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Key Stage 4 ‘Supporting your child in preparation for exams’ - 06/09/2022

Dear parent/carer,

As your child moves towards their Key Stage 4 examinations, you will be aware that the statutory school day continues every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday until 4.05pm.

Sessions include subject specific timetabled hours, Independent Study, the Science of Learning programme and home study. There may also be occasions for subjects to arrange for additional revision and course support on request. These will be communicated in advance of students attending the sessions required.

My timetable says ‘Study+home’:

Where a student timetable states ‘study+home’ on Wednesdays, this is a statutory hour for independent study at home, however it can also be used for attending ‘in school’ subject specific sessions where it is determined they will be more beneficial to the student.

My timetable say ‘Study+’:

Y10 (Autumn Term) will complete The Science of Learning programme. This teaches students valuable strategies to manage their workload, organise their time and work in smarter ways in preparation for exams. These sessions are run by teaching staff. In addition to learning revision strategies students will also be able to access online platforms and revision materials provided subjects.

Independent study and revision. Following completion of the science of learning programme, students will use the Study+ session to plan, revise and reflect on their learning. These sessions are facilitated by teaching staff.

Why do we offer Study time?

Students are currently studying at least 8 or 9 different subjects. Subject lessons will support them to gain the valuable substantive and disciplinary knowledge required to access exams and coursework success criteria. There is not always sufficient time during the lessons to learn and understand how to prepare for examinations and coursework deadlines.

Some common misconceptions students have around preparing for exams include:

Leaving preparation until the exam season, re-reading material or notes, highlighting sections of work and writing summaries. Whilst these strategies are available they do not benefit students in committing larger bodies of information to long term memory as required in GCSEs. Students believe that it is easier to revise at home. Subject expertise can be found in school and where needed provide drop-in support during P6 sessions.

Which revision strategies are taught and why?

  • Spaced Practice and Interleaving – Students are taught how to break down larger topics into smaller manageable chunks and plan to revisit learning gradually over a longer period of time.

  • Revision Cards – also known as flashcards. These are great for student recall. They work well in content-heavy subjects such as maths and science and are ideal for learning and remembering keywords and concepts. Revision cards, when written well, will also serve as a useful ‘self-quizzing’ tool.

  • Cornell Notes – This method supports students to revise where more extended responses may be required such as 6+ mark exam questions or aspects of coursework.

  • Deliberate Practice – Revisiting learning and practising concepts over and over until they stick.

  • Retrieval Practice – Quizzing and testing and revisiting chunks of learning to promote longer term recall.

  • Dual coding – using graphics, mind maps and graphic organisers to support linking key concepts and building schema.

We believe in supporting every student to be the best that they can be in order to enable them to reach their academic potential. We also value support from parents and carers in bridging the gap between the learning that takes place at home and learning in school.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Yours Sincerely


Assistant Head - Assessment, Curriculum Progress

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