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End of year 7 advice..

(32 Posts)
miffyandsnoopy Mon 16-May-16 14:37:41

Hi, my DS is approaching the end of year 7. Recently we went to parents evening and evidently DS has made a good impression, each teacher we met discussed the fast approaching end of year exams, urging him to aim for 2 hours of revision a night and explaining that if he puts the work in he is more than capable of being put into the top sets in year 8. So, we've made up a timetable of revision. Yesterday was the first day DS started it, he found it very difficult, and he ended up having a temper tantrum and he asked me to sit with him and do the revision with him which I'm happy to do.
I'm worried now, as I don't want him to feel pressured and overwhelmed, I certainly don't expect him to be slogging away and getting perfect grades for all of these subjects, I'm wondering if he really needs to revise for 'every' subject?!? He's even got PE revision! He hates PE, and there are other subjects such as English, mathematics, science, History and French (his favourite subject) that I wonder if he would be best to focus on rather than cramming in hours of revision for things that aren't essential, such as PE and textiles! that he doesn't have any intention of progressing with when he makes his 'choices' at the end of year 8?
I just don't like to see him struggling/feeling pressured.
I'm just wondering if people on here have already experienced the end of year exams and how you dealt with/made it work for you, with your children.

Traalaa Mon 16-May-16 16:27:22

Two hours a night?! I honestly think that's ridiculous for year 7 and if it's on top of homework it's even worse! How long does the school normally expect them to spend on homework each night? I'd say stick to that, or at most add an extra half an hour.

Decorhate Mon 16-May-16 18:16:31

Two hours is excessive at this age. It's Y7 not A Levels. Obv you want him to do his best but they will probably be revising in class anyway.

Is this a state school? I would be quite surprised if they base next year's sets on one exam

HSMMaCM Mon 16-May-16 18:28:29

If the tantrum was because he didn't understand it and was happy for you to help, then carry on supporting him. It is great that he talks to you about it. If it all becomes too much, then cut down and ignore the subjects you don't care about.

amidawish Mon 16-May-16 18:37:33

I'll be getting dd to do a bit of revision over the half term, go over languages vocab, maths topics, read over science, history, geography books. That will be it!

Certainly won't be encouraging much for non core subjects that she doesn't enjoy and will be dropping soon.

Peanutbutterrules Mon 16-May-16 18:40:43

We were told 1.5 hours on top of homework. Which made DD's head explode. The only way we could do this was if she cancelled most of her after school sports for a month before exams (she needs her sleep so staying up til 9/9:30 would do her in).

She's ended up doing 2 hrs each day at the weekend. 30-45 minutes during the week. I've not pushed on topics I'm not overly fussed about but have ensured she's spent the time on what she cares about.

Exams start this week so we'll see....if it doesn't go well then we'll be 'following orders' next year!

Oh....and yes...she gets set according to exam results as well. Sets are based on exam results only.

prepeduc Mon 16-May-16 18:50:49

FWIW that's way beyond what's expected in a very academic, scholarship-focused prep school's year 7, too. How about starting at the other end, by making a list of what needs to be learned and having a plan based on that? I can't believe a year 7 child who's been keeping up needs two hours a day, unless exams start next week and revision isn't started or something!

mathsmum314 Mon 16-May-16 18:58:54

Two hours is GCSE level.

Y7 end of year exams for us was 90 mins, including homework. But only the week or two before the exams. Rest of Y7 DS usually did 2x30 mins additional formal study if no homework and only 1x30 mins additional work if homework was set. Always being flexible around after school activities. Outside of exam time extra work was never curriculum stuff.

IMO unless your child is going to go on doing them, Pe, Drama, Art, DT, Music, was never revised. Concentrate (if you know) on core subjects and ones that you will carry forward.

Mirandawest Mon 16-May-16 19:05:21

Should ds be doing intensive revision? Should probably ask him. He's at a pretty academic state school but as far as I know there's no specific revision meant to be happening. I realise he could be not telling me of course...

lljkk Mon 16-May-16 19:14:08

DS studied for 20 minutes each night before each "exam". That was plenty.
DS's "exams" were 45 minutes and really the same as all the other assessments he's had all yr, so only incremental material, not a full overview of all other material covered over the yr.

I don't know what happens if you send your kids to a "superselective grammar". Presumably you knew what you were signing up for when you did choose that, that it was meant to be a workhouse environment.

Peanutbutterrules Mon 16-May-16 20:06:49

DD's exams are full year; so different from end of term assessments.

