Y7 Exams - history and geography in particular - and physics

(31 Posts)
Quinteszilla Mon 17-Feb-14 16:40:45

DS assessment has come through, and he has fallen from attainment 2 to 5 in History and Geography. He struggles with King John and the Battle of Hastings in particular. Are there any good resources I can find to help him revise?

He also blames Physics for his grades dropping in science.

TeenAndTween Mon 17-Feb-14 16:45:53

I don't understand the gradings you mention as they are non-standard, but is it learning facts that is the problem or the actual skills for History.
eg Point Evidence Explain, talking about source bias and accuracy?

snice Mon 17-Feb-14 16:58:06

Bbc bitesize is ok

LIZS Mon 17-Feb-14 17:00:39

A visit to Battle itself might be useful. What did the assessment involve , was it a narrative or extract question ?

Quinteszilla Mon 17-Feb-14 17:21:39

I think we may go to Hastings and Battle this weekend actually.
He has spent part of today on Bitesize, which is good.

I have a hard time understanding the grading system too, but I do know that they go from 5 at the bottom to 1 which is the top score!

The assessment was for work done between Christmas and now, which included review of submitted work, prep, and also topic tests.

For all of these subjects, at Y7 level, I think the BBC bitesize KS3 website is helpful.

Also CGP KS3 revision guides can be useful.

For History, does he know how to answer source questions and What/how/why questions?

adoptmama Mon 17-Feb-14 18:45:33

Battlefield Britain on on Hastings is very good at explaining the background and why William won
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_rAXH09qRY

Apart from that I would say have a look at what the assignment was and have a look at his finished work and go thru it with him and see what he hasn't done. e.g. maybe he has only 'told the story' without explaining cause and effect/evaluated sources etc.

Ask to meet or email teacher and ask what you can do to help your son improve his performance in the subject.

Hulababy Mon 17-Feb-14 18:47:34

I would agree - Y7 DD uses KS3 Bitesize, which can be helpful.

Kayakinggirl86 Mon 17-Feb-14 19:49:42

Don't panic to much about his geography grade. First term of year 7 in most schools is learning map skills- very maths based work. Second term is usaly a case study or environmental issue-very English based and being able argue a point. Due to this kids often take a jump or a drop.
As others are saying make sure he can make a point give evidence and explain.
Find out what he is doing before you rush off and get revision guides.

Weegiemum Mon 17-Feb-14 19:51:27

I'm a Geography teacher - in Scotland it's not what a pp said, very topic based. Bite size is very good though.

Quinteszilla Tue 18-Feb-14 12:02:26

"First term of year 7 in most schools is learning map skills- very maths based work."

Which would explain why he was graded a 2 and has dropped. He is in top set for maths..... I have looked through all his work books now, and it was indeed map based, coordinates etc. Not sure why he finds physics so hard though. Friction and electrics are the hardest parts. It could be the reasoning out.

For ethics he should decide if a statement was fact or an opinion, and he left out whether the statement "Cameron is the UK prime minister" was fact or opinion. Not sure what to make of that, as he knows who Cameron is. hmm

Where can I find good general knowledge and current affair stuff for this age group, any idea?

QualityControl Tue 18-Feb-14 12:40:39

His teacher should be offering you this advice. They should be monitoring his progress and supporting where needed with advice on websites/books. This drop in grades suggests that guidance is needed and I would expect a teacher to be leading the way

ChocolateWombat Wed 19-Feb-14 11:11:25

Before you do anything, just ask! If you have email contact for teacher, just email directly, saying the drop is a bit of a concern. Can they explain why he has fallen so much and what he needs to do to improve and if there is anything g you can do to help.
Have you had a good look at his ex book by the way? May well shed some light on it all.

ChocolateWombat Wed 19-Feb-14 11:13:42

Quality, I suspect advice to the pupil will be forthcoming after half term. Sounds like these grades were issued at the end of half term. It's not poss for teachers to follow them up this week, but they no doubt will It may well be that the teacher has already had a word with the child along the way about what is slipping. Unusual to get a drop from 2 to 5 with no warning....likely to be in comments in ex book, in class verbally etc.

DoctorDonnaNoble Wed 19-Feb-14 11:19:19

It sounds like just a half termly report? So indicating where revision will have to be focused for end of year exams. I wouldn't worry too much about it at the moment but make sure he asks for help from the relevant teachers in the relevant areas - they may have a mentoring programme with older students helping in specific topic areas.

I'd double check what the numbers in his report mean. If it's Levels, then to go from level 2 to level 5 is going UP and he's perfectly on track.

ChocolateWombat Wed 19-Feb-14 13:39:23

Chances are 1 is the top level of attainment.
But yes, it would seem very sensible to check the information which came with the report. I must say I'm surprised you didn't do that before coming on here with your question.

As always, the school will be your best source of info about how your child is getting on.....we can't possibly know.

Quinteszilla Wed 19-Feb-14 16:55:35

it would seem very sensible to check the information which came with the report. I must say I'm surprised you didn't do that before coming on here with your question.

Sensible yes, if any additional information were included in the report.

The report was made available online in the evening of Friday the 14th, I cannot ask anybody in school until after half term. I wanted to use the half term break for revisions, hence asking MN!
I am very appreciative of all the helpful posters who have pointed me in the right direction! cake

It is amazing how often one is criticized for asking a question, and how it is assumed that there other options. Nobody is compelled to answer, but is free to ignore thread.

