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Issues in Y7

(16 Posts)
LoveBoursin Wed 09-Mar-16 09:04:21

Basically dc1 has decided to do less and less re work at school (and so far has been able to get away with it). Homework is done with as little effort as possible, usually at the weekend when he can't go on his tablet. No revision at all for tests etc... Apparently he has no idea where to find the coursework on the school website. hmm
Even his diary doesn't have all the homework written down in it...

Now is his form tutor the right person to contact to ask
- where exactly can you find the school work (slides on the white board etc...) on the website
- is it possible to check if dc1 is taking note of the homework to do?

And how would you handle the situation overall?
dc1 is a very bright child. They clearly haven't managed to keep his enthousiam for learning going, quite the opposite. BUT he also need to learn that learning is something he is doing for himself, not because teachers tell him to do it and something that has to be done whether it's 'boring' or not.
I'm not sure how to handle the situation atm...

Seeline Wed 09-Mar-16 09:13:42

I would definitely speak to his form tutor in the first instance. The tutor should also be able to tell you whether any of your DSs teachers have reported issues of lack of homework etc.

It will depend on the school as to how much of his schoolwork and/or homework is on the web though.
I have on DC who has all his hw posted on a special app - parents don't have access to this unless DC shows them, which is a little annoying. The other DC has some h/w posted on a similar app, but has to write all hw down in her planner, which has to be checked and signed by a parent and form tutor weekly. Strangely I can also access whatever is posted on that app via a parent version.

Do you have a homework timetable for your DS - at least you know what he should be doing. Ask if one is available.

Also, I find it odd that t your DS only has homework at the weekend. Both my DCs in Y7 have had little scope to delay homework with most being required by the next day, or at the next lesson at most. there is little that can be postponed until the weekend.

tiggytape Wed 09-Mar-16 09:21:09

Yes his form tutor is the person to approach if this is a general pattern and not specific to one or two subjects.

I suspect that being very bright and keeping on top of the homework (even with minimum effort) is masking the fact that he isn't really applying himself.

If he was doing really badly in tests, they'd know he wasn't revising but he's probably bright enough to do O.K. without revision so they assume this is his natural level.
If he failed to hand in homework, he'd be in detention but, since he is doing it and it must be of an O.K standard, he is getting away with that too.
So yes, it is worth letting his tutor know that whilst DS may seem to be doing just fine, he isn't actually working as hard as they expect him to or as hard as his decent results so far indicate.

I'd probably skip the comment about them failing to keep his enthusiasm going. If you were talking about one subject or one class then it may be fair to level that criticism at the school. If however it applies across the board, it seems more the case that DS is just choosing not to engage. Maybe the work is too easy and so he isn't having to bother (in which case that's a valid point) but it can't be the case that every single teacher in every single subject is to blame for not making it exciting enough.

LoveBoursin Wed 09-Mar-16 09:26:24

Diary is supposed to be signed every week by the parent. We have rarely seen it and I have been waiting for the school to pull him up on it but nothing has happened so far.
dc1 even forged our signature at some point (in a very obvious way, he managed to mispell DH name!) but again his form tutor who is supposed to check that didn't pick it up.

dc1 seem to have a lot of homework one week to the next or given to be completed in 2 or 3 weeks time hence the fact he can afford to wait until the weekend to do it all in one go (badly as of course it's quite a bit to do in one go)

I have no idea re how much coursework in on the school website but I do wonder how they are suppose to do any revision if they have no coiurse work on the website, no notebook coming back home etc... (Most of the stuff is done through the Ipad, even some of the hw).

LoveBoursin Wed 09-Mar-16 09:32:58

I suspect that being very bright and keeping on top of the homework (even with minimum effort) is masking the fact that he isn't really applying himself.

YY to that all the way.
What IS noticeable though is that his results in maths are slipping down. The problem is, he is still over the 80% mark so isn't considered to be an issue.

re the entousiasm, I'm not going to say anything to the school.
1- his form tutor did notice his lack of enthousiasm at the start of the year and commented on it but thought it was just 'normal' teenage behaviour for dc1. It wasn'#t and isn't. The tutor's answer was 'well he'll have to get used to be bored and go at the same speed that everyone else...'
2- I actually think dc1 HAS TO learn to cope with the 'boredom' and still pull his socks up. I'm sure there is scope for him to stretch himself if he can learn to stop looking at the whole school stuff as 'a pain in the arse that I don't enjoy'. Yes I'm sure some/a lot of the subjects are boring (too easy, things he knows already etc) but he also need to learn to do things and do them welln even if they are boring iyswim

tiggytape Wed 09-Mar-16 09:38:28

but again his form tutor who is supposed to check that didn't pick it up.
I really wouldn't go there with that point either! The tutor has 30 planners to look at and doesn't know your DH's name far less the correct spelling of it (many people have unconventional spellings).
The onus is entirely on DS not to forget to show you his planner or forge names. That is something that is at least as much your responsibility (ask to see the planner and sign it) as it is the school's and the school certainly isn't going to be doing signature verifications.

dc1 seem to have a lot of homework one week to the next or given to be completed in 2 or 3 weeks time
This isn't unusual. The idea is that they have a big geography project and every day that they have a geography lesson, they should do some work towards the project that evening. They don't have to of course. They can save it all up and do it in a mad panic the day before it is due but this is something the tutor may be able o help with - better planning and devising a better routine.

