This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Shockingly bad year 10 report(30 Posts)
So I knew it was going to be bad- but shocked at just how bad it is ! Behaviour is ok but every subject is way below the year average (selective school) I mean every subject ! All say he’s not engaged, has the potential but is very disorganised. We met with headmaster before these reports came out as we were concerned and he has been asked to get up to speed over the summer including taking in revision notes and past papers to prove he’s done it. I can see the battle over the coming weeks ... how do you persuade someone that lip service is no longer going to cut it and real action by then is required without nagging and causing a negative energy for rest of the household.please tell me it’s possible to turn a grade 2 into a 6 in the next year ! I have been trying unsuccessfully since year 7 to get him to start trying - I feel like a failure but equally can’t see what else I can do
You can lead a horse to water...
So he’s on grade 2s. Time to sit him down and come up with a plan for college. He won’t be continuing to sixth form. He’ll be resitting maths and/or English.
You need him to come up with a serious plan of action for when he fails his GCSEs because he will be making his applications shortly.
Maybe seeing the consequences in black and white might make him rethink.
If he’s disorganised, he will probably need your help in organising his time and revision over the summer.
One of my DC found it helpful to think of the effort and stuff required to tick all the boxes to get the grades as "playing the game" They didn't see the point or have the interest to put in effort but realised to reach the next step they had to play the game.
Totally agree with noble as applications for sixth form will show him he cannot do A levels with those grades.
From a young age we have pointed out that neither myself or Dh lives with our parents and so at some stage our children will have to move out and pay for everything themselves. We reminded them of this when they had new computer games, or clothes, the weekly food shop, holidays etc.
My year 11 boy has recently asked me to show him graduate job salaries and take home pay, plus local housing costs to see what that would look like. To children a minimum wage job sounds like a hell of a lot of money but realistically this is only a lot of money if you live at home.
To his credit my eldest was just an average achiever but he has worked his backside off to get (hopefully) the top grades for GCSE, this meant revising when his mates were still gaming. He did his own timetable for summer of year 10 etc and got me to test him. He was productive with his time.
Your son has to see that you will not fund him forever and the choices he makes now can impact his life.
Noblegiraffe thankfully he got 5s in English and maths but that doesn’t help the rest. We took him to a sixth form college instead of his school where he’ll need 7s to stay thinking it would shock him into action but unfortunately he really liked it and sees it as an easier alternative ! Thing I think he wants to do it but just doesn’t realise times tovking away. Looking for ways to inspire him without nagging !! Maybe seeing it as a game will help and possibly even cash incentives for getting good revision done !
Don't bribe with money for time revising.
Maybe for the end results.....
Boys can struggle to see the future as something tangible. To many, next week is an age away, never mind next year or five.
Noble is sensible. Get college prospectuses and start going through the courses he's interested in. That might be a reality check.
It's not too late but he really has got to work his arse off from now til next may.
At least he liked the college course. I think that’s fortunate rather than unfortunate. Was it a particular course he liked? I would say build on that. Take him back to the college, find out more and concentrate on the grades he needs to do the college course if that is what interests him.
Me, I’m old fashioned. The grades improve or the privileges stop.
It's definitely possible to turn it around. I got E's and U's in year 10, grew up over summer and realised I really had to crack on. In year 11 in my 2nd and 3rd papers I smashed it and got A's and A*s, came out with 6 B's and 5 C's overall. Something might click, if he's got a good understanding but just can't be bothered he can probably turn it around, but it's only him that can do that.
Suggest you come and join the "going into yr11, gcse 2020 thread". There are a few of us on there with under achieving children who are not putting in the work!
With my DS we have askd him to think about what he wants to do post gcse, then write down the grades he is aiming at. Next we are working at devising a plan (that he must buy into) to make it happen. But ultimately, if he doesn't want to work, you can't make him, but he needs to understand that means his life plan will be different.
I'd also suggest not to compare him with a selective school average (surely half the dc are below average??) but look at him as an individual in terms of what he can and wants to achieve.
God I missed that this is in a selective school. Honestly, OP, you need to be a bit tougher with him. 5s in English and Maths mean he could get reasonable passes in five subjects with far less effort than less intelligent children. His life is going to go in one of two directions here - don’t let him fuck it up!
I think you need to work out what his intrinsic motivation is and work on that. The future is too far away, but if you can build in ‘what do I want in six months time’ then work from there.
In six months I want to be able to apply for XYZ college to do ABC course, so I need ... grades.
And work out where his gaps in knowledge are- the problem with revision is everyone naturally revises what they’re good at. You need to get out past papers and work out what he doesn’t know- and this will be hard as he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, as he doesn’t know it 🤣.
But apart from that, you need to let him be the driving force. Offering money as an incentive can actually demotivate children, as they interpret that as ‘you don’t think I can do it’ or ‘you think I’m too stupid to understand why the grades are important within themselves’. The reward is the door that open to the next stage.
And to help him picture that future, definitely take him along to university etc open days in September. If he can see where this is leading, that will help him see the point in what he’s doing now.
