Aylesbury High School
Information on GCSE Examination Procedures
January and Summer 2012
Exam Noticeboard ……. …………….………….……………….…….…….2
Study Leave and Revision Arrangements for Public Exams ………….....2
Exam Timetable .. ………………………………….…………..…….….…...3
Exam Equipment and prohibited items …………….……….….….……….5
During the Exam …………………………………….………….……..…….. 6
Exam Clashes …………………………………….………….……….………7
GCE and GCSE Exam timings ………………….………….……….………8
Leaving the Exam Hall(s) ………………………….………..……….………8
GCE Exams - non written units ……………………….…….………………8
Art and Art Textiles
PE (including Level 1 in Sports Leadership)
Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Science B, Add. Science)
GCE/GCSE Exam entries for subjects not studied at school ……...…..12
Problems and Queries ………………..………….….…………….…….….12
Special Consideration for GCE/GCSE exams ……….…….…….…….…13
Exam Results ………………..……………….…………………….………...14
External Exam Dates …………………………………….………….………15
Frequently asked Questions …………………………………………….. 17
JCQ Exam Notices are at the end of the booklet – please read!
GCSE Examination Information for students
All students sit their exams (both internal and external) in the Main Hall,
Harding Hall, Drama Studio, Gym or designated classrooms. Whatever the
venue, public exam rules apply to everybody in the room. These rules are set
by the Joint Council for Qualification (JCQ) who administer external
examinations and are displayed on the inside and outside of the exam venues
throughout the whole of the external exam sessions.
The JCQ Information for Candidates poster and a copy of the JCQ rules are
also published on the AHS website together with a copy of this booklet. Please
read them all.
GCE and GCSE exam modules are held either January and May/June each
year. Y11 mock GCSE exams take place in January each year.
All students must wear full school uniform to all their exams, including
school shoes. Students will not be allowed into the exam hall wearing
non uniform clothing and will be asked to remove or change the non
uniform items(s)including shoes. School regulations concerning jewellry
also apply to students taking examinations.
The exam noticeboard is on the corridor outside Mrs Adams’ office. All
information concerning exams (both internal and external) is displayed
on this noticeboard including timetables and exam venues. It is up to
you to check this noticeboard each day to ensure that you are up to date
with all exam information concerning exam venues, exam dates and
exam starting times.
Some exam information can also be found in the Examinations section of the AHS
website (www.ahsonline.co.uk) but you should always use the noticeboard as the
first point of reference as some website information may not be up to date.
Study Leave and Revision Arrangements for Public Exams
Public exams mainly take place in January and May/June, with a few at other times of
year. Since they are now taken by a much wider range of ages than used to be the
case, we need to clarify arrangements, particularly when students are not on study
leave. There may need to be some variations, particularly when we have large
numbers taking a paper, but the table below shows the way it works for most exams.
Study leave (revsion at home and only come in to school for exams) in January is for
Y11 only and in May/June for yY1, 12 and 13 only
For morning exams, everyone needs to be present at 8.45 am promptly outside the
exam room. For afternoon exams, they need to assemble by 12.45 pm.
Years 7 - 10 Morning exams: go directly to the exam hall then straight back to
(May/June) normal lessons afterwards
Afternoon exams: the morning will be spent in supervised private
study; students to have an early lunch break (at midday) before
their afternoon exam begins
[Almost all end-of-year (school) exams will be taken in lesson
Year 11 (January) Exam leave commences at the start of term for approximately
two weeks; only come in for the exams
Year 11 Morning exams: go directly to the exam hall then straight back to
(November/March) normal lessons afterwards
Afternoon exams: the morning will be spent in supervised private
study; students to have an early lunch break (at midday) before
their afternoon exam begins
Year 11 Exam leave starts mid-May; only come in for the exams
All students will receive an exam timetable and they should personalise their
own copy of the timetable by highlighting which exams they are taking at what
time on each day.
You will receive a copy of the timetable and it is up to you to determine when
each exam you are sitting is taking place. Clashes are usually worked out in
advance and a list is pinned up in your form room, but occasionally a clash can
be missed and if you notice that you have a subject clash (two subjects
timetabled for an exam at the same time on the same day), it is up to you to
speak to Mrs Adams (in advance, not on the morning of the exam) so she can
sort it out.
