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Year 10 exam results - advice needed as yelling isn't helping!

(20 Posts)
maxtrue Tue 07-Jul-15 17:20:03

DD came home today with her results from exams - so not her final end of year.

They are awful - ranging from an A (in IT) to E!!!!!

I did my nut and now have a sore throat. She is more interested in chloe (from dance mums) getting a boyfriend than doing any study!

Reason for anger is I thought she was trying/studying...was I over reacting?

Please can any mum or dad give me some positive stories that their child came from poor year 10 to respectable a's and B's in GCSE's in year 11???

Thanks in advance!!!

Clobbered Tue 07-Jul-15 17:22:15

How is ranting at her after the exams going to help? I think you need to get a grip.

How about calming down, apologising for your meltdown and talking to her like an adult about what she wants to do next?

maxtrue Tue 07-Jul-15 17:27:02

Helpful thanks for that!

rebbles Tue 07-Jul-15 17:31:13

I'm not a mum yet but a teacher and I have seen this happen a lot. Say that you trusted her and from now on with exams you will have to keep a closer eye on her revision and how much time she watches TV, sees her friends, uses phone etc. until her results improve in her next report. Particularly as next year is so important.

Part of the reason is that they don't take end of year exams seriously enough. So if she knows that you do and you will be tracking her end-of-topic test results next year she will try harder and it will seem more important.

YeOldTrout Tue 07-Jul-15 17:37:14

What are her results predictions or targets?

ExitPursuedByABear Tue 07-Jul-15 17:37:24

This happened with DD but in a slightly more open fashion. She got her results a few weeks ago and she was deeply disappointed in some of her results in her 'strong' subjects. We contacted school who originally did not seem to think there was a problem but when we pointed out the drop in her performance they have put action plans in place for 4 subjects, the individaul teachers have discussed with her where she went wrong and they have given her consolidation work to do over the summer holidays.

I never felt the need to rant - DD was more disappointed than me.

TheFirstOfHerName Tue 07-Jul-15 17:38:07

DS1 performed lower than expected in his Y10 exams too. His results varied from 2 grades below next summer's target to 4 grades below. This was partly due to long-term illness and partly due to his defeatist attitude. If he comes across a tricky question, he ends up in a completely negative mindset and essentially gives up for the rest of that paper.

We have talked about what he needs to get next summer in order to be able to do the post-GCSE courses he wants.

When I initially found out his results, I felt very pessimistic and quite upset, but a few days later I am feeling calmer. He has learned from this experience, these exams don't actually count for anything, and hopefully he now understands what he needs to do in order to get the grades he wants.

YeOldTrout Tue 07-Jul-15 17:41:08

@Maxtrue: assuming the results were below predictions, is your DD disappointed?

Do you want advice about making her care or about keeping your sanity?
(those 2 goals may not be compatible)

SettingSail Tue 07-Jul-15 17:50:06

These exams count for nothing. My DS has similar results but he did no work. I have just told him to imagine how he would feel if he had an actual GCSE certificate with those results on, what could he do at college, how would an employer view it. He would hate himself if he didn't try and provided he works his hardest I will be satisfied. This is a useful lesson hopefully. But I have said I expect him to work for his mocks which are after xmas so he finds out what he really doesn't know after revising and has a chance to get help.. I plan to massively incentivise him for the actual exams next year. No point shouting - its their life, their choice. Your DD has plenty of time to turn it round.

maxtrue Tue 07-Jul-15 17:54:23

Thank you all so much for responding with positive replies.

Sat here in tears, yes I feel crap for yelling.
We spoke about these exams and end of year results after parents evening. I felt she wasn't doing enough and the teachers all responded brilliantly and I thought she had too. (as in felt positive about doing more work)

I even found the cash to get her a maths tutor to help with her confidence especially for exams. My feeling was that this would open the door for her to be more productive etc.

Yes she is disappointed but I will wait for the dust to settle before a proper conversation.

I also intend to get in touch with the school.
I will re reread your comments when eyes are not so wet!

TheFirstOfHerName Tue 07-Jul-15 17:58:11

I have also used this opportunity to set out my expectations for the mock exams next January. If DS1 is serious about wanting to do A-levels, then I want to see at least a B in those subjects in the January of Y11.

homebythesea Tue 07-Jul-15 19:40:43

What are her predicted grades- from your response I'm guessing they are quite good, and this is under performing? What revision did she do and how did she do it? How does she feel about it, does she have a longer term aim that will incentivise her?

As pp have said I think you need to sit down and have a quieter word plus an apology for over reacting! I'm an instinctive yeller so you have my empathy- I do it even though I know it doesn't help!

