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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:14 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 8:55 pm
Posts: 851
Location: Bexley
DS1 (year 10) brought his school report home a couple of weeks ago. He is predicted, based on his current performance, mainly As, a couple of Bs and a C in French. My first reaction was that this was quite good. However, his 'target' grades are mainly A*s and a couple of As/B. His form tutor has written that he is disappointed that in not one of the subjects where ds has A* as a target is he predicted to get an A*.

DS is, not unusually, one of those boys who always does the absolute minimum to get by - and usually at the last minute. I'm wondering whether it's worth cracking the whip and trying to make him raise his game as his form tutor has asked, or whether I'd be banging my head against a brick wall and ought to let him settle for good, but not excellent results. The trouble is I know (because I have another DS who is highly motivated and competitive and wouldn't settle for an A in basket weaving if there was an A* on offer) that much of it comes from within and it is very difficult to make someone work hard if they don't want to.

How much do GCSE grades matter? Do universities look at them much or do they focus on A level results? Should I be getting involved at all (just gone through the 11+ again so still in 'controlling' mode) - should I just let him do his own thing?!

Any advice gratefully received!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:29 am 
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hi bexey mum 2

i supose it depends where and what he was applying for. all universties have to look at is gcse and AS level results, so if it is very competitive these all have to look good.

there was a thread recently about someone not getting offerd because although they had a large number of GCSEs they had a mix of A* and it seemed that fewer all at A* would be preferable ... some discussion ensued re the wisdom of taking GCSE because of an interest rather than the certainty of a high grade, hence sadly affecting the choice of subjects...


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
*sigh*

reminds me so much of Master Yoyo in year 10 and year 11.

don't panic until the actual results - he managed A*s ,A s and a B. The most amazed person being Master yoyo himself.

He has gone to further education college to do his A levels and is working far harder there than he ever did at school.

If your boy is creative enough in his CV he can point to an amazing improvement in concentration and application between GCSEs and A levels, thereby proving he is a worthy candidate.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:35 pm 
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I think if he is capable of doing really well then as a parent there is a responsibility to do one's best to 'encourage'. The form this takes clearly depends on your son! I agree with you that he needs to want to do it for himself - the key is findng the right button to press :)

As to how late he can leave the final push - would say it depends on how good his memory is for last minute cramming & how much course work is involved. If there are modular exams they are usually pretty easy so he can probably get away with last minute working for those!

I dont hink there is any question that if he is aiming for highly competitive courses/ Universities then the GCSE results do matter. If a University has way too many top applicants then they will find a way to select & unless he is intending to take a year out - in which case he could apply with brilliant A level results - then AS & GCSE grades tend to be used.
This is not to say that it isn't possible to get a top place with 'good' GCSE results, but from limited experience I would say he will be reducing his chances significantly. If he isnt all that ambitious re University then he can probably afford to coast & pull it together at AS.

Happy Christmas!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:17 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 8:55 pm
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Location: Bexley
Thanks for the replies. I think the problem, KB, is that he isn't 'aiming' for anything! Doesn't know which A levels he wants to do and certainly hasn't given university a thought. He has never expressed an interest in any particular line of work so I can't encourage him there. Of course, whenever we see someone doing a particularly awful/poorly paid job I can be heard telling him that's why you need to get qualifications etc

I think I'm not so much worried about whether he gets good or very good GCSE results as whether he will apply his laid back, "do just enough - no more" attitude to everything he does in life!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
well Master yoyo has bucked up his ideas a little bit since going to FE college..not a lot admittedly.

I would like to give Miss Yoyo a little of his laissez faire and him a bit of her extreme focus on work.

might end up wth something approaching normal offspring that way!

Good Luck


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:25 pm
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Hi there. Just had to reply, I have one child in Y7 and one child in Y11 so like you have just jumped the 11+ hurdle last year. I try to 'encourage' my 15 year old but there is only so much you can do and it doesn't matter how controlling you are they will only do what they want to at the end of the day. If it is any consolation I am wishing the next few months go as quickly as possible - I can not wait until August. Then some days I dread it.


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