It’s the start of the final push in Hayley’s school year, and the results of the mock GSCEs she took last term are due any day – the stress can only get worse…!
Monday teatime, writing up January’s events on the calendar…
Here we are, January – Hayley’s final two school terms. Last hurdles coming up, then that’s the end of her school life, all her hard work and struggles, all my battles – not particularly successful – to get the support she’s needed. The foundation for whatever comes next.
Hayley’s year are about to get the results of the mock GCSE exams they sat in December –a dummy run of the real results day in August. I guess they’ll experience the highs and lows, then be inspired to do their best for the real exams.
Pupils will be excitedly ripping open their envelopes, then either whooping in triumph or biting back tears of disappointment before sloping off to mope over their failures.
I’m still trying to gauge how Hayley’s done, whether all the struggle will have been in vain.
Since last month, letters have been coming home saying ‘your child has been identified as at risk of failing to get five grade A*– C GSCEs’.
Well hello? Shout it from the rooftops, they’ve finally realised what I’ve been saying since she was eight. This girl needs help – she doesn’t understand, she’s not getting it, nor the results she needs other than when teachers help complete her work.
I’ve seen essays Hayley’s written that are barely comprehensible, read things in her literature folder and asked her ‘hey, where did that incredible description of a jewel-eyed, sabre-clawed, hellfire’s fire-breathing dragon come from?’
Because I know my girl well enough to spot a wildly out-of-character piece of imaginative writing when I see it.
‘I was stuck so Miss put that bit in,’ she’d say.
Time and again I’ve begged for support, knowing her grades were unrepresentative, that when crunch time came she’d be falling off the edge of a cliff.
Now the penny’s dropped. Suddenly Hayley’s been given a learning mentor in the shape of a sixth-former, plus another sixth-former for weekly maths tuition, and an organisational mentor who’ll shape her up into remembering where to be and when, what to bring with her, and how to devise a revision timetable. Plus one other mentor who I’m not at all sure what they’re for.
Call me cynical but now that her school’s precious league tables are at risk of being sullied by failure, they’re wheeling out a battalion of mentors for an intensive burst of cramming at the final stretch.
Too little too late! And not likely to be especially helpful when Hayley’s already bogged down with catch-up and revision.
As it is she stays behind most days for coursework catch-up and now they’re saying she needs to do more.
What she actually needs is more hours in a day so I suggested to her head-of-year that Hayley drops a subject. Hayley met with him and – very admirably – refused as she’s spent two years studying each subject and doesn’t want her efforts wasted. So we’ve agreed she can drop PE for extra catch-up. Hopefully that’ll do the trick.
In the meantime, we’ll hold our breath as she opens that envelope…