✓ English ✓ Reading
✓ Comprehension ✓ Spelling
✓ Maths ✓ Exam prep
✓ GCSE Maths ✓ GCSE English
✓ 11 + ✓Handwriting
If you are one of the many GCSE students dreading the arrival of the postman on exam results day , you are not alone! It doesn’t matter how hard you studied or didn’t study , that sick feeling that you get right down in the pit of your stomach is the normal reaction when it comes to exams. We have all seen the smiling, happy children on the 6 o’clock news, smugly opening their envelopes to find 7 A’s and 2 B’s shining back at them. With more and more focus on academic performance and more pressure on young people to achieve, 16 year olds could be forgiven for thinking a poor set of GCSEs is the end of the world as they know it. In these tough economic times students are being told that a good set of results is all the more important. It is no surprise that teenagers are left feeling ill at the thought of hearing their letter boxes opening!
The transition from Primary to Secondary school is one of the important milestones in every child’s life. It can often be a daunting time for children as they move from the safe, sheltered environment of the Primary classroom with one teacher to the much busier world of secondary education with multiple teachers, classrooms and homework to try to keep on top of. It is all too easy to let your child take a holiday from all things education for the whole summer. However, remember that the last few months of Primary 7 are often filled with less academic activities and it is especially important that the summer brain drain does not mean your child falls behind at the beginning of their first year.
So what can you do over the summer months to make sure your child is ready and able to cope with the realities of being a “Firsty”?
The answer really depends on your child's individual needs. If you feel your child is a happy, confident learner and their P5 report card does not flag up any difficulties or gaps in their knowledge then you may just want to wait until they have settled into P6. Many parents choose to start seeking the help of a tutor after Christmas in the P6 year. Some decide that the summer of the P5 year or the start of P6 is more appropriate. If your child has gaps in their learning then really the answer is, the sooner the better!
Learning time is crucial as there are many new concepts which need to be introduced and your child needs time to digest these and fully understand them without any stress.
English skills need to be assessed and bad habits with punctuation and spelling need to be worked on. Understanding of figures of speech such as nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives needs to be thorough. Your child must be confident skimming and scanning questions and texts.
Problem solving methods need to be worked on in maths, which is the key to success for the Transfer Test. A solid foundation in times tables, decimals, fractions and percentages is required along side a good grasp of measure, shape and the use of statistics.
A year to prepare for the Transfer Test allows time to build in revision of concepts to consolidate understanding as well as the opportunity to be introduced to past paper questions. This helps build confidence by building on success and learning from mistakes.
The aim is to maintain a steady pace of progress which peaks as the first test approaches around the first week of November in the test year.
At On Target Tuition we have a lot of experience guiding children and supporting parents successfully through this process. Our Centre Director, Martin has recently gone through the experience with his own daughter and knows the stresses and strains felt by parents and children going through the process.We begin with a free assessment from which we can pinpoint areas of weakness and tailor a programme of study designed to help them achieve their own personal targets as they move towards the test. Our lessons are 80 minutes long, which allows us to work on both English and Maths as well as past papers. Our tuition involves extensive past paper practice in both the AQE and GL Assessment papers, which is vital to improve exam technique.
For more information or advice please call us at our Lisburn centre on 9267 5071.