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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:58 am 
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My DD will be starting her last term in Y10. I can't quite believe where the time has gone since she started secondary school.

My question is when is the best time to start "proper" revision for GCSEs? Do parents / past students have any dos and don'ts advice? DD's school seem to test them very regularly so they have had to revise for tests before, just not at this scale. The Y10s have been set a rather tough exam week in June this year, possibly to prepare/shock them for the real thing?!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:39 am 
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Location: Herts
Take a look at the thread GCSEs 2015 which is those of us going through it now with just four weeks to go. I have dds in Y11 and Y10 and my Y10 dd also has a weeks of mocks the week before half term. We are treating them as if they are the real thing and I would recommend you do the same. DdY11 has 25 exams so there is a lot to remember! How many exams does your dd have in her June Mock week? DG


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:22 am 
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DS is taking his this year. To say progress has been slow would be an understatement. He was supposed to start in February half term. Nothing much happened until the Easter holidays and even now he is doing the absolute bare minimum.
It's a shame - he is predicted high grades but I can't see him getting them. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. My recommendation would be a gentle start in the February half term - they may have mocks in December or January anyway so that will involve some revision (one hopes :))


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:52 am 
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my ds has end of year exams in June; as the bulk of the work for iGCSE is done in year 10, this is a good time to start the revision. He is going over the first 2 terms work in these easter holidays. 2 days per subject, 3 hrs in total per day. This is plenty and enough freetime to pursue extra curricular activities. I have left him alone to study and I spend more time in the garden with this lovely weather we are having this week. Where he asked for help, I do. I am hands on for the sciences and work through the text books. The more arty farty subjects are more objective though. I am an excellent science teacher and results are there.

I offer some advice for improved structure to the revision and visibility of workload, get your child to make columns of each subject in landscape layout on an A4. Then in rows, write all the major topics studied in the first 2 terms for each subject. for example in chemistry this may be things like Haber Process, Moles, Alkanes/Hydrocarbons etc. This gives an idea as to the task in hand and then after revising each subject, can be highlighted to show completion. It adds structure to the whole proceedings. A good school would do this for better planning for the students I expect. Hope this helps.

Work hard, play hard. Enjoy the summer holidays with a set of excellent exam results in June. Also, the notes made now will be the iGCSE revision notes, albeit with a bit of fine tuning. Best of luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:12 am 
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sbarnes wrote:
The more arty farty subjects are more objective though.
That is an interesting opinion and one I have not heard expressed before.
Quote:
I am an excellent science teacher and results are there.
Always good to have confidence in your own abilities. Maybe when some of the 'mediocre' teachers you are keen to weed out have been sacked, you will be able to offer the benefit of your excellent teaching skills to the schools who have lost them?

Personally I have not had anything like that level of involvement in my son's GCSE revision, just as I didn't in my daughter's 3 years ago. Horses for courses.

NB - most results in August not June. My son also doing quite a few iGCSEs and date is August 20th.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:44 am 
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its my opinion and thats that. Please don't put words into my mouth, metrics are metrics and can be used for aiding additional training as and when required. Why are teachers so defensive. Anyways back to the topic, good luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:42 am 
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sbarnes wrote:
Please don't put words into my mouth

Which bit has Amber misunderstood?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:56 am 
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My DS who is in Y12 and not a high flier but I feel did really well and out performed his targets on several subjects, began some GCSE revision before his December mocks, had a break over Christmas and then began to revise slowly getting together all his notes and consolidating his understanding and then began serious revision from Feb half term onwards. He began to do practice papers and honed down exam technique and filled in the gaps where he lost marks.

He is doing his AS level revision now but I think as has been said you can lead a horse to water but you cant make them drink. Revision can be boring and they need plenty of time for other things and it mustn't feel as if it is going on for ages or else they feel bored and the initial burst of energy flows away. (Well at least that is how it is in my house and his freinds seem fairly similar). Teachers are really helpful and want the DC's to do well. When my DS goes back next week he has mock papers again in all his subjects and now all his homeworks are exam questions to complete. He is expected to also bring in the essays he has been doing at home for teachers to look over.

Don't get too anxious about it, I think slow and steady and get them to pace themselves. I know some DC cram and leave it to the last minute but this wont help them when it comes to A levels which need more thinking.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:01 pm 
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My son has his GCSEs in a few weeks' time. What we've found is that for the academic subjects teachers have been going over topics in lessons for a while now, and both students and parents have had excellent information all year about revision methods etc. My son probably started "proper" revision just after February half term. I am leaving the organisation and method of revision up to him; he knows what needs to be done and school has been great at guiding him. He decided to uninstall any games from the computer so he doesn't get distracted; he can put them back on after the exams. We did remind him about revision a few times in the first couple of weeks but he's got his own plan going along quite nicely now and doesn't need any poking.

Creative subjects like Art involve no revision per se but students have to work hard and show huge commitment in independently visiting art galleries, researching artists and creating several extensive portfolios of their own work throughout the course. The school has consistently offered before- and after-school catch-up sessions for anyone who falls behind. The Art exam takes place before the academic exams start.

My son is a keen sportsman and musician and he has no intention of stopping these activities before or during the exams. He's old enough to work out the appropriate balance, and nobody can work continuously. The brain can only work effectively in relatively short bursts (can't remember the figures now).

Anyway, OP, you will hopefully find that your school will give you and your DC plenty of guidance on methods and timing for revision.

Just seen copella's post and yes, my son's mocks were before Christmas too and he did revise pretty well for these and have a complete break over Christmas.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:03 pm 
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sbarnes wrote:
The more arty farty subjects are more objective though.


I presume you mean more subjective?? Or less objective?


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