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Old 01.02.2010, 14:12
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What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

Hi my son has an appointment to see the School Psychologist this is an assessment to help his teachers decide on his future schooling.

He is in Klasse 5 at the moment, we arrived here from UK Sept 08 when he went in to Klasse 4. He has got on very well and his Deutsch from not speaking any to now is fab!

He has two teachers and they are struggling to make a decision as they cannot mark him in the same way as the rest of the class (being here under 2 yrs cannot be marked on Deutsch or Realien). So they have asked for the School Psychologist to assess him.

We are wondering if anyone else has had this and what kind of things he may have to do in his test. We have only been told may include some sort of logistics test and a chat. Appt is for 1hr 30 mins.

any experience or help is much appreciated.
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Old 01.02.2010, 15:17
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

We've had some interaction with school psychologists, but when our children were younger.

As I understand it, the psychologist is trying to find out whether your son can cope with the higher level, or if he'd be better at a lower level. I believe you can get a second opinion if you disagree...

For what it's worth, my son went through this after we'd been here one year. He ended up in the higher stream and did very well. What level do you think he should be at?
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Old 01.02.2010, 15:54
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

When I first came to Germany I was assessed to find out my level, at the time it was a hard core intelligence test, I did not speak German and it was thought that I needed go to a "Sonderschule" for a chance to get up to speed. Today you would call it a special needs school but in the not so politically correct era of the early '70ies it was the school for idiots. "Deppele Schul"
Once there it would have been a stigma for life, I am glad I was able to convince the shrink enough to send me to a "normal" school.
I hope that things have moved on since then but all the same my alarm bells sound off when I hear "school psychologist" I would be very wary if I was you
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Old 01.02.2010, 16:17
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

It all depends on what they want to measure, intelligence- or school level. Could you provide me with more information in order to help you?
How old is your son exactly? Do you have the name of the test? (you can ask the psychologist for the name of the test). And on what segments is the test is based?
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Old 01.02.2010, 17:29
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

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It all depends on what they want to measure, intelligence- or school level. Could you provide me with more information in order to help you?
How old is your son exactly? Do you have the name of the test? (you can ask the psychologist for the name of the test). And on what segments is the test is based?
Hi thanks to all who have replied, my is 11 (12 in April) he is a bright young boy, but is prone to daydream from time to time, he has always been above average before we came here and now seems to be average or below but mainly due to the language difficulty and his lack of confidence to speak up and say "I don't understand, can you explain" although lately this has had a remarkable improvement, his teachers are very good and seem genuinely interested in our sons' future. Hence why they have suggested this appointment to really get a 3rd opinion. I think at his age and level at the moment that Sekondarschule would be best and hopefully after 1 or 2 years maybe then can move on to BiZ schule.?

The test I'm not sure what it is called I'm not even sure if it is official or just a mock thing, the reason i say this when I last met the Psychologist she seemed to be confused as to why she was even asked to see him, suppose because in all other aspects he is great, his marks are averaging 5, he has lots of friends and lots of enthusiasm. No mental or physical drawbacks at all, so she was a bit confused i think.

I'm just concerned as to what she will ask him and what kind of logistical questions may be involved.
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Old 03.02.2010, 16:10
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

I can understand you concern. That's why I asked the questions about the test.
It's very important both the teachers and the psychologist have the same agenda. If not, the psychologist could test your son on different abilities then wanted, which can result in a wrong advice.
So I hope that you could find out more information about the test In that way I hopefully will be more able to inform you about the subjects and related questions the psychologist will ask.
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Old 03.02.2010, 16:25
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

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<snip>
The test I'm not sure what it is called I'm not even sure if it is official or just a mock thing, the reason i say this when I last met the Psychologist she seemed to be confused as to why she was even asked to see him, suppose because in all other aspects he is great, his marks are averaging 5, he has lots of friends and lots of enthusiasm. No mental or physical drawbacks at all, so she was a bit confused i think.
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I can understand you concern. That's why I asked the questions about the test.
It's very important both the teachers and the psychologist have the same agenda. If not, the psychologist could test your son on different abilities then wanted, which can result in a wrong advice.
So I hope that you could find out more information about the test In that way I hopefully will be more able to inform you about the subjects and related questions the psychologist will ask.
I think Moniek has hit the nail on the head.

