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Poynton High School

and Performing Arts College

01625 871811

January 2017

Poynton High School - Year 11 Parent Bulletin

Dear parents and carers of Year 11 students.

As you will be aware there are now only 12 school weeks until the start of our main GCSE exam period.  Every lesson at this stage counts more than ever!  I hope that the information you find within this bulletin will allow you to be equipped to support your child through the coming crucial weeks.  Year team notices:


  • Breakfast? Water? Sleep? The exam period can be a physical and mental struggle!  Having a good healthy breakfast and making sure you stay hydrated is massively important.  In the world of a Year 11 student social media can become all consuming, students must take time away from this both in order to focus on revision and also to ensure they get enough sleep.
  • Equipment.  Students should have; black pens, pencils, a ruler, a pair of compasses, a scientific calculator, an eraser and a highlighter.  In exams, this must be in a see-through pencil case.  Most stationers sell exam packs with everything in them, we also have some equipment for sale in the school library.
  • A quick win… The exam period can be a strain with lots of writing, one quick win is ensuring that your child has a pen that they like writing with.  Some exams are over 2 hours long, a lengthy time to be writing with a scratchy pen that you don’t like. 
  • Prom Date.  The date for our Year 11 prom will be Thursday 22nd June, more details will follow in due time.
  • The full exam timetable can be found on the PHS website using the following link:
  • Exam anxiety (message from Sue Warburton, or Teenage and Family Worker).  As you know the exam period is upon us.  Our students are facing a very stressful few weeks both in the run up to exams and actually doing them! In order to help our young people to relax and manage their feelings through this period, I will be offering a series of relaxation sessions in school. I also extend an invitation to you as parents to join us for early morning coffee on a Wednesday morning 8 am to 9 am to discuss how you can best help your son or daughter to manage stress through this period.  Specific questions relating to the exams can be collated and collected at these sessions and passed to the Head of Year who will respond via email. However the purpose of the sessions is managing stress, relieving anxiety and enabling our young people and you, their families, to get through these weeks in the best possible shape.  The sessions will commence on Wednesday 1st March and will continue until the exams start in the beginning of May.  They will be held in the Wellness Centre opposite the main hall.
  • National Citizenship Service. On the 16th March, the NCS will be speaking to the year group about the excellent opportunities available through their summer project work.  More information can be found by visiting their website
  • Twitter.  A great way to stay connected is through following the year group Twitter page @PHS_Year11 and also the school page @PoyntonHigh.
  • Parental Profiling.  As we continue to further develop our strategies to partner with our students’ parents and carers I would like to introduce a new initiative called “Parental Profiling”. 


Parental Profiling @ PHS works by you expressing an interest in what you may like to be consulted upon, or what you would like to get involved in.When we are working on those areas, we will take a random sample of the people who have expressed an interest, and consult directly with them.This should allow us to get a greater amount of feedback and involvement in the exact areas that you are interested in rather than the often “generic” consultations that schools sometimes employ.Please use the following link to find out more:


Students will be starting to look again at the Power and Conflict poetry in their poetry anthology. It would be most beneficial if students re-read the poems that have been previously studied to help them make continuous links and comparisons.

Revision guides that would support with their reading and understanding can be found here:

Their GAPPs and Doddle are also an invaluable revision resource that will support them with their mock exam revision.


The students will soon be receiving a comprehensive analysis of their mathematical understanding following the recent mock examination. Topics are ranked from red through amber to green where red means no understanding shown, and green demonstrates full understanding. This should provide a useful breakdown of which areas will need to be focussed upon in preparation for the Summer examinations.


We will send out an email, via Sims in touch, giving some links to practice papers and other resources that they can use to support their revision programme for Maths.


We will soon be starting supported study sessions for Year 11, these will take place on Wednesday, week 2, from 3 – 4 pm. The students will need to sign up if they wish to attend these sessions.


The department also runs a support class on Thursday lunchtime in room 11. This is an opportunity for students to get help with classwork or homework.


Please encourage your son/daughter to continue to use the PiXL Maths App to support their work in Maths.



Well done to all students for all the work that went into their ISAs

Booster ISA for triple students will take place on Wednesday 22nd March.


Revision sessions

On a week 1 Tuesday there will be after school drop in revision sessions in upper school science for all students

Each week revision Doddle tasks will be set by your class teacher

There will be additional revision sessions for targeted students who have received an email via SIMS InTouch.


Revision material to support students preparing for examinations.

Doddle can be found at and all students have individual logins

Use the Science GCSE bitesize revision website 

Use the My GCSE Science revision website  which has tutorials for all the topics covered in all 3 sciences.

Complete past examination questions available on the AQA website.


To further prepare students for the summer examinations we will:

•             Feb Half term – B1, C1, P1 revision questions will be issued.

•             Easter  -B2, C2, P2  revision questions will be issued.

