Right folks. I’m sure we’re all agreed that the sooner we spot student weaknesses, the better it is. So we’ve decided to move everything forward this year. Data entry, reports, the lot!
Yes that’s right! Remember how everyone always used to complain about the summer term being full of reports? You’ll be pleased to know that we haven’t got anything in the summer term any more! Reports, exams and data entry for all year groups will be carried out as early as possible in the school year!
So where is everything going?
That’s the beauty of it! Take the mock GCSEs for example. We’ve decided to put these at the start of the GCSE course, at the beginning of year 10.
But we won’t have taught them anything!
Precisely! Obviously they’ll struggle, but there will be some questions where they do worse than others. You’ll be able to tailor intervention sessions on the questions where they do worst.
But it won’t be intervention they need, just teaching.
How can you be sure of that? Anyway, you have to realise that we’re taking the year group off timetable once a week in the first term. They’ll be having specific sessions on revision skills. Don’t panic, it won’t always be the same day or time. However, you need to reckon on the fact that you’ll have to set another exam in the spring term.
What’s the idea of that?
Well, we’ll need to evaluate how effective the revision skills sessions have been. In addition, you’ll want to judge the effectiveness of your subject specific intervention programme.
So after this there’ll be some teaching time?
Of course. Mind you, they’ll be having the letter reading and acclimatising sessions.
Yes. We’re asking the parents to write encouraging letters to the children once a fortnight. To keep their spirits up. The letters will be in sealed envelopes. Once a fortnight the year group will be off timetable, so they can open the letters sent to them by their parents and compose letters of reply.
And then what? Another mock?
Oh no. We’ve decided the students need to acclimatise to the examination hall.
It’s very traumatic for them to go into the hall to sit an exam. We want to make the process less stressful for them. So, there will be further sessions off timetable where students practise going in and out of the hall. Once inside, they will be addressed by motivational speakers giving them inspiring quotes to take away and remember.
All of this is in year 10?
Yes. We start the Walking Talking Mocks in year 11. You may miss a few lessons as we need to get the whole cohort together for these and they need at least 2 in every subject.
But we won’t have had time to cover the syllabus!
That’s where the intervention comes in. You may discover that you don’t have to teach it all anyway. If the students find a particular question easy, you may not have to teach that particular topic.
But surely the fact that they answered one particular question well does not guarantee they could answer all possible questions on that topic?
Of course. That’s why it will be vital to ensure that you do a past paper every other lesson from the start of year 11. Yes – I know – there aren’t any for the new specs yet – but I’m told the exam boards will be publishing numerous examples.
But that will take 0ut even more teaching time!
Well, yes, but your intervention sessions can make up the deficit.
And in the spring term of year 11?
They’ll have a final mock . After this, we’ll take them off timetable again. They’ll be assembled in the school hall to open their results, which will be presented to them in sealed envelopes. After that they spend a session working out some smart targets. Of course there will be the wellbeing sessions as well. We’ve hired another consultant to work with small groups of students on how to cope with stress. Breathing techniques, that sort of thing. They’ll be withdrawn from lessons to participate in these. But don’t worry, it won’t always be the same students and it won’t always be the same lesson.
Is that it?
Oh, I nearly forgot the sleepovers. It’s part of the acclimatisation programme. The students will be bringing their sleeping bags for mass sleepovers in the school hall. So that it doesn’t seem such a frightening place for them. Any volunteers to help supervise will be greatly appreciated. By the time they do the exam, no one will be able to say we haven’t done our best to prepare them for the big day!
Yes, Mrs Stuckinthemud?
Well, I don’t want to be critical when you’ve worked so hard drawing up this programme, but isn’t the best form of preparation just teaching them?