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Bad mock exam results

(34 Posts)
SecretRed Thu 05-Jan-17 22:42:19

Dd got her year 11 mock results today and they were dire. Mainly d's, e's and a g (or the equivalent of). She has been predicted a-c's throughout and this was a bit of a shock.
It's come out tonight that she didn't do a lot of revision and she did not understand a lot that she had learned. I plan to kind of tutor her (although I am not really sure what I'm doing) for a couple of hours but is is possible to pull this back at this late stage? Any advice on what I can do to help her?

badasahatter Thu 05-Jan-17 23:09:41

I don't have advice, per-se but I feel your pain. I have gone through this with my dd (16) and am really cross with the school. Why leave it til last minute to tell us this? Why did they not know before that our children were struggling with comprehension? In my daughter's case, she lost confidence after compulosry GCSEs in Y9 when she was predicted A's/A*s and achieved Cs. She'll do better next year they said. She didn't. Predicted As/A*s and got Cs. So this year I pulled them up on it all and was told she was predicted c's across the board. This is a kid who, until Y9 was really academic. Now she couldn't give a monkeys about school. Sorry for ranting. I just don't understand how schools can get things so badly wrong with children and not know til this stage in the game...

I hope you get some structured advice and that you manage to address this.

SecretRed Thu 05-Jan-17 23:21:27

Thanks for your reply. I do think she has been let down by the school which is now in special measures. She had supply teachers in a lot of subjects last year and they are now she n catch up.
I do think a lot of it is down to her though. She's admitted that she didn't work too hard and has done nothing over the xmas holidays.
I too should have been on it more. I trusted her when she said she was revising. I also work full time and have younger dc's so I've not really focused on her studies.

superram Thu 05-Jan-17 23:28:08

I taught a couple of students last year who got a's-from sheer bloody hard work after getting g's in their mocks-target grade d's. I made their lives a misery so they got great coursework grades and she can do it as long as she does well in the cw element where there are them. She can turn it around.

badasahatter Thu 05-Jan-17 23:32:57

The one thing I would say is please don't blame yourself. Kids of 14/15/16 are not little kids any more and have to take responsibility for their own learning. They are, coincidentally, at a stage in their lives and development where the brain is not particularly well suited to being self motivated and self driven.

I know my daughter isn't perfect, but supply teachers have had an impact and so has the total over-selling of expectations and the under-delivery of analysis after exams taken so far. Surely, if tests get taken the results should form part of an action plan. Apparently, that's not how it works.
That's the part that annoys me. Sorry...I'm ranting again.

The key thing to take though is that as parents, you can't hang over your kids. I know mine would hate it if I hung over her and sorted out a timetable for her revision or anything similar. Having said that we have asked her to tell us exactly what homework she has every night so we can at least track the work coming in. We can't really track it going back as she's 16 in 10 days. She'll be old enough to get married in Gretna if she so chooses.

We are talking about near adults. Your dd has the same opportunity as mine to focus on her exams from now. I've told dd to concentrate on Maths and English, with science as a third priority. Anything else she gets is a bonus. You've trusted your child and that will pay off dividends in terms of her independence. She seems to know she hasn't done as much as she can and that might shock her into action.

I hope she pulls it out of the bag. I hope mine does too!! But if she doesn't for any reason, there are options she can take and I am starting to look into what those might be. We plan, they follow or they don't...then we have a back up plan, just in case.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 05-Jan-17 23:36:31

I'm very cross about the predicted grades too, seems to bear no relation to actual grades most of ds's mates got. I think it lulled them into a false sense of security.

Ds flunked maths- we're getting a tutor.

bojorojo Fri 06-Jan-17 00:02:43

There is absolutely no excuse for a school predicting A/A* and the child getting a C. Taking exams early is frowned upon by Ofsted if a child would have achieved a higher mark by waiting until Y11. Y9 is just stupid. Any school that gets predictions this wrong is clearly not assessing the work and tests that the children are doing accurately and is giving false hope. Grades can be improved but you cannot revise what you do not understand or haven't been taught. I would ask the school what they are going to do regarding extra teaching and revision before the summer. All these schools sound poor to me.

