Dear Parents/ Carers,
Re: Year 11 Exams, Revision Support and Study Leave 2019
The summer GCSE Exams are nearly upon us: they begin on May 13th and continue right through to June 18th.
The students and our staff have been working extremely hard over the past years and months to ensure that the final outcomes will be as good as possible when the results are published on August 22nd.
In order for the exams to proceed smoothly and to ensure fairness for all, the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) have regulations which schools and students must comply with. I have held an assembly with all of Year 11 (Weds 8th May) where I emphasised the key – and non-negotiable – points of these regulations as they apply to the students. The relevant sections concerning Information for Candidates, Warning to Candidates and Banned Items accompany this document. Please spend a moment looking through these and supporting their messages with your son/daughter. This year group have been extremely compliant with the regulations during their previous exams; however the forthcoming ones are the only ones that actually matter going forward. The ‘no phones’ requirement is straight-forward, however the ‘no smart-watches’ or ‘web-enabled sources of information’ requirement also needs to be followed – this would include ‘Fit-bits’ (& similar) – and any type of digital watch is not allowed. Should a student wish to have their own timing device – there are clearly visible clocks in the exam rooms – then they will need an analogue (moving hands) watch.
Calculators and certain items of maths equipment are essential for many exams – alongside a black pen and pencil/ruler/eraser: we would not want students to be anxious immediately before an exam if they did not have the correct equipment. All equipment taken into an exam room needs to be in either a see-through pencil case or simply have an elastic band around it. The equipment needs to be on the exam desk as students must not reach into their pockets during the exam. Students may take a clear bottle of still water – water only – into the exam, though the label and any text needs to be removed.
The students’ individual exam timetables – which have been issued to them before the Easter holiday – can be viewed on both the parent and student sections of the Frog Learning Platform (where the school reports are found). Please ensure that the dates and timings of the exams are checked and understood. Morning exams actually start at 9.00am and afternoon ones commence at 1.30 or 2.00pm depending on the duration of the paper. Punctual attendance for exams is essential: Café Mersey will be open from 8.00am
for morning exams and our Catering Manager has secured a supply of toast and water for students to have – free of charge – as they make their final preparations.
Prior to the May half-term holidays we will be scheduling revision sessions – known as the ‘Collapsed Timetable’ – to take place as close to the actual exam as possible: for example, the session for a morning exam may take place during Period 5 of the preceding day. Afternoon exam revision sessions are likely to be during Period 3 or 4. The students’ normal lessons will still be taking place and all students need to be in-school full-time during this period.
Study Leave will begin after the half-term holidays and students will no-longer be required to attend school on a full time basis. The subject lessons and teachers will remain on the timetable and available for students to access until the final exam has taken place in that subject. When attending these lessons, students will need to sign-in at the Main Office, wearing full school uniform and behave appropriately whilst on-site and travelling to – and from school. We strongly urge students to attend these lessons and any collapsed timetable sessions that are scheduled. With 21st Century ‘distractions’ at home and around, we feel that being in subject lessons offers focussed and highly-relevant support at a critical time for our young people.
We wish all of our students – and their supporters at home – all the very best during this important and intensive period. Our staff remain available to offer appropriate support as required.