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Holidaying before GCSE's?

(53 Posts)
TreacherousPissFlap Sat 26-Oct-19 11:15:45

Yay or nay?
Thinking of possibly Easter holidays or May half term for a few days. DS is adamant that it needs to be revision only (school is very academic and quite rightly are pressing home the importance of exams)

I feel that a break would do him good. He can revise either morning or afternoon and we can go out in the other half. It will obviously be a very different holiday to what we normally have but it's only a one off. OTOH, it seems a bit harsh to drag him off on a holiday he doesn't want to go on shock

OP’s posts: |
weeblefeet Sat 26-Oct-19 11:20:19

Schools usually do Easter and half term revision sessions and May half term is in the middle of the exam period so definitely not

RedskyToNight Sat 26-Oct-19 11:20:37

Well my son is work avoidant, so there is no way I would put the opportunity of distraction in his way.

It sounds like your DS is more committed, so I'd maybe consider a few days over Easter (although our school runs revision sessions over the Easter holiday - does yours?). May half term would be a definite no - they wouldn't get any benefit of the holiday if they are revising/stressing about exams half the time!
But equally if he said he didn't want to as he wanted to focus on revision, I would absolutely accept that.

xyzandabc Sat 26-Oct-19 11:22:30

Maybe a few days at Easter just for a change of scenery but nothing big. May half term is in the middle of exams, not before, so definitely not then.

Berthatydfil Sat 26-Oct-19 11:25:15

He doesn’t want to go away. Don’t go. Exam season is stressful enough without making it more difficult for him

Branleuse Sat 26-Oct-19 11:26:26

Easter maybe but definitely not May half term. Why risk it. Could be the difference between a grade

Answerthequestion Sat 26-Oct-19 11:26:33

Absolutely not. I wouldn’t have considered a break in either of those breaks. The last thing they need is disruption or a change of scene, it’s a time to be at home I’m familiar surroundings

BendingSpoons Sat 26-Oct-19 11:29:55

Don't go. He doesn't want to. When I did my GCSEs I revised at Easter. I did still do other things in the afternoon but I would have felt more pressured trying to enjoy a holiday and work. Do you have other children? A few days away after GCSEs would be nice if possible.

LittleAndOften Sat 26-Oct-19 11:35:11

If he doesn't want to, don't force it. Be proud that you have such a lovely, conscientious son! May half term has exams either side, so that would be particularly bad timing.

TreacherousPissFlap Sat 26-Oct-19 12:03:58

Hmm, perhaps I am being utterly unreasonable then!

We already have a bit of a special holiday planned for when the exams are over so it's not like we will be going without a break.

He's revising already, daily sessions as per the revision planner - I definitely don't recognise myself in my own dear child grin

OP’s posts: |
TwoRedShoes Sat 26-Oct-19 12:06:08

You've got the rest of your life to go on holiday... he's taking it all very seriously. Be glad you got one of those hard-workers, not a shirker! Like mine!

MissMarpletheMurderer Sat 26-Oct-19 12:06:15

Our school do Easter revision and teaching sessions. Yabu

Pieceofpurplesky Sat 26-Oct-19 12:08:28

I am taking DS away for a couple of days to somewhere relevant to his course (and somewhere we both want to go). We are going to Berlin and will visit all the places linked to WW2. We will also see the city and get time to chill a bit.

pointythings Sat 26-Oct-19 12:19:27

It depends on the child and you and he between you have to be the judge of that. My DDs were both the burn yourself out type so we did go away for a week at Easter with zero revision, and we had 2 days at May half term. The break worked as a reset and allowed them to go in hard afterwards and feel refreshed. They both did extremely well. Thing is, they both wanted to go, recognising it would be good for them. If not revising is going to stress your DS out then I wouldn't go.

In school holiday revision sessions aren't compulsory, btw.

