Ask Sam letter


To Sam

i'm really bad at english and i don't know how to get better!

Dear Sam

12 years old and I'm really bad English. I'm a level 4b and in third set. It's really hard on me because everyone in my family is really smart except from me. I want to get better but I don't know how. I want to talk to someone about it but then just thinking about it makes me feel bad. All my friends are good at it except from me and it makes me feel really left out. Most people find English really easy except from me. Why? My parents don't even know what set I'm in and if they did they'd kill me. I don't know what to do and it's stressing me out. Its like there's that one part of me that hiding and wont come out. What should I do?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Finding a subject difficult at school can be really frustrating. Especially if you feel that everyone around you, both friends and family, find it easy. Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses. It sounds like you want to talk to someone about it, but you're not sure how to go about this.

You mentioned that your friends are good at English. Maybe you could try talking to them about how you feel, and how they could support you. Your teachers are also there to help you do your best work. And feeling stressed about exams can have an impact on your work so they’ll want to help you feel better. Talking to a teacher about how you feel, and what support you feel would help you might help them to put this in place for you.

It sounds like you are scared about your parents’ reaction to you being in third set. It seems like you feel like you have to hide this and are worried about what they might say. It may be that, by talking to your teacher about how you feel, they can support you in telling your parents about your worries as well.

Remember that different people are better at different things. Not everyone does well in school because of the way the lessons are taught or because of how things are graded. There are lots of examples of people who did poorly at school who then went on to do great things. What’s important is having confidence in yourself and who you are – which is something that starts with you, not with your grades.

You can talk this through with a counsellor some more if you need to, they'll be happy to chat about this in private.

Thanks for the letter, take care.

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