Year 11 Parent and Carer Bulletin – February 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
Year 11 have made a fantastic start to 2020, I am sure you will agree it has been an incredibly busy time for our students. Our year bulletin includes important information about what is coming up after the half term break for our students and includes strategies suggested by subject tutors to ensure students achieve their maximum potential in their upcoming GCSEs.
GCSE SUCCESS FAIR (for Parents and Carers) – Wednesday 1st April 5.30-6.30 or 6.30-7.30
We would like to welcome all parents and carers of students in Year 11 to our second ‘GCSE Success Fair’, building upon the positive feedback from parents last year. As a school we appreciate the stresses of the demanding year for our young people, whilst there is no ‘golden ticket’ to success and supporting each individual, there are some brilliant tips and techniques that we have learnt from families, educational experts and past students themselves which we would like to share with you. The event will run in 10 minute slots with the opportunity to visit 4 key tables of your choosing, including tables focussed on: Effective Revision, Memory, Physical Wellbeing, Nutrition for the Exam Period, Healthy Sleep Habits, Supporting Young People with Learning Barriers, Making the Best Use of the Easter Break and Resilience.
The event will run in two identical sessions, you can select which you would like to attend, 5.30-6.30 or 6.30-7.30. More details about the event and how to sign up will be sent closer to the date. It would be brilliant to see you there.
Students are currently studying The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde;
after Easter they will be concentrating on more general revision of all topics studied;
over February half-term a revision pack will be set on Doddle that covers a recap of all areas of both GCSE courses. It is imperative students complete as much of these packs as possible to identify the gaps in their knowledge;
It is important to start revising early, particularly topics such as Creative Reading and Writing, An Inspector Calls, Poetry, and Non-Fiction reading as they were studied early in the course and may have been forgotten by now;
Centralised home revision tasks continue to be set every Monday. This is the BEST way to revise for English Language and Literature. All students have been given Revision folders and should be completing tasks in these every week;
Details of supported study sessions will be shared with students the week after February half-term. These sessions provide an opportunity for students to revise with the support of an English teacher;
A range of additional resources are now available on Doddle to support students with their revision.
For GCSE English Language, we have shared model questions, model answers, structure reminders and language-focused tasks
For GCSE English Literature, we have shared key quotations (with added explanation), key context points, character profiles and quote revision activities
Use the subject flowcharts to identify gaps in knowledge and access ideas of how to address this.
Year 11 have just completed their final mocks in Maths and will be receiving some feedback on these exams over the next few weeks. The students will be entering their marks on the PiXL Maths App, this will then generate a set of follow-up questions for each student for each of the mock papers.
We launched our revision padlet earlier this term. This can be found at www.padlet.com/phs_maths .This contains a lot of revision resources for the Foundation and Higher tier. The students should aim to use these resources on a regular basis as part of their revision programme for Maths.
Year 11 students will sit a second mock for Science assessing the paper 2 content of the course. Mock exams for Science will take place on the 3rd and 4th of March.
Triple Science students: will sit 3 papers (Biology, Chemistry and Physics). Each paper is 1 hour 45 minutes in length
Double (Combined) Science students: will sit 3 papers (Biology, Chemistry and Physics). Each paper is 1 hour 15 minutes in length.
Below is the overview of which topics will be assessed in each paper:
Wednesday 4th March
Biology topics 5 – 7:
Homeostasis and response;
Inheritance, variation and evolution; and
Chemistry Paper 2
Tuesday 3rd March
Chemistry topics 6 – 10:
The rate and extent of chemical change;
Chemistry of the atmosphere; and
Wednesday 4th March
Physics topics 5 – 7:
Waves; and Magnetism and
Revision material to support students preparing for examinations:
Mock revision: students will be given revision material to complete to help prepare for the mock exams. For each Science this will include a checklist of topics to revise and past paper questions to complete. It is essential that all students complete these task for the deadlines set by their class teachers.
Booster sessions: We invited students that we felt would benefit from extra support to revision sessions after school after the December mocks. These will take place again after the March mocks.
After school revision sessions: We will start up a revision programme of afterschool sessions starting after February half term. Information will be emailed out to parents.
- BBC Bitesize:
Double (Combined Science): https://www.bbc.com/education/examspecs/z8r997h
Triple Biology: https://www.bbc.com/education/examspecs/zpgcbk7
Triple Chemistry: https://www.bbc.com/education/examspecs/z8xtmnb
Triple Physics: https://www.bbc.com/education/examspecs/zsc9rdm
Year 11 students should now be following the revision programme introduced in January. This is a programme which gives students a weekly focus for their revision. Students are expected to bring in that revision or complete revision on doddle weekly to ensure that all topics of the course are covered prior to the examinations in June. We hope that this will help stagger revision for students and would be grateful if parents could support us in encouraging their child to complete the programme.
