Year 10 news
October 25th 2018
Lot’s of things have changed for us since we have become GCSE students and we’ve come to the realisation that we are in a unique position to reveal to you all what we have experienced in this transition and to give future students some key tips about how to navigate the transition into GCSE studies.
Don’t shirk the homework
Firstly, be prepared for a whole lot more homework for GCSEs, so far in English Language alone we have had to analyse 16 different news articles for homework. Luckily our teachers are structuring the homework for us to help make it manageable but we have to make sure that we are staying on top of the work each week and not falling behind.
Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3, 400!
There are more regular tests in our core subjects and we have found that there is more content to learn in a shorter amount of time, for example across our core subjects we’ve had 9 assessments or tests already and across core subjects there have been more since we all do such a range subjects. Although at first we found this tough our teachers have explained the idea behind testing us regularly; according them, it will help us start to revise sooner rather than later and it will make it easier for us to recall information we need for exams as we will have learnt it so well in the first place. Although we were skeptical of this at first and thought our teachers just wanted to make our lives difficult, we have come to realise that they are right (it pains us to say this!) and as long as we make sure we are concentrating in lessons so that we don’t miss anything for the tests and revise well as we go along.
Keep calm and carry on
The consequences of our learning feel much bigger now and so this can mean that we can feel stressed about our workload and we’ve realised that there is a very fine line between balancing ECAs, homework, study, social activities and free time or becoming overwhelmed by everything. One of the best ways to deal with this is to plan your activities daily based on your study and homework schedule, so it’s important to be organised and know when your homework is due, when you need to study for tests and when you can have time to enjoy ECAs, social activities and free time.
Good things come in small packages
Since we don’t all do the same subjects now we have noticed that our classes are much smaller than before and this is something we’re really enjoying because there are less distractions and you can get more help from the teacher. Another thing about having smaller class sizes that we have been told by an anonymous source is that it helps some people with this confidence as they feel less shy in front of fewer people.
With great power comes great responsibility
We are coming to realise more and more that we have such a huge responsibility for our future, this has always been the case but we think it’s become more obvious to us now since our teachers remind us often that everything we learn counts towards our exams or coursework. This means that as Year 10 students we need to set an example for ourselves, each other and those lower down in the school.
Our Top Ten Tips for Year 9 moving into Year 10
1. Organisation is key - get yourself a folder for each subject so that you can keep your work and notes organised and ready for revision. Check your emails and Google Classrooms to keep yourself in the loop and take responsibility for yourself. During holidays make sure you have all the work you need to do & take it with you so that you can stay on top of everything.
2. Concentrate all day, everyday - if you miss one important part of the lesson that could be the difference of a whole grade & it’s a silly reason to lose a grade. This means that you need to get lots of sleep & good food to make sure you have the energy to keep your brain working hard throughout the day.
3. Get used to scheduling your time - you will need to make sure that you don’t fill all of your time outside of school with ECAs or other activities because you’ll definitely need to use some of that time for homework and study.
4. Set up a designated space for homework and study - you need a quiet, organised space to study with a desk, good lighting, a comfortable temperature and few distractions.
5. Make sure you keep detailed notes from lessons that work for you - not everyone learns in the same way so just make sure your notes are taken in the best way for you.
6. Be sensible about your friendship groups in lesson, if you and your friends distract each only hang out together at lunch time but stay away from each other during learning time.
7. Clean up the storage on your devices before Year 10 starts so that you have lots of space for all of the learning you’ll be doing. If there are apps that you barely use or lots of useless photos and videos, get rid of them.
8. If you are easily distracted by your device - don’t use it in lessons and go back to old school pen and paper for your notes.
9. If you miss a lesson because you’re ill or have a sports fixture you need to meet with your teachers or check with your classmates to catch up the work you have missed before the next lesson as missing lessons is an easy way to fall behind.
10. Don’t procrastinate - it’s a habit that once you start, you can’t stop. You’ll end up leaving everything to the last minute and then you feel even more stressed and overwhelmed.
By Jonathan McDonnell & Ethan Wilcock
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