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Year 12, worried parent and pupil please advise

(25 Posts)
Year12 Tue 17-May-16 11:23:48

Hi

Thanks for reading.
I have RTFT on year 12 preparing for AS levels but there isn't any specific answer to my problem so have started this thread.

Year 12 DD is studying Chemistry, Maths, Physics and RS.
She not sitting the papers for Chemistry and Physics due to suffering from anxiety, panic attacks and low level depression.
She intends to drop RS.

At parents' evening predicted grades were low but all teachers said not to worry and that they weren't indicative of the overall final grade that could be achieved.
We asked if DD needed any additional tutoring help and were told "no".

I've been contacted by a member of staff, suggesting the DD needs to reevaluate her uni choices as it's unlikely that she will get the AAA or AAB that she needs to get into Uni.
I asked if it was just DD in this situation and was told a number of pupils are in the same situation (not that this makes me feel any better).
I asked this as I think there is a bit of panic at the school with this new system, I have lost faith in the school and the support of the staff.
She's been to see one of her tutors today to ask for additional help and was told
"I've never known a grade E student get a grade A" hmm

My questions are;

Is it worth getting additional support over the summer and going over the work for the past year?

Should she try and work harder and improve her grades or just accept that she won't achieve?

Is anybody else struggling or have a huge disparity between what they thought they were capable of and what is likely?

Thanks again, DD and I are both really down about the whole thing, we need a fresh perspective wine

mouldycheesefan Tue 17-May-16 11:30:54

💐 tricky situation for you both.
If she is dropping RS and not doing the papers for chemistry and physics does that leave her with one A level maths? Or can she still get A levels in physics and chemistry without the papers she dropped? If so, does that impact on the grade she can achieve?
Sounds like you to need to meet with school and find out what are the highest grades she can get, with the dropped papers, what is she actually likely to get based on current performance, what university options does she realistically have? You need them to be realistic, if that means that she is destined for an E grade you need them to be honest and tell you this. Their is no point fudging the issue saying she could get A grades if it's unlikely.
Honesty is the best policy for a realistic evaluation of the options.

Cathpot Tue 17-May-16 11:42:40

Tutoring can be a transformative process. I have taken a student who had been told she should drop the subject to a B, not through some miracle process of my marvellousness, but because tutoring gave her the confidence that actually , she could do it. She was very motivated and worked her socks off and came to me for the time and space to get her head round key concepts and ask all the things she was too shy to do in class. So extra help might well pay off in all sorts of more holistic ways as well as improving her grades, particularly if she is struggling with anxiety. Having said that I agree that you need more information from the school -it seems odd than her previous predictions were so far from what they are predicting now. Does she know what she wants to do at uni? Does she have the motivation to put the work in? When you say she is not taking the papers are these mocks or the real exams and if they are real do the exam board know about her situation?

aginghippy Tue 17-May-16 11:49:17

Physics and chemistry are linear now, anyway, so she could sit the exams next year and get the full A levels anyway. The dropped papers won't make any difference. My dd is doing these subjects. Her school aren't entering students for the ASs if they are going on to do the full A level.

Is it worth getting additional support over the summer and going over the work for the past year? IMO yes. If she is willing to do it, she has nothing to lose. It would certainly boost her confidence. The school seem to be doing a good job of knocking her confidence hmm

Should she try and work harder and improve her grades or just accept that she won't achieve? Absolutely. Improving her grades is always worthwhile. OK she may not go up from an E to an A, but if even she goes up from an E to a C, that would give her more options for the future.

Bear in mind the teachers could be wrong about their predictions. The new syllabus is new to them too. You could well be right about the school panicking about the new system. Our dc's year are guinea pigs angry.

Year12 Tue 17-May-16 11:52:40

Thank you for the replies!

Correct me if I'm wrong but she's under no obligation to sit the Chemistry and Physics papers as she's continuing both subjects next year. It's now a two year course so even if she did sit the exam she would not get an AS grade.

So, moving forward to next year, she will have AS results for RS which she will drop and General Studies (compulsory). GS does not get her any UCAS points.
She will then study 3 full A Levels.
Chemistry
Physics
Maths

She would like to study Engineering (broad based) and is looking at
Birmingham
Sheffield
Durham
Bath
Nottingham

The mental health issues are being dealt with, she has been prescribed Propanalol. She's not dependent on these, probably takes 1 a month.
She is also seeing a counsellor for therapy regarding these issues.
She has improved immensely and the counsellor suggests the therapy should end after her exams.

She's at an independent school which is why paying for additional support has been avoided thus far.
I feel like I'd be paying twice.
Although obviously I'm willing to do anything to support her and improve her grades so she can go onto study Engineering.

Thanks again smile

Year12 Tue 17-May-16 11:53:59

Cross post with aging...

Yes, too right they're Guinea pigs.
I know someone's got to do it though!

hesterton Tue 17-May-16 11:58:07

A good tutor will help her build her confidence, and a really good tutor with be very specifically diagnostic with assessment and pinpoint what is causing her issues with regards to the subject.

But how realistic are these grade predictions? Both your A and the teacher's E?

jeanne16 Tue 17-May-16 11:59:21

I am also worried about the physics and chemistry AS exams. The schools have no idea what is coming up in the exams. We just have to hope that all the pupils are in the same situation so this will be taken into account.

noblegiraffe Tue 17-May-16 12:01:04

Teachers were idiots for saying tutoring would not be beneficial, any extra support from an expert is useful.

What's her predicted grade for maths? Has she missed time off school? Obviously if she wants to do engineering her maths grade will be quite important.

Year12 Tue 17-May-16 12:04:32

I don't know Hesterton, she's been constantly assessed throughout the year though.

