:23

Ah. Ok. Moving on...

Iamnotminterested Fri 14-Jun-13 10:34:07

No need for rudeness to me though!

Hullygully Fri 14-Jun-13 10:34:38

But you were rude AND wrong to me, dear

monikar Fri 14-Jun-13 10:37:26

Yes Sparkling I agree. The problem with setting is they have to draw the boundaries somewhere.

You might also find that at the start of year 10, they will quickly get swept along with starting the GCSE courses and so this may well seem less important than it does now.

In my experience with DD, the way to get good at exams and reach the higher grades is to practise past papers in the run up to the GCSE in year 11. You can download these online from the exam board (check which one your DS is doing) along with the mark schemes. It is astonishing how they pick up those few extra marks with doing this. Many questions are similar year after year and also will give him confidence that he is progressing in the right direction.

wordfactory Fri 14-Jun-13 10:40:39

sparkling all you can do is keep reinforcing the idea that A*s are not the only valuable qualification.

Keep pointing out that every October universities are packed with Freshers who didn't get all A*s. Far from it grin.

Sparklingbrook Fri 14-Jun-13 10:41:58

Thanks Monikar that's useful to know. He does get very nervous in exams, and we do need to address that over the next two years. preparation will be very important.

Sometimes parents Evenings make you think a bit too much. Trying to read between the lines as to what's being said. I always feel a bit like this afterwards, mulling it all over.

With GCSEs being all over the news lately they have taken on this huge significance now DS1 is about to start Year 10.

Sparklingbrook Fri 14-Jun-13 10:43:09

That's a very good point word. grin

monikar Fri 14-Jun-13 10:51:25

Sparkling I think you are right about overthinking comments made at parents' evening. We only got 3 minutes per teacher when DD was in year 9 and it is not surprising really that in that time things could be misconstrued. I used to mull it over endlessly too.

There is such a lot of talk about GCSEs in the news and if your DS about to start year 10 you are bound to be concerned. He won't take the 'new' GCSEs though will he? I thought they started for current year 7s?

When DD was stressing about GCSEs I pointed out to her that the A* is a relatively new grade, and an A used to be the top grade. A* was introduced to distinguish those students who got nearly full marks on a paper from those who 'only' got 80%. Schools sometimes put a huge amount of pressure on students and it is very hard for them.

Sparklingbrook Fri 14-Jun-13 12:34:01

That's it isn't in monikar, we were spoiled getting a whole five minutes. And you don't want to interrupt and stop the teacher talking. I am a huge overthinker and it seems I may have passed the trait down. sad

Yes DS1 is still with the current system, DS2 will have the pleasure of trying to achieve a Grade 8. smile

Sparklingbrook Fri 14-Jun-13 13:09:21

Can I ask a question? How do you stop the GCSE years (10 and 11) from taking over everything? DS1 knows it's going to be hard work and has actually said he is worried about it.

How do we survive the next 2 years?

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