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If your teen got lousy GCSE grades...

(24 Posts)
lljkk Fri 29-Nov-13 19:57:28

what did they do next, what path did the end up on?

I suppose by "lousy" I'm thinking nothing better than a C and not many of them, either.

DS1's were less than spectacular.. a row of straight Cs and to be honest he was lucky to get that as he did NO work!

He stayed in 6th form but did a Btec Media level 3.. grew up a bit, and after a short spell at Dominos Pizza , found himself in a support worker job, where he is very happy. He has done his Btec level 2 Health and Social Care, will be starting level 3 soon and this will qualify him for senior level support worker jobs (or Uni should he so desire, tho I don't think he will as he likes earning!)
He needed time to grow up and is now finding his way (he's 20)

There are many routes and it doesn't have to be A levelssmile

usualsuspect Fri 29-Nov-13 23:36:09

My DS didn't do brilliantly at GCSEs.He did a btech in music at college.

He's now training to be a duty manager in retail and loving it.

The academic route is not the way.

flow4 Sat 30-Nov-13 05:39:13

My DS1 got 5 GCSEs, messed about for a year on a level 1 construction course, then got enough confidence together to get a place on a BTEC course he was actually interested in. smile Now he's thriving too, and like medusa's son also has a p-t job and is wondering about uni... Which all felt totally impossible a couple of years ago... smile

teenagetantrums Sat 30-Nov-13 10:27:11

My DD got very bad grades, she didn't even get the five C's she needed for her college course, luckily they ler her take the course on a 6 week probation at first, she loves it and is doing so much better at college than she did at school, she is doing a BTEC course level 2 this year, them hopefully level 3 next year, then who knows, she is thinking about uni.

mumeeee Sat 30-Nov-13 15:45:07

DD3. ( she is Dyspraxic and has other learning difficulties ) didn't do very well in her GCSE"s. She did s year on a catering course at. college but her tutors didn't think she would be able to do the 2nd year. She then did s years foundation course doing various subjects which boosted her confidence. She thrn went on to a level 2 BTECH course in IT AMD carried it through to Level 3, She finished BTECH Extended Diploma in June got Didtinction Merit Merit and is now at university doing a computer degree, Yes she. is 21 but that doesn't matter she has got there although a little longer than her peers and she isn't the oldest on her course, So don't despair when your DCs don't get good GCSE grades there is always a way to go,

lljkk Sat 30-Nov-13 15:53:34

Thanks for replies smile. More still welcome.

trooperlooperdo Sat 30-Nov-13 18:09:56

Are they lousy because the student wasn't capable or lousy because the student was bone idle? GCSE's are not difficult to pass. (The 2012 Maths GCSE examiners were awarding marks for incorrect answers)

As long as English and Maths at C or above are obtained together with any GCSE's that are needed for further qualifications/jobs it doesn't really matter that they didn't get a B in drama.

MrsHerculePoirot Sat 30-Nov-13 18:17:22

trooper what do you mean about the GCSE maths examiners awarding marks for incorrect answers?!?

mumeeee Sat 30-Nov-13 19:32:42

trooper you might have found GCSES easy to pass but a lot of hardworking young people don't find them easy. Also how do you know awards were given for incorrect answers in Maths? x

Parsnipcake Sat 30-Nov-13 19:41:49

My son barely got 5 gcses. He is dyslexic but was also lazy. He worked much better at college, got into Art College, changed to Philosophy and now is doing VSO in South America in an orphanage. He is very happy.

murasaki Sat 30-Nov-13 23:26:44

I think what trooper means is you can get some marks for the correct methodology even if you then get the sums wrong and come up with the wrong answer, if you see what I mean.

Which always annoyed me, as I had a habit of getting the right answer, but not being able to explain how, so lost marks that way!

DavidHarewoodsFloozy Sat 30-Nov-13 23:39:03

Loving this thread. Life has many convoluted paths, doesn,t it?
Good luck to all your children.

flow4 Mon 02-Dec-13 07:57:54

It always struck me as odd that we expect kids in our society to take major exams - which for 50%+ of them will be their highest qualification - at exactly the age they are most unsettled. Many of them are focused on sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll at this age, and do far better if they are allowed a couple of years to settle down again. smile

sashh Mon 02-Dec-13 14:53:27

As someone who teaches BTEC it is so nice to see how many teenagers have flourished via the courses.

