The contents of this page is intended to provide all the key information you and your child will need to support with the upcoming examinations.
Our key message at this time of year is to “make Easter count!” Whilst the Spring break is an opportunity for some rest and ‘down time’, it is also a crucial period for students to work independently in preparation for the exams.
We appreciate that for parents and students this period can seem like a stressful and challenging time. I hope that this guidance will provide you with some information, advice and guidance to navigate your way through some of these and alleviate the worry. However, please feel free to contact the academy if you have any further questions or require support Mr Gold and the Year 11 tutors are always at hand to offer guidance and support in the first instance.
As students approach the end of Year 11 and start to prepare for their examinations, it is important that they use their time effectively and appropriately. One way to do this is to complete short sharp knowledge retention tasks or practice examination questions.
Each department has broken down these tasks week by week for your child to complete. These can either be completed at home, during Independent study in Period 6 or as part of form time. It is very likely that students will use a combination of these.
Most of the tasks in the booklet are designed to be completed online either using Seneca Premium accounts, google classroom or subject specific sites. Students can access these by clicking on the hyperlinks.
Students will be expected to complete at least one of these tasks per week, per subject. In doing so, they will revise and prepare for the final GCSE examinations starting in May.
Kate Jones explains how retrieval practice can be used to help secure knowledge and key concepts into long term memory.
We advise students to stick to short chunks of revision lasting 20-30 minutes followed by a short break. Students should complete 3-4 of these consecutively. The document and videos below outlines some useful strategies to use during these sessions.
BBC Revision Website
BBC Study Support
BBC Exam Support
BBC Exam Support for Parents
Exam time can be a major cause of stress for children and parents at this time of year. At exam time, many parents are anxious about how much their children are studying, whether they are looking after themselves, and whether they will get the results they need. Some parents also find their own difficult memories of exams or school return at this me and make it harder to help their children.
• Discuss with your child what will be involved in the revision period and what your role could be.
• Provide the environment necessary for success. Students need a place to revise which is quiet, calm and comfortable. Probably the most important is quiet. A tidy room, but a visually stimulating study centre.
• Respond positively when they ask for help. Ask exactly how you can help and if you can’t help immediately, say when it’s convenient.
• Give plenty of praise and encouragement. Point out what they are good at. Tell them daily what they do well. Stay calm and don’t expect too much.
• Point out what they have done well if you look at their work. Don’t dwell on the errors - emphasise the positives.
• Keep them well supplied with food and drinks.
• Keep a low profile.
• Be prepared to listen when they want to talk about problems as everything becomes more emotional and heightened during the exam period.
• Encourage them to take regular breaks during long periods of revision.
• Encourage morning revision when the brain is more receptive and discourage studying right up to bedtime.
• Make comparisons with brothers, sisters, friends and so on.
• Unintentionally add to their worries by constantly mentioning the exams.
• Relate too much to when you were sitting exams at school or how you did your revision.
• Distract them unnecessarily.
• Expect them to study all the time as taking some time out to relax will have a positive effect on their work.
• Join in the general anxiety; be a picture of serene confidence.
The best way to combat stress is to recognise and deal with it. It is perfectly normal to feel stress over examinations it is a matter of finding the best strategies to reduce it.
Advice to Parents
Don’t go on about it. Being asked how you feel often makes things worse. Try to be a listener rather than to give advice. It is normal to say that each exam paper was a total disaster, so don’t join the inquest!
Be encouraging. Even if you feel that your child has been lazy over the past few months, now it not the time to bring it up. Don’t organise family visits and days out as entertaining distractions, either.
Talk to teachers if you’re worried. An apparently stressed child at home may be coping well at school and vice versa.
Advice for Students
Relax for an hour a day at least ‐ listen to music, watch television or take exercise.
Revise hard in slots ‐ write rather than read ‐ and take a 10‐minute break in‐between.
Get regular sleep and avoid too much junk food and caffeine (coffee, cola, and tea). The best revision is done in the morning.
Eat a healthy diet