GCE and GCSE candidates will receive a personal itemised timetable with
your name, date of birth and exam candidate number on it from your form tutor.
All exams for which you have been entered will be listed on your copy of the
timetable. Please check this list very carefully and if there is an error - you are
not down for an exam you are expecting to take or you have been entered for
an exam you were not expecting to take, please come and see Mrs Adams
Your timetable will also tell you what date your exam is and whether it is in the
morning or afternoon - I suggest you highlight your exams in two different
colours, one colour for the morning exams and one for the afternoon exams so
you can see at a glance when you should be in school.
Please do not lose your timetable. Mrs Adams can reprint it for you if you do
lose it but there will be a charge of £2 (which will be donated to the Agape
fund) for each reprinted timetable.
Morning exams - Candidates must be outside the correct venue by 8.45 am
and waiting in silence. All morning exams start at 09:00 am.
You may have a second morning exam that starts at approximately 11.00.
Please make sure that you are at your correct venue and ready to start the
exam on time even though you may only have a few minutes between finishing
one exam and starting another.
Afternoon exams - Candidates must be outside the correct venue by 12.45
pm and waiting in silence. All afternoon exams start at 13.00 (unless you
have been told otherwise).
When staff arrive to call candidates into the exam room everybody must be
silent. Disobeying this instruction can cause delays and mistakes. Candidates
are reminded that disobeying the instructions of invigilators can result in
sanctions being applied.
Lateness for Exams
Arriving late for an exam is discourteous to the exam invigilators and causes
problems at the start of the exam which is disruptive to the other candidates
taking the exam. Sometimes late arrival may be caused by such unforeseen
circumstances as the school bus running late and if this should happen you
should telephone the school immediately on 01296 388222 and leave your
name and a message that you may be late for your exam.
All exam boards do not permit candidates who arrive later than
9.30 am or 2.00 pm to sit their examinations.
Candidates for external exams are usually seated in alphabetical order. Y11
mock exams are seated in either form or G group order. You must check the
exam noticeboard for this information.
Anybody who is too ill to attend an exam (both internal and external) must
telephone the school as early as possible in the morning.
It is not possible to reschedule GCSE or GCE exams during the exam series,
but some GCE/GCSE modules may be retaken at a later date. This school
does not recommend retaking GCSE exams in Y12 as students are usually
heavily involved in sitting their AS modules and having to revise and work
towards a GCSE at the same time may be detrimental to their GCE work.
Exam Equipment and prohibited items
Candidates may only take necessary equipment into the exam room –
remember to use a transparent pencil case/plastic bag. You must not use
correction pens, correction fluid, gel pens or highlighter pens on your answer
sheets. All ipods and MP3 players must be turned off and left in lockers –
bags must not be brought into the exam room or left in the corridors. Mobile
phones may be left at reception but they must be named before they are
handed in. If your locker is in a classroom you will not be able to retrieve your
belongings while lessons are being taught.
Anybody taking a mobile phone (even if it is switched off), ipod or MP3
player into an exam room is likely to be disqualified – and candidates can
be disqualified from future exams if the exam boards think the offence is
serious enough. Candidates are responsible for bringing all the equipment
they need to each exam. The school cannot lend calculators or other
equipment to candidates. Please check the batteries in your calculator and
replace them if necessary. Make sure you have enough ink cartridges for
fountain pens actually on you - there is no point in leaving them in your locker if
you need them in an exam. Candidates cannot share equipment during an
exam. Items such as keys, glasses cases, calculator cases, purses etc must
be placed on the floor under your desk for the duration of the exam.
You may only write in black ink on your exam papers.
You may bring a drink – STILL WATER ONLY – into the examination halls but
it should be in a clear plastic bottle with the label removed and have a sports
top. No food substances/sweets/chewing gum are permitted in the exam halls
(Students who have a medical need i.e. diabetes should talk to Mrs Adams
before exams begin).
Please do not doodle on the exam paper/answer booklet. Examiners can and
do disallow defaced papers.
