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Key Stage 4
The mock exams are essential preparation for the real exams in the summer for two reasons; firstly it gives the students experience of exams in formal exam conditions, secondly it forces the students to re-visit past material, and thorough notes can be used again for the summer exams. We therefore recommend that, in the run up to these mocks, the students aim to complete one or two revision sessions each weekday evening, with a further three each weekend day. Research has suggested that the best way to structure these sessions is to split them into three, twenty-minute, sections with a five minute break between each one. This said, it is important that students schedule in breaks.
Your children will be looking at effective ways to revise in tutor time, they will also have an hour long session on 17th November with the company Elevate Education, an internationally renowned company specialising in study skills. In order to help you support your child in the run-up to the mock exams I would like to take this opportunity to share some of the hints & tips that will be given by Elevate Education.
Support in School:
Some departments are putting on sessions after school to support students, whilst these are not compulsory, they are an excellent opportunity for the students to pop in & get tailored help from subject teachers.
Tuesday - Maths & Music drop-in sessions.
Wednesday - Science clinic.
Thursday - English & Business Studies clinics.
It is essential that students understand that Key Stage Four is a two-year programme; learning and understanding their courses ‘as they go’ is crucial to success. Leaving the understanding of course content to revision at the end of Key Stage Four will put unnecessary pressure on your child. To this end, we ask that students are pro-active in identifying what topics their course covers as well as what kind of assessments they will face throughout the 2 years. Excellent practice would be to create a succinct end of topic summary notes at the end of each unit throughout the 2 years. This ‘little-by-little’ approach really takes pressure off students when it comes to revision for the exams in the summer.
Organisation is the cornerstone to success at Key Stage Four; there are a few easy wins in terms of creating a system that will allow for structured revision in the summer of Year 11.
1) Make sure your child is clearly labelling their exercise books and when they move on to their next book ensure that they store old books in a central place.
2) Ensure that work in exercise books is clearly labelled with titles and dates; this will help students when it comes to revising from their books. Equally, make sure that all worksheets are stuck into the correct place.
3) Ensure that your child is clear about their course requirements; Do they know the exam board? What percentage is Controlled Assessment? When will this Controlled Assessment be? What kind of questions will they be asked in exams?
You asked…We replied…
You asked… 'If my child is getting homework for each subject every evening, how can we expect them to do extra revision ‘as they go’?
We replied... A lot of the homework set during the Key Stage Four course is revision in some format, often using what they have gone over in class to answer a past exam question or to practise applying recently covered topics to new situations. Should your child be finding the workload tough there are structures in place to help; firstly by talking to form teachers and secondly coming to find Ms Wainhouse to help prioritise workload.
You asked... 'My child doesn’t know ways to revise; will they get support with this'?
We replied... There are several ways your child will be supported with their revision. As well as dedicated subject lessons given over to revision nearer the exams, there is a 6-week programme of revision skills done in tutor times. We also use the educational specialist company Elevate Education to come in and give talks to the students about the most effective ways to get started with revision.
You asked... 'I am no expert in some of the subject material; in what ways can I help with my child throughout Key Stage Four'?
We replied…Often the best help you can give is help with organisation, ensuring that you child is following the ‘little by little’ approach to their courses. Subject teachers are happy to field any queries you have regarding what your child should be studying and when. In terms of course content, there are many websites available to help you; BBC bitesize is often recommended by subject teachers. The Maths Department uses MathsWatch which covers the whole course and has somebody speaking through how to approach each topic. The log on details for this are:
Centre ID - waingels
Username - the student’s login for their school account
Password - revision
You asked...'How do I know what kind of revision guide to get my child for each subject'?
We replied… There are certain revision guides that subject leaders recommend for their subjects; many of these are made available through the school shop. In most subjects details of these revision guides are given out in Year 11, however, should you want to buy them earlier please contact your child’s teacher who would be happy to pass on the details.
You asked… 'Is my child (in Year 9) at a disadvantage in English as they are the first cohort to go through the new syllabus and there won’t be as many past papers available to them'?
We replied…Whilst there are fewer papers available, all schools nationally will experience the same issue. The exam board, AQA are providing English Departments with sample papers which will be used as models for our staff to create similar exam questions for the students to practise with.
Year 10 Specifications
Year 10 Specifications
Year 11 Past Papers