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Is cancelling study leave the done thing now?

(53 Posts)
ShinyShinyShiny Fri 06-May-16 16:55:06

DSS has just come home with a letter telling parents that study leave has been cancelled and that students have to attend their usual lessons around their exams but they will be used as revision sessions.

Poor DSS is quite worried about this as his most effective revision is done in his own surroundings and in total silence rather than in the classroom environment. He is also worried about the lack of down time between exams and that jumping straight from a maths exam into an English revision session isn't ideal, which I agree with.

His school had a below par set of GCSE results last year which is why I think they are keeping his year group on a tighter leash. Apparently DSS's form tutor told them it's because the government won't let children leave school before 18 so they can't revise at home hmm but there's a chance that might have been lost in translation.

Is this the norm now? Or are most GCSE students still finishing for study leave at half term?

noblegiraffe Fri 06-May-16 17:02:49

The DfE has certainly clamped down on study leave because some schools were effectively turfing their Y11s out on the street around Easter time. Now study leave is only supposed to be granted in the exam period and is an authorised absence (don't know how that affects attendance figures).

Given how every grade now counts in league table performance measures, many schools now hang onto their kids as long as possible. My school offers study leave after half term, but students have to come in for timetabled revision sessions.

ShinyShinyShiny Fri 06-May-16 17:07:35

That makes a lot of sense. They did originally have a combination of timetabled revision sessions, informal drop in sessions with teachers and independent study time (in library or at home) but the independent has all gone.

Poor DSS is so stressed. I don't remember GCSEs being anywhere near this pressured 20 years ago in my day.

PotteringAlong Fri 06-May-16 17:09:19

My school has not had study leave for the last decade at least. Much better to be in school revising

alltouchedout Fri 06-May-16 17:12:36

I can see why they do it but I always, always revised better at home (not in silence though. For some reason my brain works best with music playing LOUDLY. And if I hear any of Radiohead's Pablo Honey now I can suddenly remember all sorts of GCSE facts) than at school.

thatsn0tmyname Fri 06-May-16 17:15:48

We now hang onto our Year 11s until half term. Schools are under pressure to keep attendance up and ensure students are making best use of their time.

BackforGood Fri 06-May-16 17:18:41

Agree with others, it's far less than it used to be 'back in the day', and that's a god thing IMO.
My experience though is that they generally are in school up until May 1/2 term now and then get leave once the bulk of the exams are running.

MsMermaid Fri 06-May-16 17:22:49

We now keep y11 til a week after may half term. It does seem to help the majority of pupils, because they are actually forced to do revision. There are always some pupils who would prefer a different way of working, and who would benefit from study leave, but schools cater for the majority.

Icouldbeknitting Fri 06-May-16 17:40:58

Here study leave starts on the day of the last exam, up until then it's classes as usual unless there are specific study sessions running.

roguedad Fri 06-May-16 17:43:09

I would not tolerate a school that did not offer study leave (specially in 6th form). It's vital that kids, especially the brighter ones, are allowed to focus entirely on revision and not have a timetable (that may have no relation to their particular exams) that disrupts it, let alone the time wasted chatting, travelling and generally farting around in school. Optional revision classes are fine. OP - I'd make the case to the school that your kid works better in quiet isolation and make it clear that the time at home will be spent on revision and not playing computer games. There was some evidence I think that weaker boys had a tendency to mess around on screens at home and not revise, and it's fine to try to stop that, but it should not prejudice the focused revision plans of others. Schools do need to cater for individuals here.

MaureenMLove Fri 06-May-16 17:56:15

We keep ours until the core subject are all done, then ween them out, depending on they've got left. It's bloody hard work keeping the entire cohort in lessons and we spend half the day rounding them up and putting them in a classroom. It is not the easy option, I can tell you! grin. We're already struggling, because the arts are our specialism and those exams are done. That means a lot of students have no structure to lessons for at least 6 hours a week already!

I'd much rather they were off site, but I do get why most schools do it now. We do put some of our more challenging students on 'extended exam leave' though, iykwim!grin

MaureenMLove Fri 06-May-16 17:56:51

6th form do get study leave btw!

ClashCityRocker Fri 06-May-16 18:08:02

When I was at school, we finished at Easter for study leave.

