Ken Stimpson Community School - Newsletter 29/04/2016
Message from the Principal- 9 Ways You Can Make Exams Less Stressful For Your Students
As the exam period begins to approach, I found this useful article at the weekend with a number of useful tips to pass on to parents, carers and students to help them prepare and use their time effectively.
1. Include extra-curricular events in revision timetables
When students prepare their revision timetables, encourage them to also include extra-curricular activities, family commitments and other important tasks alongside their exam schedule. This will help them to manage their time more effectively and juggle other commitments – be it a family birthday, a part-time job or a sporting activity.
Breaking up long revision periods with other events will also help make the exam period seem less daunting overall.
2. Set achievable mini-goals
Prevent students from panicking about the amount of information they have to absorb by helping them set mini goals and targets for each revision session. That way, they can measure their achievement and be motivated by small successes. A goal could be as simple as spending 15 minutes on understanding one particular area – for example, covalent bonding in Chemistry.
3. Introduce a ‘digital detox’
Technology might be a major part of most young people’s lives these days, the examination process itself is still largely done on paper. While it’s tempting to make frequent use of online resources, completing some revision offline with a pen and paper can be just as important as using computers, tablets and phones.
Digital-free revision sessions will not only avoid distraction, but can actually be more effective. A 2009 study (Greenfield: Technology and Informal Education: What Is Taught, What Is Learned) found that print-based revision is more effective than typing and the action of writing stimulated memory centres.
4. If you know one thing…
Highlighting one key point or fact for each topic area can effectively alleviate the panic felt by those students daunted by the volume of information they need to remember.
Remind them that if they don’t need to remember every fact and figure, simply knowing the key pieces of information on a particular subject point will enable them to score some exam marks.
5. Familiarise them with multiple revision strategies
Use tried and tested memory tricks such as mnemonics – for example, using the first letters of a list of items to help memorise particular facts. Visual prompts, such as concept maps, flow charts and making unusual connections, are also helpful. Remember that Sir Patrick Manson discovered that mosquitoes could spread diseases by imagining a man and his son running from a huge mosquito.
Sticking post-it notes with key words around the house can also a handy way to help memorise important information, terms and vocabulary.
6. ‘Little and often’ beats cramming
Short, regular revision sessions are far more effective than spending hours trying to cram.
By allocating 15-minute blocks to particular topic areas or subjects your students will be able to stay engaged and motivated. This is especially effective when learning information presented as lists, be it French vocabulary, scientific definitions or important equations. The process of going through these can then be repeated on a daily basis.
7. Make sure that students and parents know their exam boards
If parents are planning to buy revision resources for their children, it helps if they know which exam board the school uses for particular subjects. This will ensure that students don’t become confused if they meet a topic that they’re unfamiliar with during their revision and worry the night before an exam.
8. Positive reflection
Encourage students to evaluate how successful each revision session was. Get them to list five things they have learnt, three things they will confidently remember and three things that they’re still unsure about. This means that when they return to their notes for further revision, they can focus on filling in their knowledge gaps.
9. Keep things in perspective
Remind students that while exams and qualifications are stepping-stones to a bright and successful future for those who achieve them, they are not the be all and end all. They do not, and will never, completely define the sum total of what a good education ought to provide.
Spencer Williams, Senior product manager, Pearson
Richard Lord Principal
AS and A Level Exam Outcomes
This week saw the completion of the AS and A level art exams. It is our pleasure to share with you some of their fantastic work. During Thursday's lunch break members of staff were invited to view the progress the students were making on their pieces. Congratulations to all the students who took such pride in producing quality, thought provoking pieces.
Lindsay Bamber Head of Faculty: Art
Careers Newsletter Issue 4
The latest careers newsletter can be found here. It is a highly recommended read, especially if you're in KS4!
Mr Billitt Careers Administrator
Legacy is victorious in the Young Enterprise Cambridgeshire County Final!
On Wednesday 27 April it was the Young Enterprise County Final, hosted at Robinson College Cambridge. This meant that Legacy, our Post 16 Young Enterprise Company, had faced two Finals in the space of just eight days.
Following my newsletter piece last week sharing the wonderful news that they won four awards (including Peterborough Company of the Year) at the Peterborough Final I am now delighted to announce that on Wednesday evening they added the Cambridgeshire County Champions award to their roll of honour! Furthermore they picked up the Environmental Awareness Award, which they had also won at Peterborough, and the award for Best Company Report.
This means that Legacy have gone on to match the unprecedented achievements of their illustrious predecessors- Atlantic Enterprises and Eminence- and won both the Peterborough and Cambridgeshire titles. No other Peterborough school has ever achieved such a run of victories and I am personally very proud of all three teams who continue to raise the bar every single year.
There was further success for Managing Director Megan Lynas, who was named Cambridgeshire Businessperson of the Year, a category she also won at the Peterborough Final. This is a superb achievement for Megan and the way in which she has led her team.
In total the team have now picked up six Company awards across the two finals and our newly installed Young Enterprise trophy cabinet by the Assembly Hall is now ‘fully stacked’! Next time you visit for a parents evening or school event, do ensure you take a look.
Legacy have now put their Company 'on ice' as they focus on their AS examinations. However the Directors will reconvene in June with every intention of doing their very best at the Regional Final (also to be hosted in Cambridge on 16 June) and the Events Management team are committed to delivering the best Year 11 prom in KSCS history- the massive chocolate fountain booked as a centre piece is going to be a sight to behold!
Mr Abbott Assistant Principal
Success holds onto the lead this week. However, Excellence is only 0.44% behind you. All Houses are so close to our 96% target. Lets do it together.
"Your attitude can make all the difference in how your day will begin and end" Nisban Panwar
"What a difference a day makes…"
Sharon Blackledge KSCS Attendance Officer
What's happening at KSCS?
Events and visits in the school over the next fortnight: