Here are our 7 tips for exam success:
- BRAIN BOOK BUDDY BOSS. By May 2012, our students must be able to handle all their maths without having to use us as a resource. We are not there yet, of course, but we need to be. We encourage students to try their brains first, then refer to their note books and revision materials if they are stuck. If this does not work we encourage learning conversation with “buddies” and we (the ‘bosses’) will step in and help when this does not work.
- ONE WEEK, NO BLANKS. Students have one week to work on each paper so they have plenty of time to find out how to solve issues and plenty of time to seek help from their teachers if necessary. If papers are handed in with blanks or comments like “I did not get this, please can you help me” then we ask you support us when we set a Compulsory Extra Study Period (to be done within 24 hours of submission of unsatisfactory work) where students will have to come and complete the work to a good standard. Teachers will inform their students if there is a question they might not yet be able to do – all other questions should be attempted.
- WE’RE HERE. WHERE ARE YOU? We are available at lunch times and after school if there are issues and students are expected to take advantage of this.
- COMING TO LESSONS IS NOT ENOUGH. There are effectively 4.5 years of Mathematics education that our students have to commit to memory by May 2012. Just because a student could solve equations in today’s lesson, if he cannot do it in the following week’s past paper, he has not learnt it. The best way to learn in Mathematics is to practise. The best way to practise is to do practice papers properly.
- IF WE PUT IT UP, YOU GET IT DOWN. Teachers mark papers weekly, hand them back and go over key issues in lessons. We model how questions should be done. It’s the student’s responsibility to record corrections.
- THINK IN INK. It’s all about Quality of Written Communication in 2012 and students need to show everything they are thinking in the way we have been modelling it for 5 years.
- USE THE LAST TO IMPROVE THE NEXT. A perfect student will keep every practice paper in their own folder. This way, a student can see his progress from week to week. He will also have a bank of questions that will, as time goes by, be useful examples that will help him answer new questions.