Supporting your child in Year 11
We are all aware that the new linear GCSE exams will be challenging for Year 11 students and we know that Archer students will be prepared for that challenge. The following link from the government explaining the newest results from 2017: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/guide-to-gcse-results-for-england-2017 broadly speaking the results were similar to last year’s in terms of the amount of students receiving an A/7 or a C/4. We predict the grade boundaries will become more difficult as teachers and students become familiar with the specifications and exams.
Please find below some top tips to help make sure students are exam ready:
- Students should have a quiet place to study and take regular breaks from work.
- Mobile phones and other distractions are put away whilst students are working.
- Students eat a healthy, balanced diet and drink plenty of water.
- Students go to bed at a reasonable hour and get enough sleep.
- Students have understood all revision methods and revised thoroughly for both mock and final examinations. Family members can help by asking about the topics they have been studying and testing them on their revision.
Please also support your child by letting them know they can talk to you about their feelings and helping them to address any concerns or questions they may have. It may not always be easy to find the right time to talk; if they do open up to you, it’s worth grabbing the opportunity while you can. Here is a link to an excellent website for Mindfulness for teenagers. It is a useful entry point for you and your child to revisit the mindfulness we first looked at in Year 9. Focussing on the present and on gratitude has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety among young people and there are some good short guided meditations here. I also personally recommend the app ‘Insight Timer’ for guided and timed meditation. http://mindfulnessforteens.com/
The workload will certainly become more intense in Year 11. Students will be set 1 hour of work for each subject, and on occasion there may be more depending on some coursework deadlines. It’s really important that students get used to the routine of sitting and working independently each evening.
We suggest students spend a maximum of 2 hours per evening studying; this could be spent on homework, reviewing notes or reading around the subject. For example, if your child is reading a novel or play they have been recommended by their English teacher that is thematically linked to a text they are studying, this could be included in this time
You may also find the following tips useful in helping to keep your child motivated:
- Agree a balance between work and social life and stick to the agreement. Flexibility is the key – if a special night comes up, agree that they can make up the work at a specified time
- All students fall behind, feel demotivated or overwhelmed, or struggle with the balance of social, work and school demands at times. When your child feels like this, berating and threatening them will have a negative effect. Talk to them about the issues, acknowledge their feelings and adopt a sensible attitude in helping them find a solution.
- Be flexible – use the 80/20 rule. If your child is sticking to what they are supposed to be doing 80% of the time, that’s a great start.
- If your child asks for your support, encourage them by helping them to see the difficulties in perspective. Teenagers often take an all or nothing approach to difficulties – “I’ve messed up this essay, I might as well give up.” Try and help them see the bigger picture and remind them that setbacks are often temporary and usually resolvable.