Year 11 GCSE – Helping Your Child With Exams

As your child prepares for Year 11 GCSE examinations, they may feel under pressure with the amount of school work and revision expected. In school, staff will be working with students to provide guidance, advice and support about revision, as well as delivering the rest of the GCSE courses.

Parental support is eight times more important in determining a child’s academic success than social class (TES, 2003). The good news is that you don’t need to be an expert in any of the subjects your child studies to make a real difference. Any encouragement and support you can offer at home will be hugely beneficial to your child’s success in their exams and this will also help combat any potential negative stress.

Ensure your child attends school regularly and on time

90% attendance means one in ten days is missed; over the course of a school year this is the equivalent of four weeks and can be worth more than a grade!

Talk to your child about what they’re learning

Ask them about what they covered in class, any homework / coursework they have to do and deadlines they need to meet.

Contact your child’s teacher if you have any questions or concerns about your child.

Be flexible and use the 80/20 rule

If your child is sticking to what they are supposed to be doing 80% of the time, they will be doing it right.

Practical ways to support your child

  • Help them plan their work and revision around other commitments and meet deadlines
  • Stick key dates in a prominent place such as the fridge
  • Provide your child with a quiet place to study where they won’t be disturbed
  • Encourage your child to have a clear goal by the end of the revision period – e.g. At the end of these 2 hours I will be able to label a diagram of the heart and answer a question on how the heart works
  • Make sure they take regular breaks – for every twenty to forty minutes or revision, students should have a ten-minute break.
  • Test your child on the work they have been revising – this will help them (and you) understand what they know and where they need to focus more attention.
  • Ensure that they eat healthy food and drink plenty of water – a balanced diet is just as important now as ever.
  • Ensure your child gets enough sleep – teenagers need between eight and ten hours sleep (Sleep Foundation)

Ways that ACE can help

  • Ensure that your child has a range of stationery available to them – this can range from highlighters and colour pens, smaller “flash card” style pieces of paper or card, A4 paper etc. Please ask your teacher or the Exams Manager if you need any of these support items.
  • Students can, with advanced notice, access additional studies / revision sessions / homework slots through enrichment – these are offered by almost all subjects in the build up to exam time but are not a substitute to timetabled lessons.
  • After school support – with advanced notice, students could stay at ACE from 3-3.30pm if they need somewhere quiet to study.
  • ACE teachers can provide additional exam level practice materials – students can ask teachers for exam questions and practical work to support your revision.
  • ACE teachers can provide additional work to help close learning gaps – ask teachers for worksheets that can be practiced and completed at home.

Revision ideas for your child to try

  • Read notes and write summaries, before returning and using a highlighter for key points to use in testing.
  • Work through old exam papers and practice questions – some are available in revision guides and textbooks or from department staff. Students will know which subject uses which exam board.
  • Record notes on an audio device and listen back to them.
  • Put key points onto post-it notes and stick them around a room.
  • Make mind maps to help recall key points in a topic.
  • Create flash cards with questions on one side and the answers on the other – these are good for testing knowledge recall and it’s easy for someone else to help.
  • Use mnemonics to help remember items in a list.
  • Borrow individual subject revision guides (check with teachers to see which are most suitable).
  • Teach someone else a topic once having revised it themselves.
  • Prepare planned answers to potential exam questions and get these checked by teachers.
  • Write answers to exam questions in full and get these checked by teachers.

Read More

Functional Skills Information for Parents and Carers

What are the Functional Skills?

Functional Skills qualifications provide reliable evidence of a learner’s achievements against demanding content that is relevant to the workplace.  The qualifications assess learners’ underpinning subject knowledge and their ability to apply this knowledge to different contexts.  They provide a foundation for progression to employment and further technical education and they help learners to develop skills for everyday life Functional Skills qualifications are based on Department for Education (DfE) approved subject content and are regulated by Ofqual.

There are different levels of Functional Skills Qualifications:

  • Entry Level 1
  • Entry Level 2
  • Entry Level 3
  • Level 1
  • Level 2

Entry-level 1-3 is below GCSE level, Level 1 is equivalent to GCSE grades 1-3 and Level 2 is comparable to GCSE grade 4.

