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Last year dd predicted B in science. Now getting Es

(30 Posts)
WhoTheFuckIsSimon Tue 15-Dec-15 18:27:51

She's in year 10. Was on track for B in science. Chose double science rather than triple as she couldn't do graphics if she did triple due to timetable clash and graphics is her passion.

I had concerns about science teaching this year and wrote a long letter to the head just after half term. Her chemistry teacher had been off sick and the supply teacher was useless. Was teaching them biology rather than chemistry. Dd had no homework from any of her three science teachers in the first half term.

The head emailed me back saying HoY would contact m. Sh did and said she had spoken to the head of science who had no idea the teachers weren't setting homework. And this would now be sorted. I was thanked for contacting the school. Normal chemistry teacher came back off the sick.

Dd has had some end of term exams, got an E for physics, D for biology and hasn't got her chemistry Mark back yet. Other subjects she's hpgetting A, A* and Bs. So I don't think it's her messing about.

She says she still hasn't had any science homework. She says her biology teacher is useless and talks to fast and that loads of kids talk/mess about.....which I can believe as school has a terrible problem with behaviour.

In fact when I wrote the letter about the science homework I also complained about behaviour in Geography lessons as dd said it was like a riot at times and the teacher couldn't cope. When the HoY rang me she said the parents of the worst behaved kids had been called into school and that the kids had been threatened with suspension, so it must have been bad.

Do I complain again? About the behaviour and the lack of homework? Or do I just give up, accept the school are shit and don't give a toss? Get her some revision books and tell her to get on with it herself? I really don't think complaining is going to help.

seven201 Tue 15-Dec-15 19:58:53

I would contact the school again. There is quite a difference between a current grade and a predicted grade. It also depends how different subject choose to set the boundaries for tests. I'm not saying 'all is fine, don't worry' but it is something to be aware of. It does sounds like the science department is a bit rubbish but unfortunately recruiting good science teachers is notoriously hard. I would get her some study guides and support as much as you can at home too.

strawberryandaflake Tue 15-Dec-15 20:02:58

If she's not getting homework then there are plenty of online resources you can give her. Sign up on the TES site and there are millions of worksheets and tasks and power points for free. Now is a good time to teach her about being resourceful.

Write to the governors, not the head if you want something done.

Good luck! X

TeenAndTween Tue 15-Dec-15 20:28:40

Either way I would strongly recommend revision guides.
make sure you get them specific to the board and current spec.
They will have everything they need to know and nothing extra.

Has the spec changed for the new year 10s? If not, then looking at past exam papers and related mark schemes (available online) is an invaluable part of revision.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Tue 15-Dec-15 20:40:36

Will email the school tomorrow and ask them what's going on, also. Find out which exam board they use.

Thanks for the TES tip, will have a look for resources there.

Dd has started vomiting. I suspect because I pointed out they get given their reports to bring home tomorrow and I reckon she doesn't want to bring her report home.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Tue 15-Dec-15 20:41:12

I don't think the spec has changed so will google for past exam papers as well. Thanks.

LapsedPacifist Tue 15-Dec-15 20:46:14

BBC Bitesize is your friend! DS had a terrible time with science GSCE for the same reasons as your DD. He even had some of his coursework stolen/destroyed by some little bastards fellow pupils and nothing was ever done about it.

Thanks to the BBC Bitesize website he managed to get a B in double science, even though DH and I are hopeless at science and weren't able to help him much ourselves.

bojorojo Tue 15-Dec-15 20:47:58

Clearly the Head of Science and Head of Year are not monitoring the quality of lessons or looking in the students' books to check what is being taught and the progress the students are making. How are the teachers assessing progress? How is progress being reported to the Head of Year/Science? Do ask. How can their predictions be relied upon? Therefore I agree - crap school. These usually have less than competent governors too who probably believe everything the Head says. What are their science results like? Do they have plenty taking science A levels? Very worrying but check the syllabus - and get revision books. In my view they are not a substitute for good teaching though.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Tue 15-Dec-15 20:49:05

Fab thanks. Will add bite size to the list.

I think dd is old enough to realise she needs to be proactive and do stuff herself. If she's not getting homework she needs to do stuff herself. But it's bloody hard motivating a teenager with little,interest.

She says it doesn't matter because she's doing well in the other subjects and wants to do a Graphic design degree not a science degree! Aggh.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Tue 15-Dec-15 20:53:20

Head of science obviously isn't checking the books at all. I wasn't reassured when I was told head of science had no idea they weren't getting homework! He bloody should know. My SiL is a science teacher at a school far, far away and was horrified.

Funnily enough my step mum is head of the governors at the school. She knows My opinion of the school. But I try not to slag the school off non stop to her. She's a community governor, not a parent governor.

