12 03 29 GCSEcountdown by i8D420cV


									   GCSE Countdown

  A guide for parents,
    guardians and
This guide belongs to:

Page 3. A note to parents.
Page 4. Important information.
Page 5. Quick tips for revising.
Page 6. Highlighting key words, 6Ws.
Page 7. Re-writing notes. Mnemonics.
Page 8. Drawing pictures.
Page 9. Know your definitions.
Page 10. Command words.
Page 11. Concept maps.
Page 12. Post-it notes.
Page 13. Exam techniques.
Page 14. What if ?
Page 15. Useful websites.
Page 16/17. Countdown calendar.

A note to parents and guardians…
Passing exams is essential to secure the next step for your son or daughter’s future.

It would be nice if this caused no pain, stress or anxiety, but as we all know it does!

This guide is designed to give you support when dealing with revision, tackling exams
and preparing for exam day and together we can help all our young people to do the very
best they can.

As a parent you play an active part of the exams process and you have many roles in
helping your child succeed. These vary according to their needs and strengths.

Below are some of these roles…

   1. Attendance Officer – Making sure your child attends lessons and understands the
      importance of making the most of lesson times.

   2. Provider of the tools for homework and revision – a quiet space to study, a
      ‘workbox’ of pens, paper and other requirements.

   3. Study buddy – showing interest in the subject, helping with homework (but not
      doing it for them!), testing them when they ask you, etc…

   4. Project manager – agreeing the rules for homework and revision (remember they
      won’t work if they are imposed!), helping them to organize their revision and
      essentially ensuring that there is time for ‘fun stuff’.

   5. Go-between – contacting Stalham High for advice and support when things go a
      little wobbly.

   6. Banker – paying for revision guides and the tools they need.

Whatever your child’s individual needs, your chief role will always be that of a person
who cares most in the world, champion of their needs and admirer of every achievement.

The most important role you will have is that of a person who loves them and is proud of
them, whatever happens.

Important information.
     It is absolutely vital that your child attends school every day. Every lesson
      prepares them for exams.

     Students must come to school ready to work. This means they need pens, pencils
      and rulers not only for lessons but also for exams.

     Students are expected to wear full school uniform for their exams. Please help us
      to avoid conflict at an already stressful time by ensuring that they arrive in school
      correctly dressed for every exam.

     Most students have applied for college courses or apprentiships already. If
      students are unsure they must see Mr Olley and Miss Lester who will support
      them through this process.

     Revision techniques have already been discussed in assemblies and in lessons.
      This guide includes further guidance to enable you to support your son or

     Despite what you may have heard… Teachers are human and we do care about
      our students! Should you have any concerns about your son or daughter’s
      progress please contact form tutors, subject teachers, Mr Olley (Key stage 4
      coordinator), Ms Hope (Associate Assistant Head – intervention) or Mrs Davies
      (Deputy Head).

Quick tips for revising.
   1. Make yourself start however much you don’t want to – the hardest bit is then over!

   2. Build in short breaks.

   3. Do frequent short exercises – stretches, neck and shoulder rolls, walking around

   4. Drink water and get fresh air. Keep your room temperature cool.

   5. Eat ‘brain food’ – avoid sugar and have lots of healthy snacks around to eat little
      and often.

   6. Take a day off and do something completely different.

   7. Don’t leave difficult bits to the end.

   8. Do something relaxing between revising and going to bed.

   9. STOP and take a break if you start feeling frustrated, angry or overwhelmed.
      Make a note of the problem to take to your next lesson, then move onto
      something else.

   10. Focus on what you have done, not all the things you haven’t. After all ‘Every little

   11. Promise yourself rewards after every session – a tv programme, reading a trashy
       novel or going out with friends.

   12. At the end of each session, file away your notes and clutter so that your work-area
       is clear for the next session.

   13. Don’t rely on caffeine to keep you awake. You are more likely to feel tired and
       panicky the next day.

The night before
   1. Eat starchy foods such as rice, pasta, potatoes or bread.