Which qualifications are offered at ACE?

There are four functionals skills qualifications available to students leading up to their GSCE exams:

Functional Skills Mathematics Level 1 & Functional Skills Mathematics Level 2

Functional Skills English Level 1 & Functional Skills English Level 2

How will my child be assessed?

Mathematicsthere are 2 papers. 1 calculator paper and 1 non calculator  
Englishthere are 2 papers 1 reading (comprehension) paper and 1 writing paper. Included with the English qualification is a Speaking & Listening exam.  Students speak for 8 minutes to an audience of their peer. This is filmed and marked by the examiners

The speaking and listening element is an important part of the qualification and without it the qualification is incomplete.

How will my child be notified of their exam?

  • Students will be told by their teacher that they have been entered for an exam and will be told the exam week. 
  • An email will be sent to students detailing the exam date and time
  • A timetable is placed on the exam notice board in the ground floor corridor
  • Coaches will be notified and discuss exam dates with students
  • An email will be sent home to notify parents/carer’s
  • A follow up text message will be sent to parent/carer’s

When will my child receive their results?

All Functional Skills Assessments are graded as either pass or fail. There isn’t any coursework or portfolio-based elements, and the qualification result is based solely on exam papers.

Exam papers are sent to the exam board and results are received within 28 days.  Your child’s teacher will let your child know their results.

All students who pass will be provided with a Functional Skills Award Certificate

What happens if my child fails?

If your child does not pass their exam, they will be supported by their teacher and reentered only when the teacher feels that they are ready to take the exam again.

What happens if my child is absent?

Schools are expected to spend public funds responsible and particularly in the current climate budgets are very tight.  It is therefore important that your child attends for an exam that they are entered for.  Schools are not issued refunds for exams where students have not attended.

If your child is absent from an exam on more than one occasion without a valid reason the Exam Office will not automatically make the entry requested by your teacher. 

What are the next steps after Functional Skills?

ACE aims to support all students to ensure readiness for GCSE qualifications.  Students will be entered for GCSE Mathematics and English automatically.  Functional Skills will have provided the necessary stepping stone for the GCSE qualification.

It is important to note that regular attendance to lesson and good engagement will provide your child with the best chance of succeeding in both functional skills and their GCSE exams.

Read More

Exam Newsletter – Dates & Information

Researchers find that tests and exams can boost learning (Scientific American 2015)

Year 11 is a crucial year. At ACE we are committed to supporting our students as they prepare for the GCSE exams.  To get the most out of their studies and receive the grades that will prepare them for college, it is vital that Year 11 students use the next six months wisely.  This includes, regular school and lesson attendance, engagement in lessons, completion of work to the highest ability and asking for support.  

Download Letter Here: https://avenuecentre.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Exam-Newsletter-Edition-2.pdf

Over the next 6 months students will complete a number of exams and tests. Students must attend for all exams inorder to assess levels of working and ensure readiness for the main GCSE exams.

Mock Exams are an important tool for practice and finding out what areas of study a students is confident in and the areas that need attention and improvement.
Functionals Skills exams provide additional qualifications which support further studies at college and applications for apprenticeship programs. Please see Functionals Skills Information Sheet.

90% attendance means one in ten day is missed; over the course of a school year this is the equivalent of four weeks and can be worth more than a grade!

Autumn Term

6-10 November 2023 – Year 11 Mock Exams

20-25 November 2023 – Functional Skills Exams

Spring Term

9-18 January 2024 – Art Mock Exams

11-15 March 2024 – Functional Skills Exams

18-22 March 2024 – Year 11 Mock Exams

Summer Term

9th May – 19th June 2024 – GSCE Examinations.