•             Double will have a second mock examination after Easter in April 2017


Well done and thank you to all Year 11 students for their hard work in the trial examinations and speaking exams! We’re nearly there!!!


Intervention sessions (Monday Week 1, 3.15-4.15)

Monday 30th January, room 47, 3.15-4.15: a group of students (from GF and EWI’s groups) are expected to attend a Speaking booster session to prepare for a resit of the latest Speaking task. Emails have been sent via SIMS InTouch.

If any other students would like to attend, they are more than welcome. Please bring any previous preparation work and tasks to the session.


Listening and Reading Past papers:

Previous examination papers and mark schemes are available on the AQA website.




We encourage students to complete as many as they can if they haven’t started to do so. Remember to use the past papers as learning tools too. You can pick up a lot of vocabulary and structures from them, especially in the Higher tier!

If you would like to have access to all previous papers, please bring a USB stick and ask your teacher to copy them for you.


Final Controlled Assessments:

Both French groups (GF and SFA) are planning for a Writing task on School which they will sit next half-term. More details to follow

The German group (JB) is also planning a Writing task on School. More details to follow.

In Spanish, students in Mr Wilshaw’s groups are preparing for a written piece on work experience. They will work on preparation questions over the half-term break.

In Mrs Turner’s group, the students are working on a piece about their school.

Preparation for Writing Controlled assessments:

Start preparing for controlled assessments as soon as possible.  As soon as the questions are given out, start answering them. When they’ve been marked by your teacher, start learning them! DON’T leave it until the week/ night before! A little and often does pay off!

Complete all classwork and homework on time.  The more you do in class and for normal homework, the better prepared you will be to answer Controlled Assessments questions on your own


How can you help your child for the controlled assessments?

It is against examination rules for students to have their work corrected after the task as been issued. However, all preparation questions and related homework will be corrected by the class teacher beforehand.  Try and ensure students spend as much time practising their Writing tasks at home.



Memorisation techniques for Speaking and Writing tasks

Remember that we learn:

10% of what we READ; 20% of what we HEAR; 30% of what we SEE; 50% of what we SEE and HEAR; 70% of what is DISCUSSED with OTHERS; 80% of what is EXPERIENCED PERSONALLY; 95% of what we TEACH TO SOMEONE ELSE

Some techniques to help you remember

1.            Running Dictation - put a text somewhere, walk to it, try and remember as much of a short section and go back to your desk to write it

2.            First letters - write the first letter of each word before you rewrite your paragraph.  Missing Link - write a paragraph with blanks (difficult words, verbs etc…)

3.            Sing-a-longa-French!  Remember your passage using a rhyme, song etc…

4.            Pictionary - use pictures to remember some difficult words/ sentences

5.            Treasure Hunt - place your writing in other parts of the house (toilets, fridge, shower etc…) and try and learn them. Jigsaw puzzle - cut up your paragraph and put it back together

6.            To remember, or not to remember - learn a little every day (10-15min)

7.            Translate each paragraph into English to help you remember what you were trying to say. Try and write the translation on alternate lines 

8.            Read, cover, check - write a sentence at the top of a piece of paper, cover it, write it underneath and check. If you made mistakes, try again. If not, go to the next part.


Remember to spend an equal amount of time on each part of your text. When you have learnt a paragraph go onto the next one. Learn them together only when you know all of them individually.


Revision Logs

All students will be issued with a revision log in their Geography lessons. We ask that students complete a minimum of 1 hour of Geography revision per week and record this on their log, they should photograph what they have done and show it to their Geography teacher. Students will have identified strengths and weaknesses from their recent mock exams and should be using this information to help focus their revision. There is also a box for parents to initial, so you can see how much revision your child is completing.


Past Papers

One of the best forms of revision is to complete past paper questions and self-assess these. The Geography Department will be happy to go through these questions with your child. Past papers can be found here  


Controlled Assessment

Your child is now coming to the end of their Controlled Assessment, this should be completed by the end of this half term. The Geography Department are running numerous catch-up sessions after school and at lunchtime. Please ask your child to speak to their Geography teacher about this.

GCSE Business Studies


Exam board: WJEC

GCSE format: 75% exam / 25% controlled assessment (coursework)

Final exam date: Friday 9th June @ 1 pm

Exam format: 2 hours written exam, 100 marks (students must bring their own calculator)


•             7 units in total (6 exam units + 1 piece of controlled assessment)

•             Questions are a combination of multiple choice, short response and longer essay style questions (worth up to 10 marks)

•             The controlled assessment has been completed and will be internally verified over the coming months prior to being sent to the exam board

The six exam units:


1.            The Business Framework

2.            Business & their Customers

3.            Producing Goods & Services

4.            Human Resource Planning

5.            Business Finance & control

6.            The External Environment


Getting ahead:


•             All students will be provided with a revision guide summary

•             The exam board has a wide range of resources available at:

•             Practice exam papers and mark schemes can be found here:

•             Students will also get hard copies of all past exam papers closer to the completion of the course (expected mid-February to early-March)

•             BBC Bitesize is a useful resource (videos, multiple choice questions, notes etc.) 

