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Support for your learning

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Support for your Learning

During your time in the sixth from you need to develop as an independent learner in preparation for university and adult life.  You are responsible for your achievement. This means using your study time effectively and asking for help and support when you need it.

Making the most of Tracking




What does my tracking grade mean?
Your tracking grade is an estimate of the AS grade you are currently working at. This means that your teacher takes everything they have learnt about you into account and makes a professional “guess” at what grade they think you would get if you took your exam right now. We would expect your November tracking grade to be ONE GRADE LOWER than the grade your teacher would expect you to achieve in May.

What is my target grade and how are target grades worked out?
Your target grades are the grades which you should aim to achieve based on what we know of your attainment and ability up to Year 12. We use a national scheme called ‘Alps’ to produce target grades. The ALPS data team have looked at how thousands of students have performed in recent years and have found that the mean GCSE points score gives quite a good indication of the grade that will be achieved at AS and A level. The grades shown in the table below are designed to be challenging but achievable.



My Target grades are low. Does that mean I am going to get poor results?
NO! Your target grades are based on what you achieved at GCSE. There is no reason why you cannot exceed your target and achieve the top grades you need to compete for the best courses. If you underachieved at GCSE for any reason, then you should certainly be able to exceed your targets.

My Target grades are high. Does that mean I am going to do brilliantly?
NO! You need to be aware that your high target is not based on the possibility that you are a genius but rather on the fact that you probably worked very hard to achieve your excellent GCSE results. Unfortunately for you, your prediction is based on the expectation that you will work EVEN HARDER to achieve excellent AS results. Sitting back and waiting for the As to roll in is not going to be a successful strategy. A large number of students with very high targets are resitting Year 12 because they believed their target grades would just fall into their hands. Do not make the same mistake.

I am unhappy with my tracking grade. What can I do?
Speak (nicely) to your teacher to find out why they have given you that grade. What areas do you need to improve on? Listen hard so that you can change the disappointing grade by the next tracking in January.

What happens now?
If one or more of your “working at” grades are more than one grade lower than your target, you are in danger of underachieving and will be part of the Year 12 achievement mentoring programme. You will be allocated an achievement mentor who will meet with you over the next two weeks to discuss your progress and any difficulties you may be experiencing. You will set subject specific targets in consultation with your mentor. These will be written in your diary and will need to be signed when achieved by your subject teacher.
If your grades are one below target or better you are classed as achieving in line with expectations (or even better) Congratulations on an excellent start to your Level 3 studies. Your tutor will discuss target setting with you in PSHE.


Mentoring

If we have concerns about your progress based on the size of the gap between your target grade and your working at grade you will have been assigned an achievement mentor. If we have serious concerns we will also be meeting with your parents
to discuss what we can do to support you and what you need to do to be successful.

If you have not been assigned an achievement mentor, but would like support with any aspect of your academic work, please see Mr. Monk who will find an appropriate person to support you.

There are many ways in which you can access academic support and engage in extra curricular activities which will enhance your all-round development and make that UCAS personal statement stand out. See the Clubs and Activities pages below for what’s on. Remember,
you could start a club about something you are interested in and use that as an impressive achievement for your personal statement.




Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education

You are a person (not an exam taking machine) and part of our role as a school is to help you develop emotionally, morally, socially and culturally. We also need to help you develop your understanding of health issues, politics and the world around you.

Every Tuesday Period 6 your tutor will engage you in an activity designed to enhance some aspect of your spiritual, moral, social or cultural education.

You will also have the opportunity to develop these aspects during PSHE. Some of the topics you will explore in PSHE in Year 12 are: How to Develop a Growth Mindset, Public Speaking, Researching University Courses and Grade Criteria and Using Time Effectively.

:PSCHE: Overview.


Click above to view.






Your Success

Carol Dweck from Harvard University has conducted decades of research into the psychology of success and has concluded that the most important factor in an individual’s ultimate success is not their ability but their mindset. View the powerpoint below whenever you feel that you’re just not up to it. You are – you just need to work harder!




Click on the left image to open the 'Free things to do' guide.


















Recommended Reading

You need to read as much as possible. That is the main way you become EDUCATED and able to WRITE coherently. Some of the books you read should be classics so you have some insight into literature and so you can talk about “good books” if you are asked.

If you love Harry Potter, that’s great, but don’t expect a place on any Literature and Humanities courses if that is all you have read. And DO NOT say your favourite book is Of Mice and Men-you KNOW why.


Brilliant Books which are great to read and to impress top universities
Wolf Hall/Bring Up The Bodies – Hilary Mantel
The English Patient – Michael Ondaatjie
Steppenwolf – Hermann Hesse
The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes
American Pastoral – Phillip Roth
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Short but weighty
Animal Farm – George Orwell
The Stranger – Albert Camus
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

Up for a challenge? Blow their minds (and yours)
Ulysses – James Joyce
Infinite Jest – Dave Foster Wallace
War and Peace – Tolstoy
The Brothers Karamazov - Dostoevsky