Useful Revision Websites

Learning Resources for All Subjects – BBC Bitesize: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education

Learning Resources for English Language – BBC Bitesize AQA English Language https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/examspecs/zcbchv4

Learning Resources for Mathematics Students –

Pixi MATHS

http://www.piximaths.co.uk

Maths Genie

http://www.mathsgenie.co.uk

Corbettmaths

http://wwwcorbettmaths.com

Learning Resources for Science Students –

Edexcel GCSE Biology Paper revision 2 can be accessed on

https://www.primrosekitten.com/pages/edexcel-gcse-science#znid-750301180751

Access the whole of paper 2 summary on

Ecosystems and Material cycle Whole topic summary

In Class Mock Exams 6-10 November 2023

A message from your science teacher
To aid with your revision for the in-class test mock exam, you will be completeing Paper 2.  Please refer to the exam style questions handout, issued for your homework.  I would also highly recommend the free websites above for general revision. You will find videos, short quizzes etc to assist in your general revision and preparation. Note down any questions you have and we will go through them in class. Good luck & best wishes with your revisison

A message from your mathematics teacher
As a passionate Math’s teacher, I want young people to grow the love of learning Math’s and my recommendations are repetition, apply and extend. Repetition will help the brain learn new methods; apply will help put your learning into practical questions and extend will help you think deeper about Math’s. All the best with your revision

A message from your English Language teacher

I want all students in English to develop a love of the language and a desire to read. My recommendations are for students to read a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts. The more you read the wider your vocabulary becomes and the more your writing improves.

Read More
Avenue Centre for Education

Back to ACE & GCSEs

All students start back at ACE and provisions on Monday 5th June

Due to GCSE exams, please remember that for Yr 7-10 students, ACE will not open until 11.30am on Monday 5th and Wednesday 7th June. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Read More

New Headteacher’s Welcome

 am delighted and honoured to have been appointed as the new headteacher for ACE, and I’m very keen to get to know all our pupils, parents, carers and staff.  

From my experience of being in education for 19 years, I know that a successful and happy school depends on all of us working together. I have worked in Alternative provision and Pupil Referral Units for twelve years, the last 9 as a school leader.  During that time, I have witnessed the transformative impact the right form of education can have on the lives of young people. I and the whole staff team at ACE will be committed to working with our pupils to provide them with the best opportunities for achievement and personal growth.

ACE has a history of strong performance. I am looking forward to learning more about the school so that the changes we make in this new chapter are supported by the whole school community.

As parents and carers, you make an important contribution to your children’s achievements, and I’m excited to build on the relationship between you and the school for everyone’s benefit.

I will be hosting drop-in sessions over the next term, and I look forward to meeting many of you there. These meetings will take place at a number of different times in the day and week in the hope that as many families as possible will have the opportunity to attend.

We will be in touch with the details shortly.

I will also be available at the school entrance before and after school, so please do say hello.

You are also welcome to contact me at ACE on 01582 359370 or [email protected]

Kind Regards.

Read More

ACE Summer 2021 Exam Results

The entire ACE team are delighted with the strong set of results achieved by all ACE and Alternative Provision students in what was another difficult and challenging academic year.

All students achieved the results they needed for their ‘next steps’ transition plans and it was great to see so many of you come, collect your results and share your success with us.

The ACE Transition and Careers teams remains available to support you until at least the end of this academic term so please do keep in touch and if you need any support or guidance as you move on to college and training, please do get in touch.

Read More

Beds Against Violence & Exploitation Campaign

A major new campaign has been launched bringing together different organisations to speak with one voice against violence, exploitation and organised crime in Bedfordshire.

Bedfordshire Against Violence and Exploitation (BAVEX) will raise awareness around things like modern slavery, cuckooing and child sexual exploitation in the county.

The project, which launches on today’s (Thursday) national child exploitation awareness day, has worked with a series of different groups in Bedfordshire to spread its messages as far as possible.

new website also goes live today, detailing the partnership response to different types of exploitation in Bedfordshire and how people can get help.

You can download all of the campaign materials via the Our Campaign section of the BAVEX website.

BAVEX is backed by a wide range of different organisations in the county, both statutory as well as charities.

As well as the police, this includes the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Luton Council, the Bedfordshire and Luton Clinical Commissioning Groups, the Bedfordshire Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit (VERU), Azalea, Crimestoppers, Link to Change, the Luton Homeless Partnership and the Modern Slavery Helpline.

Bedfordshire Against Violence and Exploitation campaign

Read More