Can you arrange a meeting with you (without your son), the teacher and psych in the same room (at the same time ) to actually discuss the what and the why of this?

Getting this clarity up front will ensure that your son gets a relevant and fair assessment - if at all needed. It is possible that the outcome of your meeting would be that no assessment is needed.

I think much of your stress is probably coming from the uncertainty of what's going on... that in turn might stress your son out too... You have my sympathy.

Try and get that clarity!
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Old 08.02.2010, 11:36
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

Hi all, thank you for your replies, we have now been to appointment with Kinder Psychologist and later today we meet with them again along with my sons teachers to decide what level he should be going in to.

I am now very concerned and a bit in shock. I asked the Psychologist how she thought my son had done, and she says she thinks he should repeat klasse 5! She says Realschule would not be good for him and Sekondarschule would be too difficult at this stage and that he needs more knowledge to enable him to go to Sekondarschule.

I just don't understand why/how these decisions need to be made at the age of 11.

The test that he had to do was a 6 page official program that involved guessing the odd one out, using cubes with shapes to make designs given, also was given words in german and had to give the common link, asked if you have 10 apples etc, and capital of Greece and who was Christopher Columbus!!! These are just an example of the sorts of things that were in the test. He felt as did I that overall he did not too bad, he did struggle sometimes when he was not clear what the deutsch word meant.

I don't think it was a particularly great test, especially the random questions, for instance he knows a lot of capitals of the world but did not know the capital of Greece at the time, also he was asked questions like why does the canton government test our fleisch before we buy it! He's 11!! she also said to me he needs to know his geography for oberstufe you know Swiss Mountain and lakes etc!

Anyway now I have to stay rational and put my point across this afternoon. My husband and I and my son too feel although would prove difficult to begin with he would in the long run be better in Sekondarschule.

Has anyone been in similar or can give me their views on the level of difficulty if any he would experience at Sekondarschule??

Thanks again this is not easy.
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Old 08.02.2010, 11:57
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

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Hi all, thank you for your replies, we have now been to appointment with Kinder Psychologist and later today we meet with them again along with my sons teachers to decide what level he should be going in to.

I am now very concerned and a bit in shock. I asked the Psychologist how she thought my son had done, and she says she thinks he should repeat klasse 5! She says Realschule would not be good for him and Sekondarschule would be too difficult at this stage and that he needs more knowledge to enable him to go to Sekondarschule.

I just don't understand why/how these decisions need to be made at the age of 11.

The test that he had to do was a 6 page official program that involved guessing the odd one out, using cubes with shapes to make designs given, also was given words in german and had to give the common link, asked if you have 10 apples etc, and capital of Greece and who was Christopher Columbus!!! These are just an example of the sorts of things that were in the test. He felt as did I that overall he did not too bad, he did struggle sometimes when he was not clear what the deutsch word meant.

I don't think it was a particularly great test, especially the random questions, for instance he knows a lot of capitals of the world but did not know the capital of Greece at the time, also he was asked questions like why does the canton government test our fleisch before we buy it! He's 11!! she also said to me he needs to know his geography for oberstufe you know Swiss Mountain and lakes etc!

Anyway now I have to stay rational and put my point across this afternoon. My husband and I and my son too feel although would prove difficult to begin with he would in the long run be better in Sekondarschule.

Has anyone been in similar or can give me their views on the level of difficulty if any he would experience at Sekondarschule??

Thanks again this is not easy.
This is all tripe. First of all the Swiss love this psychologist bullshit, in the real world a doctor will refer you to a psychologist, in Switzerland a schoolteacher. Considering that majors first school teacher didn't know the difference between a jaguar and a leopard you can imagine my thoughts on her qualifications to call in a psychologist.

