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Year 10 parents evening - such pressure to get As and A*s, when a C is a pass

(151 Posts)
BigSandyBalls2015 Fri 22-Jan-16 09:23:05

Sorry if that sounds defeatist and lacking in ambition for DD. She's doing well, she's taking 11 GCSEs and she's on target to pass all of them at C or above, but last night the pressure was seriously on for her to achieve the As and A*s that are her predicted grades at the end of year 11.

This is more for the school isn't it? Their figures/data. DD doesn't want to go to uni, she's not sure what she wants to do really at this stage. She hates studying, we have to nag and bribe and confiscate to get her to do anything, and she's a fairly anxious teen, so I've been backing off a bit.

These As and A*s that are 'predicted' are solely from the results of her Year 6 SATS, it all seems madness to me.

Considering she is doing well, I feel that last night was depressing and disappointing from the teachers point of view, as she isn't doing as well as school believe she can.

I'm late 40s now and there was never any pressure like this when I was at school. And I'm sure there was far less anxiety, depression, self harm etc amongst teens.

Am I wrong to back off and let her find her own way.

BigSandyBalls2015 Fri 22-Jan-16 09:24:39

I should add that she was a very different child in Year 6 when she did her SATs, loved studying, very competitive with rest of class, wanted to do really well. She's not like that now at 15.

This partly disappoints me, partly makes me think she's growing up, she needs to do it herself, if she wants to.

briss Fri 22-Jan-16 09:25:40

As a mother of a year 11 with fairly average mock results I'm afraid I will say keep aiming for As.

Getting a C in maths and English is no fun and will seriously restrict her choice of uni.

Get a tutor!! Wish I had in in year 10!

Seriouslyffs Fri 22-Jan-16 09:26:14

What's her plan then? Fewer and fewer jobs don't need a degree and to do a degree, you need A Levels or BTECs and GCSE results are a good indicator of A Level marks...
If she's capable of getting As and A* and coasting for a C then you should be disappointed.

briss Fri 22-Jan-16 09:27:45

I don't think it's the A* predictions that is the problem it is taking so many! Why 11? Dd is taking 9 - unis only look at top 8 anyway. Could she drop one? Dd took art last year and was supposed to take design this year (so she would have done 10) but we decided better to concentrate on the other 8.

DropYourSword Fri 22-Jan-16 09:35:35

I actually agree with you, although I think many people won't! The pressure on GCSEs seems insane to me, completely disproportionate to the outcomes. As long as she does well enough to advance on to her A levels that's realistically enough. I remember I was a capable student and was really expected to get A*s, and my results were 5 As and 4Bs. I then went on to A levels and got an A and two Bs, went on to uni etc. Unless she has her heart set on a prestigious university I think having a balance between school and life is more important. Some of the girls I was at school with made themselves seriously ill with the stress they put themselves under. And the expectations can be unrealistic. Yes, if I'd worked hard enough I could have got an A* in any of my subjects, BUT not in all of them, just didn't have the time to dedicate to each one.

Seriouslyffs Fri 22-Jan-16 09:40:37

11 is too many if she's heading for Cs but could get As
What's she doing now and what career does she want to do?

briss Fri 22-Jan-16 09:53:36

You need at least a B to study sciences at A level at the school dd is looking at for 6th form

HSMMaCM Fri 22-Jan-16 09:55:31

The trouble is if she aims for a C she might get a D, so better to aim for an A.

Fatfreefaff Fri 22-Jan-16 10:06:30

I agree with you about the pressure but I have to warn you that C grades are not generally good enough to go on to A levels. Not sure about work or apprenticeships but surely A or B in maths and English would give her a better chance?

She might not want to go to uni now but she needs to keep all her options open as long as possible. Can you compromise and try and get her to aim for A & B in her better subjects?

Chopchopbusybusy Fri 22-Jan-16 10:10:44

I've always pushed my DDs to do the best they possibly can. They know I love them whatever their exam results are but they also know that I didn't fulfill my potential at school and that has meant that many doors have been firmly closed to me.
Just because your DD is not interested in university at the moment doesn't mean she won't change her mind. You said yourself how much she's changed since SATS. She'll change many times.

Needtoprotect16 Fri 22-Jan-16 10:11:11

It nay not be the sane as at your dd's school but a C doesn't secure you a place in the sixth form as they can only accommodate a certain number of children. Those with As are more likely to be accepted onto an academic A level course.

However, it may be that your dd chooses a more vocational route, taking engineering or health and social care, sport, journalism, dance, whatever. She can still go to university and follow this through. She may enjoy more practice-related courses. Not all of them are heavily theoretical but most incorporate some theory - which she might enjoy if she can see its application to practice.