So - to summarise the above ‘do not’ points:
don’t be late
don’t bring your mobile phone, ipod, mp3 player etc into the exam hall
don’t use tippex, corrector pens, gel pens, or highlighter pens on your
answer sheet (if you have to answer questions in spaces on the
question paper, do not use highlighter pens on the answer part of the
don’t ask to borrow equipment from the school or other candidates
don’t bring food/sweets/chewing gum into the exam hall (unless by prior
arrangement with Mrs Adams)
don’t bring coke, orange squash etc into the exam hall, you may only
bring still water in a sports top bottle with no label .
don’t doodle on your exam paper.
During the exam
You must enter the exam hall in silence and remain that way until you are
released at the end of the exam. Once you are seated, you will be asked if you
need a wedge to stabilise an unsteady desk. At the beginning of Y11 mock
exams and all external GCSE and GCE exams the invigilator will read out the
starting announcement listing exam rules and regulations. Please listen to
them. You will then be asked to check you have the correct paper and if you
have any other questions or queries – if you need to ask a question, no matter
how trivial you may think it is, put up your hand and an invigilator will come and
answer it for you. You will be told of any specific instructions for your exam
paper and then the exam session will be started. The exact starting and
finishing time of your exam will be written on the board at the front of the exam
You will know if you are entitled to special arrangements in exams as this will
have been discussed with Mrs Adams or the Special Needs department well in
advance of your exams. The candidates with extra time will have their
finishing times displayed on the board as well.
NB: There are some GCSE exam subjects where extra time is not
considered appropriate; these are all D&T subjects, Art, Art Textiles
If you need another piece of paper, drop your pencil case or have a query
please put up your hand and an invigilator will come to you. Invigilators cannot
help with the content of the question paper and are not allowed to explain any
part of the paper to you but can assist in other matters.
If, exceptionally, you need to use the toilet or feel unwell, raise your hand and
you will be escorted to the toilet. GCE and GCSE candidates are only allowed
to use the toilet one at a time and have to be escorted to and from it by an
Remember that afternoon exams usually last between 1h 30m and 2 hours. If
you drink lots of liquid at lunchtime some of you will be unable to go through
exams of this length without needing a toilet break. If you have to go to the
toilet in the middle of an exam, not only will this disrupt your thinking and other
candidates, it will give you less time for your exam.
Please remember this and drink in moderation at lunchtime.
When you have two or more exams that are timetabled at the same time on the
same date; this is called an ‘exam clash’.
Y11 students will know which day they are taking their internal mock exams as
this will have been worked out in advance. They may take one exam on one
day and the other at another time. The information will be either pinned up on
their form room noticeboard or they will have discussed it with Mrs Adams.
GCE/GCSE candidates will need to have a supervised break or supervised
lunch when they have two or more exams timetabled at the same time on the
same date. They need to be kept isolated from other students taking these
exams so the security of the exams is maintained and information cannot be
passed between students on the content of the exam papers. There will be a
designated room for every supervised break or lunch, an invigilator will collect
you from your exam venue and take you to a room where you can:
Talk to other students in the designated room (quietly)
Eat or drink
Move around the supervised area
Visit the toilet (supervised)
During a supervised break or lunch, students may not:
Leave the designated room or area (except to visit the toilet under
Use or have in their possession a mobile phone
Go to their locker
Go to the school canteen (you must bring a packed lunch and drink with
Talk to anybody outside the designated supervision area
Talk to any other students, apart from those sharing the supervised
break or lunch, on the way to or before they enter their next exam venue.
All students are considered to be under examination conditions while they take
their supervised break or lunch.
At the end of the supervised break/lunch you will be taken to your next exam
venue and you will have to wait inside the hall with the invigilators.
You will not line up with the other candidates outside the hall as you must not speak
with any students before you take your exam.
GCE and GCSE Exam timing
At this school we start exams at 9.00 am in the morning and 1.00 pm in the
Candidates are not permitted to leave the exam hall until 10.00 am for morning
exams and 2.30 pm for afternoon exams.
It is not possible to start the exams before 1.00 pm in the afternoon and, as
exams do vary in length, you may not be able to return home on the school bus
because your exam has not ended until after 3.30 pm. This is particularly
relevant to students who have extra time in exams; so, if you have a late
running exam, please ensure that you have made arrangements to get home
Leaving the Exam Hall
At the end of the exam, once all the papers have been collected the candidates
will be dismissed in silence one row at a time – candidates must not talk until
they are away from the exam room especially if others are still sitting exams.
