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How can secondary schools help parents?

(6 Posts)
Waffles80 Wed 07-Sep-16 14:54:53

Probably not an AIBU, but posting for traffic and Mumsnet hive-mind advice.

After some work-related advice! If you have GCSE aged children / children coming up to GCSEs, and were invited to an information evening about the new English exams, what would you want to know?

I'm a Head of Department (English) delivering a session to parents next week, and I'm so far including:

- overview of the new exams
- how to approach different questions
- how to plan and write answers (the approaches we teach the kids)
- what the set texts are
- how to revise / support revision
- what homework and revision should look like

I don't have long to present, but will provide handouts of extra information etc (not just links for websites with revision ideas).

What would you need or want to know? What questions would you ask? (and I'm happy to try and answer them downthread if that's useful!)

Anything else you'd add to my list? More or less of what's on the list?

I'm mainly worried that many parents find secondary schools - and subject areas they've not done since at school themselves - a bit daunting. Want the session to be useful and supportive, without being patronising or over complicated.

Would be so grateful to hear ideas. Thanks and cake flowers in advance.

Irontheshirts Wed 07-Sep-16 15:14:16

I know this might be difficult but expectations for different grades. So an example of an A* A B C D E answer.

Minceybits Wed 07-Sep-16 15:16:44

You might get more traffic in Chat? But very excellent of you to think so carefully about this - I would like to hear your presentation!

I think you have it pretty much covered here - though I would re-adjust the order. Over view of exams, then set texts, then homework/revision, then the rest - so you are working logically through the year (but if you have already a set presentation I am sure you probably have your own logic!)

Might also be useful to (is this possible?) to let parents know when each text is going to be started and finished during the year and maybe what the key themes are for each text. Also are there any/trips supporting activities?
The other thing that might be useful is to mention film or TV based on the texts - unlikely that I am most parents are going to re-read the whole curriculum, but I would sit down and watch a film with DD!

BoomBoomsCousin Wed 07-Sep-16 15:24:39

I would probably want to know how the expectations in the exams differ from expectations teachers have had for the children until now - so if there is a stronger emphasis on grammar or creative writing or use of similes or whatever. But the main thing is to let parents know what they can do/ what's going to change for them. The revision support is particularly helpful, maybe something on where parents can look for more help if their child is struggling?

Beachbaby1 Wed 07-Sep-16 16:03:42

Make sure parents are aware that their DCs will not be getting a grade A*-G and rather a number 1-9.

There is still very little awareness of this fact!

Waffles80 Wed 07-Sep-16 16:22:05

Thanks so much for all of the help!

We've got our deputy head going over the main changes (1-9/A*-E) before subject staff take over.

Will definitely include an overview of the year, and the dates etc of mock exams.

Much appreciated. Happy to share my resources with any of you, so PM me if that's useful. We are with Eduqas, an exam board who aren't as widely used as others, so much of my information might be too specific to this board.

I'll re-post in Chat too.

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