Dear Parents / Carers,
Over the last few years, we have seen an increasingly successful set of summer examinations, including another excellent set of results this August. Much of our students’ success is due to the support they receive from home, but their motivation must be underpinned by a constant determination for excellence in both academic and social behaviours.
As we have been discussing with students and families during our Preparing for Success conversations in this module, we encourage you to sit down with your child during the opening weeks of this academic year to discuss the changes to their routine required for success in GCSE examinations this academic year. Specifically, the implementation of a Home Study Programme (i.e., revision timetable) to take place between now and June 2023.
Following the End of Year 10 Mock Examinations, a forensic analysis of student data at subject level has taken place. This data combined with the information above has enabled Directors of Learning to plan a post-mock strategy which best serves our students. I would therefore like this opportunity to share with you how we will best support the needs of our students.
For consistency, we have allocated specific days to subject areas for after school sessions which will run from 15:15-16:10. Please see below for this schedule:
- Monday – Science
- Tuesday – Maths
- Thursday – English
- Friday – Options
Home Study Strategy (What You Can Do At Home)
Understandably, students will benefit from revising for the upcoming mocks. Whilst it is important to ensure young people have adequate time to rest, relax and socialise, we must recognise that next summer they will have 12 weeks off to make up for the increased workload this year.
Between September and May students will have approximately 145 days at school. At least one hour of revision each day is an entirely manageable amount, totalling at least 145 hours by the first formal examination. Whilst this will feel a humongous task if left until Christmas, February, or Easter, it breaks down to only 25-30 hours per subject or 8 hours per exam paper. Within those 8 hours, students need to learn the content required for an examination testing 5 years’ worth of knowledge.
I would highly recommend creating a study timetable to ensure students have sufficient time for all their study in a manageable time frame. Further, studies have shown that students revise best without the use of music, with their phone in a different room, and conducted in a shared space such as the kitchen table (not hidden in bedrooms).
Study Skills Week
In the final week of Module 1, Year 11 students will embark on Study Skills Week. A whole week designed to support students with the skills required to study independently. No longer will your child be able to say to you “I don’t know how to revise” whilst at home. Please discuss this with them throughout the week; encouraging debate around whether mind maps, past papers or flashcards are the best method for learning and self-testing.
In order to support families, I have attached a generic guide titled ‘Study Guide for Parents’ which was designed by researchers at CCCU in 2012 to help families in their local area. Please digest the information as it pertains to the formal examinations next summer.
October Half Term Preparation Sessions
Whilst subject areas will continue to provide resources and guidance for all students to study independently over half term, some staff have offered to facilitate specific study sessions. These sessions will run from Monday 24th October to Friday 4th November.
Where a session is indicated as an ‘Open invite’, any students studying that subject are encouraged to attend. Where sessions are indicated as ‘Invite only’, subject areas will be in contact with parents/carers to inform you if attendance is required for your son/daughter.
Please find below details of the sessions that will be on offer and the location of each session:
09:00 – 13:00
09:00-11:00 and 11:00 – 13:00
09:00 – 13:00
10:00 – 13:00
10:00 – 12:00 and 12:30-14:30
NCFE: Health and Fitness
9:00 – 13:00
GCSE Computer Science
09:00 – 13:00
10:00 – 12:00
GCSE Computer Science
09:00 – 11:00
09:00 – 12:00
12:30 – 15:00
There is no expectation for students to wear uniform for these sessions, and students should bring light refreshments if deemed necessary as there will be no catering facilities available during these times. Please note, expectations with regard to student behaviour and conduct will remain the same as the usual high standards.
Throughout the year it isn’t uncommon for students to feel stressed, pressured and infrequently overwhelmed. Please keep in communication with the school, through your child’s PD Mentor, as we are always prepared for these stressful periods of the year. You should already have received a welcome email from the PD mentor, but please let us know if you have not.
There will be an opportunity to further discuss your child’s progress with each of their subject teachers on Thursday 5th January 2023 during the calendared Parents’ Evening, where booking appointments is of paramount importance at the crucial stage of their secondary education.
Thank you for taking the time to dissect the information contained within this letter; the earlier that students can build work, homework, and Home Study into their schedules the easier they will find this year.
I look forward to welcoming you for Parents’ Evening on 5th January 2023.
Associate Assistant Principal