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What more can she do?

(14 Posts)
choirmumoftwo Thu 13-Sep-18 23:30:52

Just looking for thoughts really as DD is pretty upset today. Just started year 12 at school she loves, has lots of friends, fully involved in extra curricular activities and does lots outside of school. I'd describe her as very well rounded and committed, always reliable. Great GCSE results (9x2, 8x5, 7x1, Ax1 and A*x1).
She's started to feel as though nothing is ever good enough to get any recognition at school when she's clearly performing and achieving very highly. She's absolutely not spoilt or grabby generally but I think feels taken for granted. She now thinks her university chances are jeopardised as she thinks she'll never be chosen for a leadership role etc. She's aiming for top tier universities to read physics.
Is there any way to speak to school about how she feels without sounding like a pushy parent or making her look like a brat? She's well aware that life is not always fair but I think she may have a point in terms of feeling overlooked. Thank you.

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BubblesBuddy Thu 13-Sep-18 23:44:47

To be perfectly honest, she doesn’t need a leadership role to be good at Physics and get to a very high class university. What she needs to do, is nail the A levels. Look to see what else she can pursue to help her Physics application. This is much better discussed with her Physics teachers. Plenty of young people never get a leadership role in school. Find a physics related hobby and get magazines that broaden her knowledge and stimulate her enthusiasm.

Having said all of that, it can be upsetting to be passed over all the time and feel you are not reaching your potential. It’s also frustrating to see others getting recognition and you don’t. Plenty of us have been there and got the T shirt. Schools are not fair places. They reward a certain type of child. At our school it was hugely biased towards certain types of girls and ability wasn’t part of the equation.

So, be sympathetic. Don’t let her dwell on it. Get the best results and smash the university entrance. School leadership soon becomes irrelevant and she’s still a great person whether she gets a leadership role or not.

My DDs volunteered. That shows you have gone out and found something to help others. You have committed to it and given your time. You have learned from it. It’s way better than a gift from the school for being the flavour of the year!

GoodHeavensNoImAChicken Thu 13-Sep-18 23:55:46

If she wants to study physics then honestly all she needs to do is work hard at physics and maths. They really won’t give a damn about anything else.

This whole myth of “you need to be a grade 8, county level in 5 sports, head girl” sort of child to get into the vast vast majority of degrees just isn’t true unless they’re more vocational degrees such as dentistry or medicine where they need to see the skills for the vocation they’re looking for through extracurricular activities. For physics, all they want to know is that your daughter is bright enough to do their physics course and she has excellent GCSE results so I don’t see why she can’t go to any university she wants.

choirmumoftwo Fri 14-Sep-18 00:04:44

Thank you, you're echoing my thoughts exactly and this is precisely what I told her. She does lot of things already which show how committed she is to her subject and beyond and honestly, I wouldn't want her any other way. It's just hard to see her upset. I think she's always been one of those children who work hard, do well and cause no problems so inevitably, attention gets focused elsewhere in a school situation. She does love her school and we've always been very happy with it (never had to raise any issues).
Thanks for confirming my own feelings.

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coldrain2018 Fri 14-Sep-18 00:07:13

its worth mentioning to her tutor, can you email? I'm a tutor, and like to know if anyone in my tutorgroup feels like this. We can make a bit more of a fuss of someone, sometimes we assume they don't need it, when actually they do a little bit

choirmumoftwo Fri 14-Sep-18 07:06:38

Thanks, that's what I was wondering about - whether it would be appropriate to let someone at school know but in a non-complaining way.

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capercaillie Fri 14-Sep-18 07:15:01

I would let School know - in a very friendly way. Eg this is how she is feeling, we’re supporting her in this way but thought it might be useful if you were aware. My office is next to deputy head of sixth form and he would definitely want to know

RedSkyLastNight Fri 14-Sep-18 07:37:17

Good results in maths and physics will get her a top tier university place. What recognition does she need from school - surely if she's getting good results in her work, that should be enough to fulfil her.
I presume there are only so many "leadership roles" in school - if she does lots of extra curricular maybe she should look to have a "leadership role" there instead?

Without wishing to sound mean my main thought was that your daughter is in Y12. She'll soon be off to University and then a job. Nobody "recognises" you there - if you want someone to notice you, you have to push yourself forward, seize opportunities and market yourself. Sadly, just working hard and being a generally nice person (as it sounds like your DD is) will probably not be enough. Maybe it's a good time to learn that lesson now?

noblegiraffe Fri 14-Sep-18 09:25:48

How many leadership roles has she put herself forward for and been rejected? Do the school know she is interested in leadership roles?

Witchend Fri 14-Sep-18 09:52:36

What's set this off?
She has done one week presumably of year 12, and most schools I know of wouldn't be choosing leadership type roles at this stage-most are year 13, and even those chosen in year 12 I wouldn't expect to be so early in term to be fair on any new starters.
Is it perhaps a panic that she won't keep up with the work, or school telling them that they need to be pushing for leadership roles?

Universities-especially top tier physics won't care one little bit about leadership in schools. Even those that do care will regard leadership out of school at least as good.

choirmumoftwo Fri 14-Sep-18 09:53:23

I absolutely agree RedSky and she's not remotely precious usually which is why I'm listening to her on this occasion. She doesn't really want me to do anything about it, maybe just wants to know her feelings are valid.
Noble, it's more to do with not being put forward rather than applying so it's a little out of her hands in that sense. She thinks (rightly or wrongly) that if she's not on the radar now despite everything she does, she won't be put forward in year 13. She will of course apply when it's in her power to do so.
Honestly, she's the least precious child you could meet and we're definitely not remotely pushy parents - sorry if it's coming across that way.

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choirmumoftwo Fri 14-Sep-18 09:55:42

WitchEnd, I think she's also a bit unsettled as her brother is just leaving for university and she's going to miss him hugely.

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noblegiraffe Fri 14-Sep-18 10:05:11

Possibly at the start of Y12 she’s being told about stuff to do that will look good on her UCAS form and she is starting to get stressed and overwhelmed by the next steps, especially if her brother is off to uni.

JustRichmal Fri 14-Sep-18 10:10:04

I too have a child wanting to go into a STEM subject at university. I do not think that being in a leadership role may influence her university success. An enthusiasm for the subject will go much further. Also, as someone suggested earlier, dd does volunteer work. This is something dd likes doing, but I think it will suggest an ability to work with others, which is an important quality in science. The Lions club runs a scheme of collecting 50 or 100 hours service award.

Also, has your dd thought of joining a local observatory group or something of that sort? Whatever she does, I hope she does well in her chosen science career.

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