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Average (or lower) acheivers exam thread time?

(300 Posts)
yolofish Mon 27-Apr-15 00:57:20

Is it time for this? I mean those of us with kids who will not get 11 A*s in their GCSEs, or 4 A*s at A level.

I know most mumsnetters will not be in this particular boat wink but quite frankly in this house we just have fingers crossed for a C at GCSE English language for DD2, so she can get into 6th form and dance to her heart's content, and for DD1 good enough results to get into Y14 to finish off her media studies A level (started too late in Y11 to finish this time round).

They are not knuckle draggers, or indeed thick as pig shit (both comments I have read on here). They work hard, are good kids - but a row of A*s will not be on the agenda.

Join me please if you feel the same!

baycrestmum Mon 27-Apr-15 07:31:19

Heartfelt. We are crossing our fingers for DD to get a C for English (her others aren't as good either, half Bs half Cs). We are moving to London after her GCSE exams because of my job - late also to apply for 6th form in a new area - I guess we cannot apply until we have moved there? Oh, what should we do?

yolofish Mon 27-Apr-15 22:59:20

well for DD2: textiles coursework is within an inch of finishing. notes made for dance btec theory exam (this is allowed but all notes have to be handwritten?). dance practical is on thurs. she is staying on late every night this week (so from end of school to extra curricular dance)... she's not actually behind in anything but she gets really stressed and is a perfectionist by nature.

meanwhile DD1: bracket has fallen off her brace and she is awaiting major jaw surgery, hopefully this summer, but stressy stressy... however she just got a C in her maths GCSE mock (yes, I know, she's Y13, she's taken in 9m times) so we are very hopeful about that!

baycrest I dont envy you the whole move thing at this stage... hope if all goes right for you and DD

TeenAndTween Tue 28-Apr-15 11:19:40

My DD is I guess average (or below in mumsnet standards), she aiming for a mix of Bs and Cs.
She tries hard, but has limited stamina and struggles to grasp new concepts so learning is slow. First English mock was a disaster, second has gone better. Science is very patchy. She should get what she needs for college provided she can keep going. Scary that first exam is in 2 weeks.

Lilymaid Tue 28-Apr-15 11:28:54

Just popping on to say that I had a DS who was only an average achiever (6 B and 4 C at GCSE). He's now studying for an MSc on a highly regarded course at a top university. DH managed to fail a couple of O Levels and got mediocre grades for most of the rest and two years later had won a scholarship to Oxford.
They may or may not turn out to be academic in the long run but life is a very long run with lots of opportunities.
Good luck to all your DCs!

Northernsoul58 Tue 28-Apr-15 11:55:22

Ooo, I've been waiting for this thread for a long time. Mine is the horse that will not drink IYSWIM. He has always been just above average since Primary so no A*s on the horizon. But he's been told repeatedly at school that he could do more than the straight Cs he's predicted next year if only he would try harder.
Honestly, we could write the script for every teacher we meet at Parents' Consultation evening. 'Could do better', 'It's not about ability he could get Bs and As if only he concentrated in class', 'focused', 'stop telling jokes', or in one case 'he can continue to tell jokes because I enjoy his sense of humour, but could he also do the work please. (!!!!) Aaargh. It is so frustrating. We play good cop, bad cop at home. DH does the bad cop and withholds electronics and stuff, while I cajole and persuade and understand and sympathise etc etc, But in the end we can't make him do the work. So many times I've seen him 'reading' a text book while playing with rubber bands, chewing paper, looking out of the window.
I know there will be lots of parents whose DCs do try and still struggle to meet the academic demands of school - heck, when I look at what they do in school it quite frankly scares me, don't think I could do it. But it is also difficult to watch your DC drift carelessly through the whole school system and hardly dip their toes into the waters of work and knowledge. If DS was a grade A student I wouldn't be so worried, but I wake up in the night having nightmares for his future.
The argument that he might have an 'alternative' career (friends brush me off with 'he could become a comedian <aargh>) doesn't hold water because he simply doesn't have any work ethic. And I don't believe you can succeed in any job without some effort. Anyone?

