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Anyone's dcs doing GCSEs, AS, A levels and fancy a hand-holding thread?

(82 Posts)
NoHaudinMaWheest Mon 09-May-16 15:14:34

I have two dcs about to start exams. Dd (ASD, dyslexia, mobility problems) is doing GCSEs. She should do well but is stressing herself by wanting to get A* in everything. That isn't impossible (apart from Italian) but I would rather she cut herself some slack and didn't get wound up about it.
Ds (ASD, OCD, dyslexia) is doing A levels. He doesn't actually have any exams until the middle of June so plenty of time to revise but that is not his strong point at all. He finally finished his Computer Science course work at midnight last night - talk of taking it to the wire! He needs at least 3 Bs for university course he wants to do and that is doable so long as he can get some work done and doesn't freak out on the day.

I am expecting a truly stressful 6 weeks.
Anyone else?

HairyBigSpider Mon 09-May-16 18:39:13

<offers hand> Yes,stressful here too. DS doing GCSEs and is highly anxious. It has not been helped by school messing up so he hasn't been entered in enough subjects to give him any leeway to get where he wants iykwim. He has to get good passes in all of them which obviously creates a lot of pressure. Also in one subject the wrong years work has been taught hmm so exam board are having to put special marking procedures in place. To cap it all we still have no placement for September sorted out as it will depend on results at the end of August so that just adds even more stress into the mix sad

I also just found out that school will be giving him 'study days' at home but he won't revise at home, only school. Give me strength.....

NoHaudinMaWheest Mon 09-May-16 19:32:19

Hairy that sounds like a whole lot of stress. Study days at home are absolutely useless for ds -he just can't work at home. Fortunately both their schools are happy for them to go in and work throughout the exam period.
What are your options for September? It can't be helping ds's anxiety not to know where he is going.
Dd needs to get an A* in maths for her chosen post 16 placement but she should do it as she has never had less than an A* in a maths exam but it still adds an element of uncertainty which she doesn't like.

HairyBigSpider Mon 09-May-16 20:14:02

School is a distance away and are already getting taxis booked to fit around the exams apparently. They could have checked with parents first before organising all this really.
He wants to do A levels and cannot cope with the thought of having to do resits if necessary so it's all very difficult. We need a school or college that teaches A levels but has small class sizes and our local colleges and high schools don't fit the bill. Trying to find something is a nightmare.

PolterGoose Mon 09-May-16 20:18:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NoHaudinMaWheest Mon 09-May-16 20:26:42

Hairy how annoying that they didn't check first. Dd has transport and it just continues as normal unless I say otherwise.
Ds goes to a standard 6th form. The whole 6th form is quite big but his classes are fairly small. The support there has been good. Ds is quite good at shut himself up in his own bubble though. Dd can't do that so well and has more sensory issues than ds. That is why we are going for the highly selective free school as it is small overall and never more than 16 in a class.
I hope you manage to find something suitable. Ds's placement at that stage was the best I could find and a bit of a fingers crossed situation but it has turned out well.

Polter you'll be here before you know it grin

HairyBigSpider Mon 09-May-16 20:29:15

Yes, sensory issues are the big problem as he can't cope with noise,crowds etc. Just have to keep fingers crossed that something will turn up or it will be a whole summer of stress sad

NoHaudinMaWheest Thu 12-May-16 09:30:52

Just had email correspondence with the head of MFL about dd's Italian. The details are too tedious to go into but basically she has had seriously flawed teaching this year and I am only just realising how bad it is. With a class of 8, there surely can be no excuse for not marking work? grr

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 12-May-16 09:38:40

DS1 doesn't have additional needs, but he does have mental health difficulties (anxiety, panic disorder, depression). GCSE exams are tough on him (and me!). He has done two exams and has fourteen to go.

In two years time, he will (hopefully) be doing A-levels at the same time that DS2 (ASD, ADHD, hypermobility) is doing GCSEs.

NoHaudinMaWheest Thu 12-May-16 11:47:09

I would have thought those were additional needs to be honest. How is he holding up?
Two sets of exams at once is no fun. I didn't expect it but ds had to repeat yr 12 due to mental health problems so that's where we are now.

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 12-May-16 17:25:56

Actually, he isn't too bad. His anxiety is exacerbated by school, so being on study leave is helping him to stay calm, which means that he's able to take in information. On the two exam days he was quite stressed, but I think that would be true for anyone.

moosemama Fri 13-May-16 13:42:54

Just wanted to say good luck to everyone's dcs. I have noticed the pupils from ds2's school walking up and down during the day to their exams and really feel for them all.

We're just at the beginning - ds starts his GCSE studies next year and I'm already worried about it all.

We had an email yesterday to say ds2 will be having exams the week after next, that will be conducted to strict GCSE rules. He's only in Y7! I knew his school was pushy academically, but that seems a bit much to me.

NoHaudinMaWheest Fri 13-May-16 13:54:54

Thanks Moose. That seems overkill for yr7.
Dd starts on Monday.

