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GCSE timetables: do your DC know when their exams are?

(16 Posts)
aliena Tue 14-Jun-11 21:10:41

I didn't know whether to put this in "am I being unreasonable"! My DD is in the middle of GCSEs and is still unclear when some of her exams begin!

We received a letter from the school saying afternoon exams were to begin at 1 "unless specified". DD was given her (incomplete) timetable previously which she gave to me to stick on the fridge. On the first day of exams, DD got to school to be told that the exam was now scheduled for 2. So she had to hang around getting more and more anxious. It then took place at 1.30.

She was even more anxious for the next exam since she didn't know when it was (1? 1.30? 2?).

I then emailed the school asking them to please confirm when afternoon exams would begin and was told to tell DD to get in for 1.30 and that should be alright. I asked whether exam times could be put down in writing somewhere and was told maybe on the school's website.

Well they weren't put on there and then last week when it came to another afternoon exam, DD was texted by several girls in the class asking when the exam began and then the mother of one of the girls texted me as well. So I emailed the school again and then rang when we didn't hear. It was 2 o'clock this time.

Now DD does not know when when the two Biology exams are on Friday. This time she doesn't even know whether they are am or pm. The Biology teacher did not reply to my email when I asked.

I am exhausted with this (not a single exam has started at 1.00 as their letter said they would) and she is fretting about when they are.

What do other schools do with their GCSE timetables? A friend told me that at her school, parents are sent timetables as well with all the times clearly on them. Apparently other schools sometimes display their timetables on noticeboards. Am I being unreasonable to want start times of exams to be made clear and preferably in writing (DD has recently been diagnosed with dyspraxia and can't really be told verbally because then there is room for error).

I know I'm probably being uptight and unreasonable. It is exam season after all and she is my first.

GnomeDePlume Tue 14-Jun-11 21:50:51

My DD has certainly received a timetable printed out showing when things start and where.

Do you know the name of the exams coordinator? When I have had questions I have sent them direct to her. Always seemed to work as I was talking to the horse's mouth!

Goblinchild Tue 14-Jun-11 21:54:31

We have been given detailed individual timetables, hard copy to student, emailed to parent with the full timetable of all the exams on the VLE.
All at the end of April.
My DS has 3 more to do and so far all of his have run to plan.

PonceyMcPonce Tue 14-Jun-11 21:56:36

It would be very odd not to have a personLised statement of entry followed by a personalised timetable. All school info management systems generate them, I think.

Is it possible your dd has misplaced hers? Ask exams manager for a duplicate.

We mail them home, display in student services, show on website and text reminders home. Exams are not usually kept secret! Teachers even mention them sometimes!

mumblechum1 Tue 14-Jun-11 21:57:41

DS got his timetable in early March and stuck it on his wardrobe door. it hasn't changed since then.

Kandinsky Tue 14-Jun-11 22:06:46

We were given a printed out timetable with all the times on months ago. The exams officer at DD's school is not particularly effective or pleasant and there was some confusion about what time they needed to arrive at school prior to each exam or which room they would be in on days when the whole year group were taking the same exam. At a school I used to work at they had one full time and one part time exams officer plus a team of specifically employed invigilators and the exams were extremely efficiently organised. Perhaps it is too much of a job for someone to do as well as teach.

cat64 Tue 14-Jun-11 22:09:30

Message withdrawn

magentadreamer Tue 14-Jun-11 22:36:02

My DD was given a timetable that stated subject, date, time, venue and what desk she was to sit at. She has one exam that is being held when school is closed for a training day. Her Maths teacher gave them a slip reminding them they had an exam on that date and where and when to turn up. Plus a reminder for this exam is on the school web site's front page. I think all bases are covered for DD.

aliena Tue 14-Jun-11 23:01:20

DD only has two timetables which are headed "My Timetable" dated November 2010.

Five exams are missed off them though (long story) and there are no times other than am/ pm. In desperation, I did email the (rather relaxed)Head who suggested perhaps putting exam times on the website but then didn't and said to just turn up at 1.30 each day.

The school have given me the distinct impression that I am ridiculous for even asking what time the exams begin. I was beginning to think I am.

It is not only my DD who does not know the times but several girls in her class. All I wanted was for the school to put things in writing so that we all know where we are. But it's all getting a bit late now (seven exams left).

It is very nice to know from all your responses what other schools do. Thank you.

Meanwhile does anyone know when the Edexcel Biology is on Friday? Morning or afternoon?

PonceyMcPonce Tue 14-Jun-11 23:05:59

Try here

www.edexcel.com/iwantto/I%20want%20to%20%20Tasks/3445%20Examination%20timetable_GCSE%20June%2020116.pdf

MmeBlueberry Wed 15-Jun-11 05:28:07

Exams are set for am or pm each day. The am session starts at 9am and the pm session 1.30 pm. Schools are allowed to vary by 30 minutes each way.

2pm is very late to start, as it means that some A-level papers will run to well after 4pm, or even 5pm if the candidate has extra time.

Students should be given a list of their exam entries in April which they should check and sign. They should not rely on their teacher to do this. I teach Edexcel 360 Science and I have no idea when the papers are, let alone am or pm.

onceamai Wed 15-Jun-11 06:35:37

We have a precise timetable. I wouldn't expect to have anything else and would have written to the headteacher before the start of the exams in your shoes to seek clarification.

mummytime Wed 15-Jun-11 06:47:54

My son has multiple copies of his personal exam timetable, they issue a new one each time something changes. The only ones not on it are things like "Control Technology" which the school decides when they do the exam. There is also a whole exam timetable on the school website with all the exams on it. The only confusion we ever have is where the exams are (big school).

thekidsmom Wed 15-Jun-11 08:44:10

Pathetic organsiation by the school.

the dates for each subject will have been fixed for months but the school can vary start times by a margin for various reasons - eg back to back exams in the morning for candidates can shift the afeternoon exam backwards etc.

But they should have know weeks ago and let you all know

aliena Wed 15-Jun-11 10:23:16

Thank you Poncey. This was very useful.

The school is generally disorganised but I really was not expecting timetables and exam timings to be an issue! It has just become very unsettling for my DD.

When it comes to DD2 doing her GCSEs I now know what should happen. The problem is that the head is very laid back and this attitude I fear has filtered down to staff.

cat64 Wed 15-Jun-11 22:04:46

Message withdrawn

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