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Twins with differing abilities - transfer from GCSE to A Levels

(21 Posts)
MEgirl Thu 11-Dec-14 15:01:33

For those of you with twins who have had different GCSE results, how have you managed with the fallout.

It is looking more and more likely than one of mine won't be able to do the A levels that he want as he may not get high enough GCSE results. Additionally, two of the subjects that he wants to study have been put in the same option block. This could impact on which universities he'll be able to apply for.

Does anyone have experience with this type of situation?

TeenAndTween Thu 11-Dec-14 15:25:00

No twins, DD1 in y11.

re Differing results. Presumably the twins realise they have differing academic ability. I would think you need to talk up the other strengths of the one with lesser academics.

re Option blocks. Have you looked at other schools or 6th form colleges? Not all schools will option block the same ways. If you think the GCSE results may not be good enough for choice of A levels, I think it is essential to have a Plan B, so it is clear the sky won't fall in if come 20th August the results aren't as desired. DD1 has a Plan A, a Plan B, and a Plan C. (Actually I think she is best suited to Plan B anyway).

MillyMollyMama Thu 11-Dec-14 17:56:35

I don't necessarily think that twins have greater problems with varying academic ability than other siblings. There are plenty of children who cannot match what their sibling achieved. My DD1 got a place at Oxford. DD2 - not academic. You just have to support them in what they want to do and not make reference to the differences in ability.

MEgirl Mon 15-Dec-14 11:14:17

MMM, thanks for your reply. While there is a lot of truth in what you say there is one big difference with twins. They share almost all of their time together at school and at home. They don't get much of a break from each other due to being in the same classes. Siblings of different ages have different classes, different teachers and different friendship groups that they interact with daily.

They are not in the same classes out of choice. That happened due to GCSE choices and top set placements in a small cohort (150 per year). Previously, R-Y9, they were separated and the difference wasn't as great. We were not always sure whether the differences were down to the child or the teacher.

We are working on Plan B, providing extra support. The one that is struggling is able to achieve but health problems have caused him to miss a lot of lesson time and this in turn had damaged his confidence. We have applied to another 6th form but the requirements are high. The local FE college has no subjects that DT1 is interested in. The school are not being very helpful at the moment in finding alternatives but we keep asking for help and hopefully it will be forthcoming eventually.

MassaAttack Mon 15-Dec-14 12:45:49

I can see how being a twin adds extra stress here; it's going to be harder to avoid being down on yourself if another person with exactly the same upbringing and at exactly the same age seems to be 'better' than you. I'm an only child in my 40s and I regularly compare myself unfavourably against others!

Have you tried posting on the Multiples topic, op?

MEgirl Mon 15-Dec-14 13:00:18

Thanks Massa. I'll try on Multiples though they mainly discuss younger children. I've searched high and low for a forum for parents of teen twins but can't find one.

TooHasty Mon 15-Dec-14 18:11:19

It's just a fact of life that they are going to have to get used to.

I would mention to the school about the options clash though because there may be many others in the same boat.At our school they ask children to give an indication of what A levels they might want to take and from this information draw up the subject blocks.

Legodino Mon 15-Dec-14 18:14:12

Different people blossom in different areas of life. Of course they have different strengths and everyone will get a knock back at some point.

MEgirl Mon 15-Dec-14 20:12:41

We've already spoken to the school. They use a computer system to arrange the blocks. There is a BTEC which appears in both block A and block B. Maths in block A. Further Maths and Computing in block B. We asked if it would be possible to swap Maths and Further Maths around as it looked as though it would affect few other. The school said that the current blocks only prevent 3 out of the whole cohort getting their 4th choice but if they swapped the two subjects then 12 would be affected. DT1 put down Chemistry as his 5th option because he had to put something but has no interest in styudying the subject. He wants to choose both Futher Maths and Computing. He will end up having to study Chemistry, a subject that he doesn't like and most likely won't do well in, and drop it at the end of Y12. He's the one who is struggling. The other one will be given all of the options that he chose which happen to be the same subjects so they are faced with being together all the way through to the end of 6th form unless one goes to a different school.

fromwesttoeast Tue 16-Dec-14 18:01:50

Just wanted to reply as I also have twin sons in Y11. Both want to do computer science A level. After that they aren't sure, one is stronger in maths than the other and I'm hoping he will do maths. The other might do statistics. There's not much difference between my two, so I'm not facing the same dilemma, but they are both struggling over choices and whether to do the same as each other it not. Their interests have always been very similar.
Can't really help you, but I can empathise!

TooHasty Tue 16-Dec-14 21:22:26

So is your academically weaker son doing FM MEgirl?

MEgirl Tue 16-Dec-14 22:08:45

We won't know whether he will be allowed to take FM until their GCSE results come back. I spoke to the Maths teacher yesterday who feels that if he stays put in class and puts in the revision time, there is no reason for him to not get an A*. The requirement for FM is an A. He will have a better feel for what is likely to happen after they take their mocks in February. DT1 is feeling a bit more confident after I relayed the conversation to him. Keeping fingers crossed.

GlaceCherries Wed 17-Dec-14 08:39:48

MEgirl my understanding and sympathies for you and your sons - I have twin girls who are academically very similar and also unforunately, competitive sad

However mine are only 12, so these stresses have yet to be tested for us. I wanted to point you towards this twinsclub forum which does have a few regulars posting on it who have teen twins. So there might be someone there who could advise. Good luck to your boys.

TooHasty Wed 17-Dec-14 08:58:40

Well he's not that bad academically if he I going to get some A*s .How much better dop you want him to do?

2rebecca Wed 17-Dec-14 08:59:18

If my kids were unable to take their desired higher combinations due to timetable rigidity I would be looking at the options in surrounding schools and colleges. It is usually fairly easy to move school/ college after GCSE/ standard grades.
Doing the subjects they need for their career is more important than where they do the subjects (assuming same quality of teaching).
The teenager has to want to move but as a parent I'd look into the other options and then suggest it to him as a possibility when you know the situation in the other schools/ colleges.

mummytime Wed 17-Dec-14 09:10:33

I would definitely look for another sixth form. Lots do Maths and Further Maths as 1 1/2 A'levels.

MEgirl Wed 17-Dec-14 12:22:15

Too Hasty are you trying to be goady. If you read upthread you will see that I mentioned that he has had health issues and missed a lot of time off school. He was predicted to get good grades but currently is no where near where he should be. His recent exams have come back with much lower marks and he is worried and scared that he won't get the results that he needs. It looks as though he is going to fail Music, might only get a B in maths and even in Physics he might not pass muster. Predicted grades are only that, they may be revised downwards after they've taken their mocks. We have a plan in place to do lots of revision and attempt to plug the gaps while at the same time try to have a decent break over the holidays.

MEgirl Wed 17-Dec-14 12:59:43

Thanks GlaceCherries, I'd forgotten about Twinsclub and they didn't come up in my searches. Heading over there right now.

TooHasty Thu 18-Dec-14 10:43:21

'Too Hasty are you trying to be goady. '

oh for goodness sake!

Madlizzy Thu 18-Dec-14 10:49:36

If you can afford a tutor for him, I'd consider that. My triplets at in year 11. The boys are similar ability and my daughter is less academic. They've all chosen different 6th form colleges so no comparison between them, even though the boys are doing similar subjects. Also, does he have to choose a 5th option?

Surreyblah Sat 20-Dec-14 08:29:19

Might tutoring in the key subjects help?

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