baycrestmum Tue 28-Apr-15 13:15:32

Yolofish - thank you. DD is working so hard and has set her heart on 6th form. It would be heart-breaking indeed if she could not get into any school, either because of late application or her failing some subjects. She learns slowly. In fact I don't mind her repeating a year for some A or As courses, if that is even possible now.

yolofish Tue 28-Apr-15 13:57:56

mine seem to get results that are all over the place - DD1, dyslexic and officially thick according to whatever that IQ test they do at the beginning of 2ndary is. Yet she got a distinction for BTEC science, B for media GCSE, C for English etc. DD2 is apparently much brighter than DD1, but she got an E in her last science mock, and is really struggling to get that C in English so she can go into 6th form.

Maths is a disaster area for both (altho DD1 got a C in last mock, so prayers, fingers crossed etc). When I look at the maths papers I just want to kill myself.

All this shit about "exams are so easy" - I dont believe it.

But yes, I agree that life is a long game, and as long as they get the results to open the next door that's what matters.

Not looking forward to the next couple of months!!

yolofish Tue 28-Apr-15 13:59:59

northernsoul straight Cs sounds wonderful to me!

I dont put any pressure on mine apart from asking "are you revising" "do you have any coursework that still needs finishing". Other than that I try to make them laugh and have a cuddle in front of some crap TV most nights.

<slacker mum>

SunnyBaudelaire Tue 28-Apr-15 14:03:00

actually I think most mumsnetters are in this particular boat but it is only the ones with high flying kids that shout about it!

hmm lets see;
DS already has BTEC Science and C grade GCSE English which he can resit in the summer. Luckily he does not have to do an art exam as his teacher just let him do it in lessontime.

DD has finished her art exam and is completing the paperwork for her NVQ in engineering.

If anyone calls them 'knuckle draggers' or 'thick as pig shit' they will be due a slap.

Lancelottie Tue 28-Apr-15 14:12:16

Joiing in here, as DS might or might not get enough ASs to keep going for the next year of sixth form.

I'm not sure we have a plan B.

Horsemad Tue 28-Apr-15 14:12:26

Totally agree NorthernSoul58. DS1 ought to be getting A* x4 this August - not going to happen. Zero work ethic, and yet wants to go to uni! shock

It s beyond frustrating.

Northernsoul58 Tue 28-Apr-15 15:13:08

For the record yolofish, I think we parents of DCs who either work hard but don't get As or might get As but don't work at it (for various reasons, not laziness), share the same frustrations. After years and years of comparing DS with his friends and nagging and scaring him to try to get him to 'wake up to reality', I have finally realised I just have to accept him for what he is, not what I hoped he would be. I think that's what we all have in common. Just accepting that they are what they are.

Madsometimes Tue 28-Apr-15 16:56:34

Dd is in Y10 and not really interested. She was always near the top of the class at primary, straight 5's in sats etc, but lost interest and motivation in secondary school. She aced her cats tests in Y7 and has been given targets that she cannot achieve. Her teachers had her down as being lazy, and she has been on report for lack of organisation. We finally got her tested for dyslexia - she has very good NVR but terrible processing.

She is taking GCSE RE in a few weeks and is aiming for a C. She's very good at art but doesn't enjoy the analysis required or the fact that she can't chose her own topics but has to follow the class work. I doubt that her art grade will reflect her passion - maybe a B? The chemistry part of double science and French are probable D's.

She doesn't want to go to uni, which I think is sensible. However, she does want to do A'Levels and B's are required selected subjects which is going to be tricky. I'm trying to talk up BTEC's.

yolofish Wed 29-Apr-15 09:08:28

totally agree northern - accept them for what they are, and help them make the most of themselves, rather than wishing for something different.

