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Page 2 | year 11 daughter struggling so much

(104 Posts)
sorrelli Sat 21-Dec-19 09:30:40

To cut a long story short, there have been extenuating circumstances which have meant that my daughter hasn't received much learning support until now, I have been unable to give it and have trusted that she would make good progress. She is well behaved, on time and the teachers say a lovely girl.

Her mock results were absolutely shocking, they were never amazing but they have plummeted, we have both suffered from depression and are getting our lives in order but she is not academic.

I have taken time off work to get better and help her focus. With mostly 1's 2's and 3's over 9 subjects I am now very worried she will not get in to sixth form.

The time we have left will basically be me teaching her all the content from scratch and revising. I am afraid her teachers are not interested in helping, they seem focused entirely on the higher sets getting them the results they want.

So the dilemma lies as follows: do we concentrate on the subjects she enjoys and likely to get highest results: History, Geography, French and English or mainly Maths, Science and English.

Her sixth form subjects rely mainly on Science, English and Maths.

However she is weaker on Maths and Science currently scoring a 1, yes a 1 but requiring a 4/5 to get into sixth form.

Please help me, what do I focus on with her?

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Sat 21-Dec-19 10:36:18

So she cannot get higher than a 5 in foundation papers.

Mulledwineinajug Sat 21-Dec-19 10:38:32

In your shoes I would want her to resit year 11 and pay privately for an Ed psych assessment if you can.

noblegiraffe Sat 21-Dec-19 10:40:30

The deadline for application for access arrangements (extra time) for her GCSEs is 21st February so if you think that this is something the school need to be investigating you need to be asking for a meeting with the SENCo first week back (they might say it’s already too late as there is meant to be evidence that this is your DD’s normal way of working).

When did you talk to the HoY about dropping a subject? Have you had a proper meeting to discuss your DD’s results?

GymSloth Sat 21-Dec-19 10:44:12

I think schools often can't let students drop subjects unfortunately as that just opens the floodgates to everyone wanting to.

However, I'd definitely get in touch with the head of year again and explain that you're going to help your dd2 and see if subject teachers can give you some pointers on key things your dd needs to focus on. Schools usually appreciate it if parents really are supportive and they ought to want to help you help your dd.

I would say definitely focus on Maths and English as they are key. But I'm not so sure Science should be your focus. Most jobs don't require GCSE Science. She's be better focusing on her stronger subjects - which sound like History, French etc. I think aiming for 5-6 'passes' including English and Maths would be great.

Oblomov19 Sat 21-Dec-19 10:51:27

Let me give you one piece of advice OP.
Email HoY and Senco. Put it in writing, so you've got a paper trail = evidence. Put it in an email
("Just clarifying what was agreed verbally at .... meeting of 19/12/19.....")

what has been said verbally. Verbal is useless, and will probably be denied later!

golfbuggy Sat 21-Dec-19 10:55:26

Sounds like my DS - he's also been largely ignored as doing "well enough". Funnily enough after his (mostly poor) mocks results he has been put straight into an English intervention class, so you might find your school does offer additional support after the holiday. I'm surprised you say your school is focusing on top sets - I'd expect the school to be focused on those that are under-performing in relation to targets (which generally isn't the top sets).

We are focusing on (in this order of priority)
1. He must at least pass maths and English
2. He must do well enough in the subjects he wants to study in sixth form to get onto these courses (and to be able to sensibly study them)
3. He must pass everything else.

We are trying to persuade the school to let him drop 1 or 2 subjects to reduce workload which might be a possibility for you (although you don't want to drop below 8 subjects)?

CheesecakeAddict Sat 21-Dec-19 10:55:49

It will be too late to get extra time as when they apply for it, they have to prove that it is the normal way of working.

How much work has she been doing out of school to try and get those 4s? What have her teachers said? Have they flagged anything up?

She can do this, and she is so lucky to have a mum on side. I would concentrate on her getting 5 GCSEs, at least with English and maths in the mix. I would speak to her school and see if she could drop a subject and use that time to study in the library or if there is a core y11 class going on at the same time, see if she could join that for the extra prep. Email the heads of department (because they will be more likely to respond if it comes through their line manager) just saying you'd like to help and you have a tutor but you would like to know any books or resources you can get and areas she needs to work on to get that 4 or 5. I would also ask them what intervention is in place because they should be doing something as class teachers. This doesn't necessarily mean extra lessons, but maybe being moved to the front to get extra help easily or being given extra homework to help her catch up. This would all help.

VioletCharlotte Sat 21-Dec-19 11:08:02

Hi OP, my DS really struggled with GCSEs for various reasons and left school with a handful of D's and E's, 1 in Maths, 2 in English. I did everything I could to support him - tutor for maths, revision resources, etc but he just didn't know the basics (for various reasons)

I just want to say to you that I know exactly how you're feeling, but it's important to remember there will be plenty of opportunities when she leaves school. DS went on to do a one year level 2 BTEC in a subject he enjoys, and a maths and English course (lower level that gcse but have him all good grounding that he's missed at school). He then went on to do a 2 year, level 3 BTEC (a level equivalent) and maths and English gcse.

