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Sandwich generation

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
337
My daughter is a teacher. A lot of effort has gone into estimating the grading and as she had taught most of the course she was able to make in her opinion fairly accurate predictions. So try not to worry. My son at uni had loads of coursework to do and did it, but a bit late so I am hoping all is well. He worked very hard but there’s always this unsettling atmosphere with aPWD in the house and a pandemic.
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,816
Chester
A lot of effort has gone into estimating the grading and as she had taught most of the course she was able to make in her opinion fairly accurate predictions.
I think this system will work well for years 11 and 13 - but my son is year 10 so his GCSEs are next summer in 2021. We had been hoping that they would go back to school and be in over the summer. His school normally run catch up classes for practical subjects over the summer as well which I'm guessing won't happen. He has not done the majority of the required coursework in coursework subjects - they were due to start in Engineering the week the school finished and Art has told them to start a major project from home.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,510
Hi @Juggling mum, as the mother of a dyslexic son I understand your worry. I wouldn't worry too much about GCSEs. As long as your son gets goodish grades in English and maths he'll be fine. I'm sure schools and colleges will be looking at a much broader range of criteria for allowing students to progress to A levels and down the line so will universities. Is it worth nagging the school's special needs department? I'm not sure what is in place for your son, but mine had what was then called a 'statement of special needs', a learning support assistant and as much extra help as the school could arrange. It helped it was what was then a city technology college founded by a dyslexic. I had to turn into tiger mother at times to get him the help he needed, so is it also worth phoning/emailing various teachers and explaining your concerns. In the meantime how about looking at Ted talks or similar in the topics he is interested in. At that age my son was experimenting with making gunpowder, goodness knows why we let him, but I guess its stood him in good stead for his subsequent career as an industrial chemist. He's obviously still extremely dyslexic, but growing up has helped him find strategies to cope.
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
337
My daughter has her year 10s in from next week but they only do 2 days a week so probably only one lesson per option. Again we talked about this yesterday and she said there would probably be some form of teacher assessment for next year. I would encourage you to contact your sons teachers if you have any particular worries as they are still working and should answer any queries you may have. I wouldn’t worry as it’s unproductive, you can’t do anything, they can’t do a lot so just encourage him to get on with the work set
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,816
Chester
but mine had what was then called a 'statement of special needs',
We are no where near achieving a statement of special needs! I consider he has filled the criteria for this since year 3. They don't look at what he should be able to achieve but what he is doing relative to most of the school and say he's doing OK. I have had to battle to get what we've got.

He was the first ever 'high achiever' put on a computer dyslexic programme - their words - which they normally use for the bottom of the school - as a result of getting extra time his grades moved up one to two grades in each subject.

He is capable of getting similar grades to his sister - and has expressed a desire to apply to Oxbridge - therefore he needs across the board 7s or higher in all academic subjects.

only 2 days a week
He is in school for 4 mornings of the last week of term - they are having a quarter of the school each week. He will only be doing English Maths and Science - and whilst this is the correct approach for most of the year it is one size fits all, 3 double lessons of English as this is what is timetabled will be of benefit to him but 3 lessons for 2 GCSEs is not going to really make that much difference. They are not touching the 'option' subjects as can't keep them in the same 'bubble'. In his case English and 3 out of 4 option subjects are where he needs school help.

One of the neighbouring schools (same catchment but Catholic) is providing far more on line zoom lessons and direct contact - we've had whole subject emails ie top to bottom set and one phone call to see if he is going to come into school as scheduled yesterday.

Unfortunately the majority of those applying to both Oxbridge and Russell group unis will be at schools where far more interaction has happened and far more support in non core subjects given. His A level subjects will likely be double maths and 2 sciences and I am not worried about him getting entry grades for these for a different school next year - I am concerned that he won't have the breadth of good grades that Oxbridge and Russell group unis expect. Like it or not life is a competition whether it be for a place at uni, a job, or a promotion.

Some of you will recall I am not an Oxbridge fan, dau applied and was offered a place which to our relief she turned down, and I don't actually want son to apply but I want him to be in the position to make his own decisions not have it decided by a lottery of which schools were more able to deliver the curriculum whilst they are shut.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,510
Hi @Juggling mum. We managed to get my son ‘statemented’ by getting a private assessment. He was in the top 5%of the population for verbal reasoning for his age, and bottom 5% for reading and writing. Lots of weird other things like no appreciation of music, little concept of time. Could transpose chemical equations in his head, but not do times tables. The fact he was so articulate was a help. No one listening to his carefully argued stances on various things would have been in any doubt he was bright. I think universities will probably still be taking the disruption to education into account when your son is applying. In the end hopefully what matters is that he enjoys his study and finds a career he likes. It is tough as a parent though trying to help.
 