Revision activities could include; making mindmaps on topics, creating factual quizzes based upon different topics, creating flash cards on differing questions or key individuals, using Senaca learning or Doddle quizzes to help with revision. Students should also look out for lunchtime and after school revision sessions beginning after February half term.
Tech Award in Enterprise
On the 25th and 26th March, the Enterprise students will be pitching their business idea to a panel of business experts whilst being filmed. This makes up their final piece of assessment. Please encourage your son or daughter to tell you about their business idea and practice speaking confidently about their idea and answering questions based on the information they have given.
If any parents/carers would like to be on the panel, please contact Miss Williams on email@example.com
Year 11 are nearing the completion of their practical prototype and their NEA portfolio. It is imperative that students are ensuring that they are attending intervention where required. The NEA represents 50% of students total GCSE.
The practical deadline for students to complete their prototype is 9th March.
The FINAL deadline for the entire NEA to be completed is 19th March. This deadline cannot be moved and is set by the exam board. It is imperative that students have all work completed by this date.
Students should now be doing weekly revision tasks set by their RS teachers in the yellow and purple A4 revision workbooks. These tasks allow students to complete active revision through compiling/researching information, answering examination style questions and completing mind maps. Staff will be checking these on a weekly basis to ensure that students are doing regular revision. Students do have departmental revision guides which are excellent and contain all the relevant information needed, but if parents/carers would like to purchase additional revision guides, the recommended one is AQA GCSE Religious Studies A: Christianity and Buddhism Revision Guide. This can be found at:
In lessons, students will shortly be moving onto their final Thematic Studies topic of Peace and Conflict, which will allow for several revision lessons in school time before the exams begin. The RS exams are some of the first:
Component 1 The Study of Religions, Beliefs, Teachings and Practices is pm Monday 11th May
Component 2 Thematic Studies is pm Tuesday 19th May
In preparation for the exams the RS staff are offering all students the opportunity to attend after school revision sessions. These will run from 3.15pm - 4.15pm on the dates below. These is no need to sign up in advance, students just go to the specified room for the session.
Wednesday 26th February
Know your Buddhism (room 56)
Wednesday 11th March
How to write a 12 mark essay (room 55)
Know your teachings (room 70)
Wednesday 22nd April
Know your Christianity (room 55)
Wednesday 6th May
Drop in (room 56)
As given out on Doddle a couple of weeks ago, Y11 have to have fully completed and handed in both their two performances and two compositions for their GCSE Coursework by the 20th of March. Between the 23rd of March and the 3rd of April the pupils will be writing their annotations on the compositions. It’s really good to see many students working in the department during lunchtimes and after school and also booking 1 – 1 appointments with CGW to improve their work, receive feedback and set new targets.
Our Senior Choir is thriving with over 80 members from Years 8-13. We have a concert for parents at the end of term and details will follow. We have also set up a Music and Dementia project with year 9 students where Mr Webster has composed a song that the students will be singing to and with residents living with dementia in care home in Poynton. They will also be creating personalised playlists for them of their favourite songs. If any Year 10 or 11’s wish to join senior choir you are most welcome.
Students have been set a variety of revision tasks by their Geography teachers and there are lots of resources on Doddle. Students should focus on revising the topics studied in Year 10:
- The Challenge of Natural Hazards
- Urban Issues and Challenges
- Physical Landscapes of the UK (Rivers and Coasts)
Year 11 topics:
- The Living World
- The Changing Economic World
- The Challenge of Resource Management
It is good practice to start with a checklist for each of the topics (see Doddle or your Geography teacher) to check you have everything you need for revision and identify any gaps in your knowledge. Then use exercise books and revision guides to go over each topic and condense your notes (you could use a revision clock, cue cards or mind maps to do this).
Useful revision websites:
In light of a number of bugs and virus’ going around at the moment, it is important to remind parents that any absences that exceed 5 days self-certified must be evidence with a doctor’s note.
If students attend school on the school bus they must remain on the school bus even if this is running late. We can accommodate the late arrival of students to GCSE exams providing students remain on the bus.
Students should be prepared in ensuring they are equipped for the examinations, it is important that students clarify with subject tutors what equipment they need in advance of the examination.
Under no circumstances are students allowed to take a smart watch or mobile phone in to the examination. We advise that students leave these at home or locked away in their locker.
Whilst we encourage students to remain hydrated during examinations, all water bottles must be free of labels.
Thank you for all of your hard work year 11 and well done on such a brilliant half term. Have a lovely and restful holiday and we will look forward to welcoming you all back on Monday 24th February.
Please contact us if there are any issues or if you have any questions at all.
Thank you for your continued support.
R Dempsey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Director of Learning to key stage 4
A Handby (email@example.com )
Welfare Leader to key stage 4