CauliflowerSqueeze Fri 06-Jan-17 00:15:41

75% of all predictions are too high.

CauliflowerSqueeze Fri 06-Jan-17 00:16:48

Extra sessions and revision groups have been proven to be very ineffective. They need good teaching in lessons and for the students to take responsibility.

noblegiraffe Fri 06-Jan-17 00:18:05

If the school is in special measures and there has been a succession of supply teachers then I wouldn't expect this to change particularly between now and the exams. The school would have not put supply teachers with exam classes if there were super-experienced and competent teachers floating around twiddling their thumbs.

I would make plans to address the studying at home. Which subjects do you need resources for? There are lots on the internet and I'm sure posters would have good ideas.

If you want to know how to structure revision then this is a useful post:
missdcoxblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/how-to-prepare-for-exams/

As is: www.cultofpedagogy.com/learning-strategies/

ShanghaiDiva Fri 06-Jan-17 00:19:16

I don't think it's too late. The following may be of use to you:
- your dd needs to be honest about how much revision she did - are poor results due to lack of work or lack of understanding?
- exam technique is as important at subject knowledge. Download a past paper, answer paper and examiners' comments and together with your dd really look at what was required for each answer and how marks are allocated.
- make sure your dd understands what is required by different questions -ie key words such as explain/describe/justify/examine - often marks are lost because candidates don't understand what they are being asked to do, despite having the subject knowledge.
- your dd needs to be doing active revision - working on past papers, condensing knowledge etc - not sitting in front of an open book hoping it will all go into her brain. Perhaps look at different revision techniques - mind maps, for example.
- ime past papers are the key to exam success - you find that questions can be repeated or are very similar and this will help your dd gain confidence in approaching her real exams later this year
- what is the school planning to do to support your dd?
- as previous posters have mentioned your dd is nearly an adult and she has to put in the work to improve - whether that's improving her subject knowledge or working on exam technique.

bojorojo Fri 06-Jan-17 00:28:23

Research I have read shows 87.3% accuracy at GCSE to one grade. Therefore telling a student they are on track for A*/A and the student gets a C is statistically in a fairly small minority of poor predictions. Other research shows 54% accuracy (exact grade) at GCSE but that was for 2014. A level predictions are, I think, less accurate but I haven't checked published statistics.

The government likes to look at KS2 results as being the best predictor but quality of teaching is of course a major factor as is choice of subjects. I would still not be happy with these schools because they have not assessed the student's work accurately, or even close to accurately.

Redsrule Fri 06-Jan-17 04:40:54

Despite the annual media comments, to get good grades at GCSE requires hard work from the pupil. To say extra sessions are valueless Cauliflower is ridiculous. Yesterday 47 pupils turned up to my extra session in English, that is why we are in the top 1% of schools nationally for progress in the subject. Pupils are aware of the aspects of each subject they need to work on and there is a timetable of extra sessions. So they can choose when to go because they know where they need extra support. But OP I would agree that is where the teachers need to identify for each pupil where they need to develop, good luck, I know of loads of pupils who have had awful mocks and great results!

JustRichmal Fri 06-Jan-17 07:55:56

noblegiraffe,those websites on study look really good. I used to read Tony Buzan, who even back in the 70,s was arguing children were taught what to study, but not how to study I would much rather dd did this in pshe than the "what coloured hat are you wearing?"

happynewyearchum Fri 06-Jan-17 08:58:24

I agree predictions are damaging, mine were too low and knocked my confidence (based, almost entirely it seems, on a below par SATs mark in English).

OhYouBadBadKitten Fri 06-Jan-17 09:11:36

for science can I suggest tassomai. It's not a magic wand though, they have to do it regularly.

