I've just inherited a demotived/lazy, poorly-behaved Year 9 class currently 'graded' between 4b and 5a (although in their recent, comprehensive, exam-condition test they achieved absolutely nowhere near this - 4b was the highest score achieved). On gut instinct, I feel that many are inherently 'smart' enough to achieve Grade C - but will/may not do so without drastic change. I'd like to motivate and encourage them more, and one way I'd like to do this is by discussing (with some of them, and possibly their parents) their prospects of a Grade C, and basically saying that if they work, I believe they can achieve it. But I also don't believe in giving false hope. Their Year 6 results recorded on the school's system were 3c to 4a, but nobody seems to really know exactly how these were deduced, and in any case the data came from many different (diverse) primary schools. It certainly seems that they are underperfoming. To what extent do you think I should encourage students to set their goals based upon my own (overly ambitious??) gut instinct / limited experience of their potential, verses how much should be rooted in the reality of their current grades and national statistical predictions? All thoughts/advice welcome.