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Parents eve, year 7. DD very bright but arsing about.

(33 Posts)
sandyballs Thu 25-Apr-13 21:49:16

Feel depressed but this wasn't unexpected. I've been told this evening by 6 teachers that DD is very bright and capable of great grades at gcse but her behaviour lets her down. She is easily distracted and has got in with a crowd she wants to impress by doing the bare minimum and mucking about in class.

The only good feedback was from maths and science which are the only subjects they are streamed in so she is with a completely different set of kids. She's doing very well in these two subjects.

I feel we've let her down slightly by not even considering the local grammars when looking at secondary schools. I feel she would have been amongst kids who perhaps would buckle down more and it would have suited her needs better. IF she had got in, who knows.

Got to add that I realise its down to her as well, not blaming the other kids. We've talked to her endlessly about this, and I'm hoping the facts he sat and heard all these teachers say how disappointed they were will sink in.

Would love to hear how others dealt with this

MTSgroupie Thu 25-Apr-13 22:04:20

We dealt with it by putting DS into a selective school. Sorry, I know that wasn't of much help.

We recognized early on that DS, although quite bright, preferred the company of the boisterous kids. They weren't yobs or anything serious but they were often in trouble for chucking scrunched up paper at each other during lesson for example.

At his selective he finds the kids a bit too serious but he is studying hard. He still sees his old friends during half terms but at least during term time he is in a studious frame of mind.

sandyballs Thu 25-Apr-13 22:15:59

We are wondering if we should do the same. We've discussed it before but went with the "if kids are bright they'll do well anywhere" attitude but obviously not.

tiggytape Thu 25-Apr-13 22:18:17

Will the children be set later on for more subjects?
Do the teachers deal well with bad behaviour in the mixed lessons (in DS's school they are set for many subjects but in the mixed ability classes they have to sit in strict alphabetic order so there's little chance of being with any friends and certainly not a whole group of them to chat to or muck about with)
Do you reward grades and behaviour at home at all? I think it is sometimes tempting to ignore other things if the grades are good which is understandable but if high grades come easily to DD, it may be worth making more of a big deal out of any effort or improvement in behaviour for a while
What did the school suggest? Because obviously it has to come from them too and whilst you can support them, they are the ones who are on hand at the time to deal with this. If they have noticed, they should be planning to help curb this before it becomes too ingrained.

Saying that though, it is not an uncommon scenario when a child leaves primary, goes up to secondary and wants to perhaps start again and be with the popular kids.

MTSgroupie Thu 25-Apr-13 23:40:27

Parents in other (old) threads have said that their kids settled down in year 8/9. However, others have described DCs who went into their GCSEs with the same coasting attitudes. Impossible to say which category your DC will fall into.

sandyballs Fri 26-Apr-13 06:28:42

We don't reward for good grades because she isn't getting them, she's under achieving in everything except maths and science where she is in top set. Nothing else is streamed and won't be.

I like the idea of sitting in alphabetical order, might suggest that. It's low level disruption from a group of kids that DD seems to think are pretty cool unfortunately. Teachers deal with it with detentions from what I can see.

ryanboy Fri 26-Apr-13 14:55:22

some kids can arse about and still get good grades , most (not all but the majority) are like your DD and are capable of getting good grades with hard work.It is a tricky situation because she has to do it for herself really, you cannot force her to pay attention and try harder, in fact all you will succeeed in doing is turning her off it even more

ShipwreckedAndComatose Fri 26-Apr-13 21:01:05

It's difficult, isn't it. because, in the end she will need to learn how to disregard those in her peer group who are making bad choices. We all do.

However, she needs to learn this without completely harming her chances of success.

My gut feeling is that KS 3 is an acceptable time to do this as long as she does pull it together by year 9. However, without a crystal ball, it's tricky to predict.
But if you remove her, then are you delaying the point when she will learn this until a more important period of her life?

Not much help, really!

greyvix Sat 27-Apr-13 00:33:30

There should be seating plans. Ask for her to be moved, so that she is sitting next to like-minded students. (Able students, not those who will distract/ be distracted!)

adoptmama Sat 27-Apr-13 04:42:21

Arrange a meeting with either her Form Tutor or whoever is in charge of Gudiance/Pastoral etc in charge of her year/key stage. Find out what strategies they have e.g. daily target sheet signed by teachers and parents. Ask to know if it is consistently 2-3 children she is messing around with and request that she not be sat with them in class. Also discuss with school possibility of her being moved class. If she is not in sets then she is most likely going to class with her Register/Form group. Therefore see if she can move to another class for year 8 away from the kids she is messing around with. Ask the school for a meeting next week and set you daughter a very quick time frame in which to turn her behaviour around - 2 weeks - and if that fails, identify home consequences that will effectively punish her. Give your email address directly to each subject teacher and ask them the feel free to contact you directly if things are not improving.