Melles Belles

Registered User
Jul 4, 2017
425
South east
It seems to take ages to sort out special needs in school. Youngest dau had problems with concentration, organisation, not a great reader/speller and poor at following verbal instructions (from year 1 onwards). Put on report over disorganisation and homework regularly lost or forgotten at independent senior school. Changed school in year 9 and immediately diagnosed with auditory and phonic processIng problems and help given. Problems continued into 6th form when SEND team suggested ADHD. A year later (November in year 13) finally diagnosed with Inattention ADHD and further support given. She managed to scrape through to university to study Physiotherapy and has just finished her first year. As it’s at least 50% practical course she’s less impacted with her concentration better when she’s physically doing something especially if she enjoys it.
@jugglingmum does you son get extra time and other support in exams?
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,816
Chester
Thanks for all your comments. Yes son does get 25% extra time - but no other support. I think in lockdown it so hard to gauge where he is at and we have had so little contact with the school. I guess the proposal to delay exams will be of overall benefit, although I am sad he will lose his long summer to enjoy life (Mind you I used it to earn money).

He had a half day in school last Thursday (pastoral) and enjoyed it, found out a lot of others had struggled with things as well. I know other local schools are doing zoom lessons and making sure they keep up with normal lesson speed - his school isn't.

Son had his birthday at the weekend, and I organised a socially distanced party, under a gazebo in the garden, 3 friends, all sitting in a corner, playing monopoly and risk on ipads/phones. The group of them have been meeting up on zoom and playing the same games on ipads on Saturday afternoons so I thought it would work well which it did. Access is from the side of the house so no need to enter the house and I provided each one with their own tube of pringles and packet of custard creams (a favourite apparently). Whilst it was within the current rules it felt like a very social affair considering where we've been. It was the first time any of them had seen a friend since March, one mum saying her son had barely left his room (he has a PC for schoolwork in his room).

I made a cake - a full size monopoly board - it took hours and hours. But worth spending the time in lockdown.

It was time to get mum food again last week. The rules at her sheltered extra care have changed to say that we are allowed into her flat to deliver shopping or to visit as part of providing care but no social visiting. So I got to see mum for the first time since March. I didn't wear a mask as I thought it might confuse her and only recommended - I stayed at least 3 meters away from her at all times and used hand gel before entering, so I got to put her shopping away. She isn't as with it, but that isn't due to lockdown, but she did look amazingly well. Better than she did in the autumn. I was pleased to see her looking so well and took a pic to show OH and children.

I didn't need to provide ready meals as she has had some provided I think as classified as vulnerable, but disappointing to find they were all the same! (Roast beef and yorkshire pud which I do know she really likes at least).

Dau is planning to return to Sheffield, based on today's relaxation of rules, fairly soon and I know would like to see my mum, but mum would expect a cuddle off dau (she never cuddled me as a child and doesn't give me hugs now) which I consider is too risky for the moment.
 

Spamar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
7,395
Suffolk
That’s a fabulous cake, JM, well done you!
My school summer holidays were spent working in a beach shop. A bonus was that we could use all equipment out of hours. Ice cream, anyone?
 

annielou

Registered User
Sep 27, 2019
1,430
Yorkshire
That cake is fantastic 👍well done. Sons party sounds a great idea I bet it was nice for them to see friends and parents didn’t need to worry as sounds like you thought of all proper precautions.
Glad you got to see your mum and she looked well. A shame your daughter can‘t see her yet but hopefully next time daughter comes home things will be better and safer to give her a hug. 🤞
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,510
That is an amazing cake, you must have far more patience and icing skills than I have. Sounds an ideal birthday for your son too.
 

Bikerbeth

Registered User
Feb 11, 2019
1,421
Bedford
Glad to hear that your son enjoyed his socially distanced small Birthday party.. What a lovely idea and a fabulous cake to boot.
Pleased to hear that you got to see your Mum briefly. Also pleased to hear that Roast Beef dinners are one of her favourites otherwise it could have been interesting.