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Dc very anxious about Y13

(5 Posts)
Dilbertian Tue 18-Aug-20 11:59:40

How do I reassure her?

She is doing 3 text- and essay-based humanities and is in a panic that they haven't covered enough of each syllabus because of the lockdown. For example, they haven't completed one of the Eng Lit texts, and have not started the remaining two texts.

She is a good student and tends to get As, but is also very anxious. I think she could probably do more work, but she gets overwhelmed with anxiety about how much she still has to do, and that holds her back. School have referred dd for mental health support due to her anxiety, and I have asked them to consider referring her for ASD assessment.

To my surprise, dd has not read ahead in her Eng Lit texts. This is part of the work that I think she could be doing but isn't, because of the anxiety.

I have suggested to dd that she do two things for the next two weeks until school begins again:

1) Park her worries about the syllabus. That is the school's job to worry about. I know there's no point telling her not to worry. But this way I hope she can acknowledge that she is worried, remind herself that it is being dealt with, and move on.

2) Read the texts for pleasure. Not worry about analysis or anything else, just enjoy them and become very familiar with them.

What else can I do to help dd?

OP’s posts: |
TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Tue 18-Aug-20 12:09:39

What did she do during lockdown? And what teaching did her school provide during that? Have they uploaded resources which she needs to access and make use of, for example?

Part of the problem for Year 13s like your DD is that Ofqual only seem to be making allowances for those A Levels with practical or fieldwork components in their changes to the expectations of what the exam will cover. The reason they gave for this was that they expected sixth form students to be more capable of independent study than the younger years and thus to have been able to make progress with their subjects during lockdown. Hence my question about what your DD did.

She absolutely needs to crack on with finishing the reading of her texts. Depending on which specification she's studying, she could also do some wider reading and research. My students have a lot of critical essays on their set texts to read, and I've also uploaded lots of links to things like the British Library and In Our Time podcasts to help them research the context of their texts (a crucial part of their assessment). Has she watched a good range of performances of her Shakespeare play? That's quite an unthreatening task to settle down to.

Dilbertian Tue 18-Aug-20 12:45:38

She engaged well with her lessons during lockdown. Two subjects had regular Teams lessons, and she was always up-to-date with everything in those subjects. The third subject had only work set and resources signposted, and that one she struggled with.

While dd felt the lack of social interaction with her peers was actually a positive thing for her mental health, it also meant that she refused to communicate with the teachers for the third subject when she started falling behind. And she only fell behind because she was trying to do too much (eg told to present info on one sheet of A4 and getting into a panic because she could not compress it down to one sheet).

Dd struggles to ask for help. She also struggles with not understanding what is expected or permitted - like being worried about reading ahead.

I'm not sure how many different performances she has watched. I'll ask her. Luckily we were able to see the modern play on stage before lockdown. Should we find other versions of that, too?

OP’s posts: |
KoalasandRabbit Tue 18-Aug-20 12:46:49

If it was my daughter I would acknowledge the worry - (both mine younger were getting 3 lessons rather than 5 a day so they could potentially be half a term behind). I would point out that there will be lots of other kids in this situation and acknowledge that it isn't great.

I would also then encourage her to help solve the backlog. Sitting and worrying about it won't achieve anything. She could maybe write a list by looking at the syllabuses of what she is behind with / still to be covered and then at least read the texts - or if too anxious if they are on Audible get it read to her. Are there revision guides or A level guides linked to her exam board she could read? Has she done everything that was set? A lot of children didn't so she could catch up anything she missed. Did school provide a reading list? I would basically do as much as she can to try and catch up the gap or study next year's in advance. You could maybe take her to a bookshop and see if they have anything useful if you have a good one locally.

So basically acknowledge its a reasonable thing to worry about but encourage her to find a solution rather than rely / hope school will solve it. She may not be able to solve the problem completely if she argues that but if she could solve 50% that's half the problem solved and in above case 3 weeks to catch up rather than 6. Catching up at home often won't take as long as at school as its just her rather than everyones needs being addressed.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Tue 18-Aug-20 13:14:08

Luckily we were able to see the modern play on stage before lockdown. Should we find other versions of that, too?

It depends what exam board she's doing and what she needs to demonstrate she can do. For the board I teach, students need to be able to discuss "different readings" of their Shakespeare play - so exploring and engaging with how other people interpret the text. This includes directors/actors as well as critics.

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