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Years 10 and 11 are important years, but they need not be stressful ones. This Hub provides students and parents with the information, guidance, materials and support needed to navigate the GCSE years as smoothly as possible, so that students achieve the outcomes they deserve. Everything is listed under the tabs above, but if there is anything you can’t find, please email me.
Good luck for the year ahead!
Learning Manager for Year 11
Learning Manager for Year 10
You are invited to four information evenings over the two years (see the Key dates tab above). After each evening has taken place, you will find the presentations used below and between them they should answer most of your questions about what to expect during Years 10 and 11.
Information Evening: Thursday 19th, 6.30pm to 7.30pm
Target setting: Wednesday 9th to Friday 18th
First set of attainment grades sent home: w/b Monday 4th
First parents’ evening: Thursday 21st, 4.30pm to 7.30pm
Second set of attainment grades sent home: w/b Monday 20th
Second parents’ evening: Thursday 21st, 4.30pm to 7.30pm
End-of-year examinations: Wednesday 17th to Thursday 25th
Awards Evening: Monday 29th
Third set of attainment grades sent home: w/b Monday 13th
Information Evening: Thursday 19th, 8pm to 9pm
Target reviews: w/b Monday 9th, for four weeks
Target setting day: 9th October
First set of attainment grades sent home: w/b Monday 21st
First parents’ evening: Thursday 7th, 4.30pm to 7.30pm
Selection of sessions for Post-16 Morning: Tuesday 19th
Mock interviews: Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th, 9am to 12.30pm
Post 16 Morning: Monday 16th
Selection of A Level taster sessions: Tuesday 17th
Mock examinations: Monday 6th to Thursday 16th
Sixth Form Open Evening: Thursday 16th, 5.45pm to 8.30pm
Sixth Form provisional application form opens: Friday 17th
Sixth Form taster lessons: Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd
Sixth Form provisional application form closes: Friday 24th
Exam “Statements of Entry” issued for checking: Friday 31st (TBC)
Mock results: Friday 7th
Second set of attainment grades sent home: Friday 7th
Second parents’ evening: Wednesday 12th, 4.30pm to 7.30pm
Information, Advice and Guidance meetings for Sixth Form applicants begin 24th
Revision Information Evening: Wednesday 26th, 6.30pm to 7.45pm
Sixth Form final application form opens: Monday 2nd
Sixth Form final application form closes: Friday 20th
Information, Advice and Guidance meetings for Sixth Form applicants conclude on 20th
Third set of attainment grades sent home: w/b Monday 23rd
Final deadline for changes to exam entries: Monday 20th (TBC)
Leavers’ Assembly: Thursday 7th, AM
Exams begin: Monday 11th
Exams finish: Thursday 18th
Sixth Form Orientation Day: Friday 19th
Results day: Thursday 20th August, from 9.30am
Deadline for appeals: Monday 14th September (TBC)
There are two aspects to studying that you must be careful not to confuse.
Your lessons (and any homework set) over the two years of Years 10 and 11 will help you to do the learning part, but if you truly want the highest grades you are capable of achieving, simply turning up and passively doing it will not be enough. You will need to take charge, constantly reviewing your level of understanding and doing extra independent study until you are happy that you have grasped what you have been taught.
If you do this, your final couple of months of Year 11, when you revise, will be a largely stress-free, straight-forward process of reviewing what you already know. However, if you don’t, you will find yourself trying to cram two years of learning into two months, which will simply not be possible and will lead to an unhappy, stressful, worried time. So the message is, learn how to study at the start of Year 10 and make sure you do it throughout the next two years and you will be both relaxed and successful.
During Years 10 and 11, your teachers will still set you homework and you may find that this still takes up the majority of the time that you spend studying at home. However, there will be times when you realise that you could or should be doing more. For instance, when you find that you happen to have not been set much homework one week, or because you know you have a test or exam coming up, or simply because you realise that you are struggling to understand the work you are doing in class. When this happens, it will be your choice whether to do some independent study or not, and this is where the difference between GCSEs and Years 7 to 9 becomes very clear: GCSEs are for you and your future and you will need to work hard if you want to get the best grades that you can. It’s up to you. However, choosing to study is only the first step and the next one is doing it correctly. Everyone has their own favourite ways of studying, but your favourite way might not be the most effective way. The following tips will guide you to getting the most out of the time you invest studying.
