The concern of students in Year 10 and 12 being forgotten is a common refrain amongst both parents and students in these years following the shutdown of schools in March. With #gcses2021 and #alevels2021 trending, with many tagging their exam boards, messaging does give a feel of students really struggling.
“We can’t go to open days for universities, we’re not going to have that assistance to create our UCAS applications, to write our personal statements, and we don’t have the 40% of our AS to carry forward.”
“I feel Year 12 is going to be like a forgotten year and if we’re not careful, their health and well-being, they’re going to really struggle. It’s just going to be very, very hard for them.”
“I’ve seen lots of people suggesting cutting the content for our GCSEs in 2021, but how would they decide which parts to cut? Different schools teach sections in different orders.”
“How are we supposed to sit our exams next year? Are the grade boundaries going to be lowered, or the amount of topics reduced?”
“I finish Year 10 in 7 weeks and haven’t even learnt 10 topics in science.”
Helping GCSE and A Level Students
But you are not forgotten and help is at hand.
Ofqual and the exam boards are looking at a number of steps to ease concerns of students and ensure they are rewarded for their hard work. There are considerations on whether ‘non-exam assessment or coursework might be reduced or indeed withdrawn, so learners can focus on the examined elements of their courses’.
There is also consideration on ‘whether some elements of content from courses can be taken out for this year’s Year 10 and Year 12 students, so they’ve got a more manageable course to complete by the end of the year’.
Teachers too are trying to find ways to help their students learning outside of the classroom this Summer Term by looking at ways of overlaying topics set during shutdown.
Tips from Justin Craig
At Justin Craig we understand the issues students and their parents are facing. We have helped students improve their grades for almost 40 years. Until you start school again in the autumn term, our tips would be:
- Set yourself a timetable similar to one you were following at school. This will give you familiarity and structure.
- Complete the online work set. It has been set by your teacher to cover your subject.
- Ask for feedback from your teachers and go over your work to see where you can improve.
- Create a workgroup with your friends to discuss your topics and help each other. Small groups of six are ideal.
- Ask the exam board for their help and advice. All exam boards have a website to go to for information, and many have a discussion forum and / or contacts for direct help.
We would recommend students attend a Justin Craig Summer School. The small group revision courses will help students catch up on those missing weeks, and enable them to be more prepared as they go forward into the GCSE and A Level year, and feeling more confident.
Our popular Summer School this year has been developed to help those students keep the study momentum they need, consolidate and improve the knowledge they have gained in Years 10 and 12 so far, and prepare them for the new academic year ahead.
Our expert tutors will be looking at what students have learnt, or missed, during the shutdown and how to consolidate and develop on the foundations of what they have learnt so far. Many of our tutors are examiners so will be up to date with changes made and be in a good position to help.
Justin Craig will also be running GCSE and A Level courses at October Half Term, and intend to open ‘the magic of the classroom’, as well an online offering.
Our message to parents and students? You’re doing great – well done!