Academic Update

Academic Update

Exam fortnight for Years 7-10*

The key focus for Years 7-10 right now is the end of year exams, which start on Monday 19th June. The exam timetable for all year groups is in the following location on the website so that you have a daily overview of the exams taking place and can therefore monitor revision:

 As usual, where possible, revision materials will be on Show My Homework, otherwise they will be in photocopied booklets. If there are any issues accessing these, please do get in touch with classroom teachers straight away.

*All of Year 10’s exams will take place during the week beginning 19/06/17

The importance of reading

 The famous screenwriter and journalist Nora Ephron once said, “Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I have accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on”. At Chelsea Academy, we share the view that reading is of vital importance to the development of our young people in terms of the impact it has across their curriculum in improving their vocabulary, widening their world view, and giving them an opportunity to reflect and form their own views across a range of themes. To that end, we will be providing a reading list for every subject in the next CA Update, especially with an eye on the upcoming summer holidays. Studies have shown that students who read during the long summer break continue to make educational progress, so we would strongly encourage you to promote reading with your son or daughter during the holiday period.

New GCSEs (9-1) advice

 At a recent Curriculum Leaders meeting, we asked everyone what the greatest challenges of the new courses were, how we are overcoming them and what changes we might need to make to the format of intervention. Here are some of the key points that we thought would be useful to share for both students and parents:

  • Given the fact that most courses are now assessed exclusively through exams at the end of Year 11, a lot of testing of students’ recall of facts and formulae through mini-plenaries and quick-fire tests, as well as the longer assessments will take place. This means it will be important for them to constantly go back over topics and test themselves on small chunks of learning.

  • Because there is no controlled assessment any more, students’ on-going completion and best effort in IL takes on even greater importance, as IL always serves to consolidate and extend knowledge. It was agreed in many subject areas that whereas in the past, intervention sessions have focused on controlled assessment, they would be more geared towards bringing students back to complete IL. The new GCSE courses are interesting and manageable, but only if students are prepared to engage in independent study as well as lessons.

  • One key theme that also came not only from the meeting but also from the Year 11s themselves following the first ever 9-1 English exams, was that the students should practice timed exam questions, so that they know if they are going to have enough time to complete the paper. It seems that this can be quite a challenge, so is well worth practising.

Best of luck to all students in Years 7-10 in their end of year exams, and to students in Years 11-13 who still have their last few exams remaining.

Yours sincerly,

Tom Cragg
Vice Principal – Curriculum

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