• Question: THIS IS FROM MY FRIEND: I am in a very disruptive class and the whole class is doing foundation,I was very good at science in year nine and the pupils who were less academic than me got into a higher set.I am now left with people who don't care about their work. I want to do higher how can i convince my teacher i'm good enough to do it. Thank you!.

    Asked by kira1998 to Loren, Sam, Toby on 25 Jun 2014.
    • Photo: Sam Lear

      Sam Lear answered on 25 Jun 2014:

      Hi kira1998,

      This is what I would say to your friend

      For a start it’s great that you are interested in science and that is the most important thing. Obviously it is annoying when people around you don’t want to work, but you shouldn’t ever let this put you off your enjoyment of learning.

      A similar thing happened to me in school – I wasn’t very good at exams initially, and I got put in a low maths set. I eventually worked back up to the top though. If you have progress tests that enable you to do this, obviously the best way is to work your hardest in these so you can move up to where you want to be.

      You should talk to your teacher and definitely your parents/guardian about this – because they might be able to do something about it, or at the very least reassure you that you will have the chance to change sets in the future.

      I know homework isn’t the nicest thing to do – but if you can’t concentrate in class or you don’t think the work is challenging enough maybe you could ask your teacher to give you reading or work to do outside of class? You could possibly borrow a higher level text book to read – remember if you’re interested in a topic you don’t have to wait until you’re studying it in school to read about it.

      I think the most important thing is to remember that your ‘intelligence’ or ability is certainly not defined by what set you’re put in or what you achieve in tests – you can always achieve more if you really want to.

    • Photo: Tobias Warnecke

      Tobias Warnecke answered on 25 Jun 2014:

      Hey kira1998,

      what Sam says sound very sensible. I’ve never gone to school in the UK so I don’t really know how the system works, but the bottom line is that, if your friend works hard and proves she/he deserves to get into the higher set, the teacher will see that.

      sorry, not very practical advice, I know.

    • Photo: Loren Macdonald

      Loren Macdonald answered on 26 Jun 2014:

      Hi Kira,

      Sorry to hear thins about your friend. It’s never good to be in a disruptive class when you just want to focus. I found this a lot with our ‘elective’ subjects in my GCSE years where some people just picked random subjects they weren’t interested in (or with science, you have to do it- so you will get lots that don’t care).

      It can sometimes be hard to move between classes in a lot of schools, so I know how much of a struggle it might be. Has your friend talked to their teacher about how they’re finding it hard in a class where they can’t concentrate? Maybe they could ask for some past papers from exams and then prove that they have the ability to do it? It might also be possible to talk to another teacher that could support their case?

      Teachers just want the best for you- and so if you feel like you can do better in a better class- talking to them about it might help. If your friend does well in class assessments and homework and shows a real interest in class and keeps talking to the teacher about changing classes and exam- then maybe that will work.

      I don’t know whether this set change means your friend has to do a lower paper or not in exams? I know with us, the lower sets did the intermediate exam paper- but if this isn’t the case then I can only suggest, if they won’t move your friend, that your friend just does more work at home and studies hard there.

      We didn’t really have a Physics teacher in year 10 and 11 so a group of my friends and I met up once a week and went through our revision book for the subject and taught ourselves everything we needed. We all got As and A*s. So, it’s possible to do well without being able to learn everything you needed in the classroom.

      Good luck!