In addition to the school being closed for half term, my son is a new pupil at the school, and it being secondary where mums/dads dont hang around and chat, I dont have any other parents to confer with either.

Quinteszilla Wed 19-Feb-14 16:57:30

And if you read my OP Chocolatewombat, I did not ask for help with his grades, or understanding how he is assessed, but "Are there any good resources I can find to help him revise?"

WeAreDetective Wed 19-Feb-14 17:04:16

'Physics' is very broad. Did he give any specific work in physics he struggled with to bring down his grade?

ChocolateWombat Wed 19-Feb-14 17:13:01

Quint, sorry if I upset you. I was replying to other posters as much as to you. Your question about materials for revision was put in The context of the report grades and almost everyone who posted commented on the report grades, not the revision materials, so the focus of posts seemingly moved. I'm sorry if it upset you.
I have looked at the thread again. I think I misread a post. For some reason, I thought YOullneedatray was the OP and I also thought she was saying she would go and check what the grades meant....so my comment about checking what the grades meant was to something I had misunderstood.
It is surprising to receive a report, even online, with no explanation of what grades mean. Perhaps you have had these kind of grades before with an explanation?
Going back to your question about revision materials, I wouldn't bother with extras for Year 7. Are there exams very soon? Most schools will do some revision with the kids before tests or exams and provide them with very focused revision materials....more useful than generic revision guides you might buy. Using his ex book and textbooks would prob be best. Even at GCSE extra revision materials are not really needed.
Apologies again for upsetting you.

Quinteszilla Wed 19-Feb-14 18:24:19

blush Sorry chocolate, I overreacted massively. I am feeling totally at sea both to the whole secondary, grading system, and independent school situation. It is not helped by me feeling very foreign about the British school system in general.

My own parents never involved themselves in my schooling, my homework, or my grades. I just went to my local primary, moved up to my secondary, had exams at the end of Y9 and got into my high school of choice for years 10-13, and moved onto Uni with what seemed like the greatest ease in the world. A very different experience.

ChocolateWombat Wed 19-Feb-14 18:36:41

No probs Quint. It was my misreading of earlier posts.
I don't think you are alone in feeling as you do. Schools often forget this, as it is all day to day stuff for them.
Never be afraid to ask for clarification from the school and don't worry if your questions feel basic. It is their job to answer your questions and through those conversations everyone can provide a better education for your boy.
If I wasn't clear, I would want to know what the grading system means (effort and attainment grades) with descriptors for each. I would want to know when key assessments come during the year and how they are assessesed and how pupils are expected to prepare for them. I would want to know if any wider reading is expected or not. I'm probably a bit of a pest, because I do ask questions of the school all the time.....but at least I know and I think it makes them realise that they often need to give more info.
Best of luck with your son.

lljkk Wed 19-Feb-14 20:48:45

The problem is you don't know what syllabus the school is working to. So you could waste a lot of your child's time working on the wrong material. You really need to talk to school to get right info.

Quinteszilla Wed 19-Feb-14 21:38:44

He has been working on whats in his work books. We have gone through every comment, and every topic, and he has filled in with bitesize and youtube videos explaining the physics bits in between. He has also been reading his text books.

We have been working pretty intensively. Me on my MBA work, and him on his school work, and ds2 on reading and bitesize also. grin

I am very happy we have a big dining table!

Martorana Wed 19-Feb-14 23:25:50

You know what? I would let him have his half term holiday having a nice time, but make an appointment to see his form tutor as soon as possible when school starts again to find out what!/ going wrong and how to help. Another few days won't hurt- and you might be guiding up him in quite the wrong directions. He's only been at secondary school for a term and a half- no need for panic.

throckenholt Thu 20-Feb-14 07:53:38

Um - this is year 7 - as in age about 12 ?

Give him a break. It is a long way to the end of school years.

The key to acquiring knowledge is to enjoy it and find some relevance in it - so is there some local spin you can put on King John or the Battle of Hastings ?

The other key is to have the confidence to say you don't understand and ask questions.

Maybe you had a good education experience because everyone was not looking over your shoulder and assessing you constantly and overtly. Maybe neither you nor your parents had any idea of the minutiae of your "performance" when you were 12.

Relax - and try and get your DS to relax.

sassytheFIRST Thu 20-Feb-14 08:00:30

I think he might benefit from reading more widely - perhaps a subscription to first news? And some historical fiction - rosemary sutcliffe types good at this age.

ChocolateWombat Thu 20-Feb-14 09:32:03

Children in year 7 only benefit from wider reading if it is initiated by them. Parent led broadening, such as taking him on a visit to Battle Abbey where Hastings happened can be useful. To be honest, the wider reading is not likely to increase his marks at this stage, because the assessments will not be looking for evidence of it.
Key things include knowing the technique for answering the different styles of Q they have done (no idea what these are, but might be, explain, describe, what does the content of the source tell you....) as well as the key content for the topic.
After half term, it will be poss to find out about both the content and skills he is expected to have. Many schools actually say homework for this age group should not be set for half term, because the children need a proper break. So may well be best to just let him have a few days and then start again once you have more info.
Best of luck.

Quinteszilla Thu 20-Feb-14 20:18:50

We have not only done revisions! They have chilled, lazed about, played basketball outside the house, been on the trampoline, we have been for walks in the common, baked caramel cheese cake ( yuck) and made apple dumplings from scratch. Plenty of time for childhood and chilling!

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