Its also crap about having to know geography - thats something for secondary school.

If I were you i would go on the offensive - All info here with ref to Kt. ZH

1.) The test your son was given does not reflect the material taught in class
2.) The test was not an certified aptitude test and the language element not available in English, therefore unsuited to the issue at hand.
3.) You make schooling decisions in class 6, not class 5, you son has a whole year to find his feet.
4.) Promise them you wil send him to German classes over the holidays - that will take the language wind out of their sales.
5.) Avoid a Realschule at all costs. Sek is, in Kt. ZH, divided up into A,B,C. and focuses towards getting an apprenticeship. Sek C is to be avoided at all costs. Sek A is the minimum you should be aiming for and necessary in order to get a decent apprentiship or, what you really should be aiming for, to get into Grammar school after 2-3 years of Sek.
6.) The quality of Sek A depends on where you live - on the Gold Cost the standard is good, in Schwammedingen (sp.) pretty ****. I suppose a British comprehensive would be roughly equivalent.

Edit: I see Argau has 5 primary classes but the timetables are downloadable - check what the kids do in their first Sek and is it what the psycho says it is - In my opinion you would be better off getting the kid into Sek and, if absolutly necessary to repeat 1st Sek.
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Old 08.02.2010, 12:03
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

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This is all tripe. First of all the Swiss love this psychologist bullshit, in the real world a doctor will refer you to a psychologist, in Switzerland a schoolteacher. Considering that majors first school teacher didn't know the difference between a jaguar and a leopard you can imagine my thoughts on her qualifications to call in a psychologist.

Its also crap about having to know geography - thats something for secondary school.

If I were you i would go on the offensive - All info here with ref to Kt. ZH

1.) The test your son was given does not reflect the material taught in class
2.) The test was not an certified aptitude test and the language element not available in English, therefore unsuited to the issue at hand.
3.) You make schooling decisions in class 6, not class 5, you son has a whole year to find his feet.
4.) Promise them you wil send him to German classes over the holidays - that will take the language wind out of their sales.
5.) Avoid a Realschule at all costs. Sek is, in Kt. ZH, divided up into A,B,C. and focuses towards getting an apprenticeship. Sek C is to be avoided at all costs. Sek A is the minimum you should be aiming for and necessary in order to get a decent apprentiship or, what you really should be aiming for, to get into Grammar school after 2-3 years of Sek.
6.) The quality of Sek A depends on where you live - on the Gold Cost the standard is good, in Schwammedingen (sp.) pretty ****. I suppose a British comprehensive would be roughly equivalent.
My thoughts too, I feel the first year of high school is where he should find his feet and push himself to get to where he wants to be.

If back in the UK (scottish high school) he would have had the first two years to settle and then make decisions as to subjects/course he wants to pursue.

Now faced with this at his age it is difficult, but as you say I need to stick to what we want for him too.
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Old 08.02.2010, 12:05
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

Sound very stressful.

IMO language is probably the key thing. If you cannot communicate people tend to read all sorts of incorrect things relating to intelligence. So I would really highlight HTD's point (4).

As for the rest of it (his advice), seems reasonable but I can't really help any further as my knowledge here is very limited.

Good luck though.
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Old 08.02.2010, 12:13
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

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Hi all, thank you for your replies, we have now been to appointment with Kinder Psychologist and later today we meet with them again along with my sons teachers to decide what level he should be going in to.

I am now very concerned and a bit in shock. I asked the Psychologist how she thought my son had done, and she says she thinks he should repeat klasse 5! She says Realschule would not be good for him and Sekondarschule would be too difficult at this stage and that he needs more knowledge to enable him to go to Sekondarschule.

I just don't understand why/how these decisions need to be made at the age of 11.

The test that he had to do was a 6 page official program that involved guessing the odd one out, using cubes with shapes to make designs given, also was given words in german and had to give the common link, asked if you have 10 apples etc, and capital of Greece and who was Christopher Columbus!!! These are just an example of the sorts of things that were in the test. He felt as did I that overall he did not too bad, he did struggle sometimes when he was not clear what the deutsch word meant.

