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(17 Posts)
Nell799 Tue 07-Jun-11 09:37:17

Just after a bit of advise. My DSS is 15 and has some of his GSCE exam modules this week. He had Maths yesterday, and I believe Science today, and Maths again in the week. How much revision do children need to be doing (it all seems so different nowadays), he barely has had any homework for the last few years, and informs us he doent need to revise because there is nothing to revise. If we push it, it gets very heated. He is bright, and isnt struggling, but his teachers said he did need to do some extra work to push up a grade.

We managed to get him to sit down and do some bitesize last night in the kitchen, but he just seems to click a few questions, and said that was it. It all then ended in him getting upset, and we have no idea whether its because he doesnt want to revise, and would rather be playing on the Xbox, or because indeed there is nothing to do.

DH is going to call the school today. He went to school on Monday not even realising he had an exam, and blamed it on his mother for not telling him! (I thought at this age they should be fully aware). We have joint custody and next year, mum and dad will sit down with DSS and help create a revision plan together, so that they are united.

We have written up an exam timetable, so we know when they are but, is this to much for his first year of GCSES?

Lancelottie Tue 07-Jun-11 09:54:09

Oh god, don't mention the bloody Year 10 revision! DS would appear to have been asleep for the past four years in Maths -- we've not so much been getting him to 'revise' as attempting to teach the whole thing to him from scratch over half term.

Not sure what, out of your description, could be 'too much' to be doing at this point? I mean, checking the timetable and clicking on a few questions doesn't sound over-arduous, really!

Nell799 Tue 07-Jun-11 10:02:23

Thanks for the reply Lancelottie. Yes, it is making sure we know when the exams are, because he certainly doesnt, and bringing his PC into the kitchen from his room so we are keep an eye on him, but its only been a little bit of bitesize, and just a few questions, not the notes or anything else.

His mum said she coldnt get him to do anything last week while they were on holiday, and we have only managed 30 minutes, then it kind of ended in tears.

I just rememeber (17 years ago), that I had revision timetables, post-its, revision books, notes, past exam papers all over the kitchen table. Have things changed that much?

Lancelottie Tue 07-Jun-11 11:20:07

The utter cluelessness about when the exams are sounds deadly familiar -- as does the 'but YOU didn't tell me it was Maths this morning!'

I think what's changed is that everything is so much more spread out -- there wasn't much chance of forgetting that exams were on in a fortnight if that was the only thing going on in your timetable. This time round it's more a case of 'Tuesday: remember PE kit, French homework, lunch money, and oooh yes, I know, my history GCSE'

Ooopsadaisy Tue 07-Jun-11 11:29:52

I am living in GCSE hell too.

DS is also in Year 10.

He appears to be doing quite a bit of revision but it is all a bit random and disorganised. I am a total control freak and he is very laid back so it wouldn't be fair to inflict my methods on him, so I am pretty much leaving him to it, but in a supportive way (showing an interest, asking how it's going, making cups of tea and sandwiches etc).

I learned something new though. Apparently an A is not the best grade. The best grade is an A star.

So why isn't an A called a B?

Then the best grade could be an A.

What the chuffing chuff is that all about?

circular Tue 07-Jun-11 12:38:44

Re the A vs A*

When A was the highest grade, it was > 70%
When A* was introduced it was > 85%, A is STILL > 70%, but < 85%

(Apologies if it is not 70 & 85)

inthesticks Tue 07-Jun-11 13:07:09

Year 10 DS here too. he has some GCSEs this week and has spent at least 2 to 3 hours a day on revision.
I think that schools could help more in teaching revision techniques, some subjects are easier than others to revise.
Control freak here too and while I try to take a back seat he seems to appreciate some input from me or DH depending on the subject. For Maths he has been doing practise exam papers.Some of these I bought and some were downloaded from the exam board website, he wasn't given any by school.

Ooopsadaisy Tue 07-Jun-11 13:20:31

inthesticks - is the school offering revision sessions?

DS's school is doing them from 7.45am. Obviously you only attend the ones you are taking exams in but the aim is to allow a bit of organised "downtime" before exams for those who need it, or "cramming" time for those who are under-prepared. Teachers are also there for reassurance/support/humour.

School also provide breakfast free of charge.

DS is motivated by bacon sandwiches grin.

Hullygully Tue 07-Jun-11 13:23:56

Make him do it.

nagynolonger Tue 07-Jun-11 13:29:39

We were sent exam time table through the post along with details of revision web sites. DS is in year 11 and has been doing past papers but leaving out the questions he couldn't do. When we suggested he looked through his notes he didn't appear to have any! We do have text books that our older DC used so DH went through a few things with him.....all very last minuet.
He was more organised for his science revision but did nothing for other subjects apart from turn up to revision classes after school.

Ooopsadaisy Tue 07-Jun-11 13:38:51

Hullygully - how would you go about that then?

Lancelottie Tue 07-Jun-11 14:05:09

Ah yes, after-school revision classes. DS comes home by taxi, so would have to organise in advance to go to any of these... which appears to be a conceptual step too far.

Not to mention that, according to him, he has Never Heard Of The Subject (when you ask whether he could do to brush up on, say, surds, or cumulative probability). OP, maybe your stepson's school has actually taught the subjects already rather than relying on introducing them all in the final week, as DS would appear to be claiming?

On the plus side, my maths technique has been nicely brushed up by a fortnight of hammering it into the boy's head.

inthesticks Tue 07-Jun-11 14:35:10

DS brought home exam timetable weeks ago. As he's only Y10 he isn't doing all his GCSEs just Maths and English.
The school offers intervention lessons, but only for those not reaching their predicted grades.
Rural school so most children go in by bus. Parents have to collect if kids attend after school stuuf.No specific revision sessions.
DS1s maths exercise books are useless as they just consist of answers - no questions. DS2 has a different maths teacher who makes them write out the question as well as the answer. He complained bitterly about this hardship until he came to revise for a test and it all paid off.

noblegiraffe Tue 07-Jun-11 14:36:12

If he claims that the school hasn't given him any work to do (which is probably not true unless his school is dire), then I'd take him to WHSmiths and buy him an appropriate revision guide and make him work through that.

He should be revising for these modules, they form a reasonable percentage of his final grade. As a teacher, I'd be really annoyed if any of my students weren't putting any work in at home.

Hullygully Tue 07-Jun-11 14:37:55

Ooopsadaisy - er, tell him to do it.

Nell799 Tue 07-Jun-11 15:07:32

OK revision books sound like a good idea. We will pop into WHSmith this evening. Will also look at the exam board and see if we can find past papers. Thanks for your replies.

enidroach Tue 07-Jun-11 16:38:39

My DD1 revised so much in year 10 but my dd2 who has sat 2 modules a couple of weeks ago and has her maths on Monday could not care less - it has been a hard job to get her to revise.

If the school has not been doing past papers I would definetly download these from the exam board, especially at this stage. Seems my DD has not learnt anything in Maths and we seem to be trying to do the syllabus from scratch - ahh!! I find the past papers best at this late stage as you can then pinpoint where weaknesses are and work on those. It also gives them practice in managing their time (5 minutes per question etc) and may terrify them into doing something (if the results are poor). Also look up the raw mark grade boundaries for the past papers - my DD thought she was doing awful in her biology past papers but it turned out that 50% in it would give you a B.

Good luck

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