TeaT1me Fri 22-Jan-16 10:11:13

Do people on mumsnet assume children of middle-class parents should get As and Bs in all gcse's at default. I've been wondering this recently.

TeddTess Fri 22-Jan-16 10:13:50

9 As is a better outcome than 6As and 5 Bs

why is she doing so many?

ifonly4 Fri 22-Jan-16 10:22:07

What does she want to do when she's done her GCSEs, an apprenticeship, college course or A levels?

If she wants to do A levels, then she will need to put what she reasonably can into achieving some Bs and if possible A/A* passes. There are rumours in my DD's school that by the time they apply to do A levels, sixth form will require an A pass (guess the new 8) in Maths. As children are being encouraged to stay on in further education, competition for places will be tough.

DH is in recruiting for a big well known company and he says they still look at what was achieved at GCSE level for a general all rounder, even applicants have qualifications or experience well above that.

I'm not saying I'm not sympathetic, but this is all part of modern day life and will only continue into adulthood. Personally I think she just needs to concentrate at school, put plenty of time into homework with time out for socializing/relaxing whatever. That way she'll have no regrets.

Seriouslyffs Fri 22-Jan-16 10:24:28

TeaT1me
A NT MC child at a good school, not necessarily grammar or private should get all As and Bs. One of mine didn't because she's a bit lazy and disorganised and I didnt push her to revise. But yes, if an apparently NT child with an uneventful home life got mainly Cs I'd assume the school was poor or there was perhaps some undiagnosed LD.

FourFlapjacksPlease Fri 22-Jan-16 10:30:53

I did badly in my GCSE's (was at an excellent school, but was a very rebellious teen) and then screwed up my A-levels (still rebellious - more interested in warehouse parties, smoking and my unsuitable boyfriend at the time) - I then did an HND in something I loved. Worked a bit harder on that because I enjoyed it but still not as hard as I should.

I have had a really successful career doing the thing I studied at college, earnt lots of money and travelled all over the world. Not one person has asked me about my shite GCSE results. I didn't even get a C for maths and it has made bugger all difference to my life and career.

I know this doesn't apply to everyone, and that certain career choices require certain grades at GCSE and A level. However, I think its worth reminding our stressed out, anxious, constantly tested children that it is quite possible to have an exciting, interesting career without a squillion A* grades.

My DD is in year 6 and is frequently being told her SATS results will affect the rest of her life. It's bollocks and I don't support it. I want my kids to enjoy learning, not feel stressed and pressured by it.

Melonaire Fri 22-Jan-16 10:31:02

It's the school's job to encourage her to achieve what she's capable of. If a child is capable of Cs when they work hard and they get Cs that's brilliant. If they're capable of As and get Cs because they didn't bother working that's not great. Effort is what should be celebrated.

If you feel it's impacting her health I can understand why you've backed off. it is harder to be a teenager now but I don't think that's down to schools.

IndridCold Fri 22-Jan-16 10:44:52

If her predicted grades are As and A*s then she should be working towards getting As and A*s, surely?

If she had been predicted Bs and Cs and was being pushed to achieves all As then you might have a point.

Melonaire Fri 22-Jan-16 10:45:00

With all the meddling with grade boundaries I'd be inclined to say put more effort into maths and English and aim for Bs and risk Ds in something else if necessary.

briss Fri 22-Jan-16 10:45:46

Fourfkapjaccks that's great but most decent unis ask for Bs in gcses in some subjects. It's much harder now to even get in to college with crappy grades. Sats ate nothing like gcses. Sorry if I sound dismissive but I would have said the same as you a few years back. Actually it's important that they get these grades, particularly if they are capable of it. I don't believe it's that much harder to be a teenager. They bring a lot of it on themselves with the constant social media use!

Melonaire Fri 22-Jan-16 10:54:32

I'm thirty <cough> something. Do you have any idea how much time I waste on here?

As a teenager I spent hours on the phone to people I'd seen all day at school dissecting every little thing that happened. If I'd had social media I would have been welded to my phone 24 hours a day.

briss Fri 22-Jan-16 11:04:33

local state 6th form asks for an A in maths for maths A level. I think odds are you just won't cope with it if you don't get an A at GCSE

VagueIdeas Fri 22-Jan-16 11:06:38

Of course it's not just for the school! They want her to achieve her potential, which means not coasting towards a C when she should be aiming higher.

Alfieisnoisy Fri 22-Jan-16 11:07:03

God help kids like my son who is autistic with mild learning difficulties then. The way some of you talk he is condemned to a life with no job and will be unemployable because he can't achieve even a C in Maths never mind an A.

Children change...I left school with no qualifications because I struggled with organisational skills and a poor home life. I wa able to knuckle down and learn as I got older and more independent. I now have a degree in Pubkic Health....not bad for the child who was written off as "not very academic".

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