Year 11 Progress and Exams

16 December 2013

Dear Parents/Carers

I am writing to you to keep you up to date with Year 11 and the progress that each student is making towards their journey to their final exams.  You will have received the first Interim Review of Year 11 and I hope that this has given you a clear picture of the progress that your son/daughter is making and the expectations we have for them as they complete their courses. The overall picture we have for the year group is a very positive one and this is a credit to all Year 11 students.  As we start the Spring term, we are moving into the last lap of our KS4 courses. This will mean that Controlled Assessments will be completed and exam preparation undertaken.

January will see Year 11 students completing their Trial Exams. In the recent past, Year 11s will have arrived at their final exams having completed modular GCSE exams in Year 10 and throughout their course.  For the current year,  this is not the case and they will be sitting all their exams in one go at the end of the course. Therefore, these trial exams take on even more importance, as they will be the only chance that students have to experience sitting a run of GCSE exams, with all the tension and formality, before their final exams in the summer.

I know that students and staff have been working exceptionally hard and we have spoken to students about the process of revision and how to make it effective.  Subject teachers will have spoken to classes about tips on how to revise and I have great confidence that the pride that students have in both themselves and Dene Magna School will mean that they will do everything they can to show the progress they have made. The Trial Exams are an opportunity to learn, make mistakes and also grow in confidence, so that they are as prepared as possible when May and June come upon us.  This cannot happen if the students do not give it their all.

May I take this opportunity to thank you for your support in this. We are only too aware that exams are a source of stress. However, every student is well motivated to do the best that they can. Exam timetables have gone home with students and are also available via the website.  Please encourage your son/daughter to revise over the Christmas break, so that they are well prepared and confident for the exams starting the first week back.

Can I also ask you to reinforce with your son/daughter that they must treat these exams as they would treat their 'real' exams in the Summer. This is doubly important because if any exams are missed in the Summer, through illness for example, the exam boards will ask for evidence of achievement from any trial exams taken.  Each subject teacher will use the exams to diagnose where the gaps in learning are and this will provide a framework for final revision and preparation at the end of the course.

I hope that you have a restful Christmas break and, once again, please pass on my thanks to your son/daughter for the positive way that they have approached their learning this year, as well as my best wishes for success in their trial exams

Yours sincerely


Fred Mitchell
Deputy Headteacher