TheSecondOfHerName Fri 13-May-16 13:55:14

DS2 (Y9) had some computer-based testing this week, which he thinks might be to measure if he needs extra time in his exams.

moosemama Fri 13-May-16 14:39:20

Good luck for your dd on Monday NoHaudin.

That's interesting TheSecond. Last year's senco said some access arrangement assessments need to start in Y9, but we've heard nothing this year. Mind you, that's nothing new, we've heard nothing from the new senco all year really. hmm

NoHaudinMaWheest Fri 13-May-16 15:27:06

As far as I know neither of mine had specific testing for exam arrangements. They were based on their EP/ specialist teachers' reports.

QueenStreaky Fri 13-May-16 20:02:34

Hello smile. Just popping in for a nosey and see what you're chatting about.

Ds is in sixth form college and is starting exams next week. He's only taking one subject this year (Maths) (long and complicated reasons) and he's confident, been getting good marks all year, so I'm not too worried at this stage.

What does concern me is his lack of interest in his future and next steps. He claims he wants to go to uni and study Maths/Sciences but no idea what, and no motivation to look into it. I realise that lots of students don't know what they want to do but he will have to have some aim to work towards otherwise he'll end up doing nothing, even if it's not his intended career iykwim.

He's another who struggles to work at home but college have been good and he's got plenty of time and space to do assignments on campus. But he has other commitments like writing up DofE, and his work experience portfolio, which he just cannot or will not engage with. It wears me out trying to keep him right with these things, and more so thinking about how tight his timetable will be from September. All he wants to do when he's at home is play Xbox or tv (literally), and it's very frustrating.

QueenStreaky Fri 13-May-16 20:06:10

Ds's exam access arrangements were sorted for IGCSEs while he was home educated and took exams as an external candidate. The arrangements were still valid so just transferred to college for this year. They'll need updating for next summer though. Really glad we got them organised when we did because rules haven't half tightened since then, and you're more likely to have them continued if they're in place already.

NoHaudinMaWheest Fri 13-May-16 22:06:43

Hi streaky Sympathies on the writing up. I felt as if I had written a thesis when ds eventually got his computer project finished. No idea how he will cope at university.

Have you planned to go to any open days this summer. Exhausting but they do give you a feel of what is possible/interesting.

QueenStreaky Sat 14-May-16 07:33:49

I don't know where to start, tbh, and that's largely because ds doesn't know and any attempts to discuss it fall on deaf ears. I have very little knowledge of uni applications and my cognitive capacity has been rubbish in the last few months so it's a struggle to understand it. I had a brief chat with UCAS chap at college a few weeks ago, and ds and I looked at Unifrog (very briefly), but he has no interest.

We're not in an immediate hurry though as he's doing his A levels over 3 years rather than two, and he's just coming to the end of the first year. We need another conversation with UCAS chap before we do anything else, I think, but I need to be less dim to make the discussion worthwhile.

As for the portfolio, ds has had very little guidance from the school he's working at, and consequently has barely started with writing it up. The deadline is end of July and I'm not sure if he'll (we'll) get it done in time, especially as there's so little help from the school. I'm not sure if his timetable will allow him to continue with it from September so this might be his last chance, and if he doesn't get it done it means he'll have nothing to show for two and a half years of work sad.

NoHaudinMaWheest Sat 14-May-16 10:45:50

Oh yes I remember your ds was doing A levels over three years. It is what my ds has ended up doing although it wasn't planned and it has been a really good thing for him to have that extra year to mature and plan.
Tough if your ds has not real interest in investigating but actually you do have plenty of time still.

NoHaudinMaWheest Mon 16-May-16 09:08:08

Dd has her first exam today (RE). She should do fine but didn't sleep well and says being wished good luck makes things worse.

QueenStreaky Mon 16-May-16 11:10:15

Break a leg, NHDD. Anything but 'good luck' wink.

NoHaudinMaWheest Mon 16-May-16 21:25:08

Dd had a bit of an issue with RE exam and access arrangements. She gets 50% extra time as she has hand movement issues as well as dylexia/ASD. The invigilator told them at the beginning when their time would be up (everyone else in the room on 25% extra). Dd pointed out that she had longer and it was on a sticker on her paper but invigilator wouldn't listen. When time + 25% was up she insisted dd handed in her paper and left the room. DD was very upset but managed to find assistant SENCO who was passing and she sorted it out allowing dd to go back and finish. She was upset though and found it difficult to put the extra stuff in as she had tried to finish in the shorter time initially. She doesn't always need the 50% but in an exam like RE with lots of writing she definitely does. I got a phone call with profuse apologies from the exams officer and a promise that it won't happen again. It wasn't really the school's fault but you would think an invigilator who is supervising a group of students who all have access arrangements would check carefully.

HairyBigSpider Mon 16-May-16 21:36:08

That's frustrating sad. Well done to dd for going back and finishing it though. If it had been my ds there would have been major ructions hmm. He has been very agitated and rude after his exam today although he felt it went ok. Same again tomorrow...... have a winesmile

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