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Year 7 results

(40 Posts)
CLL65 Thu 10-Jul-14 20:46:56

My DS received the following end of year grades, 5M in science, 6M in maths and 5M in English. His target grades for Science and English were 5H respectively. I'm cross with him for failing to attain his expected targets. Am I being unreasonable? It's just that he isn't working to capacity and his teachers know that he's scores do not reflect his ability. Any advice anyone?

BackforGood Thu 10-Jul-14 21:54:50

- 'Predicted' grades from the start of Yr7 are likely to be a bit of a 'stab in the dark' as the school staff don't know the pupils at that time.

- Some children take a while to settle/ adjust to what is a very different environment from their Primary.

- It may well be he was just 1 mark off - it's no big deal

- It may be (particularly in Science) that there have been some modules he's found more difficult, and next year he'll do ones that he really takes to.

As to whether you should be cross or not - I'd judge that on whether you think he's been putting the effort in during the year, rather than on a grade.

What did they say at Parents evening?
What did they say at review day / target setting day?
What does his report say ?

CLL65 Thu 10-Jul-14 22:04:09

Hi Backforgood, the reason why I'm cross is because he failed to meet the targets set at the parents' evening and his HOY and deputy have said that he's capable of achieving much more than he's currently doing. I have tried to encourage him to work hard and he'll be rewarded accordingly but he simply ignores my advice. He has admitted that he hasn't tried his best which he says is because he's found the transition to secondary school quite difficult.

As a punishment, I will not be allowing him to go on a previously planned trip and he's devastated but I'm hoping that this will focus his mind for September.

kilmuir Thu 10-Jul-14 22:06:40

How mean

kilmuir Thu 10-Jul-14 22:07:19

How will that focus his mind?

Hakluyt Thu 10-Jul-14 22:09:23

How horrible of you.

Would he like to come and live with us for the summer? We have lots of nice things planned.

BackforGood Thu 10-Jul-14 22:16:35

Right, so this isn't about reaching a particular level, but about him not putting the effort in?
I think your punishment is harsh and will only build resentment, not encourage work.
I think I'd have tried to put in either a carrot or a stick at the time of the Parents evening, and let him know what choice he's making / what he's depriving himself of if he doesn't work as well as he could.

If he's found the transition difficult, then I would have been talking with him about that during the year, helping him organise himself or whatever the issues are.

Herecomesthesciencebint Thu 10-Jul-14 22:17:48

Are you serious? Blimey, poor kid. There is more to life than tests and marks you know.

Is he kind? Helpful, funny, sweet, sporty, honest? Lots of things to celebrate im sure.

Goodness knows what he is in for at his GCSEs if this is your reaction to Yr 7 targets.

CLL65 Thu 10-Jul-14 22:24:23

I am not mean at all contrary to your views.

I have spoken to, assisted and cajoled DS to no avail. His report in March was atrocious and he was warned at that time that if significant improvements had not been made, he would not be going on this trip. I cannot now relent on my threat otherwise he will never take me seriously.

I do not want my DS to waste his life and will do everything within my power to ensure that he makes the best of life's opportunities.

CLL65 Thu 10-Jul-14 22:33:54


In response to your questions,
Sometimes he's kind. Sometimes he's funny and sweet. Is he sporty, no and is he honest, not very often, so no in response yo your comment, there isn't a great deal to celebrate!!!

BackforGood Thu 10-Jul-14 23:39:32

To be fair, if you keep adding in information after someone posts each time, then it makes it difficult for people to respond.

This has gone from 'AIBU to be cross he didn't reach set targets?'

'AIBU to be cross he hasn't put the effort in?'

'AIBU to follow through what has been threatened, and what he's been reminded of over many weeks and months?'

Changes things a LOT

Kenlee Fri 11-Jul-14 00:28:39

I understand your pain OP. I also understand the desire for your child to get high marks and being a high achiever. I too expect high marks for my daughter.

However, unlike you I have worked out that making ultimatums and setting negative targets do not work. I think you need to review your punishment and reward scheme.