I don't think it was a particularly great test, especially the random questions, for instance he knows a lot of capitals of the world but did not know the capital of Greece at the time, also he was asked questions like why does the canton government test our fleisch before we buy it! He's 11!! she also said to me he needs to know his geography for oberstufe you know Swiss Mountain and lakes etc!

Anyway now I have to stay rational and put my point across this afternoon. My husband and I and my son too feel although would prove difficult to begin with he would in the long run be better in Sekondarschule.

Has anyone been in similar or can give me their views on the level of difficulty if any he would experience at Sekondarschule??

Thanks again this is not easy.
Just a note - it seems to me there is a trouble with the validity of the test. They had a language aptitude test all mixed up with general knowledge, IQ and learning style. Two different things, I would ask to have the language knowledge assessed independently and then ask the school (not the PSYCH) for some helpful advice with the language. With immigrant kids, the level of knowledge of what one learns in the class should always be evaluated separately of the languge. So the kids lacking a bit in lang acquisition don't get labeled slow in general.

ETA - general knowledge, IQ and learning style should also evaluated in separate tests, to be exact. So kids who learn in dif ways are not considered slow, either. Sorry for the little digression. The test sounds all mighty quacky.
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Old 08.02.2010, 12:31
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

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Just a note - it seems to me there is a trouble with the validity of the test. They had a language aptitude test all mixed up with general knowledge, IQ and learning style. Two different things, I would ask to have the language knowledge assessed independently and then ask the school (not the PSYCH) for some helpful advice with the language. With immigrant kids, the level of knowledge of what one learns in the class should always be evaluated separately of the languge. So the kids lacking a bit in lang acquisition don't get labeled slow in general.

ETA - general knowledge, IQ and learning style should also evaluated in separate tests, to be exact. So kids who learn in dif ways are not considered slow, either. Sorry for the little digression. The test sounds all mighty quacky.

Yes it was just a bit quacky!! In fact the more I think about it, she didn't actually ask him anything that wasn't a question from the test paper, for instance, she didn't ask how he feels about any of this etc,,,, there was nothing like normal chit chat with him to help her evaluate what kind of a kid he is. Surely getting away from the test questions and just chatting to him could also tell her a lot?
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Old 08.02.2010, 12:59
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

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Just a note - it seems to me there is a trouble with the validity of the test. They had a language aptitude test all mixed up with general knowledge, IQ and learning style. Two different things, I would ask to have the language knowledge assessed independently and then ask the school (not the PSYCH) for some helpful advice with the language. With immigrant kids, the level of knowledge of what one learns in the class should always be evaluated separately of the languge. So the kids lacking a bit in lang acquisition don't get labeled slow in general.

ETA - general knowledge, IQ and learning style should also evaluated in separate tests, to be exact. So kids who learn in dif ways are not considered slow, either. Sorry for the little digression. The test sounds all mighty quacky.
glendamwm, Sorry to hear about your son's experiences.

I strongly agree with what MusicChick has written. As your son's advocate, I suggest that you question the validity of the test. Ask the psychologist to explain in very specific terms what the test was intended to assess. "Validity", "reliability" and "authentic assessment" are all hot topics in language learning and the psychologist should be responsive to your concerns if you question the results of the test using these terms.

Good luck.
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Old 08.02.2010, 13:12
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

just my 2 cents after our recent elterngespräch...
keep your cool (which i didn't do?!) and state your opinion without 'attacking' the test (leave that for later, more ammunition) why do you think it would be bad for him to stay behind, why would it be good to go to the next level etc.
i didn't get anywhere querying their methods - they feel threatened and become defensive. use that as a last resort.
strongs - it's really crap to feel so helpless to protect someone you love so much!
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Old 08.02.2010, 13:19
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

"Tripe". Yep, couldn't have put it better myself.

My youngest had to see a pyschologist because the kindergartnerin thought she should go to the Einfuhrungsklasse (sp?) - i.e. do year one of school twice. And we disagreed.