   2. Drink a glass of warm milk to help you to relax and nod off so you are fresh for
      exam day.

D-Day breakfast
   2. Something high fibre or high protein will set you up perfectly. If you can’t face
      cereal or toast try having a couple of bananas or some raisins or a fruit smoothie.

Reading through information
It is really important not to go ‘cold’ into revision. Before you start the hard graft read
through your notes or revision guide.

When you have read it once and have followed what it is about, go through it again and
do some of the following…

Revision technique 1. Highlightiing.
Use different coloured pens to highlight the key words. You don’t need ‘proper’
highlighters you can use different coloured pens or pencils to underline the key words.

Revision technique 2. The 6 Ws
Using highlighters highlight sections in the text that tell you…

By highlighting the 6Ws in a passage you will understand better what the text or exam
question is asking you.

Revision technique 3. Re-writing notes.
Having highlighted the 6Ws you should now be able to go through the notes again and
re-write them.

By doing this you will shorten the original notes and by re-writing them you will train your
brain to remember them.

Re-write them again until you have condensed your notes onto index cards.

Revision techniques 4. Mnemonics.
Sometimes no matter what you do, you simply cannot remember an order of something!
Try a mnemonic!
Take the first letter of each word and construct a silly (or rude!) sentence that you will

e.g. My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming Planets
This gives you the order of the planets in the solar system. (arguments about whether
Pluto is a planet or not should not be included here!)

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto

Or Naughty Elephants Squirt Water.

This gives the points of the compass in a clockwise direction.

North, East, South and West.

Revision techniques 5. Drawing pictures
When you have read through the work, highlighted the key words and written mnemonics
for tricky sequences try to draw a picture. It does help to sort out sequences.

e.g. ‘The great plague struck London in 1666, starting in the shop of the baker to King
Charles II in Pudding Lane’

Try this out…
Get a picture of a large rat (the plague) running around before being burned , draw on
flames,(plague year before fire) in bread oven (bakers shop) with the flames curling up
round it like the curls of 666 (1666), and then being put into a pudding eaten by 2 King
Charles spaniels.
Go through the picture sequence a couple of times, the see if you can remember the 7
facts in the sentence.

Revision techniques 6. Know your definitions.
Try writing out on cards the key words from some text. Then on another set of cards
write down the correct definitions.

Shuffle the cards and try to match the word with the definition before writing out of
drawing the definition and key word again.

You can also download cards from the internet! Here is one for PE.

Start                   What is the name of the irregular bone in the leg?
      Patella           What does the letter ‘C’ stand for in R.I.C.E?
    Compression         What is the anatomical name for the windpipe?
                        Boxers and jockey’s would use this type of performance
                        enhancing drug
      Diuretics         What kind of ‘body type’ would a high jumper be?
     Ectomorph          Which muscle is the agonist when you straighten your arm?
       Tricep           What is the anatomical name for the shoulder blade?
      Scapula           ‘How well a task is completed’
    Performance         What are the bones called in your fingers and toes?
     Phalanges          What is the pigment in red blood cells that carries oxygen?
                        Shape and Support, Blood production and Protection… what is
                        the other function of the Skeletal System?
    Movement            These clot the blood, forming scabs
     Platelets          ‘The ability to meet the demands of the environment’
      Fitness           Is a break or crack in a bone
     Fracture           The number of times the heart beats in a minute
    Heart rate          The smallest blood vessels in the body are called….?
    Capillaries         These drugs reduce anxiety?
   Beta-blockers        The range of movement at a joint
    Flexibility         This type of training means ‘Speed Play’
      Fartlek           When this contracts, it makes your chest larger
    Diaphragm           This gas makes up 3% of the air you breathe out
  Carbon Dioxide        This blood vessel carries blood from the heart to the lungs
 Pulmonary Artery       These blood vessels contain valves
                        This kind of muscle is attached to your skeleton. It helps you
        Voluntary       The body working with oxygen to produce energy
         Aerobic                                      FINISH

Revision techniques 7. Command words.
When a question asks you to ‘explain’, ‘discuss’ or ‘match’ do you know what it is asking

You have to know what an examiner is wanting out of your brain by understanding what
the examiner is asking you.

