Year 11 Final Preparation for Public Examinations 2023

A group of Leigh Academy students are photographed sitting together at their desks, looking at their laptops and smiling.

Dear Students, Parents & Carers,

We would like to congratulate our Year 11 students for reaching the final module of Key Stage 4 and to recognise the effort and engagement they are making towards achieving results they can be proud of. Arguably these last few weeks as we approach the examination window are critical. Until 15th May, when the main body of the examinations start, Year 11s will follow their normal timetable. After this they will continue to be in school full-time and will continue to follow their usual timetabled lesson. This will only be interrupted by subject master class sessions and examinations. This is a vital part of our raising attainment strategy and has a huge and positive impact on student outcomes. There is a link to next week’s schedule here, and I will continue to post weekly updates in the Year 11 Google Classroom and email them to you.

Students who have undertaken a vocational or practical subject may be in a position where they have completed the course and are not required to make any resubmissions. These students need to bring revision materials with them if they are in classes where the course is complete and there are no further assessments or examinations.

Any changes to a student’s timetable will be shared with parents and carers in advance. Students will be able to check any changes as they will be displayed outside the college admin areas, and will also be posted on the Year 11 Google Classroom.

We will be offering a range of Year 11 revision classes during the May-Half Term Break from Tuesday 30th May – Friday 2nd June. Further details about signing up to sessions will be sent to you shortly.

I would also like to draw your attention to the Year 11 Leavers’ Assembly on the morning of Friday 23rd June for Year 11 students. More information about this will follow in due course.

Our Post-16 Taster Days will be taking place on 10th and 11th July. Please make a note of this in your diaries. We are currently oversubscribed and attendance at these two days add to a student’s ranking to secure their place at Post-16 at The Leigh Academy. Full details of these two days will be explained in a letter at the start of Module 6.

Links to examinations information can be found here or on the academy website. OFQUAL, the qualifications regulatory body have also published a letter to parents, that you can access here. Ofqual has also produced a student guide to examinations and assessments in 2023, giving you more information, so both you and your child know what to expect this summer. I have attached this to this letter.

They have also worked with experts to produce a guide for students and parents on coping with exam pressure, to help them prepare.

Uniform & Behaviour

For all school days and formal examinations, the same uniform standards are expected as found on our website. All students are to wear full school uniform every day.

Additionally, our usual high standards of behaviour are expected for the duration. If these standards are not met, The Leigh Academy behaviour policy will be applied by staff in its usual way.

Please see the attached ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ and do not hesitate to contact me should you have any further questions or requirements.

Yours faithfully,

Head of Mandela College, Leading on Examinations

Frequently Asked Questions

Will there be study leave?

There is no study leave as per DfE guidance. In any case, research shows student attainment is positively impacted with supervised and subject specialist revision sessions and master classes. However, you will notice that towards the end of examinations (after half term) there will be times that students are not expected in school. We will communicate this to parents closer to the time. We aim to support our students as much as possible with specialist teacher revision sessions and master classes.

If my child is in a lesson where the exam are finished will they be able to revise?

Yes. Students will need to bring revision to do for these lessons.

Will my child be expected in school once all their examinations are finished?
Once all of your child’s examinations have finished, they will not be required in school. This is no earlier than 16th June. Before this they will be expected in for revision sessions/normal lessons. Reminders will be sent to parents each week.

What are the National Contingency Days (NCD)?

There are 3 days that exam boards have identified as backup exam days, just in case there is a national emergency which means examinations can’t go ahead across the country on the scheduled day. Students are expected to plan to be in the local area on these days. All students will be in school on the first day.

  • NCD 1: 8th June 2023
  • NCD 2: 15th June 2023
  • NCD 3: 28th June 2023

What should do if my child is absent during the exam period?

During the exam period, normal absence arrangements remain in place and you will need to contact the absence line as normal if your child is missing school. Students must provide evidence of any medical appointments before being allowed to leave school.

What should do if my child is too unwell to attend an exam?

If at all possible, your child should attend examinations. The examination Board do not guarantee special consideration and, even if they do, it generally will not be as much as if your child sat the exam. If your child is too unwell to attend an exam, the examination board expects evidence from a medical professional, such as a Doctor’s note, before any special consideration can be applied for. It is worth noting that they will not award a grade at all if a student misses more than 50% of a particular subject’s examinations. For example, if there are two examinations in a subject, they must have sat one of those for a grade to be awarded (even if there is medical evidence). If there is another reason your child is away from school, for example, a bereavement, please let us know as soon as possible. Please note, the exam boards do not necessarily grant special consideration for this. Medical evidence should be sent both to your College Admins and the examinations office on the following emails.

Will the school maintain its high standards and calm behaviour during examinations?

We know that calm focus is the best way to cope with demands of the examinations. We will provide consistency for our students by continuing with our normal basic expectations. Please make sure your child understands this and supports staff by not unnecessarily challenging with uniform, time keeping and behaviour. Sticking to our routines supports students in keeping calm and focused.

What can I do to support my child during examinations?

Send them to school – students will have a clear idea of what they need to learn, and can sometimes feel they don’t have enough time at school. However, their teachers are experienced in supporting students to achieve in examinations and the teaching/revising during examinations is a vital part of our exam success. Research shows that four hours of private study equates to one hour with a teacher.

Revise in chunks – three sessions of 25 minutes subdivided into smaller activities with a 5 minute break are the most effective. After the third session they should take a longer break.

Keeping them calm and providing a perspective – students can feel overwhelmed before examinations, but our students are experienced as they have completed three sets of trial examinations. Although these are higher stakes, they will mostly be able to manage their examinations because of their experience. Remind them they can do this and don’t get dragged into the drama. If the adults around the child believe a child can self-regulate, manage their feelings then they are more likely be able to. If you are concerned your child is not coping at all please contact their College.

Good food and good sleep – a good routine, including encouraging your child to remove their phone from their bedroom or block social media, however controversial, will help them manage. Although they are young adults, they can’t always manage a productive routine as they will feel there is always more to do. You may need to be firm and make sure there is down time.

Encourage them to focus on what they know – remind your child that the examiner wants to see what students know, not what they don’t. They do know a lot.