Although May and June seems like it’s a long way off, especially for your children, the GCSE exam period will soon come around. Yes, the year may have only just begun, but there is no better time to start preparing your children while also making small changes within your household routine and daily activities to help them achieve top GCSE marks!
The implications of getting good grades are hugely important for your child’s future education. More and more, these qualifications are becoming a deciding factor that can impact their chances of gaining employment as they grow older.
If you’re worrying how you can boost your child’s chances of getting good GCSE grades to help them for years to come, follow our 5 simple steps.
Your child’s school plays a big part in training them up with the skills they need, ready for GCSE exam day. Although it may feel as this part is a little out of your hands, there are still ways you can ensure that they are gaining the right education they need.
- Form an active relationship with your child’s teachers, especially those that teach them for the core GCSE subjects. Let them know that you are wanting to help your child do their best, and that you’d like to know if there are any areas they are struggling in, so you can support them at home.
- Schools should be providing past papers, as well as giving you access to educational websites that can help your child to learn.
- Also ask to see your child’s work books. Compare the questions that the past papers are asking with the type of work your child is learning at school so that you can identify any educational gaps that are missing.
- If there are obvious subjects missing from your child’s lessons, arrange a meeting with the teacher from that subject or your child’s form tutor to discuss how and when they are going to start teaching it.
2. Supportive environment
It is important to make sure your home is a relaxed place to be and a positive, supportive environment to help your kids learn and cope through the stressful exam period.
- Look after their health and wellbeing. Encourage them to get outside and let off some energy, and get them into healthy eating habits such as keeping hydrated with water, always eating a balanced breakfast and leaving the sugary treats for special occasions. The BBC explored the effect that healthy eating had on exam performance. Learn more about the results online.
- Ensure they get enough sleep. Studies have shown that students who had a good night’s sleep performed better on exam day. Making sure their sleeping patterns are good now will serve them well in the future.
- Form a good work ethic with their revision. Don’t make it take over their life, especially in these first few months, but make revising part of their routine so that they are in the habit when exam period draws closer.
3. Structured revision
There are ways you can form a structure for revision that works.
- Start early as this can help your children to ensure everything they are learning at school is clear, and will make them especially confident later on in the year.
- This will help you to adapt your revision approach to their needs. Some children learn by writing, others are visual learners. Starting early can help you form a revision plan that works to their advantage.
- Combine practice papers with other resources to keep revision fun. There are now many apps such as Flashcards+, Gojmo and Revision app that offer games and quizzes to test your kids on their smartphone or tablet. However, to ensure that they are only using these apps and not procrastinating on social media platforms, use these apps when you are there to accompany your child. Other websites such as the BBC education website and Revision World can also help to test their knowledge.
- If time is running out, rather than cramming in as much information as possible, take a targeted approach. Ensure that your child understands the core skills needed to pass the exam and only revise them to ensure they are confident in this, rather than pushing them to learn the more complex subjects. Take a look at School Exams to help understand the methodology and what they will be marked on.
As the pressure to obtain high GCSE grades grows, so does the popularity of tutoring. Around a quarter of UK pupils have now had private tutoring at some point during their education. However, this can be costly but there are some other ways you can boost your child’s learning.
- YouTube is an excellent resource (if used wisely) But watch the videos yourself or get a second opinion from your child’s teacher to ensure the source is trustworthy.
- Using the apps and online resources we listed in the previous section can also help.
- SchoolOnline also offers affordable but valuable tools, providing the targeted learning that your child would achieve if they used a tutor. It offers unique revision material that can’t be found anywhere else on the internet and can be viewed on desktop, tablet or smartphone – whichever your child prefers.
There is no better way to prepare for exams than getting hold of practice papers.
- Your school should be able to provide these but SchoolOnline also provides a catalogue of exam papers to purchase, with video animations to talk your child through how to answer them.
- They particularly help your children to practice timings and methodology as well as core understanding of subjects.
- If your child completes one at home, he, she or you can even mark them yourselves as each video provides full marking breakdowns for each question. You can then use the results to dictate the direction of your next revision session.
By following these steps, you can help your child achieve their best results. Here at SchoolOnline we’re with you every step of the way, and also have many resources that can help parents during the GCSE exam period.
How will you be preparing your child for their GCSEs? Let us know in the comments below!