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 27-Apr-13 21:07:30

Sorry OP but my daughter went to a top 100 comp with a small group who behaved like your daughter and her chums. The school did nothing about it; they diluted my daughter's experience and happiness of secondary school. The school was aware but made excuses and did nothing to deal with persistent misbehaviour and disruption. Fortunately we had the means to remove our daughter to the independent sector. In that sector if girls will not toe the line as per your daughter they are invited to leave so please don't think this is a viable solution.

I'm sorry but you need to deal with this with your daughter and the school and ensure that your daughter understands the extent to which she is messing about with the achievement and happiness of others. IMO (and I'm sorry if that hurts) your daughter needs to be removed and sent to school where achievement is lower than the present one so she and her friends can damage the achievements of other pupils less.

This is as much about the children who want to achieve and work as it is about your daughter. She is raining on the parade of others and should not be allowed to do so. If state schools could permanently exclude, achievement for the majority would be far better.

ryanboy Sun 28-Apr-13 09:42:39

marriedinwhire sad sometimes I think schools should set by attitude rather than ability.

Vishyrich Sun 05-May-13 01:27:09

Year 7 and 11-12 years old, it's expected, no one wants to be friendless, she needs to learn of her own accord what you can gain from hard work, pushing her now will make her choose between her friends and you, and at that age you my isolate her, don't take everything to heart, those sorts of comments are extremely common in year 7

TeenAndTween Sun 05-May-13 20:58:39

married: your daughter needs to be removed and sent to school where achievement is lower than the present one so she and her friends can damage the achievements of other pupils less

So the OPs daughter should go to a school with less achieving children so she can mess up their chances instead? I don't think so. If a school has lower achievement surely it is even more important not to impose additional mucking about children on it, as lower achieving will still have many many children who want to try hard and do the best they can.

The OPs school and the OP need to sort this out within the current school, not pass the buck on to another school.

musu Mon 06-May-13 13:56:52

I messed around in the first year of secondary school. I went from being top of my class and either top or second in the year in primary to being mid-20s at the end of my first year of secondary. I was too distracted by making new friends and new school etc. The end of year exams were the wake up call I needed and in the second year of secondary school (selective grammar) I came second in the class and got a prize for the most improved pupil. I felt a bit of a fraud accepting the prize as academically I knew I was now in the position that my ability merited. I don't recall anyone else being hurt by my behaviour.

Ds is apparently very bright but thinks he can't do the work so struggles in class and probably takes up more than his allocation of teacher time. His teacher has told him that he (ds) needs to understand just how bright he is. I assume that is simply because she wants him to shut up and get on with his work whilst she helps those who genuinely need it.

adoptmama Mon 06-May-13 19:36:42

Musu, as a teacher I wouldn't expect you, at year 7 age, to understand that others are being hurt by your behaviour. But they would have been. There are many, many children who need help and will not ask for it because they fear the reaction of those who 'muck about': they fear that they must be stupid because they need or want help. And unless your son has a particularly callous teacher she doesn't want him to understand how bright he is so that he will 'shut up and get on with his work' but so that he will develop the self belief and self confidence to know he tackle anything he wants to. Oddly enough we become teachers so because we love the subjects we are teaching and want children to thrive. I have yet to meet anyone who became a teacher because of the holidays .... though I know a lot of people who are so disillusioned by teaching they probably only stay in the job because of them!

Children who continually disrupt and disturb others through their behaviour - shouting out, working deliberately slowly, 'forgetting' things, asking ridiculous questions and working to such a poor standard that you spend a disproportionate amount of time going through their work etc. - are to be quite frank an utter pain in the arse to teachers. They soak up our time, take our focus away from seeing the child who is struggling, affect the pace and atmosphere in a class and turn off other kids. I applaud the OP for accepting the fault is her child's instead of looking to blame other pupils or, indeed the teacher. I wish more parents accepted what was being said to them about their little angel. If more kids got a parental toe up their arse we'd have a lot less bad behaviour in the schools and a lot more good learning going on.

sandyballs Sat 18-May-13 08:59:53

Hadn't realised I had more responses to this, thanks.

Not sure moving DD to a lower achieving school would help marriedinwhite hmm.

Anyway things haven't improved, they did for a week or so but the past week has been bad:

- Calling out random things in lessons for a dare
- bursting into a classroom where an exam was taking place, to talk to a friend, she claims she wasn't aware an exam was going on
- talking during an art exam
- forgetting homework
- spending ages on a fantastic piece of art homework then scrunching it up on way to school as other kids would think she's 'sad' making such an effort.

