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Media GCSE tomorrow - DD very ill with gastric bug - What can I do?

(48 Posts)
celestinelass Sun 12-Jun-11 21:01:54

Hi all

Poor 16 yr old has just gone down with really nasty gastric bug that has hit everyone locally over the last week. I had it through the weekend and it was horrendous, couldn't get out of bed except to throw up or.....
She has a vital Media GCSE tomorrow at 1.45. Hopefully she'll be physically able to sit it, but will feel exhausted, weak and won't have done her final bits of revision.
Can I get a doctors letter to support and explain the expected drop in her performance?? Panicking!!

Thanks in advance for any suggestions x

Schtum Sun 12-Jun-11 21:28:59


Call the school absolutely first thing tomorrow morning, speak to the examinations officer and explain. They will talk you through the options.

Also, very urgently, call your GP's surgery and get an emergency appointment as soon as possible tomorrow morning - you need him/ her to write a letter to certify that your daughter is ill.

Your options - which the school will explain - are likely to be:

1. She's too ill to sit the exam so she's pulled out of it (this needs to happen before the exam so that it doesn't go down as a fail for her). You need the GPs letter but in these cases, I think they sometimes look at her coursework and mock result to make a grade for her.

2. She sits the exam but is awarded extra time (10 extra minutes for every hour of exam time) in which to rest. She can turn her paper over and put her head on the desk to rest. Again, they need that letter from the GP.

3. She sits the exam with no extra time but a letter goes off to the exam board from the school, along with the GP's letter, and they bear in mind, when marking her paper, that she was unwell. They can only give an extra 1-2% though.

I'm so sorry... I do hope she turns a corner overnight and feels well enough for her exam tomorrow - what awful, awful timing. My heart goes out to both of you.

Best wishes.

cjbartlett Sun 12-Jun-11 21:31:35

If she goes in to sit the exam won't she infect all the other children which might hinder the rest of their exams?

celestinelass Sun 12-Jun-11 21:40:49

Thank you Schtum

I'm planning to call the GP at 8am and the school straight after. I cannot believe the bloody timing?! This is such an important and difficult exam for her.
TBH, as I know how I feel 36 hrs after first coming down with it, I seriously doubt she'll be able to sit the exam.
I couldn't be away from the bathroom for longer than 15 minutes!!
Even if the D/V bit is over, she'll be weak, tummy/head/joint pains.

Plus, as cjbartlett says, she could infect everyone else, many of whom will have further exams this week. I couldn't think of spreading this to other kids facing exams this week.

My 7 month old had it first, pretty mildly, them DP, then me, so it's definitely infectious as hell.

If she can't sit the exam at all, will they have to 'guess' a grade based on coursework? Could she sit it in isolation 24hrs later??

elphabadefiesgravity Sun 12-Jun-11 21:49:51

To sit an exam in isolation later (happens when there are timetable clashes) she would have to be supervised by a teacher/invigilator constantly with no internet/phone etc access so not really practical.

My guess is they will go for the makeing her grade up from coursework etc.

sharbie Sun 12-Jun-11 21:52:41

ds ill last week for as level exam - college were no help whatsoever i'm afraid.
what schtum said is correct.
we couldn't even speak to a teacher for advice as were told it was an inset day (actual day of exam).
ds went (drugged up) but doesn't hold out much hope for good marks.
seems v unreasonable to me.

YummyHoney Sun 12-Jun-11 21:53:19

If she's ill she should not sit the exam.

You should take her to GP asap in the morning, for a letter stating illness, and ring the school.

They will not guess her grade. The school will make arrangements for her to sit it later - they will advise you.

Good luck to your DD smile

Loshad Sun 12-Jun-11 21:55:32

If she doesn't sit the exam - she will get her predicted grade that her teachers submitted to the exam board earlier this term in advance of exam season, we do that for every student for every subject.
If she does sit the exam you must take her to the GPs that day as well - get a letter, give it to the school and they will send it on to the exam board for special consideration - i had to do for ds2 earlier this term - he had a horrendous ear infection, the ooh dr had been u/s and he was still up all night and in loads of pain when he sat the exam - GP diagnosed it properly and gave us a note for exam board which school have sent off.

PonceyMcPonce Sun 12-Jun-11 21:56:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YummyHoney Sun 12-Jun-11 22:08:43

Loshad - My DD has been predicted A* for all 13 GCSE's. Does that mean if she doesn't sit a/any of her exams she will be awarded her predicted grade? Surely not.

PonceyMcPonce Sun 12-Jun-11 22:10:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Schtum Sun 12-Jun-11 22:11:20

To be honest, I'm afraid I don't think that would be an option but you'll see what school says first thing tomorrow.

If an exam is a module (ie GCSE modules in Year 10 or AS level exams which are considered to be a module of the A'levels) there could be an opportunity for her to take it as part of the January re-sits but if it's a terminal exam then no.

The reason I know what I've posted above is that my DD17 was really, really ill with a virus before an AS level. I was beside myself - it kicked out several days of planned last-minute revision. The day before the exam, I called the school and asked for some guidance - they told me what I've posted above.

As it happened, my DD was fully recovered in time for her exam so we didn't ever get a Doctor's letter or go down any of these routes.

