CASE STUDY: How one mum stopped nagging (and her son got fantastic GCSE results)

How do you make sure an “Able but idle” year 11 gets fantastic GCSE results, without you nagging them all year?

That's what Sarah was wondering when she signed up for The Exam Success Formula, my signature study skills course which is now housed inside The Extraordinaries Club. She described her son, who was a student at a comprehensive school, had never been pushed particularly hard and whose first love was playing rugby, as just that: “Able but idle.” But, she was determined not nag.

This is the story of Sarah and her son (we'll call him ‘Rugby Boy' for the sake of anonymity) and their journey through The Exam Success Formula and Year 11.

Persuading her son to sign-up

Sarah was very keen to get Rugby Boy's buy-in before she signed up. She had several long conversations with him about it. This is what Sarah said when she signed up:

“He's up for it [The Exam Success Formula] …on the premise “it'll prevent me nagging at you for a year and help you manage your time better”.”

If you're trying to persuade your child to join the club, this blog post might help.

Settling into the course

One of the biggest problems I see in families through year 11, which brings even more stress into the situation than the exams cause themselves, is that they just can't find a way to talk openly and constructively about how things are going, and plans to make the revision work. So, when about three weeks into the course Sarah sent me this message I was over the moon:

“Rugby Boy and I were just having a lovely positive conversation about his forthcoming maths mock. After school, We went out for a dog walk and talked about his business studies. Tomorrow he's asked me to help him devise a checklist for subjects …. we're having such productive conversations.

Yesterday's coaching call was also useful (how my 17 year old self would have benefited from that session…. ) because I realise he's very chilled out, very happy in his own skin and not overly stressed /bothered by what other people say /do.

He quite simply realises, finally, that if he puts the correct effort in he'll get the results.

And I think he's going to!

And I'm not nagging!!”

Sarah describes the light-bulb moments so many parents of year 11s are waiting for their children to have. It was fantastic that the discussion on the group coaching call gave Rugby Boy his moment of revelation: if he did the work he'd get the GCSE results he was hoping for.

GCSE Results Day

On GCSE results day Sarah was the first parent I heard from, she sent me this message:

“We have a very pleased boy this morning…. so much down to your advice!”

Rugby Boy got a collection of GCSEs that were mainly grades A, 7 or 8 (a mix of the old and new grading systems).

Sarah’s testimonial reads:

“My son has just received his GCSE results and he’s absolutely delighted. So much of what he learnt from Lucy has helped and in no small part of what I learnt from Lucy helped me support him (particularly not to nag!).  Not too late, he realised that if he put the right effort in, in the right way then he’d maximise his time and get the results. Next steps A levels – the Lucy way!”

It makes me so happy that as a result of taking part in The Exam Success Formula:

  • Rugby Boy achieved GCSE results he could truly be proud of
  • He learned the value of hard work – and could take what he learned from the course and apply it to his A Levels without my support
  • Sarah was able to support him throughout the year without nagging – and had lovely conversations with him about school work and revision, that actually brought them together rather than drove them apart

Would you like your child to get GCSE results like this?

If you want to have a similar story of success, calm and confidence sign up to The Extraordinaries Club today so that you can take part in The Exam Success Formula.

Click here to find out more and sign-up

The sooner you sign-up, the sooner you can get started and start implementing the things that Sarah and Rugby Boy did to get such amazing GCSE results – for their family, their relationship and his future.

If you have any questions about The Extraordinaries Club please email me on

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