This message went out to all Year 11 parents on Monday 22 April:

We have 14 school days until the GCSEs start, and just over 4 weeks until your child officially leaves school, so we wanted to get in touch with you so that the arrangements, expectations and all-important revision support are crystal clear. Consequently, this email will cover:

* How Can Parents Help with Revision
* Exam Arrangements
* Exam Rules
* Last Day at School
* Leavers’ Assembly
* School Prom
* Results Day


How Can Parents Help with Revision

The key message really is that if your child works hard for the next 8/9 weeks then they will do much better in these exams. What is more, they have 10 weeks of free time afterwards to recover. Of course, the exams are not the be-all-and-end-all of life but they don’t half help when it comes to accessing courses, jobs and other opportunities. Now is the time to put the hours in.

Firstly, the exam subjects finished their content several weeks ago so we are doing revision in most lessons. This does not mean that there is nothing to do at home but it does mean there is a lot already going on. You will also be aware of the after-school boosters and Saturday Schools which are running too. We are not a school that leaves a stone unturned and I promise you are getting a very good deal.

we have been keen to give you as parents all the information you need to help your child revise at home. You can get a revision planner and other general advice via our website:

we have also sorted out specific revision guidance and links to the resources for the most common GCSEs. If you visit these articles, they will tell you and your child what can be done and there are specific links to revision materials, videos, etc:

GCSE English Language
GCSE English Literature
GCSE Maths
GCSE Science(s)
GCSE French
GCSE Geography
GCSE History

Of course, your child will have had access to these materials already and will have worked through a lot of them in school. However, preparation helps, repetition helps, you talking the exams and revision through helps, and a pro-active parent who is talking up revision and exams – incentivising where they can – is only going to add to their child’s success rate.

The revision materials provided all differ. The History and Geography ones give students the information they need in the form of specific tasks to get them to go over the content and exams. Meanwhile, the Maths booklets give example questions then video links for online tutorials for if your child cannot answer that topic. Many of the articles have examples of past exam papers so it is useful to run over them so your child is ready for what they face. Other resources you can help with will be revision cards, highlighter pens, and different colour biros to split up and organise notes.

Our general guidance would be that writing stuff down helps – just reading over it does not really make things sink in. Also, thinking about taking phones away for revision periods, coming up with a plan of what to revise and when, and checking what has been done (without reading every line) will help.


Exam Arrangements

The first exam is GCSE RE Paper 1 on the morning of Thursday 9 May. After that the exams roll through.

Each morning or afternoon exam will be preceded by an Exam Briefing in the school theatre. This is where subject teachers go through the content, the exam, and issue last minute reminders to settle students before they begin. These will run till the end of the exams. They are not compulsory but it is wise to attend.

The school days from this first exam will get re-jigged so normal lessons may be suspended for drop-down sessions. This means if a student has a Maths exam one morning, then they will do Maths lessons the previous afternoon, even if this is not their usual timetable. We want to focus the students on what is coming up, build their confidence and get their mindset in the right place. These sessions will largely run up until the students go on Study Leave, but other sessions may be advertised after that too.


Exam Rules

There are lots of rules that we have to run through at the start of each exam – they are what the Exam Board lay out and are compulsory for us to address. Even so the basics won’t surprise you and you’ll see why they are important.

The exams need to start promptly so your child should be in school at 8.45am and 12.45pm before their exam.

They have all be given personalised timetables to tell them where they need to be and for when. This is available to you via EduLink in the Exams section.

Students need to make sure their mobile phones are turned off – we have had students fail exams for their phones going off in the past – and in lockers or handed in to Student Support so there is no room to forget.

Students need to be in full school uniform and follow the school rules as usual. At the beginning and end of exams students need to either go quietly to their lesson – or straight home during Study Leave – so that lessons are not disturbed

All of the following headings relate to rewards and incentives and these rely on the conduct and approach in the lessons and exams that we have left. This is very much a period when everyone needs to work together – for the sake of one another – and regrettably there is sometimes 1 or 2 students who end up missing out because they fail to appreciate this.


Last Day at School

Your child’s last day at school is Tuesday 21 May. There are no exams that day so it is a mixture of lessons and drop-down lessons for looming exams. However, during Period 5 we will ask students to go to get registered in their lesson and then they will be escorted to the canteen. We will then lay on food and drink and give them a chance to sign shirts, say their goodbyes, etc. There are a very small group of students in an exam at this point but there is no alternative as there is always something going on.

This is always a moment of high teenage drama but they are all in the following morning for their GCSE Physics Paper 1 so they won’t miss one another for long.

Following this day, your child is on Study Leave which means they only attend school to do their exams or in some cases to attend a pre-exam booster. If they do come on site it must be for one of these sessions, they must act and be dressed as if it were a normal school day, and all school expectations and standards apply.


Leavers’ Assembly

The Leavers Assembly is an invitation-only event but the presumption is your child is invited unless you hear otherwise. It is rare that a child does not attend.

This sees students come into school on Friday 28 June for a 9.30am start and depart at around 11.00am. There is no need to wear school uniform and it is a case of coming in and going to the school theatre. There is no opportunity to wander the site as it will be a normal school day for around 1,000 other students.

The event included awards, photos, videos, memories, songs, laughs and is always hugely enjoyable.


School Prom

This is a ticket-only event and it is due to be well attended. The Prom is on Monday 1 July and officially starts at 7.00pm but there is a long procession to the drop off point so think to arrive from 6.30pm. If your child is in a limo or other special vehicle then get there earlier so you can take photos as they step out. There is always a good crowd welcoming them on arrival.

It ends at 11.00pm although some parents are brave enough to stage after-Prom parties that go on much later (but are nothing to do with us).

Please make sure that your child is picked up promptly – you’ll all know the Headteacher well enough to see he desperately need my beauty sleep.


Results Day

GCSE Results Day is on Thursday 22 August and results will be available between 9.00am-10.30am. Staff will be on hand to help those unsure of their placement for September – whether it be Sixth Form, college or employment. Your child will have left us but our support will be still be there.

If you are away on this date and wish for the results to be emailed to you – or your child – then please notify Marie McCall-Chapman, our Exams Officer, via email on Please include the name of your child and the email address you would like the results to be sent to.

On Results Day your child will receive paperwork relaying the results but the formal certificates do not arrive in school till around November time. We will notify you at this point so you can come and collect them. We are not authorised to post them and in any case the cost would be prohibitive.


And Finally

This may well be the last time we email you – and we will take you off the mailing list for the new Autumn Term – so thank you for all your support over the last 5 years.

Fingers crossed we can work our magic together for these last few weeks to get the best possible results for your child that we can manage.

Matt Allman, Headteacher, added; “We hope the school has lived up to your expectations – or at least got close – and we appreciate you having lent us your child for the last few years. All children have ups and downs but for us having them with us has been a pleasure. We will miss them.