At the first yr 7 parents event they did say that getting into good habits for revising a years' worth of material in yr 7 paid off at GCSE's as it all seems less daunting if it's been done each year.

ErgonomicallyUnsound Mon 16-May-16 20:13:28

I don't know what happens if you send your kids to a "superselective grammar". Presumably you knew what you were signing up for when you did choose that, that it was meant to be a workhouse environment.


DS is at a SS. Just had a timetable for exams, and an email suggesting they do a bit of revision to get them into good habits for the coming years. Hardly workhouse! (He also gets a very meagre amount of homework the rest of the year, way way less than his friends at other schools) Don't believe everything you read on MN....

EarthboundMisfit Mon 16-May-16 20:16:06

Wow! Nothing like that here even in highly selective schools.

PurpleRibbons Mon 16-May-16 20:18:48

I clearly remember having a tantrum over revision at that age because everyone was telling me to revise but I didn't really understand what to do. My lovely mum took me out to a castle to "revise history" for the rest of the day then we started afresh the next day with specific targets and tried all different revision strategies. I have actually loved revision and exams ever since and really enjoy doing revision lessons with my year 11 classes at school! It sounds to me like he just needs a bit of help.

PiqueABoo Mon 16-May-16 22:20:25

Given that I think the question is valid for DD's comp, why the [bleep] would children at a SS need all that time to become accustomed to national exams?

DD already had enough pratice in KS2. Yearly optional SATs. Real SATs etc. Yes not necessarily spaced out in a hall, but otherwise much the same.

AChickenCalledKorma Mon 16-May-16 22:27:08

Which subjects are set in year 8? And which subjects is he likely to choose for GCSE? Those are the ones to focus the revision on, if the exams actually matter.

miffyandsnoopy Tue 17-May-16 09:16:14

Thanks for all of your replies. My DS is at a good SS, it does seem too much. Last night we delved into 1.5hrs revision together (he's finding doing the hw and revision hard to cope with independently)
I'm having a rethink, the subjects that he enjoys are French, History, IT and Computing and Geography so those along with English, Maths and Science are the ones im going to get him to focus on.
The rest ill get him to skim through his work books a day or too before the exam to give a brief recap.
It was weird at parent evening, they gave really mixed signals. On the one hand they were saying don't worry about the exams, but on the other they were urging planning, revision and really focusing on the importance of results in order to get into high sets in year 8, they also mentioned that these results will be used to decide who gets first pick of their 'choices'. So no pressure then!!

BertrandRussell Tue 17-May-16 09:20:28

If they expect 2 hours a night on top of homework in year 7, what will they expect in year 11.

Utterly, utterly ridiculous.

BertrandRussell Tue 17-May-16 09:21:28

And what do they mean "first pick of their choices"? Do they mean GCSE options?

notagiraffe Tue 17-May-16 09:23:17

That's crazy. DC go to a very academic school and they did no revision at all at the end of Yr 7. They just had tests to see how they did. Bit of revision end of Yr 8 and now in Yr 9 then are maybe doing 20 mins -1 hour a night instead of not as well as homework. This is from a school that is seen as highly pressured. But clearly not in comparison with some.

notagiraffe Tue 17-May-16 09:24:33

I tell DS2 who has ASD and gets stressed easily not to bother revising for subjects he's dropping for GCSE. It's not a great work ethic, and DH disapproves, but I'd rather have him in a good frame of mind than stressed aged 13!

miffyandsnoopy Tue 17-May-16 09:37:22

BertrandRussell yes, GCSE choices are made at end of year 8 and we were told at parents evening that if there is high demand for a subject then those with the highest end of year 7 exam in said subject will get first dibs!

lljkk Tue 17-May-16 10:37:03

How many options do they get, Miffy? You listed at least 6 as possibilities, most schools don't offer so many.

miffyandsnoopy Tue 17-May-16 11:05:13

I have no idea about the options!?! I hadn't thought about any of this until the parents evening. The only subject I know he 100% wants to stick at is French. I've no idea about the option process, Its a good point though, would be interesting to find out how many they can choose.

lljkk Tue 17-May-16 13:02:18

I only mention the number of options because you seem worried about him having the choice of his favourite subjects, but there may be more favourites than he has options, so not a worry about getting them all.

Also, is he near the bottom of the class in those subjects? Just how limited are the spaces? I just wonder if your son has a quite safe margin for being good enough to get the GCSE options he wants.

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