I do wonder how they are suppose to do any revision if they have no coiurse work on the website
The norm is that Year 7 tests will be end of topic tests or end of term tests. So they cover a new topic in class for a few weeks and then are set a test on it. Revision can be done by going over the classwork in their books. Sometimes extra resources are available online and your DS will be told where to find these. If he's not keeping track, this is also something his tutor can help with and show him where to look and how to log on. It may be that he needs to write the websites and log ins in the front of his subject books so you can also help him at home.

tiggytape Wed 09-Mar-16 09:42:09

well he'll have to get used to be bored and go at the same speed that everyone else...
This may be something you need to revisit.
At the start of Year 7 some schools don't set. All classes are mixed ability and may not be fast paced enough for very bright students - it depends on the subject and the teacher and the mix of other pupils.
However 'going at the same speed' isn't acceptable longer term if he is bored because he is covering old stuff and making no personal progress at all.

Have they been set by ability now?

Traalaa Wed 09-Mar-16 09:54:56

Do they give you any form of assessment as parents? I'm guessing you must? We get termly tracker type things, so they give a target grade for end of year and whether they're currently 'on track' or not. Also they get a grade for effort and a grade for homework. It makes it a lot easier to start a conversation with a teacher or your own DC is you've got that in front of you and they're failing across the board!

LoveBoursin Wed 09-Mar-16 09:59:26

tiggy the diary hasn't been signed for weeks now and his tutor hasn't said anything at all. I agree that the forged signature might not be picked on but surely no signature at all for 6 weeks should?

There are more or less no books.... most of the stuff is done on the Ipad. Notebooks (in a couple of sujecst only) rarely come back home and certainly don't automatically come back home before a test.

They are set in maths, not in the other subjects.
He is top of the top maths sets and we were talking in particular about maths with his form tutor. I did ask his maths teacher if dc1 would working at a higher level than level 6 (he got 96% on his level 6 test...) and maths teacher didn't seem happy. I have already worked out that they will NOT make him go faster than that (His expected level for the end of the year is a 7c, they won't go further than that). They do try and make him do other stuff in class (logic, nrich type of stuff) but that is it.

Planning isn't an issue as such. dc1 is totally able to plan. He just isn't interrested and prefers to play for 2 hours on his tablet rather do some hw (Can't do a lot about it, no one at home until 6.00pm and the tablet is used for school and homework so I can't removed it).
It's an issue about being disengaged in his learning rather not knowing how to get on about it.

LoveBoursin Wed 09-Mar-16 10:01:26

Traalaa
Nope we haven't seen anythig like this yet.
Just the target for the end of year given in November. There has been assessments that dc1 did tell us about, we've had some of the results back through dc1 (all orally). No feedback to the parents at all.

But I can ask when we should be getting that sort of information.

TeddTess Wed 09-Mar-16 10:04:07

he sounds bored

if i were you i'd be looking to enrich his maths out of school, he's clearly gifted.

LoveBoursin Wed 09-Mar-16 10:17:41

Tedd I did ask dc1 about that. He said he doesn't want to because then he is even more ahead and even more bored. In some ways, he is still hoping that one day he will finally do something harder at school and learn something and it will be interesting again.

TeddTess Wed 09-Mar-16 14:40:30

the enrichment stuff won't move him ahead on the curriculum stuff
it will broaden him
don't ask him just book it wink

Traalaa Thu 10-Mar-16 09:24:52

I'd ask for a meeting with the year head. You've already tried the form tutor after all. You could say you'd like some advice as he seems very demotivated and you're worried it's setting a pattern. Then once you're in the meeting ask forensic questions about how he's doing in terms of progress and if there's differentiated learning, more setting to come, etc. You never know, you might be pleasantly surprised and find there's more in place than you think.

You said that the tutor questioned his motivation right at the start of the year, which is interesting for the start of year 7 when it's all so new. Could DS be putting on a bit of that attitude because it's all new and he's wearing it like armour? It does sound like he's switching off and has decided to do so. That might be a totally reasonable approach to dull teaching, or it might just be a mindset he's got into a rut with. If it's the latter, the school should be on it and setting him challenges to pull him out of it. Do they have a gifted and talented/ extension policy? It sounds like he should be on it for maths at least. You say he's very bright, but obviously there will be other very bright kids too, so how are they getting on? Has he got friends at his level? Are they finding similar? Whatever you do, don't approach saying 'my son's bored' as that often gets teacher's backs up.

LoveBoursin Thu 10-Mar-16 11:47:24

Lots of very good questions.
I sent an email to his form tutor yesterday asking where on the website you could find all the course work and asking about ensuring all dc1 HW is written in his diary. I haven't heard about him yet.

I've decided to start tackling it as an attitude problem and remind dc1 that he HAS to work not just skivvy around. It's clear that the things he says are boring suddenly do get interesting when he is putting his mind to it (I'm thinking of a lot of the he that is in effect research based).
If his attitude doesn't change, then the head of year is the next step.
I'm not aware of any 'gifted' policy. The school is well known for its care of children with SN and SEN and for its lack of support for the G&T pupils...

Gobbolino6 Fri 11-Mar-16 06:55:59

He's still very young but he's slipping into a pattern I was in all through high school. I coasted and got top grades, but university was a terrible shock.
I would really have benefited in the early years of high school from a set homework time every evening when I did my homework in the kitchen with my parents there.

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