No idea what their science results are like but only 37% of kids get 5x gcses. I know only one girl in lower sixth is doing physics a level. School has 220 kids per year in years 7-11 so is a large school. I'm guessing more boys take science.

RalphSteadmansEye Tue 15-Dec-15 20:56:10

Revision guides are certainly not a substitute for good teaching - particularly in science where they will need to do well in their controlled assessments and where the 6 mark questions are notoriously difficult to crack. Ds used YouTube for help with understanding answering 6 mark questions for end of yr 9 exams (they started science GCSE at Easter).

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Tue 15-Dec-15 21:08:43

Have found some of those Youtube videos. Thanks, I didn't even know about six Mark questions!

RalphSteadmansEye Tue 15-Dec-15 21:14:38

They're useful as they show how you can't just throw relevant information you know onto the exam paper and get a good mark; you need to structure your answer.

(Don't suppose you've thought again about moving her, OP? I think Christmas of yr 10 would be last chance saloon...)

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Tue 15-Dec-15 21:16:01

Yes, have thought lots about moving her. But she can't do Graphics and photography at other places and that's what she wants to do the most.

RalphSteadmansEye Tue 15-Dec-15 21:20:18

Mmm. Can do art and graphics together at ds's school (he is). But photography is A level only. Don't think your dd's school offer graphics A level, though, do they?

Probably best to throw everything at supporting her now with revision guides (and tutors maybe?) and move for A level.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Tue 15-Dec-15 21:32:02

They do product design at A level and dds graphics teacher assures me she can just do graphics in product design and not have to do other aspects of product design.

RalphSteadmansEye Tue 15-Dec-15 21:41:41


bojorojo Wed 16-Dec-15 18:00:19

Just to add.... a Community Governor has exactly the same status as a Parent Governor. A good Governing Body would be seeing regular reports on the prgress of children and should know where there are problems. 37% A*-C grades is below the Government's target of 40% and I would think there are pretty big problems. You can ask what the GCSE results are like in Science. If they do not publish them, they are not good!

catslife Wed 16-Dec-15 19:46:19

She's in year 10. Was on track for B in science.
It depends on what the grade B prediction was based on. If it was just computer generated it may not mean a great deal and perhaps you are putting a bit more faith in that target than you should. If the department aren't that great at teaching then perhaps they aren't that accurate at target setting either.
Are pupils set according to ability in Science or is the teaching group just linked to the other options that she is taking. The problem is that all pupils now have to take Double award (a few years ago less able pupils could just take Single) so this means that teachers are now having to teach a wider ability range in lessons.
If she isn't being set homework, agree with the others that she will need to do extra work at home and there are some good suggestions here.
There's still plenty of time for an improvement though so keep going.

CookieDoughKid Wed 16-Dec-15 19:46:56

Can you afford a private tutor to help fast track your DD?

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Wed 16-Dec-15 20:07:43

I think the B prediction was what NC levels she was getting in years 7,8 amd 9. Not sure if that's the same as computer generated?

We could afford a tutor and it's certainly something I would look into for year 11. Not sure I can afford it for 18 months so would rather leave it till she starts year 11.

GinandJag Thu 17-Dec-15 21:00:58

I would say that if your child has high predictions and is doing A/A* work in other subjects, it isn't just down to disrupted teaching. Any clever kid can pull out a C in Science with just the CGP study guides and BBC Bite Size. An E is laziness and disengagement. She might feel she is right to be disengaged because of useless supply teachers, but it is her future she is gambling with.

EvilTwins Thu 17-Dec-15 22:15:51

What did she get in KS2 SATS? The B may well be generated from that.

Does she bring school books home? Can you have a look at the standard of her work? I agree that an E in her exam is likely, at least in part, to be her not putting the work/revision in.

It's not always the teacher's fault.

mummytime Fri 18-Dec-15 06:14:24

My DD complained about useless teachers, but got A's by using revision guides.
It is possible to improve grades if the work is put in.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Fri 18-Dec-15 07:56:09

Interestingly she brought her report back yesterday. Science is lumped into one grade, not broken down. They've put that her current grade is a C and her aspirational grade is a B.

So not sure if this E in physics and D in biology she told me about was a one off and the rest of the term she's been ok so still gets a C. Ive realised the week they sat these tests she was away on a school trip so she sat them the following week, not sure if she was having a bad week if she was tired from the trip or had missed some revision classes.

I do agree with people who have said that a bright kid shouldn't get an E and that she needs to take some/a lot of responsibility for that herself.

Ive been looking at stuff on Bitesize and TES and am going to make her some revision booklets with stuff from there.

Her exam board is Edexcel. Does that mean with the TES stuff I should not use stuff from other exam boards? Ive found a good six question thing for physics but it's not Edexcel.


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