For the Main Hall this means leaving the corridor in silence and for the Harding
Hall this means silence until outside.
If you are leaving the Harding Hall, please DO NOT leave through the Music
Department as this disturbs music lessons. You should go along the path in
front of the Main Hall, but be aware that exams may still be going on in the
Candidates are also reminded that ordinary lessons will still be taking place in
the rest of the school and they should only use designated revision rooms.
External Exams - non written units
Some GCSE exams have a ‘practical’ or non written part. The content of these
units differ according to subject and level of exam.
MFL (Modern Foreign Language) Orals take the form of controlled
assessments. You will do a total of 3 oral assessments over the course of the
two years at times chosen by your teachers. The best two will be sent off for
You will receive the questions in advance of the tests, and have a planning
session with your class in English where you are able to think of possible
answers. The planning of your answers takes place at home; you should not
spend more than 5 hours on the preparation.
The test itself lasts for between 4-6 minutes. The final question you will be
asked will be one that you haven’t been able to prepare in advance. However,
you will probably be able to predict what it is.
English Language: You will be assessed on three speaking and listening
tasks over the course of Year 10:
2. Discussing and Listening
3. Role playing.
These speaking and listening tasks will count for 20% of your total for English
You will usually come out of lessons for a 10 minute oral slot and be assessed
by a teacher that is not your usual English teacher.
You will have had help planning your oral in advance and will be able to take
brief notes in with you.
You are assessed on your ability to:
present and listen to information and ideas
respond to the questions and views of others,
adapt talk appropriately to context and audience
make a range of effective contributions, using creative approaches to exploring
solve problems and develop ideas
participate in a range of contexts
Drama: GCSE Drama practical exams candidates will be expected to bring all
props and costume for a performance of their work. Lights and sound effects
are considered part of the production but not assessed.
Performances will not be repeated and rearrangement of set performance
dates can only be changed in discussion with the assessing teacher and the
examining board with exceptional reasons.
Coursework assessment: Your teacher will publish in advance the dates of your
assessments for the practical component and the running order of the assessments.
An assessment will usually take place near to the end of each term (in both Y10 &
11). The written components of this assessment should be submitted to your teacher/
assessor after your performance date.
Candidates perform, without interruption, to an audience of peers and are
assessed on the WJEC criteria for Devised and scripted options.
Dance: The practical element of Dance contributes 80% of your total GCSE
grade. It is divided into several elements:-
Performance 40% (Group Dance - choreographed by students – 20%
(Set Study - taught by Mrs Surguy – 20%
Choreography 40% (Solo Composition – 15%
(Solo/Group composition – 25%
Art and Design and Art Textiles courses involve building up a personal
portfolio of work (which contributes 60% of the end mark); mainly produced in
lessons with occasional homework being set. The externally set assignment is
given 8 weeks prior to the practical exam and this makes up the remaining
40% of the end mark. The practical exams are held in specialist art and design
and textiles rooms and last for 10 hours spread over two days.
You will be told of the theme for the externally set assignments approximately 8
school weeks before the exam and this time can be used for research,
planning and development purposes. You will need to bring all your
preparatory work to the exam and anything else you will need e.g. objects for
your still life, specialist materials that the art department does not normally
stock. You will be allocated a space to work according to the activity you are
doing. Timings for breaks, meals etc will be agreed at the start of the two day
Exam conditions apply throughout the duration of the exam. You are not
allowed to talk to anyone other than the teacher invigilator, you can drink water
from a plastic bottle but should not eat or drink anything else and you should
not leave the room unless given permission to do so by the teacher invigilator.
Mobile phones, Ipods, MP3 players etc must not be brought into the
art rooms during any exam period, even if they are switched off.
All exam work including preparation work should be handed in at the end of the
Physical Education (PE)
During Year 10, PE students will have a moderation day (usual 4/5 sports
covered in one day) at AHS assessed by AHS staff.
