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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

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Upcoming Mock Exams

Intense revision period ahead

Our Thought for the Week in the week before half term was from C.S. Lewis and is particularly apt: "You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending." As reinforced by last month's visitor to Key Stage 4 pupils, Tim Benton, no matter what has happened so far, YOU are in charge of what happens next. There is still time to make a real difference to predicted grades.

Our Year 11 pupils should all be revising for their upcoming mock exams, the bulk of which start on Monday 26 November 2018, although Spanish/French/German Speaking, plus Art and Textiles Practical exams take place in the two weeks prior to that. Pupils received their individual timetables before half term and there is a generic copy of the Year 11 exams timetable on our Exams page.

examsThe first exam all pupils will sit is Maths Non Calculator on Monday 26 November and the last is PE Paper 2 on Friday 14 December. This intense mock timetable offers our young people an insight into the workload they will have during May and June 2019, whilst offering the opportunity to trial their revision and exam techniques and test out the effectiveness of their revision timetables. Personal development and learning from mistakes whilst doing mocks is very important. The mocks will give pupils, teachers and parents an idea of whether they are on target to achieve predicted grades. They can show pupils what they need to improve on before the summer exams and for some they are a real wake up call to the fact that in less than 6 months they will be sitting their GCSEs.

Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  Some of our pupils may need to be reminded about focusing on revision for their mocks, whilst others may need a reminder to take time out from revision, whether through exercise, music, or social interaction. There is not a 'one size fits all' approach to revision and our young people need to find the way that works for them, whether creating mindmaps, making flash cards, using a group app to share ideas and test each other, or focusing in a quiet space at home.

All Year 10 and Year 11 pupils and parents need to take time to sit down together and read the exams statutory documents, which have been emailed to all pupils and are also available on our Exams page.

Revision can be seen as ‘re-vision’ – a way of re-viewing, re-seeing, and re-visiting learning, in preparation for an assessment or exam. Exam board OCR have published a useful revision skills guide. Everyone should find it useful - it includes revision tips, revision websites and a revision timetable template.

Subject teachers are the best source of information for pupils wishing to confirm and clarify subject-specific information and the location of helpful resources. Pupils should access iDeer for past papers and guidance. GCSE Bitesize and GetRevising are useful generic online resources, whilst  Mathswatch and Corbett Maths will help aid maths revision. Other apps that may be useful include Quizlet, Padlet , Gojimo and Evernote.

Pupils will benefit from all the support you can offer them at home and having a quiet place to study is of crucial importance to their preparations. Year 11 have the full support of our Pastoral team and we wish them the very best of luck for the next few weeks! Mocks results will be published for the pupils on Friday 11 January 2019.