RuthW Sat 26-Oct-19 12:23:05

My dd wouldn't go on hol from feb in the years of all her exams. No was should you make him. It's all about the revision

LoveGrowsWhere Sat 26-Oct-19 12:27:55

It's a half-baked holiday if you're planning half of each day revising. I wouldn't go as I think on this the DC opinion carries weight.

LolaSmiles Sat 26-Oct-19 12:35:09

I always tell my students to revise little and often throughout the year, so they can make time for hobbies, friends and family time. It's so important that they maintain a reasonable balance and perspective during their GCSE year whilst working hard.

Cramming isn't effective revision and I suspect the millions of hours it's more about students feeling like they're doing something, regardless of how effective it is. If he uses more effective revision strategies for example, he could learn more quicker and have a bit more free time

I'd avoid May half term, but a short break in Easter for a diligent student who has kept on top of their revision would probably be a helpful break (as long as they can switch off and not spend the whole weekend worrying about revision).

TeenPlusTwenties Sat 26-Oct-19 12:53:03

A short break at Easter 4 or 5 days, maybe to recharge before the final slog, but I wouldn't commit to anything more than that. You can always do a last minute 3 days if he wants at the time.
This definitely needs to be led by the DC, if they don't want to go, then don't go.

Theovertoad Sat 26-Oct-19 16:49:54

Agree with teen
A few days tops .. booked last minute and if *they feel they need a break and can factor it in.
They’ll finish school as soon as exams are over so you could book some time away before summer holidays start?

TreePeepingWatcher Sat 26-Oct-19 18:05:29

Revision sessions by school are usually the first week of Easter holidays. There is no way Ds would have given up an opportunity to study. Dropping a few marks on each paper does affect grades. As Ds's friends found on on results day. Maybe have a look at grade boundaries to see how tight some of them were.

I wouldn't want to put my children in a position of wondering if they hadn't gone on holiday would their grade be higher?

Easter is an opportunity to revise for exams that fall before May half term, so in Ds's case

2 papers for English Lit,
2 papers for Computer Science,
3 paper 1s for science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
1 maths paper.

May half term is smack bang in the middle of GCSEs and an opportunity to revise for the exams coming up afterwards. Which were

3 history papers,
2 maths papers,
3 science papers
3 German papers,
2 English Lang papers
2 Statistics papers.

Maybe when you see it laid out like that it might make you see how many exams they do. And yes, Ds did achieve incredible grades, but he worked for them.

Ds then enjoyed 10 weeks off school from the end of GCSEs until he started sixth form. That is the time for a holiday.

TeenPlusTwenties Sat 26-Oct-19 18:26:20

I think any breaks Easter/May should be viewed as what down time will benefit the DC, rather than 'family holiday'. Working full pace from Feb half term to end June isn't sensible, but different DC will need their down time in different ways.
We were worried re ramping back up again in the May half term if too long a break were taken. For DD we felt it better to have a couple of single days off but otherwise keep going at a steady pace with an eye on the end as motivation to keep going.

crazycrofter Sat 26-Oct-19 18:27:18

DD’s school (highly academic, more than 90% grades 7-9) don’t organise revision sessions in the holidays. They do organise school trips though, including the Spanish exchange and the silver D of E expedition, both of which are for year 11s and fall in the Easter holidays this year.

Therefore I assume they think there should be some balance, kids need a bit of a break etc. Dd will be away three days on the D of E expedition. There will still be plenty of time for revision. I really don’t think life should be put on hold all year!

Punxsutawney Sat 26-Oct-19 18:37:49

Ds is year 11 and we are going abroad for Christmas this year. His school don't organise holiday revision but we won't go away again after this until next summer. Ds has had a terribly stressful 18 months and he won't be reaching his potential in his gcses or managing lots of revision but we will be at home and I will be encouraging as much as I can.

ErrolTheDragon Sat 26-Oct-19 18:45:49

DD didn't want to go away on holiday in the Easter and May halfterms before GCSEs, AS and A levels - so we just had a few good days out to break things up a bit. This worked well for her.

HugoSpritz Sat 26-Oct-19 19:22:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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