- 10 -
In Year 11 mock exams (held in January), PE students will have another
moderation day (usual 4/5 sports covered in one day) at AHS assessed by
For the actual GCSE exam the PE moderation day is usually held in April and
an external moderator will see 4 areas of activity and analysis of performance.
Level 1 in Sports Leadership
Students are continually assessed using their log books by their course tutor
and an internal verifier (AHS member of staff).
An external verifier comes into watch students during their TOP LINK festivals
– Year 3 or 4 games
Sciences – Physics, Chemistry & Biology
Practical assessment is through Practical Skills Assessment (PSA) and
individual Skills Assignments (ISA). These are carried out within normal lesson
time and your teachers will give you the information you need at the
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GCE/GCSE Exam entries for subjects not studied in school
Each year requests are received from girls who wish to take a GCE or early
GCSE exam in a subject that is not studied at school (e.g. Russian, Chinese
etc). We are happy to discuss these requests but girls who wish to take any
foreign language exam must first discuss this with Mr Baird, the Director of the
Language College, who will make the candidate aware of all the implications
regarding the exam (e.g. exam boards, subject specification, orals etc) and she
will then discuss the matter with Mrs Adams. Mrs Adams will not process any
requests for entry to foreign language exams without Mr Baird’s authorisation.
Entries for subjects other than languages must first be discussed with the
Subject Team Leader (your Form Tutor or Mrs Adams can tell you who they
are) and they will discuss your request with Mrs Adams. Mrs Adams will not
process any requests for exam entry without authorisation from the Subject
If you have problems or queries relating to exams please see Mrs Adams as
soon as possible – do not leave it until the morning of the exam or the
beginning of next term. She can be found in her office in the lower corridor,
contacted by email on email@example.com or telephoned on her direct
line 01926 388227.
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Special Consideration for External Examinations
Every year we receive a number of requests for Special Consideration from parents of
daughters taking public exams and it might be helpful to clarify the school’s position
on these requests.
In the case of illness, the school will support requests for sudden and serious
conditions that apply on the day of the examination only. The exam boards do not
consider illnesses affecting revision time prior to examinations to be an appropriate
reason for special consideration.
If a candidate suffers from ongoing conditions e.g. hay fever, glandular fever,
anorexia, depression etc, please let us know, in writing, how they have been
affected mentioning the symptoms and effects of any medication on the date of the
actual exam. e.g. ‘On Thursday 14 June Sarah was badly affected by symptoms of
her hay fever causing puffy and sore eyes, difficulty in breathing and lack of
This can then be sent electronically to the exam board requesting Special
Consideration for Sarah’s exam on Thursday 14 June.
If a candidate is affected for more than one day e.g. for exams on Monday 11,
Thursday 14 and Friday 15 June in one week, the note, which should be brought to
Mrs Adams early in the following week, should still relate the symptoms and effects
of any medication to the date of the exams. e.g. ‘Sarah has suffered from severe hay
fever symptoms during this week (week commencing Monday 11 June) which has
caused her to have puffy and running eyes, difficulty in breathing and sleeping at
night which will have affected her in her exams’.
Exam boards will not accept ‘blanket’ notes for the whole of the exam series. These
are notes that do not specify dates and just have comments such as ‘Sarah suffers
from hay fever/glandular fever/anorexia which is affecting her exams’
Any medical condition that might flare up can only be considered with a letter or
equivalent relating to the specific dates(s). This letter must be received by the
school within 5 days of the exam so it can be submitted to the exam board
within their deadline of 7 days from the date of the exam. It is strongly
recommended that medical advice regarding the control of symptoms for such
illnesses as hay fever, glandular fever etc is sought well in advance of the
In the case of sudden or unforeseen family circumstances, such as bereavement
during the examination period, special consideration may be applied for.
In all cases, the Examinations Officer, Mrs Adams, must be informed on the day or
days of the paper affected; late notification cannot be supported.
Please note that Special Consideration exam mark adjustments are only relatively minor, so
that they do not compromise the integrity of the standard. The usual adjustment made for
candidates who are unwell on the day of the exam is between 1-2% of the mark achieved,
(e.g. if a candidate scores, say 90/120, her adjustment will only be 0.9 - 1.8 of a mark). It is
important to note that Special Consideration is not intended to compensate for all difficulties
and some candidates may be simply too ill or distressed to cope with exams.
