Now that the formal GCSE examinations have begun, I am writing to offer my very best wishes to your son/daughter as they begin their final preparations.
I am delighted to report that the vast majority of our students are revising carefully and frequently at home, taking advantage of the study booklet, study timetable and past papers and other revision materials that have been issued. This is building nicely on lessons and Lesson 7s and booster classes (sessions running from 3-4pm in preparation for the next day’s examinations over the course of each week). I am concerned however that a small minority of students are not working anywhere near hard enough and this will adversely affect their chances of success. Please ensure a full programme of home study is taking place in preparation for the forthcoming examinations.
GCSE Modern Languages exams are already under way and some parts of practical subjects such as art have already been tested. The formal examination season run from 13th May until 19th June 2019. By now every single student should be studying every night and using Saturday and Sunday very productively. The new national exam system is very much knowledge-based and there is so much to learn and practise. At home, after learning the key knowledge for a specific topic in a GCSE subject in a home revision session, the students should always test themselves under timed conditions with a question from a past paper on that topic. In the first part of the next session on the same subject (but a different topic) students should read through what they did last time. Parents and carers can really help by testing students on the facts, quotations, formulae and information to learn on the topic and subject being studied.
The examination schedule is very busy and students will need to be highly organised and plan their revision carefully so as to ensure they are prepared for each and every exam. Each student has been given an examination and booster timetable showing the exams in yellow and the available booster classes the previous day. We strongly urge students to attend the final revision sessions.
As courses finish, students will be given additional lessons in subjects where the exam has still to take place. The details are clearly marked on the examination and booster timetable which will be issued every week and is available on the school website.
We will write to you in due course with full details of:
We know this can be a challenging and stressful time for families (I am living through it currently with my own son), but ultimately a rewarding one, if time is used well. When the examinations are finished towards the end of June, students will not be in school and so all the time they use in the evenings and weekends now, they get back at the end whilst the rest of us are still working! Revision, therefore, is not more work – it is just work done sooner.
Some students will not be working hard enough and others will be working very hard and may be very anxious. A little anxiety is often a motivator but too much anxiety tends to ‘shut down the brain’. We know you will support your son or daughter if they are experiencing the latter but please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Din (our Pupil Development Deputy Headteacher) if you are very worried, so that school knows and can help.
It goes without saying that a steady, regular approach with regular feedback, lots of water, a good diet, good sleep and exercise built into the week (with some time away from revision) also helps a great deal.
Please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Beaumont, Mrs Din or me at school if you have any queries or concerns
Mr S. Marshall
Mossley Hollins High School