Do you have any older cousins/older children of your friends who perhaps used to go to his school and are now at university? Perhaps ask them to write/email him about what they’re doing now, and what grades they got, and how they’re enjoying their college/university course. This can be hugely motivating for someone who is struggling to see the point in working or revising for things that they don’t feel interested in.
Essentially, you want to set him off on a good trajectory right now, rather than allow this to spin him into a downward spiral.
There also must be a middle ground between selective school that needs 7s for A levels and local sixth form college? DCs school requires 8 Level 4s with 5s in A level subjects (6s in maths and science) to take A levels, and has a great KS4 to KS5 progress value. Your DS might actually do better at a less academic school; is he demotivated because he thinks everyone around him is cleverer than he is?
I’m with *@herculepoirot2*. No wireless access until work done. But maybe sit with him (if you are able) to do the work (as it can feel v hard if he feels he is the only one in the house ‘working’).
He might do better at btecs etc than a levels? What would he like to do in the long term? With fees as they are, I would be advising ds to only go to uni if he was committed to his subject and willing to work. He could always decide to go later
Well you can't make him study. If he liked the 6th form college then I agree, concentrate on what he needs to get there. Make it clear what his choices are (being endlessly subsidised by you whilst he doses around not being one of them).
Increase his contribution to running the household - if hes not studying then he can more productive in other areas. Also get him thinking about part time jobs -make the expectation that he'll be supporting himself in a few short years really clear. Also gaining some work skills is a better use of his time than farting around, and some people do thrive in a work environment rather than a school one.
If he chooses to study , support him but make it clear it's his choice because it's for his benefit a d it will be his consequences if it doesn't pan out. Dont make this your problem to fix . But - and this is important - dont ruin your relationship over this.
Really useful comments
I have tutor coming who school recommended that doesn’t have specific subject but who is there to inspire and help him organise himself and is only in early twenties so hopeful ds will relate. I’m not expecting all 7s 8s snd 9s but expect him to be able to get a decent bunch as he managed to get into a selective. It’s so tricky isn’t it between letting them messing it up and nagging !
It’s so tricky isn’t it between letting them messing it up and nagging
Nagging is literally your job, you’re his parent.
I can understand your worries. I also have a year 10 boy. My Ds is currently being assessed for autism. He is at a selective school. Ds is incredibly bright but because of his possible ASD he struggles to see the point in revision. He has already told us that his gcses are pointless as nobody would employ someone like him. Because he has low mood he has no motivation.
We do get frustrated as Ds would be capable of really top grades. Fortunately because he is bright he is still doing reasonably well academically. He won't reach his full potential but the last year has been such a difficult one that we have had a bit of a reality check. Gcses are very important but having seen our child pretty much fall apart, we won't put too much pressure on.
Nagging is literally your job, you’re his parent
But nagging can be counter productive. Encouraging and supporting are surely better? And it's not just forcing your child to work that is necessarily the issue, it's making sure they work effectively So sanctions don't really work with school work IME .
(Case in point - my DS spent about 4 hours revising for his end of year 10 Economics exam and got a Grade 1. He is predicted (and should be capable of) a 6 at GCSE. Here it's not time, but quality of what he's doing.)
But nagging can be counter productive. Encouraging and supporting are surely better?
Presumably those strategies have been tried? My kids won’t get GCSEs far below what they are capable of (given a little work!) without hearing about it from me.
I think up to GCSE you can support by putting a framework in place. Work at a table downstairs, no games screens until x amount done. Some friends DC have found Tassomai or Seneca helpful as a 'playing the game' motivation as progress/scores trackable.
Has he been screened for Dyslexia, dyspraxia, executive function disorder etc?
It is possible that the "being disorganised" is a result of an undiagnosed condition such as dyspraxia. It can often be missed in high achievers.
Are the results real grade 2s based on GCSE grade boundaries and real GCSE papers or are the school using their own papers/ mark-schemes. Some high achieving schools have their own criteria for end of year Y10 exams.
Will there be any mock exams in the Autumn term as these are the ones for final GCSE entries? Usual progress from Y10 to Y11 would be 2 grades increase unless extenuating circumstances e.g. illness/bereavement.
Finally how many GCSEs is your ds taking? Better to have 8 or 9 higher grade GCSEs than 10 or 11 lower ones.
Fortunately the Y10 marks don't count towards the final results in Y11 in any way. But they may have to be declared on sixth form applications which won't look great and unlikely that current school sixth form will offer him a place.
Thanks everyone he was tested at school a couple of months ago and nothing wrong though they are trying to give him support on organising revision timetables etc. I appreciate it’s like taking a gcse a year early and nicks are in January - disappointing because I’m january exams he got 5s in the subjects he’s got 2s in. Today he has days he going to apply himself - hope it’s nog more lip service. School will want him to stay as it’s £19k a year ! But won’t takd him without 7s in subjects he wants to do and 6s in others - he’s taking 9 ad dropped to double science
Has he had an Educational psychologist assessment done?
Please login first.