I could go on, I'm just utterly depressed by her. All clubs have been stopped this week, she hasn't gone to guides, football, out with friends and has no phone.

We have talked and talked to her, she gets defensive or blames others or sometimes agrees to change but doesn't. She said she can't help making noises in class, she feels compelled to 'break the silence". Does this ring alarm bells? She's always been 'lively' for want of a better word, could this have been 'accepted' at primary school and now higher standards are expected she's really struggling?

Classes are being changed around for year 8 so she won't be with this same group but perhaps she'll find another to arse about with, who knows.

sandyballs Sat 18-May-13 09:00:53

She's accumulated 32 detentions since the start of year 7.

musu Sat 18-May-13 12:40:53

I think at aged 12 I would have been well aware if others were affected by my lack of trying my best hmm

Ds lacks confidence. Being told that he is bright doesn't actually help his confidence at all and doesn't improve his work. All it does is demotivate him as when he struggles to do his work as he now feels he cannot ask for help because he has been told he is 'bright'.

musu Sat 18-May-13 12:42:35

sandy are the detentions all for the same things?

balia Sat 18-May-13 19:51:03

I think 32 detentions is waaay over the line where you can still say it is because she is being distracted by others or got in with a bad group. She is choosing to behave this way. Lots of kids find the change from primary to secondary very difficult; it sounds like the relative freedom has gone to her head. I think you need to reconfigure the boundaries and stop all the talking - it obviously isn't working. Have you tried 'How to talk so kids will Listen...' it's a godsend!

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 18-May-13 22:13:08

I'm sorry but your dd needs to be excluded. We had the means to move our dd to the indy sector where frankly such behaviour just isn't tolerated. It's fine for your dd to screw up her own achievements; it isn't fine to allow her to screw up the achievements of others and there should be funding to deal with disruptive pupils and get them out of the classroom and limit the damage they do. Totally unacceptable. I trust you are called in on a regular basis. Why does your dd have no boundaries? Angry because of the upset girls like your dd caused for my dd and continue to cause for the well behaved girls she let behind whose parents can't afford to move them. At dd's new school girls like yours would be out in a term.

sandyballs Sat 18-May-13 23:55:56

Music the detentions started as forgotten homework, moved on to silly behaviour, dares etc, so a bit of a mix.

Bala i do have that book, will re-read. How do I reconfigure the boundaries?

Marriedinwhite I understand your frustration with kids like mine but where do they go when they are excluded? Who deals with them, what happens. It's very strong to talk about exclusion, but then what? I'm never called into school.

Do you only have the one child, out of interest, as I get that impression. It isn't down to parenting, you ask why does she have no boundaries, why is her twin a model pupil if life was that fucking simple. What boundaries do you suggest.

adoptmama Sun 19-May-13 06:57:34

There is a difference between 'lively' and add/adhd. I think you need to go back to the school and tell them that you are as concerned as they are, that you are following through with sactions at home and support them in their efforts to get your DD to behave.

However you/hey need to consider - and rule out - whether your DD is behaving in this way because she is, essentially, a naughty little girl or if there is an undiagnosed disorder such affecting her attention or impulse control. Have her assessed by a child psychologist to rule this out. Destroying her own work because she is afraid of what others may think could also suggest low self esteem, although it is perfectly normal to care more about what peers think at this age than parents.

You have talked to DD - now you also need to listen smile Try to get her to open up more on why she fears her friends reactions, what kind of friendship do they have, how she feels knowing she is getting into trouble so much etc. And definitely get her assessed for ADHD. Good luck.

adoptmama Sun 19-May-13 07:04:56

Also concerned you are never called into school. You need to see their discpline policy, find out who is monitoring her overall situation (keeping a recorde of recorded censures, detentions etc.) which is probably a head of year/head of key stage. You need a meeting with them to discuss the situation; they should be in regular contact with you and then follow up meetings on a regular basis to keep track of things. She is essentially getting at least 1 detention a week and you should have been informed this was happening so frequently.

Your DD needs urgently to change her behaviour - that is almost too obvious to bother stating - but the she also needs to feel that it can happen and she can be successful. If she is getting to the point that she feels there is no point, it is hopeless, teachers won't let her start over then etc. then it will be harder for her. Also with the summer holidays being so close there is a danger she will not bother to change for the short time left - it is easier to continue with the established behaviour pattern than to make the effort to change. If it is ADHD or something else then you need to get a support program in place to help her. It is better to start all of that now than get to the start of year 8 and have had nothing change. An add/adhd diagnosis is not an excuse to muck around but it will lead to strategies which can help her learn to control her own behaviours.

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