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 Post subject: GCSEs 2016
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:13 pm
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DS1 going into year 11 from September this year . Summer hols starts in a few days. What are you all doing in preparation for GCSEs . Time seems to have gone really quickly since year 7 and I don't think the penny has dropped for DS . I am starting this thread for us to share tips , planning and stories as we help them through the journey of year 11!


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 Post subject: Re: GCSEs 2016
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11940
TIP ONE: Make sure you know exacty which exam boards and specifications he is doing - it should say in the Options Booklet or on the school website. Past papers, mark schemes and examiners reports are all online and really help.

TIP TWO: Do not buy revision guides unless the school recommends a specific one - lots are out of date and there are plenty of free online resources.

TIP THREE: Find out when deadlines for assessments are - again many schools produce a timetable of dates. If they don't they ask them to - this often prevents clashes of deadlines as the school then realises that, for example, geography have the same dates as technology.

Good luck! It might be worth looking at the 2015 thread too.


Last edited by Guest55 on Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: GCSEs 2016
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
Posts: 2358
Following on from above

We found an academic year wall planner helpful - deadlines etc can be put on and later mocks and exam dates - plus treats!

Get folders organised for revision including the exam board info G55 detailed. It's worth having it all together and possibly a list of which papers they have done.

You could also have a list of topics for each subject ready for a revision schedule.

If they had end of year 10 exams then going through any issues over the summer break can mean starting year 11 ready to move forward. Be sure to get a good rest though - a tough year ahead!

While the pressure is off its worth using the time to agree boundaries etc. Where will studying be done, any rules for social networking, games consoles etc. Try to ring fence time each week for relaxing - preferably getting some fresh air! Eg Sunday afternoon is time off.

It's also a good time to think about & research what they want to do over the post GCSE summer. Having something to look forward to might be helpful and its a shame to waste the opportunity of that extra time off.

Hope it all goes well!


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 Post subject: Re: GCSEs 2016
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:02 pm
Posts: 662
Location: Herts
Certainly nothing at all in the holidays :shock:

I will, of course, be encouraging / supporting my DS (ie, nagging probably). But I will be keeping in mind (or trying to) that I am only a passenger on this journey - I want my DS to become an independent learner. Yes, that does mean some help along the way & I think the tips from Guest55 & KB are sound. But I will try & keep it light touch.

(Actually my DS is so different from my older DD even as I'm typing my lofty ambition I'm beginning to fret about the year ahead! I will probably have to eat my words :D ).


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 Post subject: Re: GCSEs 2016
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:30 pm
Posts: 583
Print out all specs for all subjects relevant for the board being set. The school must advise on the subject code for each subject being examined.
Student can use highlighter to tick off each section of the spec that has been revised.
Download past papers from each board now, some of the exam boards take down the past papers that are more than 2 years old for copyright purposes.
I will use summer to revise those topics that were not properly taught in school. Next term is full of coursework and homework. Summer holidays will be a combination of a three week holiday and then light revision, maybe an hour or 2 a day.
Good luck


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 Post subject: Re: GCSEs 2016
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:44 am 
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Ok summer is over. Due to elderly family members becoming disastrously and permanently ill (thanks, useless 2015 flu vaccine) I was/am not able to micromanage my entering year 11 child. She did a bit of revision.

Is there any "low hanging fruit" for a very stressed mother, I.e. What can I do at this stage to help her? I have organised some outside tutoring at least.

School has never provided much info, like exam schedules, to parents. She chooses to discard/forget anything like that as far as I can tell, if it was ever provided. Am I within my rights to demand school give me more info directly? I have already asked nicely, it doesn't work.


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 Post subject: Re: GCSEs 2016
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:56 am 
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Hi Silverysea - re exam schedules / timetables, I have just looked back at online letters from DDs school and for year 13 she was given her personalised exam timetable in the week beginning April 20th so not that long before the actual tests. Of course I never actually saw it but was told it existed :wink:

ETA - just checked - the year 11 one was given out mid April


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 Post subject: Re: GCSEs 2016
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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silverysea wrote:
Ok summer is over. Due to elderly family members becoming disastrously and permanently ill (thanks, useless 2015 flu vaccine) I was/am not able to micromanage my entering year 11 child. She did a bit of revision.

Is there any "low hanging fruit" for a very stressed mother, I.e. What can I do at this stage to help her? I have organised some outside tutoring at least.

School has never provided much info, like exam schedules, to parents. She chooses to discard/forget anything like that as far as I can tell, if it was ever provided. Am I within my rights to demand school give me more info directly? I have already asked nicely, it doesn't work.

I can't imagine many year 10/11 children doing revision over the summer holidays. I have never considered asking any of mine to do so, so I wouldn't worry too much. The summer is for relaxing & having fun ( for the children, at least). At our school most letters home are now emailed or are on the website, could you enquire if this is done at your school?


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 Post subject: Re: GCSEs 2016
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
Googling 'gcse timetables 2016' produced links to aqa, ocr, wjec, ccea and a couple I'd never heard of. Not Edexcel, as far as I could see, but found a link to them via TSR:

http://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/Support/Examination-timetables/7736-GCSE-June-2016-final.pdf

_________________
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


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 Post subject: Re: GCSEs 2016
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:01 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:32 pm
Posts: 923
Thanks very much, I will investigate. I tried to work out exam boards, it involves combing their tedious website. Why can't they just make a table to help the parents? The exam boards names and qualifications/acronyms are gobbledygook to me.

There are still assessments in several subjects, that count towards the final grade. There are definitely some important ones pretty early in autumn term. That I do know.

Lucky for her, I got her a French tutor last year who knew exactly what was what and prepared her properly and in time to do well in her many controlled and speech assessments, to everyone's surprise including hers! I'm trying to get her to see that work can equal success and satisfaction, not just drudgery followed by in her eyes, criticism and failure, "too late now, you're stuck with it" attitude, without clear instructions that she understands as to how to improve. Or even that she can improve.

Unfortunately, she does not want to pursue French after GCSE except as a hobby/holiday skill. I got a tutor because she seemed so bored and unhappy with the subject, only chose it under vague school pressure from the stupid English Bacc league table nonsense. Some actual application made a big difference to her enjoyment and confidence, and she begged to continue weekly with the tutor.


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