In someways it was great, as it meant I could focus on weaker subjects rather than wasting time on things I was already confident in and the revision skills I picked up have helped massively later on in life with professional exams.

However, much of my cohort just treated it as an extended holiday until the final week then crammed or not as the case may be and would have benefitted from some actual structure.

What I don't agree with is having lessons around the exams. Surely they need down time before and after the exams? I would have thought most would perform better if they did so. I don't understand the reasoning behind that one and would certainly be challenging that aspect.

ShinyShinyShiny Fri 06-May-16 18:10:36

I don't have PR for DSS so it's up to DH and DSS's Mum to discuss any communication with the school, it's really helpful to get a feel for what other schools are doing.

His timetable is rammed, straight from the exam hall to a lesson with no down time at all.

OhYouBadBadKitten Fri 06-May-16 18:26:45

dds school is half term. But by then the bulk of the exams are over. They still have to go in for revision sessions. If they don't, no prom.

FuzzyWizard Fri 06-May-16 18:40:15

I'm a teacher. Three years ago my school got rid of study leave. A lot of staff (including me) and students were a bit sceptical. A lot said they revise better at home. Teachers said they'd be a handful and wouldn't work well. The results are so much better though. We were a very average school in terms of results. We've been top of our borough league table by a significant margin every year since we ditched study leave. It sounds stressful but actually, in our school at least, those lessons are often really great for revision and learning. The kids inevitably end up in small classes with a lot of one-to-one attention because out of a class of 25 you might have 8 out in an exam and another 5 out doing revision for another exam. I wasn't a fan of the idea in theory but in practice it works really well.

YeOldeTrout Fri 06-May-16 18:43:43

DS has exams every day in Monday 16 May - Friday 27 May.
Then 5 exam days in June, 8th - 17th.
I expect he'll do feck all after that. and before
I know nothing about study leave, but it's understood the yr11s don't go in from 27 June onwards.

Iwantacampervan Fri 06-May-16 18:44:05

My daughter has to attend school full time until half term - she has to go to all timetabled lessons until she has completed the exams in the subject. After half term she can choose whether to be in school but must attend lessons/revision classes if the subject hasn't been 'finished'. She would rather study at home but if she doesn't get the early morning bus then it's difficult for her to get into school.

TeenAndTween Fri 06-May-16 19:36:46

We had the same as Iwanta last year for DD1.

But actually after half term I pulled her out of revision lessons for all but English as I was revising with her 1-1 at home which was more effective for her.

NatashaRomanoff Fri 06-May-16 19:41:41

I left school 11 years ago and didn't have study leave. It's still the highest performing state school in the area.

RedHelenB Fri 06-May-16 19:54:07

Sod it - if he revises best at home then home is where he should be. I could think of nothing worse than revising in a class for subjects I wasn't doing that day and then having an exam.

RalphSteadmansEye Fri 06-May-16 19:58:52

I think it's probably true that staying in school longer works better overall, but for some individuals it could be a complete nightmare.

I can only study/revise in complete silence and so can ds. Revision sessions in schools are far from silent.

So pleased ds is at an independent school where staying in school is optional. His grades would definitely suffer, not improve, from studying in class.

ShinyShinyShiny Fri 06-May-16 20:08:50

This is my worry, I can see how it could work for the grades of a year group as a whole and that they need to cater for the major yet etc, but DSS has worked so hard this year and I'd hate for him to suffer as a result of this.

If nothing else, he is going to be exhausted as he is convinced he will need to revise in the evenings as the school revision lessons won't be productive for him and with no breathing space between the exams and more lessons he could burn out.

ShinyShinyShiny Fri 06-May-16 20:10:37

I didn't have study leave at school for my GCSEs, I boarded and it wasn't practical to let people go home. We did have optional revision sessions but we also had lots of private study time that could be done in the classrooms, the library or our individual studies which worked well for everyone.

Ionacat Fri 06-May-16 20:15:00

One of my form used to be like this, lovely girl. I used to let her revise in my office when she had general revision sessions instead of subjects she finished the exams in. (Just emailed the member of staff saying she was with me.) In return she'd make me a cuppa! So it might be worth having a word with his form tutor.

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