Usually on MN BTEC is looked down on but IMHO they are very good stand alone courses and also a good way to prepare for uni.

mumeeee Mon 02-Dec-13 17:41:36

I agree. sashh. DD3 is doing a computer degree and she has found that her BTECH course has actually taught her to be able to work on her own.

wifeandmotherandlotsofother Tue 03-Dec-13 12:57:38

My eldest daughter passed 5 GCSE's out of 10 and just scraped into 6th form for A levels, she did better at A level and passed well enough to get to ubi and in July of this year graduated with a BA honours in Primary Education. She is now teaching abroad in a private international school and earns 31 thousand euros a year. Failing 5 of her 10 GCSe's was the best thing that ever happened to her, it made her realise that she did have to work harder. She has the world at her feet and is so happy.

Tigerblue Tue 03-Dec-13 14:10:40

Either do further education. Alternatively, if a job (of any description can be found), then evening classes. I did that and thrived at something I'd chosen to do rather than had to do.

CoolItKittens Tue 03-Dec-13 14:35:04

DNephew didn't do great in GCSEs, dropped out of college after a few months, worked in shops for a while and is now on an Access Course with hopes to get into uni.

trooperlooperdo Tue 03-Dec-13 15:03:34

What I mean is marks were given for incorrect answers on the 2012 Maths GCSE examination. I know this because I was one of the examiners - we were told to award marks for some wrong answers, two that spring to mind were the first question where a circle of a given radius was to be drawn with the mid point of origin o; marks were given if there was a circle on the page or roughly the right size as long as origin o was somewhere within it, another question was to simplify an expanded bracket; marks were awarded for any old rubbish as long as it was within a bracket. I refused to award marks for incorrect answers and withdrew from marking that paper.

I still mark Biology GCSE papers as well as co-write Chemistry papers for this examination board - awarding marks for incorrect answers did not happen in either of these science papers.

I am also head of Maths and Science at a specialist SEBD residential school, if I can have the kids I teach passing their GCSEs when half the time, they're either detained at the local police station or off their faces on whatever drugs they managed to get hold of whilst out "on the rob" the night before and consequently either half asleep or swinging from light fitings, then the huge majority of students can also pass. It's nothing to do with me being a fabulous teacher, FAR from it - I spend far too much of my time breaking up fights or sitting on students in car parks, rather than teaching, I get good results because they are NOT difficult exams.

MrsHerculePoirot Tue 03-Dec-13 17:29:47

Interesting - I also mark exam papers, for a different board though by the sounds of it. We definitely don't award full marks for incorrect answers and last summer were the harshest ever on the markschemes since I started marking many moons ago. I felt immensely sorry for those taking their exam last summer as the method marks were difficult to get in many cases.

notquiteruralbliss Sun 08-Dec-13 08:44:38

Mine effectively left school at 15. She got a B in her maths GCSE (either missed exams or didn't do coursework for the rest). At 16, she did an unpaid internship in a field she really wanted to work in & it led to a full time job. She loves her work & isn't really isn't interested in school or college at the moment.

lljkk Sun 08-Dec-13 08:49:36

Thanks for so many replies.. sorry, bit late to ask this. But seeing as most stories are "things turned out ok" what do you wish you had done different at the time, when they were doing lousy, I imagine pulling your hair out wasn't much help. But what did help (if anything)?

havenlady Sun 08-Dec-13 19:59:27

My DS did fairly poorly in his GSCE's, went to 6th form college and proceeded to do fairly poorly in his AS levels. So is now repeating the year doing a BTEC level 3 in engineering which seems to suit him better. I wish someone had sat us all down before A levels and told us that mostly C's at GCSE is a good indicator that a less academic route would be better. There is still the option of Uni but I expect that is me still hoping - I don't think he wants to go, nor should he if he doesn't enjoy studying!

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