Study after study has shown that everyone learns best when they adopt a healthy lifestyle. This means getting enough sleep (that means 8 to 10 hours a night for teenagers!), eating regularly and appropriately (cut down on sugars in general and make sure you eat breakfast every morning as it’ll set you up for the whole day), get some fresh air (it’ll clear your head) and do some exercise (it lowers your stress levels and increases your feelings of happiness).
If you’re going to study, then study! That means getting rid of distractions like your phone, your music, and the tv (turn them off, not just down), sitting on a chair at a table (not reclining on your bed) and starting early (yes, 9am at the weekend/holidays and no, not at 10pm at night).
If you can’t commit to doing this, this is your biggest clue that you are in need of some motivation for why you should be studying in the first place. Give yourself a talking to about your future aspirations, but if that doesn’t work consider the Mentoring Programme (see the Avoiding stress tab, above).
Actors, musicians, athletes…they don’t achieve their high levels of performance in a single 10-hour preparation session. They do a couple of hours at a time, regularly, spread out over weeks. Studying is no different. Spacing your learning allows you to relearn the bits that you will naturally forget (unless you happen to have a photographic memory?!).
Also, taking breaks is important. Once you have been sitting in a seat for more than an hour or so, your concentration starts to take a dip. Even a 5-minute walk to the kitchen to get a drink of water and an apple will help to clear your head.
By far the biggest mistake students make when “studying” is believing that reading or watching is learning; they aren’t. (Yes, even when you highlight the key bits!) Passively watching a YouTube clip or reading something (especially something written by professional authors and polished by professional editors and presented beautifully by professional graphic designers) feels like you’ve done something. It feels like you’ve learnt something, but you rarely have. An hour later, you’ve forgotten most of it (especially the finer details). To learn you have to actively engage with the material. For example, write out summary notes (without the original in front of you; close the book, you can peek, but not copy) or make a mind map. Crucially, you must include some testing yourself to see if your study has worked (answer past exam paper questions and then mark them to see what you got right and what you got wrong) and do more on the same topic until it is secure. Even more powerfully, try to teach it to someone else; and if they already know it themselves, all the better as they can coach you through if you get stuck on your explanation. Being varied in how you study also keeps boredom away.
By the way, don’t waste your time making things look pretty! What you write is far more important than writing it in seven different coloured pens and giving it a nice title.
Everything above is true when you are revising for tests and exams, too. However, there are a couple of additional tips for revision:
If you don’t know exactly what to study, ask your teacher as they will probably have a revision checklist they can give you. Or use a revision guide or a textbook. There are also lots of resources available on the Subject resources tab, above.
Don’t hide your study material away so that you only see it at study time, spread it around. Stick revision summaries up around your house, so that you constantly get a 10-second reminder of something all through the day. E.g. PostIT notes on the Cornflakes box for when you pour your breakfast, a poem above the sink for when you clean your teeth, etc.
At the end of Year 10, in the January of Year 11 and, of course, in the summer of Year 11, you will have exams in all ten of your GCSE subjects at the same time. For the Year 10 exams and the Year 11 mocks, you will probably want to start your revision about four weeks before the exam window, to give yourself enough time to review all of your subjects effectively. However, because the Year 11 exams are the ‘real’ ones, you should consider beginning your revision for those about eight weeks before they begin (ie sometime after February half term but before Easter).
To make the most effective use of your time, you will need to create a revision timetable. This doesn’t need to be complicated and can just be written on a piece of paper to look something like this:
You need to make the full four/eight week timetable, so that you know how many revision sessions you have for each subject. It will work out to be about ten 2-hour sessions per subject for the real Year 11 exams if you make full use of the Easter holiday. Ensure that you visit each topic from each subject at least once and then perhaps return to the hardest ones a second time at the end. You will need to build in time to practise entire past papers, too. However, also remember to allocate time for your existing commitments (if you have a lot of these, you may need to temporarily scale them back a little, but remember that it is only for a few short weeks) and include regular empty slots for some guilt-free protected “you” time.
