Further to my letter on Wednesday 17 November, where I wrote about the contingency plans we are expected to have in place in case of the extremely unlikely event of exams being cancelled in the summer, I am now able to confirm that the second set of assessments for year 11 will commence on Monday 28 February. These will run for two weeks, and students will receive a timetable for these exams in due course.
During morning registration last Friday, members of the senior leadership team visited all year 11 forms to inform students of the assessment dates. We also discussed the previous mock exams results and subsequent revision plans. We know that there are many students who are working hard and were deservedly pleased with their mock results. This group of students should keep doing exactly as they currently are, taking advantage of the additional support and materials which we will be providing over the coming months, and we are confident that they will achieve success in the summer.
We also know, however, that there are some students who have not yet started revising, and our message to those students was simple; it is not too late to start but they need to start soon! Revision is known to have the greatest impact when it is little and often and over a sustained period of time. ‘Cramming’ the night or a few days before an exam is not an effective way to improve results.
Finally, we have a smaller but significant group of students who are working and revising hard but were not pleased with their mock results. We know that exams can raise anxiety and create worry for individuals and we will, with your support, continue to offer support in this regard. It is important that this group does not think that the answer is simply to work even harder. Instead we would urge these students to consider their current revision plans and materials, evaluating whether these are having the desired impact on their progress, and seeking to make changes if appropriate.
In order to support all our students, we are currently putting together some important documents which we will share as soon as these are complete. There are a number of revision sessions already taking place in school and students will have been made aware of these by their class teachers. We are collating information about all of these in one document and will share this with students and parents/carers to help our year 11s manage their time. We also have a revision booklet with resources and ideas which we share each year. We are currently updating this to ensure that materials and electronic links referenced in the booklet are still accurate and available. We hope to share both of these documents early next week.
As I stated in my previous letter, students should continue to prepare well for their assessments and summer examinations and should not worry about the extremely unlikely event of exams being cancelled in the summer. I would like to share with you the words of one of our year 11 students from 2018 who, on arrival to collect his exam results, said to me, “I’m not worried about opening my exam results. I know that I prepared as well as I could have done. I can honestly say I couldn’t have done any more and therefore I’m proud of whatever I have achieved”. I hope that all students are able to collect their results in August 2022 feeling exactly the same way and we will continue to ensure they have the opportunity to do so.
Deputy Headteacher: Quality of Education