It's hard though when you see the A*s all over the place, and everyone goes on about how life/jobs are soooo much more difficult these days, and very soon your lower achieving child will be on the scrapheap of life.... slight exaggeration there, but I'm sure everyone knows what I mean!

mad BTECs are great qualifications, very practical and focussed on using the subject in real life. eg in dance and drama they dont just act or dance, they look at how the theatre works, lighting, box office, etc etc.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 29-Apr-15 10:49:50

" very soon your lower achieving child will be on the scrapheap of life.... slight exaggeration there, but I'm sure everyone knows what I mean! "

do not listen to those types yolo. Probably mumsnet is not the best place to get a balanced view. My son might only be getting Cs and Ds he has also learnt a language by himself and is becoming known as 'boy who does jobs' in the area.
DD has already organised herself a residential training place doing something that she likes, and while she would probably score low on an IQ test, would score v high on a EQ test, which is more important for success anyway.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 29-Apr-15 10:50:46

and yes BTECs are great - a pass in the BTEC science is equivalent to a C at GCSE I believe.

Madlizzy Wed 29-Apr-15 10:55:45

Dd is hoping that she'll scrape a C in maths. She's pulled herself up from a G, and I'm really proud of her.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 29-Apr-15 10:57:44

That is brilliant MadLizzy - fingers crossed for her. I would also be v proud if my dd scraped a C. When I think where she started at the beginning of year 7.

yolofish Wed 29-Apr-15 12:26:00

you're absolutely right sunny and your kids sound great. DD1 has lots of EQ, but she is due to have quite major facial surgery straight after exams, and currently doesnt seem to have the confidence to go after too many opportunities. having said that, she did some volunteering in the local hospice shop and they adored her. she's stopped now, heads down for exams (she tries so so hard) but I am hoping come sept it will be part time school and part time work (of whatever kind) so she can build her confidence and independence.

madlizzy a C in maths is our holy grail for both girls! well done your DD. My 2 were both doing maths papers at the kitchen table last night, trying to share knowledge. DH and I (both in our 50s, quite capable, run our own businesses etc) could barely answer some of the questions. Either we've forgotten how, or the bloody subject has got harder, or something!

catslife Wed 29-Apr-15 15:07:17

Only just starting the exam treadmill, but Y10 dd is taking Core Science GCSE exams in May with target grade of C, so is distinctly average. She would be delighted to achieve this first time round so she doesn't have to resit next year to improve her grade make sure school league table position is good.
Yes Maths GCSE has been made harder when Maths/Science exams swapped form modular to linear a few years ago.
BTEC level 2 qualifications are equivalent to grade C or above at GCSE, level 1 is equivalent to grades D-G.

TheFirstOfHerName Wed 29-Apr-15 20:37:59

Another with a child in Y10. He used to be a high attainer, but after two years of mental illness the expectations are completely different. Currently grades range from A to F. One GCSE this year (in three weeks!) in a subject where he is currently on the C/D border.

yolofish Wed 29-Apr-15 22:22:48

DD2 had her first dance BTEC theory exam today - "ok but could have been better" was her verdict. On the plus side she has finished her 2nd solo for dance practical on Friday, and she seems quite happy about that.

DD1 has been refused extra time for A levels, having been awarded it for GCSEs. She is quite philosophical, school put everything into it they could including buying a special new computerised assessment, and SENCO had a really good chat with her about new strategies to help her cope without the extra time.

catslife weirdly I am relieved to hear maths has got harder because was beginning to think I had lost the plot. The way they word the questions makes me just want to curl up and die before I've even got half way through!

rubyshoes3 Wed 29-Apr-15 23:13:13

DS1 is doing his exams, he got a B in Science last year. He is predicted B's to E's. I just wish he would study more. Actually in the holidays he made a timetable and revised to that, but since school has started he has stopped revising as he says after being in school all day he does not feel like revising.
It looks like his school will not be giving study leave which I feel will effect his results as he studies much better on his own. Is anyone else's children's school not giving study leave?

yolofish Thu 30-Apr-15 00:00:23

ruby ours doesnt for GCSE they are expected to be in school til their final exam. BUT, the school lays on extra classes, revision sessions, one to ones etc plus a place for 'private' revision. seems to work...

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