How involved are you able to be? I fear the reality is that these next few years do need more active help from parents in terms of support, keeping an eye on work ethic etc etc especially for those that don't have their own "oomph". And if tv or other devices are an issue then they need to be out of the homework room for a fixed period every night /some weekend time. Simple as that! Only you know what might give her some incentive and I'm a great believer in bribery. But also painting an accurate picture iof what life might be like if she doesn't perform next year versus what she wants to do might not hurt either.

catslife Wed 08-Jul-15 09:36:09

Not doing enough work isn't the only reason for lower than expected results OP. Other possibilities are that they may not have done all the work in class yet to obtain the higher grades, if this is the first real GCSE exam then poor exam technique could also be a problem. As well as predicting future grades for next year these exams also help teachers to identify areas that pupils don't understand so that these can be prioritised in future lessons.
The subject teachers should be able to tell pupils where they lost marks and what they can do in order to improve.
Also bear in mind that for sixth form (unless at a very selective school) you usually need grade Bs to take a subject at A level and a minimum of 5 A*-C grades overall. The most important subjects being English and Maths.
If pupils are aware what they need to be able to do to achieve their target grade then this is more meaningful than just "working harder". For most subjects would expect grades to increase 1 or 2 grades between the end of Y10 and 11.
However GCSE targets are computer generated and may not be completely accurate either so I would be cautious on basing your expectations on targets alone.

TeenAndTween Wed 08-Jul-15 11:21:23


You need to find out from your DD what work she actually did (hours, subjects, topics, methods). Was she really working, or actually texting?
Also try to get hold of as many of her exam scripts as possible.
From that you can see how effective the work actually was.

- did she do better in exams where she revised?
- what revision methods were effective?
- where was she losing marks?

She may have not revised. Or she may have revised ineffectively. Or she may have rubbish exam technique for some subjects. (Or she may have an unrecognised difficulty).

Does she care she didn't do as well as she could have? What does she need to get to do what she wants in the 6th form? (eg does she realise she may need A grades for maths and science to do them at A level?)

For next tests you could be more hands on:
- discuss and agree revision timetable with her
- test her
- get her to do practice questions and go through them with her identifying where she is losing marks. This also works well as a 'do you really know it' check.
- look at her revision notes/diagrams whatever
- make sure she has revision guides where needed

maxtrue Wed 08-Jul-15 11:46:08

Thanks again for your brilliant responses!

Had a good chat with a mate who has a lazy but clever son also not achieving what he should be which has helped just talking out loud.

I agree with getting much more involved in what she is doing but as I have been up to now very relaxed and let her get on with it herself this will take some work. But I'm prepared to do it and your suggestions are fabulous...

I haven't spoken to her fully about it yet, from memory maths and English were B or c's. Chemistry where she did put a lot of effort in was an E I think. Her predicted grades were A*-B.

This has been a massive wake up call for me and her, she now has to put the work in. Phone use will be restricted, homework checked.

Still feeling like a crap mother (single mum) and I have somehow let her down. I wasn't strict enough with her studies. I trusted her.

Thanks again everyone you have all really helped

catslife Wed 08-Jul-15 15:43:38

Am former Science teacher - will send you a pm.

FuzzyWizard Wed 08-Jul-15 20:04:43

Teacher not a parent. My year 10s this year have done really poorly. Mostly E-G grades. They have been lazy this year and haven't done any revision. A lot of them seemed to have a very skewed idea of how much work is required. My y11s this year did better in y10 but the year before that were just the same... Mostly Es and below in Y10 mocks and then they bucked up in y11 and got amazing results! It's not too late to turn it around but I do tell them that if they keep doing what they're doing at the minute they'll get the same result next time.
I wouldn't get overly concerned yet but would hope that this gives her the kick she needs to up her revision for next time. If there's no improvement in grades at the next round of mocks (my class will be doing one in September) that's when I would start to worry. I wouldn't be afraid to drop a quick email to class teachers of any subject with particularly low grades to see if they have any concerns though. I wouldn't mind talking mock results over with a parent.

Wolfiefan Wed 08-Jul-15 20:10:57

You are not a crap mother. No one can expect you to stand over her shoulder. Deep breath.
It may be that these results spur her on to amazing results.
Speak to teachers. I'd expect students to be below their target in y10 for English for example as it is a skill based course and not just a test of facts IYSWIM.
Speak calmly to her. How much revision did she actually do each day?
How does she feel about results?
Do you need teachers to set catch up hw over summer or does she need to draw up a timetable of what work she needs to do over the summer?
Good luck.

Wolfiefan Wed 08-Jul-15 20:11:41

Oh and ensure you know exactly what exam boards and exams she's doing so you can access past papers.

maxtrue Wed 08-Jul-15 21:48:48

Thanks for the replies you lovely lot!

We had a really good chat this evening (without annoying brother around) so she could be calm and I let her talk and talk.
She has decided to go from triple to double science which I am relieved at (was more than OK for her to do double in the beginning) which I think will help.
We discussed revision techniques, me taking a more active role in what she's doing, getting the teachers to give her work over summer etc. All very positive. she is very disappointed and yes I believe this is the kick up the behind she needed.
Looking again at the results with a calmer head, its not all bad - A in drama and IT - told her there's loads of money in IT (she's not keen). She is amazed at her E in geography as she was a B all year! History she bombed - paper was very hard. Maths C, English B (teacher expects A*).
So on reflection and with a good work ethic she can and will turn this round

So thanks again and the turn around stories give me hope!

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