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Chapter Twenty Two - Fray

As things started to fall apart, I was getting referred back to mental health services. I'd always been a regular visitor to my GP because I was struggling with what was probably depression, which was ongoing and circumstantial to how things were with my Dad, rather than school - though of course that made it worse.

Here's my school photo - the only one I had at this school:

And the only report I received:

Summary: Willow is a pleasant member of the form, she is always prepared and organised for school. She works hard in class discussions and completes all activates well.

Head of Year comment: A pleasant and cheerful member of the year group, she is always polite and dressed in full school uniform. She is well motivated and is beginning to shoe more initiative when the need arises. She related well to other students and adults in the school.

English: Willow has completed a range of coursework to a pleasing standard. She has written with good understanding about Shakespeare’s comedic techniques, choosing precise quotations and exploring their effectiveness and showing awareness of the importance of both literary and historical content. Her creative writing was particularly effective; she showed empathy with her character’s situation and used language with maturity and sensitivity. Areas for improvement: Willow’s attendance is, at present, very erratic; this has, undoubtedly impeded her progress, as she has missed preparatory lessons for several pieces of coursework and also initial work on the literature texts for examination in 2008. She currently has several pieces of work outstanding. She seems to lack confidence in her ability, which is a pity as she has skills in every area of English and could, with regular attendance, achieve a high grade in this subject.

Mathematics: Willow is a hard working pupil who always tries her best. She is able to use standard form in calculations and convert from standard form to an ordinary number and vice versa. Areas for improvement: Willow should ensure she can recall the formulae for trigonometry and apply these to calculate missing angles and side lengths. She also needs to be able to recall the different types of graphs. By practising sketching different types of graph, she should develop her understanding of the topic.

Science: Willow works quietly and conscientiously in every lesson, which is evident from the fact that when questioned she has a sound understanding of the work at hand. She is particularly strong in the area of physics. She does equally well in both multiple-choice tests and long answer papers. Areas for improvement: Willow rarely asks for help in the lesson, though it is evident she would benefit from more immediate, direct help. She also needs to become more actively involved in the lesson.

Religious Education Short Course: Willow has studied topics on Religion, Peach and Justice and Religion and Human Relationships this year. Willow is now confident when putting forward different Christian viewpoints about war and violence, including pacifist views. Willow is conversant with the Just War rules and the different aims of punishment. Willow is now comfortable when examining topics from the perspectives of different people. Areas for improvement: Willow is not always confident in her ability to expand her answers fully. Willow does not always use key words and terms in her work. Willow lacks confidence when asked to contribute verbally in lessons, either in class discussions or to respond to a question.

Citizenship: Willow has shown an interest in and understanding of the topics covered this year; these include community, crime and sexual health. Added to this, she has researched and created a presentation for the class using ICT skills. Areas for improvement: Willow should focus on completing her ICT/Key skills portfolio whilst continuing to participate in the class discussions.

Physical Education: Willow has misses too many lessons, when she is present she is helpful. Areas for improvement: Willow’s poor attendance and lack of participation have prevented any real improvement.

French: Willow has made limited progress in French due to her regular absences. She can however identify key words and phrases in a familiar context on a range of topics, including school, home life and hobbies. Willow’s written French is of a basic level and she is able to write short phrases with the help of a model or word list. Areas for improvement: Willow lacks confidence in her spoken French and rarely attends lessons.

Geography: Willow is a very mature, hard-working and thoughtful student. She is always committed to her studies and has made good progress. She completes all tasks set and her homeworks always show a good grasp of the subject. Her behaviour is excellent and her presentation skills are of a very high standard. Areas for improvement: Willow would benefit from participating more in class discussions and seeking ways in which she can extend her answers, as it is here where she often loses marks. She should also work harder to learn key words and use these more often within her answers.

Art: Willow made a very good start to the course. She is creative with her ideas and has a good drawing technique. Areas for improvement: Willow needs to have a little more confidence in her abilities and listen more to advice. She should put a little more emphasis on developing her ideas and experimenting with a variety of media. She should also make sure that she improves and finishes her final pieces.

Design and Technology (Graphics): Willow has shown that she can analyse existing products thoughtfully. She uses the results of this analysis to improve her own designs. Areas for improvement: Willow’s attendance has been somewhat erratic this year and may have a negative effect on her achievement.

IT: Willow is a confident use of ICT. She has achieved very good marks for her first coursework task. During this she has demonstrated that she can: plan and produce material suitable for a specific audience; search for and select information from the internet: use a spreadsheet to create a graph and write about how she has developed her work to make it suitable for the stated purpose. Willow uses lesson time productively. Areas for improvement: Willow can move towards achieving her target grade by ensuring that she attempts and gets regular feedback on how to improve all the more complex aspects of the second coursework task, such as mail merging, thorough testing and a detailed user guide.

Attendance: 57%

The only lessons I received A or B in were the ones I'd chosen to study (Art, Graphics and IT) and English; these remained consistent throughout all of my schooling, regardless of my attendance.

Here I am at the beach, around the time I was missing a lot of school:

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