KS4 Achievement

This area of our website is dedicated to helping parents and carers support students to achieve their potential.

If you do not find the information that you require, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us, we will be happy to help.

Power-point presentations from the Year 10 and 11 Information Evenings can be found under the Parents tab in the 'Resources from meetings section 

The DfE have produced a factsheet for parents explaining the new GCSEs. Click here and here for further information. 

You and your child may currently be considering what GCSE subjects they should take next year.  The DfE have produced a leaflet on how to help your child make the best GCSE choices.  Click here for further information about Ebacc.  

Understanding the new 9 to 1 GCSE grading scale

Students taking GCSEs in England this summer will receive a mixture of number and letter grades. Eventually all GCSEs taken in England will receive numerical grades. Further useful information can be accessed here.

Why are GCSEs in England changing?

The new scale will recognise more clearly the achievements of high-attaining students, as the additional grades allow for greater differentiation. Changing from letters to numbers will also allow anyone – for example an employer – to see easily whether a student has taken a new, more challenging GCSEs, or an old style GCSE. More information can be found here

How and when will my child be assessed?

The timetable for GCSE exams can be found here

During year 11, all teachers expect students to be revising and doing independent study, over and above their homework each week. You may be interested to read an article here on research around the optimum amount of time spent on work at home to ensure examination success. 

Summer Holiday Project: 'Review and Revise'

The summer holidays between year 10 and year 11 provides the perfect stress-free period to 'get ahead' and reduce stress during year 11, as it gives students the chance to ensure that they are completely up to date with their work and that they fully understand all of the content that they have covered in the first half of their GCSE course.

 Completing the 'Review and Revise' tasks that their teacher will set for the summer break ensures that they start year 11 in a positive place, organised and ahead of the game in terms of examination preparation. This project is not about doing more work overall, simply about spacing it better to reduce stress and to ensure greater effectiveness of revision technique.
Details of expectations and suggestions of activities are entered on 'Show My Homework'.



Support for Students Available in School

  • Tutors hold regular mentoring sessions for students in tutor time. These are organised so that students are grouped according to their needs and tutors can give tailored advice on next steps.

  • There are a whole range of revision and intervention sessions available to year 11 students - the most up to date schedule of these sessions is always sent out to Year 11 parents.

  • Subject teachers are almost always willing to give extra advice and support - but students should also bear in mind that teachers already work extremely hard to support them in lesson times and intervention sessions and that the time available for one-to one support /explanation may be limited.

  • The careers team is available in the Careers Library in B block for drop-in questions at break time and after school. Students can email careers ( [email protected]) if they would like to make an appointment 

If your child is worried or upset about any issue in school either you or they should contact their PASCO

Effective Exam Preparation 

Our aim in educating students about effective exam preparation is to ensure that they get the maximum impact from the amount of time they spend working. 

All of our advice is research based. 

Effective revision is not JUST about memorising facts - that forms ONE part of the process.

The below diagram shows an effective approach




Successful Exam Preparation

     

 Click on each part of the diagram for further details. 

How to Help

In our exit surveys, students always say that they wish they had started earlier (despite us passing on their advice each year). It is always the most common answer to the question 'what advice would you give to your year 10 self'. 

We regularly ask students if they had benefitted from support at home that made a difference and if so what. From their responses we can we identify the following strong threads. 

General Practical and Emotional Support

For all students it is important that they know, and are reminded regularly  (the brain has a remarkable capacity to 'forget' when under stress) that:- 

  • that you love them and will continue to love and value them regardless of their results.
  • that you are on their side and will do whatever you can to help
  • that it is worth this short term 'suffering', it will be over soon, and it will be worth it.
  • that they can do it - they can keep on keeping on, that they can learn what they need, that they will survive the actual exam, however stressful it may be. 

Acknowledge the strain they are under (they are not 'just' GCSEs when you are 16) but be relentlessly positive and optimistic about their capacity to work hard and to do well and about the future. 

Stress and Anxiety

To make sure that your child is happy and healthy during this crucial period, your support with these key elements are fundamental to ensuring we have happy, healthy, successful students:-
 

Apps to Help you be Happy and Successful.

Students have found these apps to be helpful. They are all free to download (though some have paid for content as well) if your child seems anxious, suggest that you both download a couple of apps and see which you like the best.

 

Books to Help You be Happy and Successful

We also have a range of books about coping with anxiety, depression and different aspects of adolescence, many of these books can be found in the school library and copies can also be borrowed from the PASCOS' offices

How to be Successful and Happy books database

If you are afraid that your son or daughter is working 'unhealthily hard' then do set limits on the time they can revise till and the periods they MUST take as rest and relaxation. Contact the school if this continues to be a problem. 

Organisational Support

Some students want to do well but feel overwhelmed by the prospect of GCSEs and getting started.

You may need to be their very own private Personal Assistant for at least a brief period to get them organised and on the right track. 

Reading this section of the website will give you a very good idea of exactly how to help. 

This checklist offers a good overview of the stages. 

Motivational Support

They know what they should be doing but just can't seem to get down to much actual work... 

You cannot MAKE a child reach their potential - any approach that is imposed by parents without discussion will have limited impact. 

Have a conversation about the importance of the new few weeks and months and their impact, potentially on the rest of their lives, discuss rewards and sanctions... Guidance on positive ways to approach this conversation can be found here

Many parents (and students!) find using a Parental Control App - on their child's phone or tablet a really helpful tool as it removes potential distractions and puts the parent in control on access. Details can be found here on installing one such app, others are available

It is a good idea to record the agreed outcomes of the conversation in a contract ( a model can be found here) and display prominently at home. 

Working out personalised 'next-steps'

 Sit down with your child and ask them to rank where they stand on the following questions:- 

Subject Information

The below links lead to detailed subject information about preparing for examinations in each of the GCSE subjects that we offer.
They are stored on our student shared area, so you will need your son or daughter's school login to access the files.

By clicking on each one you should find:-

  • Information about examinations and tips for exam success
  • A full list of topics to revise
  • Knowledge Organisers
  • Links to past paper practice

Art
Citizenship and PSHE Education
Creative Arts
Computing and Business
Design Technology
English
Geography
Health and Social Care
History
Mathematics
MFL
Physical Education
Religious Education
Science