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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:24 pm 
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Tinkers wrote:
Offer to help with revision, but don’t be offended if refused


This is just my personal view but I disagree. I have been reading this thread with interest, I also have a dd sitting GCSE mocks this week and next. My view is that 'we' (ie modern day parents) are generally too over-involved and over-invested in our children's education. I don't think it does them any favours in the long-run. It's horrible to see our children so stressed and of course we want to do everything to help, but ultimately it's THEIR revision and THEIR exams.

There is far too much pressure to do well in mocks and I think they should be much more low-key. And the pressure to get 8s/9s!! GCSEs are just a stepping stone to the next stage, even the most academic schools generally ask for a number of 7s for entry in Sixth Form. I tell my dds a string of Grade 9s is NOT impressive and they shouldn't let exam results define them as people.

There is so much wrong with our education system in this country I don't know where to start. The mental health of this generation of young people is shocking. Schools make token efforts to address this such as 'Well-Being weeks' :roll: but don't do anything that helps in the long run. I wish teachers would stop harping on about GCSEs in Year SEVEN when these poor 11 year olds have just started secondary school. I wish that some schools wouldn't actively encourage and expect students to do four A Levels when they know full well how hard THREE are.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
My comment was made in response to the original post, which was how to help if your DCs are getting stressed. I didn’t get involved with DDs revision except when she was getting herself wound up. It was at that point I ‘offered to help with revision’ and not before. There was only one subject we did sit down together. Other subjects she either didn’t need the help, or apart from moral support I wouldn’t have been any help anyway.

I’d agree with your sentiments. My point was, offer it if they are getting stressed (as a means of helping them deal with the stress, not from taking over their revision) and more importantly, don’t get wound up yourself if they don’t want help. It’s more a case of making sure they know there’s help and support available, if they want it and think they need it.

The only help DD got was me reading out biology questions and her answering them outloud back to me (I had the mark scheme), because, quite frankly, she fed up of writing stuff. I’d said if she wanted me to help I would, and later on she asked me to, and told me exactly how she wanted me to help.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:30 pm 
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Thank you Tinkers, I didn't mean to sound critical of you at all, I'm just feeling a bit disillusioned at the moment, fed up with the stress our teens are under, and hence our stress.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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guest201 wrote:
KB wrote:
By the way, 'slow processing speed' is a recognised difficulty and one that causes significant frustration and upset to those who have to deal with it on a daily basis, not just in an academic environment.


I am not saying it is not a recognised difficulty, but there are a large percentage of children at my daughter's school who have suddenly been diagnosed with it, a couple who my daughter knows well and she is very dubious as to whether they have it or not.
My daughter does go to an independent school so that probably explains a lot :shock:


I quite accept there may be over diagnosis in some sectors but I've seen my DCs suffer from "friends' not believing they had a problem, sometimes because they felt they had an unfair advantage or sometimes just from a lack of understanding of the disability.

My DCs found on those occasions that they weren't properly prepared for an exam then the extra time was of no use.
I would say (from a very small scale study!) it helped them to get grades closer to the students they were on a level with in class. Even then they had to put in more time to exam prep.

It would be very interesting to know how much difference extra time makes to pupils who dont have processing speed issues. I"m not sure if any proper research has been done at school level.

In the back of my mind I think Oxford University was looking at increasing exam time as an equality measure.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 8926
Location: Essex
KB wrote:
guest201 wrote:
KB wrote:
By the way, 'slow processing speed' is a recognised difficulty and one that causes significant frustration and upset to those who have to deal with it on a daily basis, not just in an academic environment.


I am not saying it is not a recognised difficulty, but there are a large percentage of children at my daughter's school who have suddenly been diagnosed with it, a couple who my daughter knows well and she is very dubious as to whether they have it or not.
My daughter does go to an independent school so that probably explains a lot :shock:


I quite accept there may be over diagnosis in some sectors but I've seen my DCs suffer from "friends' not believing they had a problem, sometimes because they felt they had an unfair advantage or sometimes just from a lack of understanding of the disability.

My DCs found on those occasions that they weren't properly prepared for an exam then the extra time was of no use.
I would say (from a very small scale study!) it helped them to get grades closer to the students they were on a level with in class. Even then they had to put in more time to exam prep.