The most important thing is to make sure your DD understands she's not defined by her academic achievement. Help her understand that there's always options, and the world won't end if she doesn't get the grades. Focus on supporting her to build her confidence and her self esteem and reassure her that she'll be ok. This is such a stressful time for young people, it's really important that as parents we help them to keep a sense of perspective, rather than putting pressure on them.

sorrelli Sat 21-Dec-19 11:37:50

If she got a 5 in maths in science and maths she would get the courses she really wants to do but whether that would be attainable for her in four months is doubtful sad

OP’s posts: |
sorrelli Sat 21-Dec-19 11:38:32

Yes, I might have to do this. Thanks for your thoughts and input.

OP’s posts: |
sorrelli Sat 21-Dec-19 11:40:02

We had a meeting and I asked about dropping food tech first off, was told there was no way she could drop any subjects.

Bottom line of the meeting was ‘try harder’.

OP’s posts: |
sorrelli Sat 21-Dec-19 11:41:47

I think so too but the subject she really wants to do needs a 4/5 in science and she’s adamant that she wants to try though I’d actually prefer she just focus on other subjects and re think her goals.

OP’s posts: |
sorrelli Sat 21-Dec-19 11:42:47

Thank you, I’ll do that now so it’s received first thing in January.

OP’s posts: |
sorrelli Sat 21-Dec-19 11:44:19

Thanks for that, I’d happily drop subjects such as food tech. I’ll try again but thank you for the tips on study arrangement and focus.

OP’s posts: |
sorrelli Sat 21-Dec-19 11:45:56

I really have tried, I think they’re sick of hearing from me recently. They’ve helped by emailing me resource text books I can buy on amazon.

OP’s posts: |
sorrelli Sat 21-Dec-19 11:48:36

Thank you, it really is difficult to know how much to push and how much to let them know the world won’t end if they fail.

She has never really tried. Her tutors say she has gaps in her learning which are holding her back.

I’ll support her through this but yes it’s important she knows she will be okay, thank you for your understanding.

OP’s posts: |
Oliversmumsarmy Sat 21-Dec-19 11:49:36

Is there a reason that she/you want her to go down the academic 6th form route when she isn’t academic.

Ds went from all 1s and a GCSE in Maths to being in a class of pupils 1-3 years older than him (Summer born) and top of his year in a practical subject with a near perfect score.

What does your dd want to do as a career?

AtomicRabbit Sat 21-Dec-19 12:15:14

I think there are some revision YouTube sites that can be quite good?

This is not a "learn GCSEs in 2 hours maths" video - but things like this could be good to do?

Here's physics as well - but there are loads of these resources online. I'd suggest having days off school and working through these videos and similar. She needs one-to-one tuition as much possible.

Focus on 5 or 6 subjects, no more, it won't be possible at this stage. Do the bare minimum for the other subjects, don't bother with homework etc, literally consign these to the bin. Get very very focused on the subjects she is going to try and at and give it your all.

Break down each subject into 12 sections. You have 4 months left. That's 3 sections per month. Set up a timetable and go for it.

Be honest with your DD that it's a long-shot. But you have no other choice now but to give it your best.

Also get the very very best tutor money can buy. Some tutors are far better than others. Oversee the work that is going on. Don't leave it to chance. Find someone else if the tutor isn't giving good results within 6 or so weeks. Good luck OP.

There are also audio files available. She can listen to these while she falls asleep!

And work on her self-esteem. You could buy her Robert Kiryosaki's book why C people work for A people.

a lot of very wealthy people did badly at school. Yes she must give it her best shot now - but this isn't the be all and end all.

TeenPlusTwenties Sat 21-Dec-19 12:25:59

You talk about '6th form subjects' if by this you mean A levels I would seriously query this route based on your info.

You later mention BTEC as also requiring science? Why is she choosing a BTEC that has a GCSE science requirement if science is one of her weaker subjects? That sounds to me like a recipe for trouble later.

If she doesn't get 5 x grade 4s then can she start the BTEC at Level 2 and then take 3 years over '6th form'?

History & Geography both have massive content. Even if school don't let her drop something she could 'drop' them bar lessons & homework by just doing no revision.

sorrelli Sat 21-Dec-19 12:51:25

Yes, the reason being she is sure of the path she wants to pursue and it is to pursue Psychology.

It looks like she may have to study subjects she has no real interest in or do a degree foundation year on joining university for Psychology. As she has not applied herself properly she wants to still try and see what she is capable of.

OP’s posts: |
sorrelli Sat 21-Dec-19 12:52:52

Thanks so much for those tips, will do.

OP’s posts: |
sorrelli Sat 21-Dec-19 12:55:08

By that I mean the subject requirements are 4’s if she wants to do btec and a mix of 4/5 for a level.

I have also sighed up for a year course focusing on main subjects at a college.

If she wants to try I won’t stop her and will help her as much as I can.

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Sat 21-Dec-19 13:19:29

Honestly I fear she may really struggle to get uni offers for Psychology, especially as it has a significant maths content and very competitive at the moment. Doing well at A levels from a 4/5 gcse is likely to be challenging. However that is some way off, focus on her doing the best she can now and getting solid study skills in place.

TeenPlusTwenties Sat 21-Dec-19 13:23:41

I think you/she should think really hard about the idea of doing A levels with a bunch of 5s at GCSE. Unless there are clear extenuating circumstances (which I can't quite tell), it would seem to me that scraping 5s is unlikely to lead to much success at A level. You would be more likely to be looking at D/E grades at A level than anything higher. Even if somewhere accepts her, it doesn't mean to say it is a good idea.

TeenPlusTwenties Sat 21-Dec-19 13:24:46


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