I would reward my daughter with praise and love at her every success no matter how small or insignificant. Yet I would sit down with her and work out any failures no matter how big or small. In a calm and understanding way. To encourage her to be better.

I understand now that your child will not go on this trip. That is more about your lost of control of the situation. Than a result of his bad results. I do agree you have to follow through on your threat. Yet that threat should never had been made in the first place.

I understand more than most the effects of helicopter tiger parenting. It can really negatively impact on your child.

MadameDefarge Fri 11-Jul-14 06:16:43

You are being ridiculous. A child who achieves a minimum of level 5 at the end of Year 7 will be looking at achieving As at GCSE.

You sound awful. Year 7 is a massive upheaval for children.

You being overly pushy, the school is being overly pushy. You are verging on being a bully to him.

Cut the kid some slack.

picnicbasketcase Fri 11-Jul-14 06:35:05

My DS is below his targets on several subjects, it is disappointing but my attitude is, the school didn't know him when the targets were set and now he's going into Y8, they have seen his work and will adjust what his targets are in a more tailored way. I haven't punished him for it, just had a discussion about trying harder. They're only 11-12 years old. His whole future won't be decided by Y7.

noblegiraffe Fri 11-Jul-14 06:57:40

Be cross at him for not working hard, but don't be cross at him not meeting the exact sublevel dictated by his targets, because they are a load of bollocks. Sublevels are arbitrary and targets are generated by sticking a finger into the wind. It's not a science, it's a lie to parents.

mummytime Fri 11-Jul-14 07:01:59

I think that you may well produce the opposite of what you hope to.

You cannot force anyone to work, especially study.
By punishing him harshly in year 7 you are: taking away responsibility for his results from him.
You are also building resentment.

The consequence is highly likely that he will do even less work.
He could even find it harder to work as he will be stressed (if I don't get an A* I will be punished stress).

Grading is not perfect in most subjects it is very subjective, even in Maths it can depend on exactly which questions have been asked.
Have you even asked him why he didn't achieve his targets? Did you discuss with him and help him to reach his targets?

isitsnowingyet Fri 11-Jul-14 07:09:11

Listen to mummytime as she is giving good advice - I have two teenage sons who are year 8 and 9 and have really seen first hand that punishing them is not the way to go.

In the teen years keep the communication pathways open. Academic success is not the most important thing whereas emotional well being is.

AChickenCalledKorma Fri 11-Jul-14 09:18:32

Putting it another way ... despite your son having had a difficult year, when he has struggled to settle in, he has nevertheless kept on top of his school work to an extent that he is only one sub-level below his target (possibly a matter of a couple of marks) and has achieved a good level 6 in maths.

Think you need to get things in perspective to be honest. He's doing well, despite "not putting the effort in". He's at no risk of failing any exams with those grades. So there's plenty of time to work on the "effort" part of the equation.

Hakluyt Fri 11-Jul-14 11:22:43

How far off his targets was he?

Takver Fri 11-Jul-14 12:13:24

Hi again CLL65, so sorry to hear things are so stressful. I do wonder if year 7 is a more difficult time in many ways for boys than girls.

I know my dd has said (regarding a friend of hers who is a bit of an 'odd one out') that she thinks it is much harder for boys in her year at her school to be potentially seen as geeky / nerdy than it is for the girls. Its ok for the super-sporty boys, they can 'get away' with being good at academics, but harder if you're not so sporty either.

DH also commented this morning when he dropped dd off for a trip that it was very noticeable that the boys were all in a big loud scrimmage, whereas the girls were more separated into friendship groups and more mixed in behaviour (ie, some loud & boisterous, others chatting quietly) so probably more representative of their 'natural' personalities.

It was pretty obvious in year 6 at dd's primary that the girls were really hitting puberty full on, & a lot of them had a pretty bad year - I wonder if the boys are getting to that stage a bit later?

