“Excellent, but oh so noisy” – clear signs of ADHD at school

If only he would try harder…

Nobody really noticed me at school as far as I remember, until around age 10. Our family moved to Paris, France because my Dad had a three year work assignment there, I attended the English School of Paris. The kids there were very international, my best friend was American. Everyone was bright and the teaching was very much better with much smaller classes.

I found myself in competition for the top three position in subjects that I loved, but poor in the ones I didn’t (sorry music, art and geography!). The reward of success turned learning into an exciting challenge for me.

A few years later I moved school again back to the UK and a large UK state comprehensive. Thanks to 100% exam based assessments, at 16 years old (O’levels) and at 18 (A’levels), I was able to continue in top position whilst doing absolutely no work, revising only a day or two before the exams, doing homework in break-times and infuriating my teachers for my wasted potential.

Unsatisfactory school report
Too lazy school report

The only coursework I remember, was at 14 doing a guide to the planets, that I failed to start till the last minute and was bailed out by my Dad, who did most of the work. Teachers were mainly happy with test results but disappointed with my effort and attitude. You will get a pretty accurate idea of my completely undiagnosed ADHD from theses extracts from my school reports here:

  • “He tends not to pay attention in class and is inclined to distract others”
  • “Noisy but keen”
  • “Andrew must concentrate more”
  • “Andrew must learn to apply himself to the things he dislikes as well as to those he likes”
  • “Works well but too easily distracted”
  • “Volatile but excellent”
  • “Andrew is very challenging and exciting for a teacher – but at times too high in spirits”
  • “Excellent but oh so noisy”
  • “Excellent, excellent work as usual – though still too easily distracted”
  • “Andrew lacks interest in most art work”
  • “Andrew does not pay enough attention in class but has nevertheless made good progress”
  • “Very good at maths, loses marks through carelessness”
  • “Still volatile, still excellent”
  • “Intelligent, but too often inattentive in class and sloppy in presentation”
  • “He does tend to sit back and chat when he has finished his work, which can be disturbing for the other pupils”
  • “His presentation is a disgrace considering his ability. He is in no trouble as far as ideas are concerned”
  • “Andrew is an outstanding pupil, however he is still “restless” in class, despite the extra work I give him”
  • “Andrew has done what has been necessary this year. I hope he will do a little more than this in future”
  • “He is an able mathematician but without practice he will not achieve the grades he deserves”
  • “He needs to guard against mistakes made through carelessness and insufficient attention”
  • “Work is untidy and diagrams always careless”
  • “His written work of course, leaves a little to be desired, and he must concentrate on this. Always motivated and effusive with a splendid sense of humour”
  • “He does need to take more care. He is inclined to make careless mistakes simply through lack of thought”
  • “If Andrew were to apply himself more to the subject and concentrate a lot harder in class, he might be able to improve upon this grade”
  • “Andrew always seems to manage to do just enough to get by”
  • “Andrew’s effort has improved over the year but he is still underachieving. He is still far too casual in his approach to written work”
  • “A pleasing exam result. No doubt he will pass A-level Physics, and the grade will depend upon how energetic he feels at the time”
  • “Is this the beginning of the long awaited Lewis revival: or will it begin tomorrow (again)?”
  • “I hope that his casual approach to punctuality will not lead to him having undue problems when he enters the less strict environment of Higher Education” – Quite depressingly prescient!
  • “He tends to miss out essential detail”
  • “Andrew is his own worst enemy. His casual attitude makes him a mediocre student when he should be excellent”
  • “Some pleasing grades, they obviously do not reflect his true ability. He has great potential but lacks self-discipline… to gain the awards he is capable of”

Insights on being ADHD

2021-03-02T22:16:44+00:00January 8th, 2016|Being ADHD|

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