17th October 2014
YEAR 11 MOCK GCSE EXAMINATIONS
I am enclosing a copy of the timetable for the mock GCSE examinations which begin on Monday 24th November. Your son/daughter has also been given a revision timetable and study skills booklet in order to help him/her to use study time more effectively. I am also enclosing an advice sheet for parents which I hope you will find helpful. This information is also available on the school website.
I would also like to take this opportunity to remind you that your son/daughter will be completing Controlled Assessments in many of their subjects during the course of the year. In art, DT, ICT, languages, music and PE, 60% of the overall GCSE grade is awarded through controlled assessment. In English Language, there is a 40% controlled assessment and in English Literature, geography, history and all sciences, 25% of the overall GCSE grade is awarded through controlled assessment. It is therefore, important that pupils plan effectively throughout the year, not just during the mock examinations. I am enclosing a controlled assessment information sheet, which states clearly the regulations for submission of controlled assessment. I would appreciate you reading this through with your son/daughter.
Year 11 tutors and subject teachers will be guiding pupils through their revision programme in school, but pupils also need to be encouraged to organise their time effectively at home. Pupils should also bring revision materials with them to afternoon tutor time as they will be encouraged to do 10-15 minutes of revision instead of silent reading.
During the examinations, attendance at school is compulsory. However, pupils will be allowed to revise in any session in which they do not have an examination. Pupils should make sure that they bring all the necessary equipment for each exam, including a spare pen. Pens, pencils, rubbers, mathematical instruments and calculator required for an examination must be contained in a clear pencil case or a clear plastic bag.
If you have any concerns or questions about the forthcoming examinations, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Miss M Sweeney
Internal Examinations Officer
HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD TO MEET THE DEMANDS OF GCSE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE SCHOOL
The value of parental interest and involvement at this stage should not be underestimated. Exam success requires motivation, persistence, good organisation, careful preparation and planning of revision and ‘exam technique’ – all of which you can influence. Pupils in Year 10 and 11 are expected to:
- Be more self-motivated.
- Take greater responsibility for their own learning.
- Organise themselves, their notes and information for different subjects and different topics within these.
- Complete more work at home, independently.
- Understand the exam structure and the relative importance of each piece of work to their final grade.
- Plan and carry out their revision.
- Perfect their ‘exam technique’.
Perhaps the hardest demand on Year 10 and 11 pupils is that of understanding the long-term importance of doing the best they can and learning to shelve short-term fun at times in the interest of long-term benefits. Unfortunately, from the teenage perspective, interest and effort in education and the long-term benefits these can bring often come along way down the priority list. Furthermore, children differ in their levels of maturity and motivation. Your support, encouragement and interest can make a great difference to your child’s motivation and ability to cope with the academic and organisational demands of the exam years. Your role in helping your child to succeed will, of course, vary according to their needs and strengths.
TIPS FOR PARENTS EVERY LESSON COUNTS
- Encourage your child to make the most of their lesson time. The process of revision (literally ‘looking at something again’) does assume that the content of the subject has been learnt in the first place.
- Even the ‘perfect student’ needs to revise to achieve their potential. For the rest of us the need for revision is even greater!
- Revision can be done in many ways, some of which are more effective than others. Useful revision involves doing something with the information you are trying to learn and remember. Your child has been given a booklet of advice on how to plan their revision and tips for using the most effective techniques.
- Choose one good revision guide for each subject www.gcseguide.co.uk (bookshop option)
- The simplest things can get in the way of starting revision, so help your child to plan their revision timetable. Support your child in sticking to their revision plan and keeping to the start and finishing times they have agreed. Show an interest in how the revision is going, talk through any difficulties and be prepared to help them reschedule their planning as necessary.
- Keep things in perspective. Your child may not be doing things the way you would do them, but they need to find the way that works for them.
THE EXAM PERIOD
- The exam period can be very stressful for pupils. A degree of stress is normal and actually necessary for successfully tackling exams, so encourage your child to keep a positive perspective. If your child appears to be stressed, encourage him or her to take time out: do some exercise!
- There are three sets of skills involved in taking exams:
- Knowing the subject content
- Organisational skills
- Exam technique
EXAMS AFFECTED BY ADVERSE CIRCUMSTANCES
- If your child has to miss an exam or doesn’t do as well as he or she could have done because of illness, bereavement or other serious adverse circumstances, let the school know immediately.