- 13 -
Y11 (mock exams) students will be given their results by their subject teachers.
January GCSE exam modules
GCSE candidates will be told where and when they can collect the results of
their January exams.
Before the GCE and GCSE exams start, candidates will have been asked to
write their name and candidate number on an envelope. This will be collected
and your results from each exam board will be collated and put in it. You will
be told the date and time that you can collect your exam results.
If you are not able to collect your envelope in person on results day you may
authorise, in advance, someone else to collect it for you, but this authorisation
must be in writing (even if the person collecting your results is your
parent/guardian) and it will be attached to your results envelope. Give the
letter to Mrs Adams and ensure you have signed it. If a different person has to
come and collect it, you must write another letter to Mrs Adams giving that
person permission to collect your results.
Without a signed letter from you we are not allowed to release results to any
third party (this includes your parents/guardians or relatives)
If you want your results posted, please put a 1st class stamp on the letter
together with the address you want your results sent to. Unstamped envelopes
and uncollected envelopes will be taken to the school Reception desk and can
We cannot give out results of exams over the telephone
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External Exam Dates - Summer 2012
First GCSE exam on timetable Monday 14 May 2012
(Art, Art/Textiles and MFL Oral exams are usually held prior to this
Last GCSE exam on timetable Wednesday 27 June 2012
GCSE Results Thursday 23 August 2012
GCE Results Thursday 16 August 2012
These are the exam boards that we use for each subject. Their website is also
shown. Provisional dates for dates for external GCE and GCSE exams can be
found on www.ahsonline.com and on these websites together with subject
GCE exam boards
EDEXCEL OCR (www.ocr.org.uk)
Russian General Studies
French World Development
History of Art
- 15 -
GCSE Exam Boards
Y10 exam codes (if
Y11 exam codes
Business Studies J253
History B (Modern World) J417
ICT 1994 (4 unit)
Art and Design 2AD01
Art and Design - Textiles 2TE01
Arabic 2AR01 (sp/list/read/writ)
Japanese 2JA01 (sp/list/read/writ)
D&T: Food Technology 4547
D&T: Graphic Products 4552
D&T: Textiles Technology 4572
English Language 4707
English Literature 4712
Mathematics – Methods 9367
Mathematics – Applications 9472
RS 4057 B
Science : Biology 4411 4401
Chemistry 4421 4402
Physics 4451 4403
Science B 4462 Science A 4405
Additional Science 4463 4408
Higher Project Qualification 7302
Drama 4150 SA
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Why do I need to check the details on my Statement of Entry .
The details on your Statement of Entry will be used when certificates
are printed. If the name or date of birth on your certificates does not
match your birth certificate it could cause you problems if you are
asked to show your certificates to a potential employer or for
college/university at some time in the future. You should also check
that the subjects and tiers of entry you are entered for are correct and
that no subjects are missing.
Q. What do I do if I think I have the wrong paper?
Invigilators will ask you to check before the examination starts. If you
think something is wrong put your hand up and tell the invigilator
Q. What if I forget my Candidate Number?
Candidate numbers are printed on your timetable and on a list in your
formroom. You will have the same candidate number foryou’re your
exam at AHS, from Y10 right up to Y13, so it will help if you can
memorise it. Invigilators will be able to help you find your number.
Q. What do I do if I forget the school Centre Number?
The Centre Number is 52105. It is clearly displayed in the
Q. What do I do if the fire alarm goes?
The examination invigilators will tell you what to do. If you have to
evacuate the examination venue leave everything on your desk and
leave the room in silence. You must not attempt to communicate with
any other candidates during the evacuation.
Q. Can I go to the toilet during the exam?
If it is absolutely necessary. You will be escorted by an invigilator and
will not be allowed any extra time.
Q. What do I do if I feel ill during the exam?
Put your hand up and an invigilator will assist you. You should inform
an invigilator if you feel ill before or during the exam.
Q. What is an Appeal for Special Consideration?
In the case of illness, the school will support requests for sudden and
serious conditions that apply on the day of the examination only. In
the case of sudden or unforeseen family circumstances, such as
bereavement during the examination period, special consideration
may be applied for.