It would be very interesting to know how much difference extra time makes to pupils who dont have processing speed issues. I"m not sure if any proper research has been done at school level.

In the back of my mind I think Oxford University was looking at increasing exam time as an equality measure.


Maths and Computer Science exams, from 2017.

As reported in the Telegraph:

Students taking maths and computer science examinations in the summer of 2017 were given an extra 15 minutes to complete their papers, after dons ruled that "female candidates might be more likely to be adversely affected by time pressure". There was no change to the length or difficulty of the questions.

However, despite the intention being to lessen gender discrepancies, the main effect of the time increase appears to have been an increase in the number of 2:1s overall, with 2:2 figures falling. Men continued to be awarded more first class degrees than women in the two subjects.

A university spokesman defended the changes as "academically demanding and fair", and noted that while 39 per cent of female mathematicians achieved first class degrees compared to 47 per cent of men, women's scores had improved year on year.

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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
Quote:
It would be very interesting to know how much difference extra time makes to pupils who dont have processing speed issues. I"m not sure if any proper research has been done at school level.


I was wondering that myself. (I’m dyslexic but didn’t have extra time in exams and tbh never needed it, I don’t have processing issues). I don’t think GCSEs and A levels are particularly time pressured, from memory and from what DD went through with GCSEs herself last year.

So apart from having extra time to maybe check your answers a second or third time, I’m not totally convinced it’s very much a benefit to those who don’t actually need it as they might think. However I have no information to go on either way.

The biggest, by far, benefit I had was to do 16+ English language. For those who don’t know, these were sort of the pre GCSEs scheme. Effectively your work was assessed by both an O level and CSE board and you got a grade from both. However for English language it was mostly coursework, with two pieces out of 12 having to be done under exam conditions, and two pieces had to be comprehensions (so our school did two comprehensions under exam consisting and satisfied both requirements).

As a result I managed to get a B at O level, (and a cse grade 1), which I don’t think I would have managed doing the normal O level style exam.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:29 pm 
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Location: S E London
A couple of years ago I invigilated at a small study centre for students with autism, most of whom were awarded extra time in the exams. Most of them didn't use it, because they had finished all the questions they were capable of during the normal exam time - the extra time was of no use to them. If you don't know the answers, or can only answer at a fairly superficial level, all the extra time in the world will not help.

In order to gain extra time the student has to not only score below a certain level on a range of test, but has to prove it is their normal way of working at school. My DD, with genuine slow processing speed (tested more than once using different tests) plus slow reading and writing speeds, needed extra time in all her class tests, and would write in a different colour pen once the normal time was up, to show what she could achieve with the extra time compared to the normal amount of time. In the November mocks, even with 25% extra time, she showed she needed more inn RS and English, because she worked through the paper and the questions she answered were of a very high standard, but she had no answers at all for the later questions as she had run out of time. As she has scored at a very low level on the processing speed test, plus had the proof she needed even more extra time, she was awarded 50% for the essay based subjects.

The exam boards do check up on schools to make sure they have all the proof they need - not just test results but the 'normal way of working' proof too. I wonder how those schools with high levels of extra time students collect that proof, especially this close to the exams. It has to be the normal way of working over time, not just suddenly for the mocks!

If anyone is interested here is the link to the JCQ guidelines to reasonable adjustments in exams
https://www.jcq.org.uk/exams-office/acc ... ts-booklet


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 5765
You can get extra time close to the exams too - just means the exams officer has to apply for the adjustment last minute in special cases - for example if someone breaks their hand/arm and is not used to using a scribe - or is using a scribe - they can get extra time with exam board agreement.

I am with the inspector when they inspect the paperwork - whilst it is all in a file and they flick through, they do not directly link the folder to the children - and, if there is a letter from an Ed Psych saying yes this person needs extra time (and they always always always say 25% extra time...) then the school has to accpet it and forward it to the exam board - it effectively overrides any assessments done by the SENCO (ours use the same colour pen changes system - in lessons and mock exams. This is the issue - you as a parent pay nearly £800 to see an Ed Pych because you say your child is struggling at school they can't do this or that and they are falling behind - that Ed Psych will look for something to "help" because that is what you are paying for - this is how, I believe, so many private schools have so many "extra timers" and why, in the schools I am in, there are a number of children who were not assessed by the SENCO (I mean they were but not given) but have outside evidence to support.

