16th April 2018

GCSE Revision Tips for Parents

Mr A Walton-McBain, Deputy Headteacher

High Storrs GCSE Revision Tips - for Parents

We are so proud of our students. They have worked so hard during their time at school and are fast approaching the point where they can display all that they have learnt, and unlock the door to an exciting future. We know you cannot help them in the exam itself; however there are some simple things you can do at home to help support them during the revision process and exams.

Below is a list of simple suggestions that some parents have found useful in the past. The list is by no means exhaustive, and we encourage you to find information from other sources too (please see link below):

  1. Ensure there is a quiet space in the house, free from distractions that your son or daughter can use while revising. Try to protect this as far as you can. It does not take much to distract a teenager from revision, so do your best to reduce or remove any unnecessary distractions especially mobile phones!
  2. Make sure they have all the equipment they need. They should (hopefully) have revision guides, revision notes of some sort, access to exam-style questions (and mark schemes), checklists or course requirements, calculators and plenty of stationery! Make sure they begin the process equipped and ready.
  3. Encourage your son or daughter to begin revision earlier in the day (try to start at or before 8:00am). This may not be a popular suggestion, however many are persuaded when they realise that a guilt-free afternoon of relaxation is far superior to a more stressful morning looking ahead to a few hours of revision later in the day.
  4. Check their revision schedules. Your son or daughter was provided with a blank revision timetable to complete during their PSHE sessions, though they were also encouraged to make their own if they preferred. Well planned and organised revision is essential to make sure that your child covers all of the topics required for each subject area.
  5. Make sure that they stick to no more than 30-35 minute ‘chunks’ of revision at any sitting. Within this time, there should be allowance for a 5-minute review of what they have just covered. Research has shown that concentration levels are most effective over frequent but short periods, so do remind them of this. Breaks are important!
  6. Ask them what they have covered at the end of the day and help them plan for the next. Congratulate them on what they have achieved. It is easy for some students to focus on all they need to revise and lose track of all the work that they have covered. Recognition of this will help them stay positive. Have them tell you what they will be covering the next day and make sure they have gathered what they need in preparation for this.
  7. Offer help. Some students would welcome the opportunity for someone to test them on a topic, especially with cue cards, or mark some questions using a mark scheme. If you have time to help, offer it if you can.
  8. Encourage a healthy work-life balance. Rest and relaxation is an absolute must, so encourage your son or daughter to plan for this too (something active would be preferable). It will be of no use to them to work solidly over Easter only to come back feeling tired and jaded.
  9. Encourage high quality sleep. Staying up late is not beneficial to high quality work. Research shows that the use of iPads, tablets and mobile phones just before bedtime overstimulates the brain and leads to poor quality sleep. Phones and tablets should be switched off at least 30 minutes before bed.
  10. Allow or encourage revision notes and posters to be stuck around the home. Gulp! Perhaps not very popular, but revision notes stuck in places used often (such as the toilet, or wardrobe etc.) could prove useful, especially with subjects that require memorisation of quotes and facts, such as geography, English and history.
  11. Diet. Do what you can to encourage a healthy and regular diet during the revision process, especially in terms of staying hydrated by drinking water. Binging on sweets, chocolates and fizzy drinks is tempting, but will ultimately not help them when it comes to revision!

Useful Links:

http://lifemoreextraordinary.com/