How many sessions you plan and long each session lasts is entirely up to you. If you have been working hard and ensuring your learning all year long, you might discover that you are already ready for your exams and your revision consists of just doing a few exam papers so that you get to know the style of questions and how quickly you have to go to finish in the allotted time. However, if you are feeling nervous and don’t think you are prepared enough, you might choose to do more. As a guide to when enough is enough, though, you shouldn’t ever aim to do more than 2 hours in a single morning, afternoon or evening session as your concentration will just not be there towards the end and you will exhaust yourself more than you will learn anything. And your total study for the entire week (including your 25 hours of lessons in school, if it is term time) shouldn’t be allowed to go above 40 hours (most jobs wouldn’t require you to work more than that if you were employed rather than at school, certainly not at your age). This means that during term time, you shouldn’t be planning on more than 7 revision sessions a week. (By the way, any homework you are set by your teachers during these times of the year will be aimed at revision, so you can do this during one of your sessions, it won’t be on top.)
Below are some documents that contain more detailed ideas or specific advice for particular subjects.
Each exam course has its own page within the main school website; this is most useful for independent study during the two years of the course.
Then, when it is time to revise, it is useful to have the essential resources highlighted so that time spent revising each course is used as efficiently as possible. Below, each subject has grouped together into a Google Drive folder the key resources you should begin with as you revise.
There is also a direct link to the course page of the exam board’s website, where you can find past exam papers.
It’s true, so we might as well say it: GCSEs are important; the grades you get will help to get you into the Sixth Form or a college or get you a job. However, always remember that they are still not as important as a lot of other things in your life, such as your health and that of your loved ones. Also try to remember that if you work hard you can be proud of yourself, no matter what happens in the exams. All this is easy to say, of course, and stress isn’t always as easy to avoid, especially if exam-related stress is adding to other issues you have going on anyway.
It is important that you pay attention to yourself and if you do think that you are becoming stressed, don’t ignore it. Talking to your family, friends or teachers can help tremendously — it is true that a problem shared is a problem halved, no matter how corny that sounds. Remember, all of the adults in your life have all studied for exams themselves and we remember what it is like. There are also some simple relaxation techniques that you can try, such as:
If you want something a little more formal/regular, the following two things are also available to you:
Each year, approximately 40 Year 11 students are invited to be mentored by a staff member in the school. Meetings take place every four weeks or so, with the purpose of giving encouragement and talking through any worries. There is an evening meeting to introduce the programme early in Year 11 (see the Key dates tab, above).
Fallibroome has a professional counsellor (Jacqui Jouannet) and any student can see her. You can drop-in without an appointment during parts of the week (see the times on her door, in the Pastoral Support Centre) or you can ask to have a series of appointments with her that she will arrange for you (you can ask your Learning Manager to set this up for you). Anything you say to Jacqui is confidential (except in circumstances in which she believes you or someone else is at risk of harm).
“Exam access arrangements” are reasonable adjustments that can be made for students with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries to allow them to avoid being disadvantaged due to the nature of an assessment. Such adjustments might include things like extra time to complete an exam paper, assistance from a reader or a scribe, permission to use assistive technology, or provision of rest breaks or a separate room.
Exam access arrangements can only be granted if they are a student’s “normal way of working” and if the student has a history of need. A report from the school must show that the student has a significant and long-term impairment. For example, a student who is eligible for extra time would need to have scores that are below average in speed of writing, reading, reading comprehension or cognitive process, demonstrating they work much more slowly than others. This must then be backed up by teachers and evidence must be provided that this is the student’s normal way of working. For these reasons, please note that it is not usually possible to obtain permission for exam access arrangements late in Year 11.
Due to the complexity of the rules and the assessment and application procedure, all considerations for exam access arrangements are dealt with centrally by the school’s Learning Support Department and not by individual subjects, teachers or teaching assistants. Parents should contact Mr Dale directly (e.g. by email) if they would like to discuss their son/daughter’s eligibility.
