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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:26 am
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Hi,

I just wanted to get peoples thoughts on when you should start revision and the methods used.

I'm thinking January (final year) with a mixture of CGP and past papers.

I would like to keep things relatively simply and straight forward as I fear my son will struggle a little.

Any thoughts?

Could we just do every past paper and look at the model answers as I have a niece that she did this and got straight A's as she said the questions are largely the same and for the separate sciences some questions were repeated word for word and the examining board didn't even change the wording.

Quick wins?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:59 pm 
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I'm glad DS is not reading this, he would not be happy with me! I've been telling him that his GCSE work starts in year 10 and he needs to prepare for every single test as thoroughly as he would for the GCSEs - hopefully at least some of it will stay in his head. He has stepped up quite a bit this year and hopefully will keep it going so that he doesn't have too much catching up with material in year 11. I'd rather he didn't have to do a very intensive 'GCSE campaign' the last few months before the exams.

I'm not really a 'quick wins' and 'learning for the exams person'; DS doesn't know yet what he will want to do for A levels; he has dropped all of his least favourite subjects so every single one of his GCSEs is potentially an option for A levels. A thorough grounding in each of his subjects is crucial in my view if he is to make informed choices (and now I am really, really pleased he is not reading this :lol: )

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:26 pm 
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There won't be past papers for the new English and Maths GCSEs but we've been sent useful resources by one of the exam boards e.g. mock papers, sample papers.

I think you need to find which revision approach suits your child - maybe experiment a bit in Year 10? Short focused sessions tend to be more productive than sitting there for hours.

Past papers sat to time then marked with the mark scheme and then later referring back to the Examiners report is a good approach. The reports often give examples of responses and how many marks they scored so students can see the difference. We keep a few examples of anonymised student responses to questions for Year 11 to have a go at marking - really helpful for them to see how difficult examiners might find poor setting out to mark!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:56 pm 
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There have been some previous threads about this that you might find helpful to look back over.


There have been bright children who have managed to 'wing it' through GCSEs but one of the aims of the reforms is to make this harder to do.

Besides which it is good to get children into good study habits in year 10 so as to go forward to year 11 and then 6th form with good foundations.

I would be surprised if your DC doesn't have year 10 exams and would agree that revising for these pretty much as for the 'real things' is good practice.

Many school also have mock exams before Christmas of year 11 and this is another opportunity for revision practice.

A good goal would be to have all the material 'learned' by the end of the Easter holiday in year 11 so time spent from then is on practice questions. Many students don't achieve this but it makes it much less stressful!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:08 pm 
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Surely "we" don't start it at all? :wink:

Am I wrong and naive to think it's up to my children to settle on GCSE revision as they get older? Only Y8 now and we give guidance on what has worked for us, and don't plan on cutting them out cold, but the thought of having to sit down and plan how to revise when they are in year 10 is something I hope not to have to do. Support? Of course? Suggestions? Maybe, if asked. Planning it with them? Hopefully not!

But I'm not there yet, somebody save this post and beat me with it in a few years :oops:


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:25 pm 
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I hope your DCs are better organised than mine, Yamin! DS is a 'play it by ear' creature and the very thought of having to plan something fills him with dread. When he does attempt to draw up a plan, he tries to cram in so much (on paper) that it's simply unrealistic to follow. Net result - quite a lot of guidance going on here; suggestions are not always invited, he naturally knows best... :wink:

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It felt like I hit rock bottom; suddenly, there was knocking from beneath... (anon.)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:39 pm 
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We also have a 'play it by ear boy'!

For year 9 I let him 'play it by ear', his results weren't great, and not as good as expected by his teachers. He's just had his yr 10 exams and worked much harder and this paid off in his results. I'm hoping he'll remember this next year! In truth I've gradually stepped back from his school work and trusted his teachers to help him when needed.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:40 am 
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In practice this just depends on the child. While getting them to be totally independent by year 11 would be the aim it isn't right for many.

More realistic might be to lead the way earlier on and then encourage them to take the lead by year 11 but with parental support to check plans are appropriate and encourage when tempted to get distracted or panic.

It will also depend on the quality of teaching. If the teacher is on top of it then one wouldn't want to be interfering but in some cases parents do step in to fill a gap.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:45 pm 
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I think you are right, KB. I can't quite see myself backing off completely by next year - my crystal ball suggests some tendency to distraction and at least a few cases of panic that will need parental intervention. :wink:

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It felt like I hit rock bottom; suddenly, there was knocking from beneath... (anon.)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:32 pm 
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Interesting read above.... ?starting GCSE prep in year 8 :shock: .

Maybe i should have also.....

Here I am waiting for a yr10 DS to finish his DofE in the summer, and then start on the GCSE. I wish I had started soon :roll:

I need all the tips and teaching methods!


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