•             Doddle has lots of Business related resources that can be accessed using the same login as used in other subjects

Product Design


Extra coursework catch-up sessions will be running for VAR’s group – usually a Wednesday and Thursday.  For GCB’s group – always a Thursday. These will run until February half term. I strongly advise any student to attend who wants to raise their grade from either course work.  RNTs group can attend on a Monday from 3.15-4.15.


When coursework has been completed, we will be putting on weekly revision sessions until they finish for study leave. These will also be on Thursdays with a topic each week. The students will need to do some preparation work in advance to arrive ready for each session.


Weekly Topics are:

23rd March: Colour theory, Aesthetics, Ergonomics and Anthropometrics

30th March: Social, moral and cultural issues including globalisation of design and manufacturing

20th April: Sustainability and the environment

27th April: economics of manufacturing and the use of CAD/CAM and automation

4th May: Systems, structures and scientific principles in products

11th May: Marketing, advertising and consumer law

18th May: Energy and Health and safety

25th May: Design potential and the impact of new and emerging technologies



The ‘Innovation Challenge’ examination takes place outside of the main examination period. The dates for this are the 8th, 9th and 10th May. The first two days are from 9 am and last from 9-12.30. this will be followed by a 30minute reflection examination on the 10th May at 9 am also. The theme for this examination is:

Pre-school Playgroup and Early Learning Situation:

Cleverclogs pre-school playgroup provides care for children under five years old. The playgroup organises activities which are both educational and fun, where children learn through play.

The playgroup activities include drawing and painting, model making, food preparation and tasting, social play, physical games, singing and role play, story time and also quiet time.


The ‘Designing Influences’ examination is on 26th June, usually one of the last examinations, which will give the students plenty of time to revise. The theme for this examination is the B-01 McLaren Buggy and folding tubular steel products. Revision needs to be carried out on each of these topics, firstly to explain the importance and introduction of folding tubular steel products but also to be able to design a similar product with a given theme on the day.


  • Mrs Browning will be holding catch up sessions every Thursday and Friday after school in room 60 for 1hr 30minutes. This is an opportunity for all students to create / complete their paper patterns and toiles. Students will be working independently and under exam conditions when constructing their final garment / product therefore it is vital they seek guidance at this stage.
  • Deadline for students to complete their toile - 06/02/17
  • Students should be purchasing fabric and components ready to construct their garment/product in lessons from the 06/02/17.



  • Food and Nutrition Catch-up: Wednesdays after school 3-4.30

Next practical dates:  Tuesday 31st January.

Deadline for Food and Nutrition Controlled Task: Thursday 16th February.


Child Development

  • Remember to bring your revision guides to each lesson from now until Easter.

Child Development Catch Up: Wednesdays after school 3-4.30


Now that students have had their mock results back and have had a chance to reflect on these results they should now be thinking about their future revision.   Check they don’t have any gaps in their learning, i.e. missed lessons etc. – borrow a friend’s book or ask your teacher if you think you are missing notes.   If your mock result was not as good as you hoped for, consider doing some/all of it again – see your RE teacher for an exam paper and complete it at home.   

Students should be getting 2 homework tasks per fortnight cycle, but if nothing is set they should spend some time reading through their revision booklets to familiarise themselves with topics they learnt a while back.


Past exam papers can be collected from RE teachers or found online:

Computer Science

Exam board OCR – J275


Book: OCR GCSE Computing ISBN 9781444177794

After school sessions Wednesday Week 1 3:20 – 4:20 in room 29 (Controlled Assignment / Theory Questions / Programming Practice)

Currently, students are completing the second project.

Yr11 Groups

Students no longer have any more lesson time to work upon their coursework portfolio, this finished at the end of last term. Any work outstanding for their coursework will have to be completed in their own time.


The Yr11 students have now started their ‘Externally Set Assignment’, on 10th January.

By the end of this project they should have NINE double pages of work in their sketchbooks (three double pages for each of the three assessment objectives).

Students should be aiming to complete ONE double page per week.


Mrs Guest’s Yr11 Group

Two double pages on drawing from observation are due in on for Friday 27th January.


Mr.George’s Yr11 Group

One double page on artist research, task 1, was due in onTuesday 24th January.

Next double page on drawing from subject matter will be due in Thursday 2nd February.


Dates and Deadlines for the remainder of the course will be emailed to parents soon.

Thank you for your continued support.  An effective partnership between home and school will ensure your child’s success in the final examinations. If you feel that there is anything we need to know to support your child further please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Andy Bennett                                                             Anne Handby

Director of Learning (Years 10 &11)            Welfare Leader (Years 10 & 11)