Y11 Exam Season

A letter from the Principal

Dear Student & Parent/Carer,

The exam season is upon us and this is your time to shine! I can’t say this is going to be an enjoyable few weeks, but it is necessary and something we all go through in our lives. It won’t be long before your magical Prom and longest summer holiday ever will be here. However, we can’t ignore the fact that these next few weeks will have a significant impact on the rest of your life. To help you through, I want to give you some tips and advice to help you perform to the best of your ability.

  1. There is still enough time to make significant improvements in your grades
    The time studying at home and in revision classes will have a significant impact on your results, right up to the moment you walk into the exam. Keep working hard and use every moment you can to make that next grade.
  2. This is nothing to do with luck
    Your GCSE results are all about the effort and the work you do to prepare for your exams. No-one will say those students who do well have been “lucky”. Work hard and put the effort in and you will see the benefits.
  3. Prioritise your time
    Over the next few weeks, your exams must be your number one priority. This is the time to be disciplined about how you use the precious time you have.
  4. Use the staff to help you achieve the top grades
    Don’t sit at home worrying about some content you are struggling with, ask your teachers for help as they are the experts. They will always find time for you, and five minutes with a teacher could save you hours.
  5. Attend all the extra sessions
    Staff at Cowley always have extra sessions after college, at weekends and during the holidays, that are carefully planned to support you with exam preparation. Don’t miss out on these important opportunities as students who come to these sessions are far more prepared and achieve higher grades.
  6. Work hard at home
    Evenings and weekends are long enough to fit in relaxation and revision. Each evening, you should be studying for 2 hours (not including your Period 6). Split your weekends into 3 (mornings, afternoons, and evenings) and study for 2 out of 3.
  7. Reward your hard work with some ‘down time’
    Relax, get outside, and do some exercise. Studies show that students who punctuate their revision with exercise outside do better in their exams.
  8. Be honest and ruthless with your distractions
    We all have distractions in our lives that stop us from doing what we need to do. Be disciplined with these distractions, whether this is your phone, your PlayStation or something else. For the next few weeks, these must be managed. You will have plenty of time once the exams have finished!
  9. Be organised and prepared for the day
    Use your exam timetable to know when and where your exams are. The morning of the exam can be very busy and therefore preparation is key. Each night, make sure you have all the necessary equipment for the next day. If you are not sure on what equipment you need, please speak to your Team Tutor.
  10. Use the resources provided
    All the resources we have given you, including the ‘Knowledge Organisers’, GCSE Pod, Revision books and past papers. These are all brilliant, but only if you use them! Don’t spend time copying things down or making extensive notes. Familiarise yourself with key topics, make lists of areas that you are concerned about and speak to your teachers.

You are going to be nervous; it is normal to be nervous as it means you care, and these exams mean something to you. All you must do is work hard and ask for help when you need it.

I believe in you and your ability and look forward to celebrating with you at Prom and Results Day.

Best wishes,
Mr Cormack