A Parents’ Guide to GCSEs
GCSEs are an exciting yet somewhat challenging time for students. They are given the chance to be more selective about which subjects they study, but with that comes more responsibility and a tough exam period. Parents need to be ready for this added pressure and understand what’s involved in order to help support their child through this new academic landscape.
The GCSE period usually lasts for two years; Year 10 and 11. However, there are some 1 year GCSE programmes that may be suitable for your son or daughter. GCSEs were previously graded using a traditional letter scale of A to G, but since 2016 students a graded using a 9 – 1 system. A score of 9, 8 or 7 is the equivalent to an A* and A grade and so on.
Choosing the GCSE Subjects
During Year 8 or 9, your child will have to choose which GCSE subjects they have to study. Schools tend to provide Options Evenings to help parents and students learn more about what opportunities are available to them and how each of these courses are assessed. Be sure to ask plenty of questions and let your child ask theirs too!
Encourage your youngster to think about which subjects they enjoy the most and which ones they are good at. Under no circumstances should they choose a subject just because they like the teacher or their friends are taking that route. They have to have an interest in the subject itself otherwise they will not feel motivated, will lose focus in lessons and won’t want to revise come exam period.
While you can advise and guide your child to make appropriate decisions, it’s ultimately up to them which subjects they study, so try not to enforce your views on them too rigorously.
GCSE Exam Period
When the times comes for your child to take their GCSE exams, your support will be even more crucial. You will need to provide them with a suitable environment at home where they can revise that is free from distractions and stocked with all of the necessary tools, including books and stationery. Make sure your child gets enough exercise, rest and a healthy, balanced diet during exam period so that they can keep their spirits high and don’t end up with a compromised immune system. Little and often is a better approach to revision that long, sluggish hours.
Exam period is usually around May/June time, so it would be wise for your child to start revising around January time. However, however early or late your child starts their revision is entirely dependent on their specific abilities. It’s worth adding some extra revision time for the subjects your child might be struggling with. They will receive their exam results the following August.
Communication with the school is important at this time, so stay in touch with your child’s teachers. They may be able to suggest some clubs during lunch time/after school that your child can attend for extra revision support. You may also want to consider hiring a private tutor to help them through this stressful period.
Posted by: Sarah Dixon | Posted on: October 15, 2020 | Posted in: MAMA