Year 10 end-of-year examinations take place during eight days in the final half term of the year, Wednesday 17th to Thursday 25th June.
The exam timetable is available below. If you are logged into your Fallibroome Gmail account and you click the “View in Google Drive” link, you will also be able to find which seat you are sitting in for each exam.
When not in an exam, students should go to their normal timetabled classrooms, where they can revise (for any exam, it doesn’t have to be the subject of the lesson they’re in). Students are encouraged to bring revision materials with them to class.
Once Year 11 is fully undereway, most subjects begin to offer extra revision sessions, either before school, at lunch time or after school. The number and frequency of these increase as the year progresses. The list below will attempt to list them all, but some ad hoc sessions may not be included.
During Study Leave, our support doesn’t end! Once study leave beings, the timetable below will indicate all of the revision sessions that will continue to take place. Students are encouraged to attend as many as they can.
Year 11 mock examinations take place during the nine days immediately after the Christmas holiday, Monday 6th to Thursday 16th January. Revision materials are available via the “Revision” buttons on the “Subject Resources” tab, above.
The exam timetable (and seating plans) are available below. When not in an exam, students must go to normal timetabled lessons. These will be used for private study, so revision materials are a must.
Click the button below to find out what seat you are sitting in for your exams.
Note: You need to be logged into your Fallibroome Google (GMail) account to access the seating plans. If the link doesn’t work, click here to sign in to your Fallibroome account and then try again.
The main summer examination period is much longer than the January mock exam period and there is more opportunity for students to complete their final study independently. As a result, we intend to allow study leave for students from Thursday 7th May. The last day of normal timetabled lessons will be Wednesday 6th May and there will be a Leavers’ Assembly on the Thursday morning.
We will not leave students unsupported during the examination period, however, as described below. We hope that this strikes the right balance between giving students the opportunity to direct and manage their own studies while at the same time providing additional support and guidance from subject staff in school.
We will be running a programme of subject-based revision sessions. These proved to be highly valuable to the large numbers of students who attended them last year and we strongly encourage your son/daughter to attend as many as they are able. Just before the students leave, we will publish the dates and content of these revision sessions and will be asking our students to sign up to them in advance. A copy of this programme will be sent to all students and parents and it will also be available via the Revision sessions tab on this page, above.
Some students will decide that they will revise more effectively if they work in school throughout the examination period. To facilitate this, we will designate our Dining Hall during the school day and E3/E4 every lunchtime as Year 11 study spaces. We imagine that many of our students will choose to make use of these facilities during the exam season.
Students who have routinely achieved Attitude to Learning grades of A0 or B0 are likely to have well-developed study habits and will make good decisions about how and where to revise. There will be students, however, who will benefit from a more structured approach to their work and will be more productive working in school with staff supervision throughout this period. We will be making contact with families on an individual basis where we believe this is the case.
Full exam timetables are available from AQA, Edexcel and OCR:
In the summer term, a Fallibroome-specific timetable will be available below, showing times and rooms for only the exams relevant to our school.
The rules of the exam room are largely as you would expect them to be (the key ones are immediately below and the full list is available at the bottom of the page). Please do read and understand them properly, however — if you break these rules the consequences can go beyond just a single exam, you can actually be disqualified from all your subjects.
A full set of ‘offical’ rules from the Joint Qualifications Council are also available below.
You can collect your GCSE results from 9.30am on Thursday 22nd August 2019, from the Sixth Form Centre. If you cannot be there to collect your results in person, you can nominate someone else to do so for you or they can be posted to you. Please see Mrs Simm to arrange either of these things.
If your results are not as you expected them to be and you are concerned that a mistake has been made, you can request a clerical check or a complete remark. Alternatively, if you simply want your original exam paper returned for you to see where you went wrong, you can do that, too. All of these services incur a fee (per exam paper, not per subject), but this is refunded to you if a mistake is found to have occurred and your overall grade changes as a result. To request any of these services, please use the correct form, below. Please note that the deadline for requests is early September, so you need to decide quickly if you wish to use one of these services.