Welcome to castle school parents for learning evening march 2011
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Welcome to Castle School Parents for Learning Evening March 2011. The Current Situation. GCSEs are imminent! Much of this will affirm what you already know The most important person is your child Them, you and us … we’re all in this together!. What can you do?.

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Welcome to castle school parents for learning evening march 2011 l.jpg
Welcome to Castle SchoolParents for Learning EveningMarch 2011

The current situation l.jpg
The Current Situation

  • GCSEs are imminent!

  • Much of this will affirm what you already know

  • The most important person is your child

  • Them, you and us … we’re all in this together!

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What can you do?

  • Be realistic – not only in your expectations of your child, but also in the fact that GCSEs are important, and life still goes on

  • It’s important that you encourage without too much pressure. Your child should be happy. Too much stress will cause failure

  • Be interested in YOUR child’sprogress and praisesuccess!

  • DON’T PANIC! You are not alone. Contact school and talk to us

  • Avoid offering bribes or presents conditional on high grades. It’s better to encourage them to work for their own satisfaction

  • Encourage the rest of the family to be considerate

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Health Tips

  • Exams and Revision are hard work!

  • The right FUEL : plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Bananas are brilliant for brains!

  • Avoid caffeine, it makes stress worse and it dehydrates their brains, just drink LOTS of water it re-hydrates the brain and makes it work better.

  • Regular exercise

  • A good night’s sleep

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Creating the right environment

  • Quiet, comfortable, work environment

  • It is their environment so music is OK and so is standing on their head if it works!

  • Provide them with things they need to organise themselves; box files, folders, paper, highlighters, coloured pens, Post-its, access to computers/ internet for revision

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During exams

  • Make sure they have a good night’s sleep

  • Ensure they have all the equipment they need – pens, pencils, rubber, ruler, sometimes a calculator and a


  • Find out where and when their exams are

  • Wish them well and tell them they worked hard and that they can only do their best

  • Avoid post mortems!

  • We are here to help!


    and AFTER!

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Be prepared!

  • Mood swings

  • Conflict

  • Don't forget your teenager still needs you and, underneath it all, cares about your opinions. If you understand and accept that some conflict is inevitable, you'll

    be better prepared for it


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Time Management

Revision Timetable

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The Big Conversation

Booked time

Call it a ‘meeting’

Make an agenda

Formality (even if fake)

Pin to kitchen board/door?

Take as much emotion OUT as you can by creating some distance

Don’t let your irritability show

This family member is No1 for this period of time (without too much pressure)

All in this together: really will help!


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Time Management: Background……



Watching television / DVDs / computer games / on computer

Paid work

Get into balance with school work

Only a short period of time

Think about

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Planning for revision

Each subject

what books/textbooks do I need?

have I got them?

do I need to catch up on any bits?

coursework: is it done?

nearly there?


organise notes: sort (or put in a file)

any reading to do……?

introduce idea of timetable……

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The timetable idea……

Makes everyone feel better

Makes your child (and you) feel efficient and organised

Gives a place to start


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Learning is best at the beginning/end of each revision session

Maximum concentration time is around 40 minutes

Targets for each session, then a stop/reward

Positive non-revision time


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Think in terms of…… session

3 possible sessions a day

In any non-school days, your child doing 2 sessions

A ‘session’ is 2 hours (made up of 2 blocks of 40 – 45 minutes + 15 mins breather)

Is your child a lark or an owl……?

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Remember, too, sessionImportant blocks of revision time…


Spring 2 week ‘holiday’

Summer Whit ‘half term’

Exams start 16th May

Exams finish 27th June

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Don’t worry too much about…… session

What the timetable looks like

The exact length of revisions slots

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Individualise it – suit to taste… sessionAlternative Timetable Shape -


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What revision isn’t session

  • You have agreed the timetable – keep talking!

  • Just reading isn’t enough

  • Many students ‘revise’ by copying out their class notes or pages of school textbooks. This is not only a dull and slow way of studying but also highly ineffective – it is possible to copy out a whole book and still know little or nothing about what you have written. Instead, GCSE students need to find ways of taking notes that require them to analyse and actively think about topics that they are revising.

  • Revision needs to be active

  • Get them to explain… more talking!

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Pages of notes or text can be daunting session

Selecting key ideas is essential

Highlighter pens

Use colours to denote dates, key words, names etc.

Text Marking

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Posters session

  • Summarise key ideas and facts

  • Visual

  • Colours and symbols help

  • Explain them

  • Display them – wall, ceiling, next to the bathroom mirror

  • Examples – Science concepts, Maths equations, English character notes

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Summary of information session

Key ideas, words, quotations

Use both sides

Colour code



Use to test


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Diagrams session

  • Any method of transforming text into another format

  • The act of organising or placing facts/words helps ensure understanding

  • Explain

  • Colours and symbols

  • Display – visual

  • Examples

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Diagrams session

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Mind Maps session

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Mind Maps session

  • Another type of diagram

  • Individual

  • Again, explaining is key

  • Again, visual

  • Again, colour and symbols work

  • Many uses – making, explaining, recreating, displaying, planning

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Whatever works! session

  • Engaging

  • Fun

  • Memorable

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Interactive session


Sharing resources

Sharing anxieties




Study Buddy

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Using your child’s natural life support system session

Recording voice

Downloads / CDs


Texting, MSN?

Using what they know and like …. ICT

Music and Voice

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castlesch session


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Revision Apps are available for…. session



HTC, Samsung, Nokia, Sony

Bitesize is free, others from 59p - £1.19

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Some important dates session

Exams all finished by : Mon 27th June

Year 11 Book Clearance : Mon 27th June (am)

Sixth Form Induction Day : Tues28th June

Year 11 Prom : Thurs 30th June

GCSE results available : Thurs 25th August

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Is there life after GCSEs? session


This thought can

  • Help to cope with exam pressures

  • Help with motivation

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Then a long summer…….. session

This can be useful for

  • ‘Thinking time’ about your future

  • Gaining experience in a career-related area

  • Background reading for courses next year

    ………..as well as a well-earned holiday?

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Mistakes to avoid session

  • Throwing away all Yr 11 books/notes in June

  • Forgetting to save any personal files from the IT network

  • Thinking below-par GCSE results are the end of the world……e.g. the importance of our 1-year programme in Yr 12.

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Moving into the Sixth Form session

Key : getting students on the right sort of courses, on which they are likely to succeed next year

Support available at all times between now and Sept….from Mr Nicholson and 6th Form team

The availability of 1-year programme and Eng/Maths re-sits

The main difference, on all courses, is the expectation of more independence in thought, organisation, motivation, work completion

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Looking for extra motivation session

Look beyond the ‘minimum entry requirements’ for next year

e.g. “4Ds” for a BTEC First course

“5Cs including 4Bs” for specific A-levels

How will people look at your ‘GCSE profile’ in future years :


Maths/Eng (and Sci) increasingly vital for most areas

The competition for the most popular university courses