PastSellByDate Fri 11-Jul-14 14:31:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mummytime Fri 11-Jul-14 14:49:59

But surely those statistics only prove that usually bright children will do better on all tests. Very few scoring a level 3 in year 7 will have the general intelligence to get A's at GCSE.
That less than 2% who score L3 or less in year 7 and go on to A/A* are probably all those who have come from another country/first language not English and those with a SEN which has been overcome.

Grades other than A or A* can be perfectly good for individuals.

I know plenty of children who got great SATs at year 6, who by year 10/11 were totally switched off an underperforming. Being over punished for slipping a sub level (rather than allowing natural disappointment and the school deal with it) can be a huge contributory factor to children turning off study.

Year 7 is also a year of big adjustments and growing up.
And the best students gain fresh incentive to study when they have chosen options and start seeing where their work is leading.

PastSellByDate Fri 11-Jul-14 15:00:30

Sorry Mummytime:

madame Defarge was saying above that anyone achieving NC L5 at end Y7 was guaranteed an A at GCSE.

which simply isn't the case.

Yes - I do get the point that brighter children will probably do better - but I hope you will also accept that at some point it will also involve work - now there will of course be those gifted children that never need to open a book (oddly enough many a MN poster claims such children) - but I hope there is scope in those statistics to also include children where this stuff hasn't come easily, but they've put in the hard work across many a school year to achieve at GCSE.

My point mummytime - was that the OP isn't entirely wrong to be disappointed. Not sure about the punishment entirely - but her 'gut' instinct that NC L5 end of Y7 (and we dont' know where on the spectrum - I may be unfairly presuming just scraping NC L5 or staying there since KS2) - isn't good news - especially when school targets were higher.

Hope that's clearer.

MadameDefarge Fri 11-Jul-14 16:31:08

I think it is very likely that being level 5 MINIMUM as I said would pretty well mean very good grades, ie A at GCSE.

Levelling is some magic formula, they are made up, ok? They sort of correlate to GCSEs because we need them to. But as a reflection of childrens progress they are only much good in a macro way, not a micro one.

Sub levels can change all the time. Not getting one assessment very well, really flying in another.

Stop looking at levels as absolute predictors.

Level 5 is a good solid place to be at the end of year 7.

You will not enjoy the roller coaster that awaits if your ds plateaus academically in one subject for a couple of terms, but leaps a whole level in another.

Children learn at different rates, get somethings quicker than others.

They are not little machines that if fed enough harrassing and punishment will work to some notion of their best ability.

The child's ability is being used to settle in an alien, much more grown up environment.

Why would you be disappointed in your child for developing one of the most important parts of their abilities? While still achieving decent grades?

It is bonkers.

My ds is a good solid scholar. With quite sever SPLDs. This year he has tumbled a whole level and sub level in one key academic subject. Am I concerned? yes.But I communicate with the school and they are sure he will achieve A/B at GCSE - because the drop is temporary, due to moving over from KS3 to KS4 learning...while still only 13.

I am ambitious for him. But I would never punish him for not doing his very very best academically (whatever you imagine that it) in year 7.

As for the desperate scouring of tables, I am afraid it only either reassures the over anxious/ambitious parents, or does their heads in.

Use levels as they meant to be used. As approximate goals to aim for. Not set in bloody stone live or die by sublevel some seem to think they are.

So I can assure you, if my level 5b in Science DS at end of SK3 is pegged to get a decent A/B then I coudn't give a fuck about the level looking like shit. Its a guide, a flag along the road. Not the actual destination itself.

So while I appreciate all the spreadsheet activity done to dispute my assertion that level 5 as a MINIMUM at the end of y7 is a perfectly decent place to be academically, and that the OP should take her foot off the pushy pedal and apologise to her son for a) getting her priorities wrong and b) punishing him in a futile attempt to make him jump through the academic hoops she considers the most important thing at this stage in his life.

Poor little sod.

MadameDefarge Fri 11-Jul-14 16:34:57

My child didn't do sats, thank god. He simply did a CAT test pre-secondary entry. I am eternally grateful that I did not spend his primary years sweating about that crap.

And I use his levels and goals to monitor and support him, not berate and castigate him.

He is end of Y9, if that helps anyone.

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