‘Describe’ is when you are looking at something and saying what it is like.
e.g. ‘Describe what is happening in the picture’

It is a pinky purple flower with 6 petals.

‘Explain’ requires more detail.
It is a coloured flower to attract insects. The stamen in the middle hold the pollen which
will help fertilise another flower when the bee…….

‘Match’ means link words or statements or definitions together. You can show what goes

Other words include…
‘Evaluate’ say what went well and not so well. Look for advantages and disadvantages in
a newspaper account to help you see both sides of the story.

‘list’ simply use individual words to show what is grouped together. Think about a recipe
with the ingredients listed.

Revision technique 8. Concept maps. (AKA mind maps, brainstorming)
These allow you make links on a subject. You can start with the main topic before you
start to spot links within the information you have recoreded.
Aim to avoid full sentences and limit the number of words you use.

By adding in colour and sticking your completed map on your wall you will learn every
time you look at it!

Revision technique 8. Post-its.
These marvelous sticky labels are a great revision resource. Write equations, French
words, history dates etc on them and stick them around the mirror so you can read them
when you brush your teeth. Stick them on the back of the loo door. Put them around your
working area. You can then look at them and expand on what they are about.

Revision technique 10. Review, review, review.
What ever you do a quick read through is never enough!
When you have revised you must review and not just put it down to ‘job done’!
You will have your shortened notes with the key words highlighted and correct
definitions, diagrams and concept maps.

Read through these notes to help you remember all the key points.

Reviewing needs to be built into your revision timetable and a good time to review is
early in the morning or before you go to bed.

Take your notes with you to school on the day of the exam so you can just have a little
quiet review time before the exam starts.

Exam Techniques.
   1. Always read through the instructions and guidance on the front of the paper. Mrs
      Brooke will probably do this with you, but she may not start every exam. Make
      sure you know how many questions you should answer and how long each
      question should take to write.

   2. Identify the command words in every question. Explain, describe, compare,
      explain, why, where, how, when, who are just a few.

   3. In order to avoid having to make lots of corrections, mentally rehearse your
      answers before you write them down.

   4. Answer all the questions even if some are short (you won’t be marked down for
      having a go!)

   5. Set aside additional time to check through your answers. Remember spelling,
      grammar and punctuation do count!

   6. Remember the timings for exams have been considered carefully by the board. If
      you finish really early it is not a good sign. Go back and review every answer over
      and over again and make sure you have included all the points you want

Remember it will not be the exam paper that gives you a problem, only the answers!

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

Good Luck!

What if?...
  1. My child doesn’t know which exams he/she has on each day.
     Students were issued with statement of entry which says which exams
     they are taking. This can then link in with the GCSE countdown
     calendar so students can get a clear view of when and where exams
     are happening.
  2. My child forgets to come to an exam?
     If students forget they have exam we will know from the registers
     taken for that exam. We will call home to wake them up and get them
     in to school. They will not be allowed to miss an exam because they
     didn’t wake up.
  3. What if my child is too ill to sit an exam?
     If students are really too ill to sit exams you will need to contact school
     and also get a doctors note on the same day. There are no more
     opportunities to sit exams and so the results stand. The Exam boards
     require medical evidence that your child is too ill to sit exams.
  4. When is results’ day and what time should students arrive?
     Results day is August 23rd and school is open between 10am and
  5. Can I pick up my child’s results for them?
     Unfortunately the results are the property of the student and will only
     be released to someone else on the production of a signed letter from
     the student.
  6. What if we are on holiday on results day?
     If you are away for the results day students can send in a stamped
     self addressed envelope to Mrs Brooke, the exams officer.
  7. How do we contact the colleges after collecting results?
     Some of the colleges will be in school when students collect their
     results. Your child will need to check in with colleges then. If the
     colleges are not in school your child is advised to telephone their
     choices as soon as possible.
  8. Does my child have to wear uniform?
     Yes I am afraid that they do! The hoodies that have been bought are
     permitted to be worn to and from school, but not in the exam hall. Your
     help to ensure that your child comes to school properly dressed will
     help to avoid conflict at an already tough time.
  9. Can my student take drinks into exams?
     No this is not allowed. Any spillages could ruin all the hard work your
     child has done.
  10. What do I do with all the text books?
      Your child MUST return these to school as soon as the exam is completed.
      This means that they can be re-issued to lower year groups.
Useful websites:

   1. www.questia.com
   2. www.revision-notes.co.uk
   3. www.englishbiz.co.uk
   4. www.studynet.co.uk
   5. www.englishresources.co.uk
   6. www.learn.co.uk
   7. www.toxiclemon.co.uk
   8. www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize
   9. www.schoolzone.co.uk

   1. www.bbc.co.uk/skillwise/index.shtml
   2. www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/sci_tech/features/figure_it_out/index/shtml
   3. www.gcseguide.co.uk
   4. www.digitalbrain.com/digitalbrain/web/subjects/2.%20secondary/ks4mat/?verb
   5. www.nrich.maths.org
   6. www.catcode.com/trig
   7. www.gcsemaths.fsnet.co.uk
   8. www.gcsewise.com

   1. www.bbc.co.uk/science
   2. www.bbc.co.uk/schools/communities/sosteacher/browse_ks4.shtml
   3. www.purchon.com/biology/index.htm
   4. www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/tryit/brain/
   5. www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/sci_tech/features/elementary/dyncon/atoms.shtml
   6. www.dbhs.wvusd.k/12.ca.uk/Equations/Equations.html
   7. www.docbrown.info

Other websites:
   1. www.bbc.co.uk/learning
   2. www.revision-notes.co.uk/GCSE
   3. www.channel4.com/homework
   4. www.brainpop.com/specials/testpreparation/index.weml
   5. www.homeworkelephant.co.uk

Exam stress:
   1. www.isma.org.uk/exams.htm
   2. www.pupiline.net/issues/examstress

For parents:
   1. www.parentsonline.gov.uk
   2. www.parents.dfee.gov.uk
   3. www.nfpi.org

             Monday           Tuesday        Wednesday   Thursday        Friday        Saturday        Sunday

holidays                2               3            4              5             6                7             8

                        9               10          11           12               13              14            15

                       16               17          18           19               20          21                22

                          PE practical(all
      2                   day)
                       23              24           25           26               27          28                29
      1                   10am onwards                                ART (ALL DAY)
                       30               1            2              3             4               5             6
May                       ART (ALL DAY)
                          FSKILLS ENG
      2    Bank Holiday   re-sit (AM)
                        7               8            9           10               11          12                13
           (AM) FRENCH                                 FRENCH (AM)
      1    (PM)           BIOLOGY (AM)                 RE (PM)
                       14              15           16           17               18          19                20
            Monday         Tuesday          Wednesday     Thursday       Friday        Saturday       Sunday
          (AM) SPANISH                              PHYSICS (AM)
      2   (PM)          ENG LIT (AM)  PE (PM)       ENG LIT (PM)
                     21            22            23             24                25          26               27
          CHILD DEV
          (PM) DANCE    ENG LANG      ADD&TRIPLE
      1   (PM)          (AM)          SCIENCE (PM) Leavers' day
                     28            29            30             31                1               2             3

  term.              4                  5             6              7            8               9            10
June                                                                 HIST MED
                         SCIENCE (AM)
                         HIST SURGERY                   GEOG DYN     CORE SCIENCE
      2   MATHS (PM)     (PM)              MATHS (AM)   PLANET (AM)  (PM)
                    11                  12           13           14           15             16               17
          GEOG PEOP &                      AMERICAN
      1   PLANET (AM)                      WEST (PM)
                    18                  19           20           21           22             23               24
      2   (AM)                             RES MAT (AM)
                    25                  26           27           28              29

Results day Thursday 23rd August 2012. 10AM TO 12PM


To top