Ask Sam letter


To Sam

I think there is something wrong with me.

Dear Sam,
I just can't seem to concentrate at school and I don't know why, it's like my brain chooses what I concentrate on and not me. I constantly get into trouble at school because teachers say I don't concentrate enough in class but when I'm there it's like my brains a jumble and I can't stay focused on something for more than five minutes or so. It's affecting my school work and I haven't made a lot of progress since the beginning of year 7 and I'm in year 8. I only have one lesson which I seem to be able to get anything done in and it's tech for some reason I can focus on that for maybe 25/30 minutes at a time before I end up getting easily distracted. I'm in a gifted and talented population at school and  my head of pop said I'm on the verge of being kicked out which I definitly don't want to happen. Is there something wrong with me?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter. You’ve been really brave to share with me how difficult you have been finding things at school.

I can hear how you’ve tried really hard to concentrate at school and that you’re really struggling. It sounds like this has been causing you problems at school since you started in year 7. It also sounds like it’s really upset you that you’ve been told that you’re on the verge of being kicked out of the gifted and talented group.

You’ve said you can concentrate for quite some time in your tech lesson but you do not tell me if there is a reason for this. Maybe it’s a lesson that you like and enjoy. Maybe the teacher makes it more interesting. Looking at this might help you to start working on what might be causing your lack of concentration. From what you’ve said this has been happening since you started secondary school. Perhaps looking at what changed for you at this point will also help to find a cause.

There could be lots of reasons you feel like this but that doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you. It sounds like this has been a really difficult thing for you to talk about but I think it would really help to talk this through with a trusted adult or a teacher. They could help you look at this and other things in your life to see if they can help you work out any cause. Talking to someone could also get you thinking about what you might be able to do to help. 

You might also find it helpful to talk things through with one of the counsellors at ChildLine. You could talk it through with them before talking to someone else to help you think about what you could say. You can call on 0800 1111 (calls are free and won’t show up on your bills), you can log on for a 1-2-1 chat online or send an email once you’ve set up an account.

Take care


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