The 2017 GCSEs began in earnest on Monday 15 May.
Our Exams team welcomed our first candidates with reassuring smiles and sugar sweets! The team makes every effort to cater for pupils' individual needs and plan ahead. "Water will be available at all times outside exam rooms - along with emergency chocolate in the Exam Office fridge, breakfast bars, soft tissues and a shoulder to lean on!" Sylvia Williams, Exams Officer
The season commenced with GCSE Religious Studies for Year 10 who, at Deer Park, take this subject a year early having embarked on the course in Year 9. Ms Hope and her team have worked hard to prepare the pupils for this assessment and led a weekend revision ‘surgery’ on Saturday 13 May: "We led three workshops for Year 10. Over 80 pupils turned up. They were so well behaved and engaged. They made excellent progress and many made a point of thanking us personally. They were super and we wish them all good luck!"
The first exams for Year 11 are on Tuesday 16 May. Candidates will sit French and Biology. However, the next fortnight represents an intensive period for many of our pupils and they will be required to juggle their revision around the exam timetable. Some, depending upon their subject choices, will be taking two exams a day. This will require expert organisation, resilience and stamina.
Although our pupils in Year 11 will take study leave on Friday 26 May, they will return for more exams on Monday 5 June and some pupils are in for the long haul, especially our separate scientists who will sit 9 Science exams alone, the last one being Physics on Friday 23 June. Some of our Design candidates will also have a long wait before their final exam on Monday 26 June, Product Design. It is important they continue to revise up to this point.
We hope all of our GCSE candidates will maximise their time in their remaining lessons. Our Heads of Faculty have commended their encouraging progress and positive attitudes in their recent faculty reviews. Teachers have worked closely with them throughout their courses and have planned comprehensive revision programmes. All GCSE candidates must continue to prepare themselves in their own time too. Revision needs to be focused and purposeful, and at this stage, the best advice includes using interactive tools and practising exam questions. This is especially good for making sure pupils can recall their knowledge, skills or understanding together in a coherent way within a tight time frame!
We wish all of our candidates every success over the coming weeks. We are looking forward to marking their time with us at their leavers’ and celebration events:
- Friday 26 May Leavers’ Lunch and Assembly
- Friday 30 June Leavers’ Ball
- Thursday 24 August Exam Results Day
- November Key Stage 4 Celebration of Achievement (date to be confirmed)
I wish all of our GCSE candidates good luck in their exams this summer. They have responded positively to the rigorous demands of new courses and risen to the challenges their teachers have presented. We have high expectations of them and look forward to celebrating their achievements in August and November. They are deserving of success.
Chiquita Henson, Headteacher