I feel very sorry for those who have real disabilities - but, sadly, like the whole 11+ system, where money talks, if there is a way to get around the system, people will find it and are.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:27 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:41 pm
Posts: 108
kenyancowgirl wrote:
I am with the inspector when they inspect the paperwork - whilst it is all in a file and they flick through, they do not directly link the folder to the children - and, if there is a letter from an Ed Psych saying yes this person needs extra time (and they always always always say 25% extra time...) then the school has to accpet it and forward it to the exam board - it effectively overrides any assessments done by the SENCO (ours use the same colour pen changes system - in lessons and mock exams. This is the issue - you as a parent pay nearly £800 to see an Ed Pych because you say your child is struggling at school they can't do this or that and they are falling behind - that Ed Psych will look for something to "help" because that is what you are paying for - this is how, I believe, so many private schools have so many "extra timers" and why, in the schools I am in, there are a number of children who were not assessed by the SENCO (I mean they were but not given) but have outside evidence to support.

I feel very sorry for those who have real disabilities - but, sadly, like the whole 11+ system, where money talks, if there is a way to get around the system, people will find it and are.


I find this troubling. I’m coming at it from the point of view of both a parent to children with and without special needs, with and without extra time recommendations, with experience of Ed Psych assessments accessed privately (for much less than £800!) and through the (state) primary school, and as a Clin Psychologist myself.
I accept that your view is formed through your experience within schools, but I am more than a little horrified at this view that professional opinions are widely available for purchase, whether legitimate or not. I have come up against this view in the past and unfortunately it has been used in order to dismiss what the Ed Psych said out of hand, rather than actually considering the very valid content of the report. Literally to the point where the school would not even consider the report because “well, you paid for it, so they would say that”. As a desperate parent with very real concerns who was trying to work with a school who just would not listen this was so exasperating/distressing/disempowering. As a highly qualified chartered professional who recognises the ethical obligation to give accurate diagnoses and make accurate recommendations whether this is when seeing people on the NHS or people who are paying privately, this “well, you paid so they would say that” attitude is actually quite offensive. Obviously, in any profession there are a few bad apples, but the blanket suggestion that if someone pays, they will get what they want, suggests that you feel that at best the majority of Ed Psychs are having the wool pulled over their eyes, being hoodwinked by parents trying to game the system, or at worse, are completely unethical – giving people exactly what they want because they are paying. I don’t believe either so I think we’ll have to agree to disagree although maybe I’m just tired and misunderstanding your points.

I know that for me personally, thinking back over the years, there have been some occasions when people have come to see me for labels they felt applied to them – and we have discussed why I haven’t felt it appropriate to do so. And quite a number of times actually, when people have been referred for a number of privately funded therapy sessions and after assessing I have explained why the therapy is unsuitable and declined to offer it – even though this means I am turning away paying work – precisely because it is just not ethical to offer something that is not truly necessary for someone. Although I’m talking about the Clinical sphere – the same applies for Ed Psychs too.

I don’t know where I’m going with this really, it’s late and I should be in bed. I just wanted to put another view across.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:58 pm
Posts: 717
Middlesexmum wrote:
Tinkers wrote:
Offer to help with revision, but don’t be offended if refused


This is just my personal view but I disagree. I have been reading this thread with interest, I also have a dd sitting GCSE mocks this week and next. My view is that 'we' (ie modern day parents) are generally too over-involved and over-invested in our children's education. I don't think it does them any favours in the long-run. It's horrible to see our children so stressed and of course we want to do everything to help, but ultimately it's THEIR revision and THEIR exams.

There is far too much pressure to do well in mocks and I think they should be much more low-key. And the pressure to get 8s/9s!! GCSEs are just a stepping stone to the next stage, even the most academic schools generally ask for a number of 7s for entry in Sixth Form. I tell my dds a string of Grade 9s is NOT impressive and they shouldn't let exam results define them as people.

There is so much wrong with our education system in this country I don't know where to start. The mental health of this generation of young people is shocking. Schools make token efforts to address this such as 'Well-Being weeks' :roll: but don't do anything that helps in the long run. I wish teachers would stop harping on about GCSEs in Year SEVEN when these poor 11 year olds have just started secondary school. I wish that some schools wouldn't actively encourage and expect students to do four A Levels when they know full well how hard THREE are.

Absolutely 100% agree.


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