Newsflash 16/11/2018

Year 11 Pre-Public Exams (PPE) (mocks)

Reflection On Week 1

It has generally been a positive and productive week with the majority of pupils taking full advantage of what is meant to be an interim marker of progress leading up to the final exams in the summer term.  It has been very pleasing to see the number of Year 11 children revising before school, during break, lunch time and staying behind after school as well.

How hard your child has tried and how much effort they have put in will be reflected somewhat in the grades they get in a couple of weeks’ time.  The more you put into something, the more you will get out and with GCSE exams it takes a lot of hard work, effort, tenacity and resilience to just keep going. My message to a number of pupils this week has been simply “do not quit”.

Next week is the final 5 days of the full PPE and if it was me and my child, I would make sure that this weekend is spent preparing for the exams next week.  Your child will have an individual exam timetable - as they will have in the summer, so there is absolutely no excuse for them not to know what they have got and also what they need to work on.

Unfortunately, I do feel like a broken record as this morning (Friday 16th) there were 8 pupils late for the English exam.  This is just not acceptable.  There were over 150 pupils sat in the Sports Hall going through the final bits of pre exam information and we were all disturbed by the rudeness of these 8 individuals who lack the common decency to set their alarm at home to an appropriate time in order to get into school.

Parents, we cannot do this for your children.  We have taught them now for 4 ½ years, we have given them the information they need to do well and we are heading into the final straight. 

If you want your child to do well and to be proud of their achievements, several things need to happen:

  1. Attend every day – sniffles, coughs, sore throats etc., so what!  You get one shot at this and time is running out.  I need your child in school every day, no days off for family trips or holidays can be taken during term time.
  2. Punctuality – in school by 08:40 at the latest, lessons start at 08:45.  Beyond 08:46 implies that you and your child do not care and I know this will not be the case, I know having spoken to so many of you that you absolutely do care about your child’s education so give them the best start by arriving on time.
  3. Self-study / Homework - we have paid for your child to have GCSE Pod, if your child is not using it they are in the minority. I have seen so many pupils in revision sessions using it and helping to develop their own learning resources.  Doing work at home is massively important and your child will have work to do every night. This is not a punishment it is to prepare them so they can achieve their personal best.
  4. PMA – positive mental attitude.  Exams can sometimes seem so scary and frightening. Whilst, of course, they are important it is just a piece of paper with some questions on it.  Your child absolutely has the ability to achieve their personal best and together we need to remind them constantly and continuously just how good they are.  Your son or daughter is likely to get upset, cry, be annoyed, angry, distressed, stressed, grumpy…they could be like this now but more so as we get close to May and June.  Remember nearly half a million other teenagers are in exactly the same situation as are their parents.

By June 28th 2019 it will all be over for our current Year 11.  This is the time period we have to make sure that your child is prepared, confident and ready to give their GCSEs their very best.  There are about 23 school weeks or 115 days left until the exams start in earnest.  Next week, 19th November, is the final week of PPEs and I would love to see all of our Year 11’s arriving on time, using the building early in the morning, staying after school with their teachers. 

There's an old African proverb that says “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”  I want us all to go far together.


Revision Tips

One of the things we hear often is “but I don’t know how to revise”.  It’s a personal thing: some people read and make notes, and others make posters and spider diagrams, whilst some people like to make flash cards.  Below are some generic tips to help:

  • Revise in manageable chunks. Very few people can concentrate for 3 hours in one go but, equally, just doing 10 minutes here and there will mean you don’t get much done at all.
  • Revise the topics you are not good at and you don’t like first. It is human nature to want to do things we like and are good at and we can all be tempted to put off those we find difficult. You will need to spend more time on these difficult topics so start on them earlier and revisit them regularly; don’t leave them to the night before! This will also give you more time to ask for help if you need it.
  • Plan for ‘revision breaks’ every so often, get up and move around! Move away from the area you are revising in to give your brain a change of scenery… but don’t let your breaks turn into longer sessions than your revision!
  • Share your revision timetable with someone so that they can help you keep on track with it. Have it up on your wall or somewhere it is easy to see.
  • Spread out your revision rather than ‘cramming’. It is easier said than done but, by being organised, you can spend less time revising and will remember more.
  • Rest and sleep: sleeping helps to consolidate our memories. We need sleep! Don’t stay up all night revising before an exam as it can be counterproductive. Set a realistic bedtime and try to stick to that. Do something that isn’t revising just before you go to bed.
  • Factor in time for your hobbies, seeing friends and family and getting outside!


Parents: Are your details up to date?

Unless you let us know you have moved, changed phones or have a new email address we will only have the original information you supplied for us.

We also have spare SIMS forms at Reception for you to keep us up to date with any changes.

So if something has changed; name, address, mobile or land line number, email address let us know as soon as you can so we can keep our records up to date.


Safeguarding Update

National Online Safety have released a very practical and useful guide for parents about sexting, bullying, coercion and blackmail. What Parents Need To Know...

Sexting Guide poster for parents 

To view the full poster with links to online guides and resources for parents please click here: Sexting-Parents-Guide-Oct-2018.pdf


and finally...



  • Most Inspirational Secondary School Award 2018

  • Leadership Team of the Year Award 2018

  • SEND Provision Award 2018

  • Most Inspirational 16-18 Education Provider 2018

We are delighted that Gateacre School has been shortlisted for four prestigious Educate Awards 2018. From inspiring teachers, superb support staff to innovative projects across the curriculum, the awards recognises the work of schools and colleges which are delivering outstanding education and helping students achieve their full potential. Winners will be announced tonight at a spectacular awards ceremony held in Liverpool Cathedral. Follow our twitter and facebook feeds for updates.


Dates for Your Diary:

19th - 23rd November: Y11 Mock Exams continue

27th November: KS5 Information Day for Y11 students

30th November: Y11 Mock Results 3:15pm

INSET Day: 3rd December

6th December: Y11 Parent Evening

21st December: End Of Term



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