TeenAndTween Fri 06-Jan-17 09:14:25

If your DD did sod all revision for her mocks it is not surprising that she got poor grades. It is also not surprising that she found she didn't really understand some aspects.

By doing active revision, including in particular past papers for maths and science she will be able to see what she does/doesn't understand/know. She has 4 months, it is not long, and she has 'lost' the time she didn't spend revising for mocks, but it is recoverable.

Unless everyone did poorly, I don't think this is particularly the school's fault. She knew she should be revising, but chose not to. Unfortunately that leaves her and you in the position of not really knowing what she is capable of if she works.

PhilODox Fri 06-Jan-17 09:27:29

When you say shes "predicted a-c" do you mean theyve been saying she's working at a-c all through, or her targets were a-cs? Schools we've looked at give targets (based on prior attainment, like dfe do) not predictions. Big difference, as the target is for the student to achieve (by putting work in) rather than a prediction based on how they're already doing.
I think it's v difficult for any school to predict what outcomes for English and maths will be this year due to the reforms. There's been so little information released.

bojorojo Fri 06-Jan-17 10:14:42

I think A-C meant no grades lower than C and in some subjects an A should be achievable. It didn't mean a range of results for each subject and with the mock results being below C, there is concern.

A school in special measures with too many supply teachers teaching exam groups is unlikely to have prepared the children well for exams and these children may well have gaps in their knowledge because they have not had the continuity of teaching required for good progress and results. Children also pick up when teachers are below par and even if revision sessions are offered, there may be misgivings about the quality of them. However, if they are offered, children should go to them and looking at any old papers (if available) is important to work out what you don't understand.

Teachers must assess children on the work they do in class, in tests and for homework. How well they do informs suggested outcomes for exams. It is not an exact science as the stats show but a child getting a D when they have been predicted an A shows a big problem. Exactly what the exams look like is a bit of a red herring as the teachers assess against the syllabus and use their skills to judge and Mark the work completed. If they didn't do this, they could never show the children are making progress. Frequently, in the worst schools, the children do not make sufficient progress, the school do not record progress accurately, and exam marks are less than they should be which is constantly pointed out by Ofsted. Therefore predictions can be wildly inaccurate.

So, find out what she does not know, get the gaps filled, and make a revision plan. Lastly, do the revision!

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 06-Jan-17 10:22:05

I'm actually dreading the English results on Monday, if the maths are anything to go by we're in trouble! Ds had A's and B's in everything else but he said maths was horrendous.

SecretRed Fri 06-Jan-17 18:56:16

Thanks for all the replies. I've picked up some really good information and it's reassuring to know that other students have turned this around.
I am determined to sort her out. She is capable of much higher than those grades and that is what has frustrated me.

ReasonsToBeModeratelyHappy Fri 06-Jan-17 19:10:46

It's really hard, I always worry that if I supervise and structure revision, mine won't learn to bother pushing themselves, and will just stop if/when they get to uni (someone I knew at school did this, always had great grades as her dad stood over her to make her work, then got thrown out of uni as she wouldn't do any work :-().
Predicted and target grades have become unhelpful imo, my DC's school is now setting them low, I think so that they can say '85% of student achieved their target'. The teachers say they have no idea why the grades are what they are, because they are computer generated...My DC got predicted B, and target C, for the same subject at the same time - utter madness!
I'd be tempted to get her a tutor, likely she'll be more likely to do what they say than if you're saying it (!), if you can find a good one, and can afford it.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 06-Jan-17 19:36:10

See if A level students tutor for gsces,they do at ds's school for a tenner an hour.

whyohwhy000 Fri 06-Jan-17 21:06:36

I don't really see the point of taking GCSEs early especially if they would have done better had they waited until Y11.

dottycat123 Fri 06-Jan-17 22:14:30

My ds1 passed 4 mocks and went on to pass 12 in his gcses. What I did was ensure that he had the correct revision guides for each subject and he attended all the extra classes put on by teachers, even those on Saturdays. I did test him using the guides. He was predicted mostly Cs but actually got almost all Bs.

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