It may be important to add; each subject has two teachers.
Teacher 1 for physics (no grade estimate yet) says DD is interested, engaged and doing well.
Teacher 2 has said she's negative, not working hard and dismissive.

Very disappointed with teacher 2, he's the only teacher that has had FULL disclosure about her MH issues.
At the minute DD says he's exacerbating them!
DD plucked up the courage to go and see him this morning (a big deal).
She apologised and asked if they could start afresh and try to improve.
She then text me with the above comments about her going from an E to an A.
I don't think he acknowledged or accepted her apology.

Where do I find an A Level tutor? smile

Year12 Tue 17-May-16 12:06:45

Her attendance record is excellent.
On the whole she's a bright conscientious student.

Again, no firm predicted maths grade, she was doing past papers for S1 and S2 yesterday and was getting 80-96%.
Hopefully she'll get an A, possibly a B.

Year12 Tue 17-May-16 12:09:20

Noble, I think it's a situation of where they feel damned if they do, damned if they don't.

As mentioned up thread, it's an independent school, so they're well aware that DD's education is already being paid for.

Reassured somewhat by reading that some DC aren't being entered for exams and that we're not the only ones in this situation.

Year12 Tue 17-May-16 12:10:05

Jeanne flowers

Year12 Tue 17-May-16 12:11:15

Sorry - the maths revision yesterday was S1 & C1

noblegiraffe Tue 17-May-16 12:17:25

Sounds like she is doing well in maths then (assume you mean C1 and C2?) which is good.

The teacher who says that he has never known a student going from an E to an A is probably talking about a student who gets an E at AS going on to get an A at A-level - that is exceptionally unlikely, because the E grade counts as half the A-level. However as your DD won't have sat any exams, it's still all to play for. I would definitely advise a tutor and some intensive work over the summer on the Y12 material - she won't have much time in Y13 to revisit it.

noblegiraffe Tue 17-May-16 12:19:00

Incidentally, I do know a student who went from an E to a B in Physics, she resat her Y12 modules alongside her Y13 ones.

titchy Tue 17-May-16 12:49:38

I wouldn't worry about not sitting the AS exams. Some are, some aren't. Won't make a jot of difference.

What might be useful though, is that she attempts them once they're published and you know the grade boundaries. As no-one actually knows what the grade boundaries of the new style AS/A levels will be students are tending to be assessed very harshly. I suspect the reality will be higher than expected grades.

aginghippy Tue 17-May-16 13:10:01

My dd also wants to study engineering. Like your dd, she is hoping to go to a 'top' university. Some of the ones you mentioned are are on her list too.

It's worth remembering that there are many universities offering engineering courses and the range of A level grades required varies enormously. Companies recruit graduates from all the courses at all the different levels to work for them. Even if her grades are not as high as she had hoped, she can still go to university and work as an engineer if that is what she wants to do.

Lou2711 Tue 17-May-16 13:22:52

I'm only 21 so my alevels weren't long ago. I actually failed year 12 but took it as a life lesson and decided to change my subjects and restart the year. Doing that was the best thing. I got into a Russell group to study a subject I was passionate about! I know things have changed since I left sixth form but I would personally say tutoring isn't going to work now. Does she really enjoy her subjects or is she doing them because she thinks they look best on a personal statement? That was my prob!

teta Tue 17-May-16 13:34:28

I have a DD doing the same subjects.Was your daughter an A* pupil at GCSE?If so she has the potential to do much better than she is doing and tuition should help.However most private schools give pretty accurate predictions and I would be worried why the school is so negative about your daughter.Is she definitely doing all the work required?Can you ask for an appointment with her teachers or Tutor to find out what's really going on?

Witchend Tue 17-May-16 13:56:46

Dm is a maths tutor. She would take your dd on and expect to bring her up probably 2 grades assuming she was well motivated. She might well bring her up more, but she wouldn't promise anything.
She's had a couple of E grades up to C, only from tutoring after mocks, and one D up to an A (although he was a lazy one!). So tutoring certainly can bring well up.

What were her GCSE results in those subjects like?

Year12 Tue 17-May-16 16:07:29

Teta - GCSEs were lower than predicted, she was predicted straight A/A*.
She got 7 A/A* and 3 B.
One of the B grades was physics.

DD was disappointed but she stayed on at school so didn't have any outside offers that were grade dependent.

She fully intends to sit the missed papers once they're available, it's just that they won't form part of the official school results.

Thank you for those kind words aging smile

Lou - she's had her heart set on engineering for sometime, there's a real push at her school into the STEM subjects.

I hope that's answered all questions, thank you for your replies, I am very grateful flowers

Year12 Tue 17-May-16 16:08:21

7 A/A star that should say.

catslife Tue 17-May-16 16:50:48

most private schools give pretty accurate predictions.
For the reformed A levels i.e. Physics and Chemistry, no-one really knows what the new grade boundaries will be and so no school will be able to make an accurate prediction yet. Most sixth forms are using previous years' grade boundaries as a guideline, but given that the content is harder (one AS level chemistry topic is being taught to both AS and A2 students for example) and it is the first year of a new specification, it is likely that the grade boundaries will be lower than previous years.
As a guideline, many A level pupils in past years have moved up 2 grades between the end of Y12 and Y13 and if there are extenuating circumstances, which appear to be the case here, it may be possible to improve more than this.

Year12 Tue 17-May-16 18:29:00

We are both confident that she can improve.

Mr Physics is just crushing her spirit at the minute!

We are in the East Midlands if anyone can recommend a tutor please?

Ideally someone who can go over the whole of the year 12 syllabus during the 8 weeks she's off during the summer.

Thanks again...

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