The psychologist did some tests, and then discussed them with us. Similar issues as you experienced. Then we started questioning the psychologist's view - after my wife pointed out that she's a qualified school teacher with a specialism in early years (3-5)... and the psychologist began to back down.

Unfortunately there are people in the educational system who are really obsessed with the idea that if (foreign) kids can't speak totally perfect German, then they can't do well at school. These are the people who say "Yes, your child is intelligent/above average intelligence, but they can't do the German". My son was getting this in his last year at Pro-Gym. Fortunately he shook of this negative, whining and thoroughly discouraging criticisim, and he's now completing Gymnasium with an astoundingly high average of 5.5

Unfortunately, I don't know the AG system, so I can't really advise on what you can do next. Except keep fighting. What were your sons grades in his last Zeugnis?
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Old 08.02.2010, 13:27
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

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"Tripe". Yep, couldn't have put it better myself.

My youngest had to see a pyschologist because the kindergartnerin thought she should go to the Einfuhrungsklasse (sp?) - i.e. do year one of school twice. And we disagreed.

The psychologist did some tests, and then discussed them with us. Similar issues as you experienced. Then we started questioning the psychologist's view - after my wife pointed out that she's a qualified school teacher with a specialism in early years (3-5)... and the psychologist began to back down.

Unfortunately there are people in the educational system who are really obsessed with the idea that if (foreign) kids can't speak totally perfect German, then they can't do well at school. These are the people who say "Yes, your child is intelligent/above average intelligence, but they can't do the German". My son was getting this in his last year at Pro-Gym. Fortunately he shook of this negative, whining and thoroughly discouraging criticisim, and he's now completing Gymnasium with an astoundingly high average of 5.5

Unfortunately, I don't know the AG system, so I can't really advise on what you can do next. Except keep fighting. What were your sons grades in his last Zeugnis?

Thank you for your support. This is how I am feeling that I have to really fight his corner. His grades started good at mostly 5's now he is getting 4-5 mainly with the odd 5-6, he has two teachers (husband and wife team) the husband wants my son to go to realschule or repeat klasse 5 and his wife thinks maybe best to push him to Sek, hence they couldn't come to decision and had not had a foreign student in this exact situation, so thought best to get another opinion, this being the kinder psychologist!
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Old 08.02.2010, 14:49
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

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..he has two teachers (husband and wife team) the husband wants my son to go to realschule or repeat klasse 5 and his wife thinks maybe best to push him to Sek..
If you son has two teachers and they differ in the assessment, it sounds like the two teach differently (especially if the results in the subjects are different and depend on who is teaching them), I would ask after the reasons the husband wants your kid out (his teaching ways probably differ from his wife's). Unless your kid is really strong in some subjects and really weak in others. Your kid being a dreamer should not result in him having to leave school? I sense the husband might have some disciplinary issues in mind, maybe..Or thinks imperfect Deutch slows intellectual developement. Which is a load of crap, pardon my Francais. It scares some teachers when they have to do a bit more work with a kid that needs more attention in the language dept.
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Old 08.02.2010, 14:57
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

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<snip>.Or thinks imperfect Deutch slows intellectual developement. Which is a load of crap, pardon my Francais. It scares some teachers when they have to do a bit more work with a kid that needs more attention in the language dept.
I'll second that (again). Had to run for a meeting earlier, so didn't finish writing.

I was going to post an anecdote to encourage you.

I studied for a postgrad degree with around 12 other folk from around the world. The course was in the UK, so in English. Included on the course were people from Ethiopia, China, Egypt, Norway and Mongolia.

Their English was not good and sadly they didn't contribute much to the discussions when they picked up pace. But 1:1 you clearly saw that they were intelligent people with PhDs, MDs, and in the case of the Mongolian, both and head of a department in a hospital...
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Old 08.02.2010, 15:05
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

I would look closely on the school results, if the student should be "moved" to a lower level or a dif school, then all results should probably indicate that. If it is just one or two subjects, then he just needs help.
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