It is that time of year when year 11 are preparing for their first round of mock examinations, their Core Trials. These mock examinations run over a two-week period from the 11th - 22nd November and focus on the core subjects of English, Maths and Science. The full schedule can be found on the school website here. A further trial examination period for all subjects is held at the end of February, before the summer examinations.
Students and parents have often asked 'why the need to sit mock examinations which can cause stress to students during a difficult year?' It is for this exact reason why we prepare in such a way. To give students a sense of how the summer examinations will feel, to ascertain what challenges lay ahead and to trial different methods of preparation - including how to manage stress - before sitting the exams in the summer.
We can also organise individual support as required, if things are not going fully to plan at this stage. As sports stars often say, ‘it is better to make mistakes in training than in the big match’.
This is both a physically and mentally testing few weeks for Y11, with vital experience of how to deal with the physical demands of writing multiple exams day after day. It gives teaching staff a good indicator of the likely outcomes in the summer and allows students to answer key personal questions such as:
Do I have all the resources I need to revise? Have I planned out my revision effectively? Have I devoted enough time on each subject? Am I using the right revision strategies that work for me? Am I getting enough sleep? Am I getting distracted easily? Am I planning in enough ‘down time’?
Further advice of dealing with the stresses and strains of Year 11 can be found on our dedicated Well being and Mental Health section of our school website here.