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Archive for the ‘exam results’ Category

Do you get the new GCSE grades?

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

Have you got your head around the new 9-1 grades yet? It’s a tricky old business if you’ve got used to A*- G grades for the past 30 years! So easy to be at sixes and sevens with it all!

No wonder there has been some confusion, not least because both A and C have two numerical grades – not one. How do they break down?

9 is a super A* grade with only the top 3% of students expected to achieve it. 8 is an A*, whereas 7 translates into a lower A. 6 is a B. C is a 5 and 4. With D as a 3, E and an F as a 2, and G as a 1, it will take some time before we understand these grades back to front.

To C or not to C?

Controversy over what constitutes a C grade has hit the headlines for the past year. Originally, 5 was promoted as being a strong (more desirable) C grade pass.

Education Sec. Justice Greening then stressed that pupils needn’t resit GCSE Maths or English if they achieved grade 4 – leading to the view that 4 was now deemed a standard pass.

Whether this is understood in the wider world just yet remains to be seen. Certainly, future employers in the Manchester and Cheshire areas will need to be educated themselves about how the new system works. But let’s be positive…

Let’s embrace change

Despite all the controversy, numerical grades are here to stay. And while it is tempting to try to compare them to previous years, it is pointless to do so since the exams have changed in nature. English and Literature GCSEs are all closed book exams with no differentiated tiers.

And with Maths – though still offering higher and foundation tiers – there’s no doubt that the higher papers have much more demanding content than ever before.

And while the new exam specs are different to before, it’s better to see them as do-able challenges rather than horrible hurdles.

Your child is more than a number

As ever, it will take at least another year or two before everyone gets to grip with the new numerical system. By 2019, numerical grades will be phased in across all subjects anyway.

Ultimately, for new students just about to embark on their GCSE courses this year, it’s essential to remember that you are more than a number. If you are finding it hard to get to grips with your GCSEs, always ask for help. Of course, our team of top tutors are always on hand…

Summer Term Results a Wake-Up Call?

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

No parent wants to admit that their child is struggling with a subject or behind. But the facts speak for themselves…

Year 10 and 12 students often face mock exams in the summer term – only to find they are not where they need to be. With two full terms to go before, panic can easily set in.

Year 6, transitioning into year 7, will be either inspired by their SATs results or gutted by them. Even though this year’s end of primary SATs results were slightly up – with 61% of children reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and maths – this still leaves almost 40% of children struggling…

And worse, as they head off to enjoy a taster day at secondary, tucked in the back of their minds is that they’ve failed their first six years’ of education…

I’m rubbish

Though failure is part of life, there’s no mistaking how hard it can hit our children. Some feel ashamed that they don’t measure up, while others dread going back to school for fear of being teased.

Others, however, take it personally – as if their results are a reflection of them as human beings. If your child has ever cried, ‘I’m rubbish!’ or, ‘I hate myself’ you’ll know how devastating it can be.

That’s why it’s essential to fight feelings of failure head on:

  • Praise your child like mad. Never underestimate the power of accepting your child for their efforts as well as achievements – however small
  • Help them put the exam grades in perspective. Rather than bemoan the marks with them, discuss how to improve in the future. This will encourage them to see that failure is something to learn from
  • Arrange a spot of tuition over the summer holidays and even into the autumn term to help your child get back on track

Look forward, not back

Student stress is well documented – sadly. That’s why it’s even more important to support our children earlier to help build resilience and coping strategies as they go through their education.

If summer tuition could help your child look forward, not back, please get in touch for a no-obligation chat. As many parents across Manchester and Cheshire tell us, it’s so nice to speak to someone who understands.

Round up on education and tutoring news

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

We’d just like to say good luck to everyone who is getting their GCSE results today – do call us if you need any help or support.

We post lots of interesting education soundbites on facebook – here’s a round up of what we’ve been reading in the last week.

The Economist discusses ways tutoring (and the success it brings) can be open to all.

The BBC – making it clear what you shouldn’t do when your child receives their exam results. 

We’re wondering if there might be a new reality series – Manchester Celebrity tutor?

Is our educational success determined from the day we walk through the school gate?

A Level Results week

Friday, August 16th, 2013

If you received your A Level results this week you might want to have a look at our blog posts on what to do if your grades aren’t what you expected and what happens if your grades are better than expected. We’re here to support you if you need additional tutoring for resits or exploring options.

Exams – what happens if it all goes wrong?

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

If you are in Year 10 (or your child is) then they are probably right in the middle of taking GCSE exams. Next year will be one of the most significant years of your life – when you will sit the majority of your GCSEs. What happens during that year can determine where you go to college or work and what career path you may end up taking.

Many people dismiss year 10 exams because they think they can just resit them or make up the grades in Year 11. However, what happens in Year 10 can have a real impact on your GCSE performance in Year 11. If you don’t put the effort in Year 10 exams and fail (or fail because of other reasons), it means you can enter Year 11 lacking in confidence and behind academically. Some schools may even recommend you take different college courses based on your Year 10 performance.

If your child starts Year 10 this September then they will take their exams in 2014 – there will no longer be the option to take some exams in Year 10 and then resit if they fail.  So with this in mind what happens if it all goes wrong and you fail an exam?

  1. Don’t panic. If you are currently in Year 10, you will have the option to resit the GCSE in Year 11. Do keep in mind this will mean extra work during Year 11 when you will already have a lot to deal with.
  2. Ask your teacher (or ask your parent to ask them) if you can sit down with them and talk about where things went wrong. It could be one area where you are failing and you can use the summer break and the help of a private tutor to get back up to speed.
  3. Although we need a break over summer considering using some of the holidays to work on weak areas so you enter next year ahead rather than behind – consider a private tutor or summer school.
  4. If you worked hard and still failed then focus on what you achieved – you studied well and actually sat the exam, don’t let one fail put you off how far you have come.
  5. If you slacked off and failed then maybe it’s time to put a study plan in place, one that fits around your life and having fun but ensures you get the results you want.
  6. Failing a GCSE isn’t the end of the world but it can influence what happens in the next stage of your life so if you are struggling now then ask for help.

If you need helping preparing for GCSEs or summer catch up tutoring help and you live in Manchester or Cheshire (Heaton Mersey, Trafford and more) then call 121 Home Tutors.