English Proper: The importance of revising for English GCSEs with Jennifer Webb

When it comes to most exam subjects, most teens seem consider that revision is mostly about retaining facts and figures. For many , therefore, revising English Literature boils down to creating a bank of quotes. All too often, preparing for English Language is an afterthought. The go to position being: “I speak English; what’s to […]

Ep 9 Testing Times: Retrieval Practice and its role as a GCSE study technique with Kate Jones

As parents we’re often confronted with situations where our teens will tell us: “I don’t know how to” or “I’m just no good at remembering this”. From our own experiences too, we might have found that we’ll recall some things very easily even from school; the rhyme about Henry VIII’s wives. But other things seem […]

GCSE and A Level Exams in England to take place a little later in 2021

Students taking GCSE, AS and A Level exams in 2021 sitting will now have an additional 3 weeks to prepare. This follows today’s announcement to delay the exam period in England. Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has confirmed that exams will go ahead next year. There will also be “contingencies for all possible scenarios”. The Prime […]

Ep7 Mindfulness and Mental Wellbeing in teens approaching GCSEs with Omari Eccelston-Brown

We all have different ways of coping with – if not managing – stress. Perhaps it’s the variety of situations we’ve experienced that make us more or less adept to managing pressure. But our young people have had limited opportunity to experience or deal with the kinds of pressure they now find themselves under. So, […]

National 5s cancelled for 2021. GCSEs next?

The Scottish Parliament has cancelled National 5 exams – broadly the GCSE equivalent – for 2021. Instead grades will be awarded on the basis of assessments throughout the year informing teacher assessed grades. It’s entirely possible that the rest of the UK could follow suit. That is something that experts are suggesting should happen. However, […]

Ep5 One Size Won’t Fit All: Autism and SEN in studying

Sometimes it can seem like teens get pushed through a cookie cutter template. But it’s important to remember they are all individuals. Each young person is unique and will approach things in a different way. We seem to have comfortably adopted a view that ‘normal’ exists – albeit within certain parameters. And this is how […]

Ep4 Motivation: how to get it and how to keep it.

We’ve all been in a situation where we have something that we need to do, but can’t quite bring ourselves to get on with it. Whether it’s cleaning the car, tackling the under-stairs cupboard or sorting out insurance renewals, there are some things that are difficult to get enthusiastic about. And that’s so often the […]

Changes to English Literature – GCSE 2021

Exam boards are updating their specifications to the changes in the English Literature GCSE exams, we’ve summarised the changes. UPDATE: AQA has changed it’s position and made the Poetry Anthology optional (along with 20th Century Drama and 19th Century Prose). Unseen poetry remains compulsory with Shakespeare. At the beginning of August Ofqual confirmed a number […]