Try to stay calm and act swiftly and decisively tomorrow morning - get on to that GP's appointment and school ASAP!

Sadly, this happens every year to a small percentage of kids. It's disappointing and terrible, unfortunate timing but it's not a disaster on an epic scale. She will not end up on life's scrap heap as a result of this - you'll deal with it in the morning.

In the meantime, the best thing you can do is be calm and confident and kind and reassuring for

Wish you both well and hope it pans out ok...

Good luck.

Loshad Sun 12-Jun-11 22:20:29

if she really is too ill to sit exam, and in y11 then yes they use predicted grades - we had a student break her leg on the way to school last year for a gcse exam - single paper plus c/work - they looked at c/work and predicted grades teacher had submitted.
Yummy - your dd would have to have a very good reason to miss every exam to get her predicted grades, but if it happened then yes she would get all her A*s (you must be very proud of her btw smile)

YummyHoney Sun 12-Jun-11 22:33:17

Thanks Loshad. I understand - my DD is Year 10 - but good to know for next year.

Yes, I am proud of her; she works very hard, independently, but is putting herself under a huge amount of pressure to attain her predictions and I do worry about that.

OP sorry to have hijacked your thread - hope it all works out ok for your DD.

herbietea Sun 12-Jun-11 22:38:57

Message withdrawn

celestinelass Sun 12-Jun-11 22:40:34

Thank you all so much.
I just went upstairs to reassure her that if she is still puking etc then hopefully she won't have to actually sit the exam.
She's been predicted an A, her coursework has been graded A, but the exam was really worrying she's suddenly not SO panicked about missing the exam! hmm
Doctors 8am. School 8.15.

She's worried that she'll be the kid from The Inbetweeners who crapped himself in his exam !!!!

Schtum Sun 12-Jun-11 22:46:50

Gosh, Yummyhoney, I'm surprised that your daughter's school make grade predictions this far I advance.

It can be a big pressure for kids who are predicted A*s - they can worry that if they "only" get an A that they've "failed".

There's something to be said for only predicting a maximum of an A, fir this reason... But then, in OP's DD's case, you'd want her predicted grade to be an A* if that's what she's headed for in case they need to use it in lieu of an exam missed through illness....

Northernlurker Sun 12-Jun-11 22:46:55

With a bad d&v bug she really shouldn't be with other people till 48 hours after the last bout. I'm pretty relaxed about v but d&v is a different matter. If she is able to take the exam I think the school need to see if they can isolate her to do so - starting and ending at the same time as everyone else obviously.

Schtum Sun 12-Jun-11 22:48:44

Sorry - cross-posted with OP

YummyHoney Sun 12-Jun-11 23:07:12

Schtum - not that far in advance - she's sitting them now.

Yes, that's exactly what she says and no amount of psychobabble on my part is having any impact on her. She feels pressured by the teachers (and her peers) - and is piling more pressure onto herself.

She's at a superselective grammar and the school are only interested in maintaining their position in the league tables IMO.

Schtum Mon 13-Jun-11 07:11:26

Yummy she's Year 10 though? So is she doing some full GCSEs this year or just modules?

You sound sensible - I'd keep going with the psychobabble and reassurance that whatever she gets is fine because she's given it her best shot and it's important to stay well and keep a balance etc. I do think GCSEs are punishing - so many exams for so many subjects. DD17 (just like your daughter) found AS levels this year far less strenuous just because if the sheer volume involved.

Celestine How is she today?

celestinelass Mon 13-Jun-11 09:36:51

Hiya all

She's still very bad, curled up in duvet with hot water bottle, aching all over, tired, still got mild V and bad D.
Waiting for call back from GP, the surgery didn't want me to bring her in as it is so infectious. The GP will issue a medical certificate or letter after he has spoken to me on the phone during this mornings surgery.
Rang school exam officer, she was great. DD has been withdrawn from the exam, need to send her the certificate; which will be sent off to the exam board.
The exam officer confirmed that her predicted/coursework grades would be used to ascertain her final grade.
Schtum, Thank you so much for easing our worries last night, your advice was spot on xxx

Schtum Mon 13-Jun-11 09:57:27


Well done for getting on to it.

I'm sure it's a huge relief to your poor DD that it's been dealt with and she can just concentrate on resting and letting this horrible bug take its course.

... 'Til the next crisis, of course... There's always something with teenage girls, isn't there?! Are boys so high maintenance?

Best wishes and get well soon to DD.

celestinelass Mon 13-Jun-11 10:03:26

LOL, I don't know yet! My son is only 7 months old, he's already had sniffles, chicken pox and the D/V bug but quite mildly!!

DD is usually strong as an ox and bolshy as's quite sweet that she's back to 'mummy can I have a hot water bottle please', instead of roaring 'Muuuummmmm WHY have you switched my internet off??'

Thanks again xxx

YummyHoney Mon 13-Jun-11 10:14:50

LOL! Glad you've got it all sorted celestinelass.

Schtum thanks for your kind post. My DD is 15 and is doing GCSE modules - they are the real thing. The system has changed and this is the first year in the new system - they do modules instead of coursework. smile

How many AS levels is your DD doing?

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