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 Post subject: DS freaking out
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:18 am
Posts: 4
Hi all. So my son is due to sit the test in 11 days time. We have DIY’d since May 2018; and had a tutor since May this year to help with technique/strategy. We did this deliberately as he doesn’t cope well under pressure though that said, he loved his tutor.

2 weeks ago my son had an almighty wobble and announced he no longer wanted to do the test. He changed his mind the next day but I fear this was because he thought it’s what I wanted to hear rather than what he really wanted. Cue mega mum guilt kicking in.

We’ve done past papers, all the books we can possibly get our hands on; but he’s found it hard. His English is top notch- his maths not so great.

He decided today that he no longer wants to sit the test because a) it’s hard and b) his friends aren’t doing it. This kid is not brains of Britain, but he is bright and IMO brighter than his immediate friends and I don’t believe you should follow your mates. I’m so torn as feel I’ve pushed him into doing this and I don’t want him to be miserable or to struggle. My attitude is just do the ****** test! Else you’ll never know. But he keeps freaking out. I feel responsible for this and don’t want to create for angst or be a tiger mum. Maybe it is all too much for him and grammar isn’t the right route for him afterall.

I’m wondering if I wanted him to sit the test for the wrong reasons? If I’ve got swept along by the grammar school train; a bit of academic snobbery maybe (his dad and I are both academics). Has anyone else had this with their child at such a late stage?


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 Post subject: Re: DS freaking out
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:50 am
Posts: 117
Perhaps just suggest to him that the test will potentially give him 4 extra schools to choose from. It doesn't cost anything, he won't lose anything etc


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 Post subject: Re: DS freaking out
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:36 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:18 am
Posts: 4
I know, I’ve tried that but to no avail. If we’d not worked for it I’d say no problem it just seems such a waste to not even try & to see it through?


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 Post subject: Re: DS freaking out
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 10144
Location: Herts
Just give him a chance to calm down.

Stop all work and do some fun things. Go and see a film together, make his favourite food, go to a park he likes.

Get some of his friends to invite him round.

Just step off the treadmill for a few days and give him a break.

Then see if he will agree to take the test just to give him a few more options.

It is likely that he will regret it if he does not. DG


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 Post subject: Re: DS freaking out
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:55 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:21 am
Posts: 263
We've had some wobbles too, with DD saying she just wants to go to the local school. We've had a break and are just going low-key from now. Another day she is talking about going to the grammar. We're just going to see how it goes. Any work we've done will have helped her and what will be will be...


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 Post subject: Re: DS freaking out
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 6728
This happened to friends - on the day of the test their DD woke up and had a major meltdown and wouldn't go - they didn't push it - she went to the local school and absolutely flew and started 6th form yesterday with a good set of results behind her.

I would stop the work now and enjoy the last few days of summer. Remind him how proud you are of him and that it was never about the result, just the effort - and you kow how much effort he has put in - See how he feels on the day of the test - if he wants to do it to possibly give him options, great, if not, he will find his own route and with your two support, he will fly anyway. If he decides not to do it, hug him, tell him you love him for all the effort he has put in and do not ever throw that decision back in his face.


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 Post subject: Re: DS freaking out
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:18 am
Posts: 4
Thank you all. It’s not the be all & end all; and we just want him to be happy but sometimes I wish they were still little - they are like “tweenagers” with opinions and emotions and strong ones at that. A crystal ball to reassure us that it will all be ok in the end would be very welcomed right now!!
Good luck to all your little/not so little people and thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: DS freaking out
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:08 pm
Posts: 38
From a fellow Mum's point of view, I don't think you should be too hard on yourself for trying to do what you believe is the right thing for your son. That's our job as parents.

What I will say from a professional perspective (I am a senior leader in a Gloucestershire comp) is that grammar schools are not right for all children.

I know from my experience of teaching the thousands of students I have over the years in a number of schools, that a bright, well motivated, well supported child will thrive best in an environment where they are happy and there are many excellent schools in our county that can provide that for any child. At the school in which I work, our highest achieving Year 11 students this summer attained a suite of grades 8 and 9 at GCSE - the same as many Year 11s in the grammars. The point is that those students and their parents chose our school because they felt it was the right fit for them. A good comprehensive school caters for all students of all abilities. I also know that a supportive home background has way more impact than any other single factor in a child's achievements. Fact.

My daughter has just started at a grammar school in Year 7 because this was the right choice for her and was what she wanted 100%. However, I am pretty confident in saying that she would probably thrive in any decent school because she has been raised to value education and has parents who encourage her to want to learn, to read, to be curious and to have high expectations for herself.

However you choose to proceed, I hope these comments might help a little


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 Post subject: Re: DS freaking out
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 10144
Location: Herts
These are very helpful comments and especially about the home environment.

Some parents do step away when their student moves to senior school.

Problems can blow up very quickly so it is important to stay in touch.

There is nothing worse than finding out there was a real problem from others. DG


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 Post subject: Re: DS freaking out
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:51 am
Posts: 10
Something that might help is that (supposedly) half of the marks in the test come from the English sections, with a quarter from Maths & the other quarter from NVR. This should mean that if your son has a strength in English, he may be well placed to try the test (if you all decide to go for it). The same strength carried my son through two years ago...
Just in case it helps. Good luck.


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