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Please tell me your A Level success stories!

(11 Posts)
Justturned50 Mon 09-Apr-18 20:19:35

My DS17 really doesn't seem to be bothered and I don't see the point in nagging. I can't always be there to push him. He drifted through GCSEs with little or no effort and did just fine (capable of more though).  He's a clever lad and wants to get on but doesn't seem to have any drive. Feedback is that A levels aren't going particularly well but he won't ask for help and won't put in the time to get back on track. Is it a generation thing?

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KingscoteStaff Mon 09-Apr-18 21:56:36

Is he Year 12 or 13?

Justturned50 Mon 09-Apr-18 22:17:25

Year 12. AS levels in a matter of weeks.

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noblegiraffe Mon 09-Apr-18 22:21:20

Generally it takes coasting students poor results in a set of exams to give them a kick up the arse and realise that what worked at GCSE won’t cut it for A-level. Some then go on to turn it around in Y13, but a lot of time has been wasted.

KingscoteStaff Mon 09-Apr-18 22:22:37

Will the school/college get him to restart Year 12 or chuck him out altogether if he doesn’t hit certain targets this summer?

Justturned50 Tue 10-Apr-18 07:39:11

Kings it'll take some fast talking to get the school to let him stay on for year 13.

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KingscoteStaff Tue 10-Apr-18 11:11:09

Ok, well what are the options?

- start year 12 A levels again at the same school
- start year 12 A levels again at a college
- Swap to Btecs at another college
- Start an apprenticeship with day release

I would send off for a load of college / apprenticeship prospectuses and leave them on the kitchen table for him to have a look at. If you have a chat about his plan B, C and D you may find that he might be relieved to step off the purely academic route, even if he goes back later.

I am a year behind you with my DS, but I think A levels are demanding, even for a committed, hard-working teenager. They aren't for all, nor should they be.

LoniceraJaponica Tue 10-Apr-18 22:51:26

I didn't think schools did AS levels any more. DD's school was one of the few that did them last year.

TammyWhyNot Wed 11-Apr-18 09:39:15

Yes, some schools still do AS levels.

TammyWhyNot Wed 11-Apr-18 09:48:05

OP, no I don't think it is a generation thing.

From what I can see many young people are now pushing themselves harder than in previous generations because in many cases Uni requirements have gone up, the pressure is greater or they feel thay have no chance without good results.

Maybe your DS responds to this pressure by sliding out from it and refusing to engage -
Maybe he doesn't see the point as he doesn't have something he is aiming for? Does he have any thoughts or plans for post A level?
Maybe he has a good dose of teen laziness and lack of discipline and having coasted though his GCSEs has given him a false sense of security?
Maybe with less than starry reports from school he is panicking and thinks he can't make up ground, so isn't even bothering.

I guess each of these will require a different tack. But he CAN make up ground - he has only two terms work to revise! Nagging hasn't helped, so maybe flattery and encouragement, along the lines of he is intelligent (managed GCSEs while coasting) so he can use his intelligence to get the benefit of the hours he has put in at school by going over his course books.

In the end they seem to do it their way, and one way and another , unless more serious issues are going on (mental health or drugs, crime etc) they seem to flourish, even if it isn't the way we wanted them to flourish.

Good luck.

Justturned50 Wed 11-Apr-18 20:48:45

Thanks Tammy. He does have plans and wanted to go to Uni but is now saying perhaps we won't. But has no inclination for anything else.

When I asked him the other day whether he needed a motivational chat he said that if the threat of being asked to leave 6th form doesn't do it then nothing will. I suggested that perhaps a more positive approach along the lines you suggest might help, but it feels like nothing I can say will make a difference.

He just doesn't seem to want it badly enough and isn't prepared to put the work in even though I have said there's still time. He's not behind on the work as such I don't think. Exams are the last week in May and he's had 2 weeks holiday and has done nothing at all.

One thing he has said is that one teacher has said that it's up to them to motivate themselves as he isn't bothered whether they pass or not. He's paid whether they pass or fail. I don't think he is strongly influenced by that kind of attitude.

Want to shake him. He's so capable. I don't think he lacks confidence.. just can't be bothered to put the effort in.

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