Information for Parents

Supporting Young People through their GCSE’S

As your son/daughter/ward approaches the exam season, there are a number of ways you can support them to ensure they have the best chance of success. We’ve outlined these below, together with our top revision/exam tips and useful links and resources for important subjects like English and maths.

In the run up to exams

  • Get organised - Make sure they have all the revision/exam materials they need.
  • Plan - Help them produce a revision timetable that breaks study into short chunks and allows time for breaks/time out.
  • Make space - Create a quiet place to study and identify a study time that works best for them.
  • Get involved - Go through school notes with them or listen while they revise a topic. Test them too by asking questions about what they’ve learnt. You could also time attempts at questions on practice exam papers
  • Write reminders - Place post-it notes around the house to help with learning keywords and phrases, particularly for language subjects.
  • Offer support - Be there for them as much as you can and talk to them to provide reassurance and encouragement.
  • Look after them - Make sure they eat well, get regular exercise and have lots of sleep, particularly on the nights before exams. Popping up with a snack and a drink is a good excuse to check how they’re getting on too.
  • Be nice - Try not to make too many demands on them and encourage other family members to be sensitive to the pressures they’re under.
  • Provide time out - Try to reach a compromise about using laptops and tablets etc for ‘study’ time versus ‘social’ time.
  • Be prepared - Help them to get organised in advance of exams to avoid any rushing around and last-minute panics on the day itself.

Specialist support

If your son/daughter/ward has specific requirements, our experienced and specialist team members will work with you to identify and provide appropriate support. This could include special examination access arrangements.

To find out more, contact the Student Support and Wellbeing team on T 01253 504356 or E learningsupport@blackpool.ac.uk.

The importance of English and maths

All GCSEs are important but none more so than English and maths. Research shows that good English and maths skills lead to better career and education opportunities.

English and maths can also increase earnings potential: those in the top 15% of maths scores are likely to earn around an extra £2,100 per year while being in the top 15% of reading skills provides an average salary boost of £550 per year.

Employers attach great value to these skills because they provide the basis for so many other important attributes in the workplace, for example communication, team-working and problem-solving.

According to recent reports from Mercedes Benz, despite having 5,000 apprenticeship opportunities and some 30,000 applications, they were still unable to fill all these positions because of a lack of English and maths qualifications.

Make sure your son/daughter/ward prioritises these subjects in their revision timetable and encourage them to make use of the links and resources below.

Top revision tips for students

Pass on our top revision tips to your son/daughter/ward to make sure they get the most out of their revision.

  • Ask for help - Make sure you understand what you’re revising. If not, research it or ask a friend. Better still, ask your teacher to explain it. They might even be running revision classes you could join.
  • No night-before revision - Avoid revision the night before. You’ll just stress yourself out trying to cram it all in at the last minute. Complete your revision early, relax for the rest of the day, read over your notes and get an early night.
  • Help yourself - Start early to make the most of the day. Find somewhere quiet to study and leave your phone/tablet in another room so you won’t get distracted.
  • Practise on past papers - Ask your teacher for past papers or google them yourself. Doing past papers improves your exam technique, leading to extra marks and less stress on the day.
  • Stay focused - It seems tough now, but keep in mind the better you do in your exams the better your chances in the future. Remember - it will be worth it in the end.

On the day

Here our top tips for doing well on the day for you to share with your son/daughter/ward.

  • No last-minute revision - Don’t try testing yourself on specific questions - this will just make you panic about what you think you don’t know. If you've kept to your revision plan, and you’re calm, the answers will come naturally.
  • Be prepared – Make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the exam with the right equipment.
  • Be thorough - Nerves can make it easy to mis-read things so take time to read all the questions carefully.
  • Prioritise - Look at the marks for each question. More marks require a more detailed answer. Make sure you answer all the questions.
  • Time-manage – For exams with longer essay-style questions work out how much time you need to devote to each question and stick to it.
  • Plan - Use bullet points to set out your answer before writing it out in full.
  • Be accurate - Remember to use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar, particularly in GCSE English. Use the correct units in GCSE Maths, for example ‘cm’ for ‘centimetres’.
  • Final-check – Allow time at the end to go through your answers to make sure you’re happy with your answers.

Afterwards

When the exams are over, why not celebrate all their hard work (and yours!) with a treat, such as a meal out or a trip to the cinema.

Useful links/resources

Practice exam papers

GCSE English:

GCSE Maths:

Learning resources

GCSE English:

GCSE Maths:

OIA
FDAP
The University of Salford
Apprenticeships
European Structural and Investment Funds
Council for Independent Education
European Social Fund
Lancaster University
Matrix
Ofsted
Disabled Confident
QAA
The Queen’s Anniversary for FE and HE
STEM