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Guidance for parents and students for the final weeks of GCSE preparation

Countdown to GCSEs The final countdown to GCSEs has started: the first exam is on 9th May. In school we are finalising controlled assessments, coursework assignments and starting exam preparation. From this point onwards students needs to be taking responsibility for their revision and exam preparation. It will make a massive difference to GCSE results.

The Sports Analogy: Even talented sports people have to put in the work and practice. How many times has David Beckham practiced taking penalties? Think of the Olympics. Athletes will have had a training programme in place so that they would be at the peak of their performance at the time of the Olympics Our Year 11 students are now “in training for their GCSEs�. Relying on the input we have in school is not enough. Students also need to put in the work at home.

Successful Revision

Organise – time and work Learn Apply what you have learned

Organise Start Early. Ensure no vital work is missing List of essential topics – some subjects have provided these, or make your own. Revision Timetable – sample in your pack Revise in short bursts. Stick to the timetable

Learn There are many different revision methods: Highlight or Underline Key Facts. Write facts on Index Cards or post it notes. Read to a voice recorder or video. Test yourself. Make Spider Diagrams / Flow Charts / Drawings / Mind Maps. Websites and apps See the Fully Loaded booklet for more ideas.

Apply Exams Test: Knowledge Understanding Evaluation As well as learning the work, students need to be able to apply this in the exam. Past exam papers are good way to get ready for the exam and to check for remaining gaps in knowledge and understanding.

How to cope in the coming weeks

Be positive. Be realistic. Don’t stop all leisure activities. Your child will need to relax and unwind especially before going to bed. Help them talk about their feelings. Take an interest in what they are doing and ask questions. This shows you are interested but also helps them learn. Reward your child – a favourite meal, choice of TV programme etc. Rewards don’t have to cost money!

Common Reasons for Stress Common reasons for stress amongst students preparing for exams include: Fear of failure Overwork Loneliness Pressure Boredom Guilt

Beating Stress

Establish a routine Start revision early Take regular breaks Exercise and relaxation Variety Friends

On the Day of an Exam

No late night before. Check exam timetables for start times and revision sessions. Make sure your child gets up early. Make sure they have a good breakfast. Check they have the right equipment. Wish them luck and be positive.

After an exam

Ask your child how the exam went. Don’t spend too long going over the exam. Allow time to relax and unwind. Try to focus your child on their next exam. They can’t now change the exam they’ve done, but they can still change the outcome of future exams.

When do Year 11 students leave school? Official Leaving date for all Year 11s in England is the last Friday in June. Students could be required at any time up until this point. Students will need to attend lessons in a subject until, until that subject is complete: ďƒź Exams completed ďƒź Coursework / assignments completed

Results Day – 21st August 2014 school will be open from 10am Students will collect an envelope which contains a summary of their results. Students will have a short interview with a senior member of staff to ensure that they understand their results, to congratulate them and to confirm their destinations data. Enrolment for Ashton Community Science College Sixth Form will be from 10am until 4pm. Other colleges will be in touch about enrolment arrangements

Understanding Exam Results The exam results printout contains details of all external exams, including any exams sat in Year 9 or 10. The top part of the sheet contains the full GCSE grades or equivalent and the points score. The bottom part of the sheet is a breakdown of individual units which have contributed to the final grade. This sheet will need to be taken to college enrolment. Certificates are issued later and we will present these to students at our annual Presentation Evening in November results sheet.jpg

Understanding the points scores All GCSEs and equivalents have a points value. Some colleges will make an offer of a place to students based on total points Some colleges work on the old points system – e.g. A*=8; A=7; B=6; C=5 and so on. Some colleges work on a new points system – e.g. A*=58; A=52; B=46; C=40 and so on. When students get a college offer if they or you don’t understand this, please let us know. We will also be around to help on results day.

What if college isn’t working out?

Lots of students each year find that after starting a college course, it’s not what they were expecting or wanting. Don’t quit on the first day – give it a realistic chance Talk to your college tutors – they may have advice or alternatives they can offer Get in touch with school – we can help with options you have available to you.


Good luck to all our students and their families. We wish you the success you deserve on results day.

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