Preparation is Key
As a parent/carer sometimes it is hard to know what to do to help your child succeed at school and prepare for their public examinations.
We all want the best for students at New Heights Key Stage 4 and we want them all to reach their full academic potential. That’s why learning and exam skills are important.
The impact that you have on your child’s success is enormous. The time they spend outside of school is huge compared to the time spent in school. Ensuring that we have open communication channels and a balance between work and play will make sure that they achieve their maximum potential and are heading for a successful future.
The good news is that you don’t need to be an expert in any of the subjects your child chooses to make a real difference. You also don’t need to give up your life and other responsibilities – you just need to know how best to spend the time you do have.
One of the hardest demands on students is that of understanding the long-term importance of doing the best they can, and learning to shelve short-term fun at times in the interest of long-term benefits (not easy even for adults).
Children will also differ in their levels of maturity, their ability to take responsibility for their learning, organisational skills and levels of motivation. This is where parents come in. Your support, encouragement and interest can make a spectacular difference to your child’s motivation and ability to cope with the academic and organisational demands of the exam period.
Advice for parents/carers:
- Devise and agree a revision timetable and make sure they stick to it – even when they don’t feel like it.
- Agree the balance between work and social life and stick to the agreement. Again, flexibility is the key – if a special night comes up, agree that they can make up the work at a specified time.
- All students fall behind, feel demotivated or overwhelmed, or struggle with the balance of social, work and school demands at times. When your child feels like this, berating and threatening them will have a negative effect. Talk to them about the issues, acknowledge their feelings and adopt a sensible attitude in wanting to find a solution.
- If your child asks for your support, encourage them by helping them to see the difficulties in perspective. Teenagers often take an all or nothing ‘catastrophic’ approach to difficulties – “I’ve messed up this essay, I might as well give up.”
- Start in good time – leave it too late and they will start panicking.
- Plan for half hour or, at most, one hour slots. Nothing extra is likely to sink in if one subject is revised for much longer.
- When revising during the evenings plan 1 or 2 subjects only. Leave some time for relaxation.
- Plan to revise specific topics or aspects of a subject – for example, not just science, but human systems, or waves, or chemical reactions or electricity.
- Read through a topic and then make brief notes on cards which can be used for further revision later.
- Use colours to highlight key works.