One Year GCSE
…aimed at those students transferring to Lansdowne…
The one year GCSE programme is aimed at those students transferring to Lansdowne having completed Year 10 elsewhere but would like to study the complete GCSE course again, retake students or those students who are able to complete successfully a GCSE course over one year. The weekly timetable is very similar to that of the two-year course, inasmuch as they receive the same ancillary and support programmes, the main difference being an increase in the subject tuition hours.
Year 11 is a stressful year in any student’s academic career and we place strong emphasis on pastoral care at Lansdowne. The Head of GCSE is Personal Tutor (PT) to all GCSE students and it is her role it to assist, develop and monitor educational and personal growth. Each student has a formal weekly meeting with their PT, although they are available at other times on an ad hoc basis. Every month each subject teacher produces a report for each student, including a performance grade and an effort grade. The PT goes through this with the student, rewarding and congratulating areas of strength and investigating, assisting and remedying areas of weakness. It is only through this close, personal contact that we can make sure the student makes the most of their time at Lansdowne. Copies of these monthly reports are sent home to parents and the Head of GSCE is happy to discuss any concerns. To keep records of their time and progress as a member of the Lansdowne GCSE department, we issue Student Handbooks to each student. This is used as a homework diary, a timetable resource, a record of their academic performance, a time management tool, as well as helping them organise and plan their coursework and exam revision.
Homework is an essential part of teaching and learning at Lansdowne and all GCSE students are expected to complete homework punctually and to the best of their ability. We run a series of Supervised Independent Study (SIS) sessions to help students work during College hours. This teaches them a valuable lesson in the discipline of independent study and time management. These sessions take place in the Study Centre with teachers on hand should students need help and advice with their work.
We believe that it is essential to enjoy your time studying at Lansdowne and an integral ingredient is maximising your time within the College so a balance can be struck between work and fun at home. Therefore although students receive five periods of Supervised Study periods per week during the school day, time should also be set aside each day at home for the effective completion of work outside the classroom.
Examination Practice Periods (EPPs), in which each student sits a test under timed conditions in the hall where they will eventually sit their public exams, play a central role in the Lansdowne learning process. Successful negotiation of any exams, require a combination of knowledge and technique. A very common complaint is, “I know it but I can’t get it down on paper!”. Thus this ‘show you know’ scheme operates during the term before their GCSE exams and gives the student the opportunity to develop and refine their examination strategies and techniques. It also goes a long way in eliminating the fear and stress associated with the examination hall.
Learning to Learn and Study Skills
At Lansdowne we recognise that every student has their own particular learning strengths and weaknesses. As a result, in the GCSE programme it is our aim to understand each student’s unique learning style and ensure that they tailor their learning at Lansdowne to this style, ensuring optimum performance and achievement. Through sessions on “Learning to Learn”, students build up and effective learning ‘toolkit’ that will make studying more efficient and productive, and essentially more enjoyable. Alongside this, students also concentrate and improve their study skills, attending such sessions as ‘how to take effective notes’, ‘Time Management Strategies’ and ‘Confidence Building’. When students approach their examinations, these sessions then focus on examination technique and revision planning. Once again, this is all predicated on our belief that successful education and examination requires a combination of subject knowledge and the skills and strategies with which to transfer this onto paper, to ‘show you know’.
Monitoring and Reporting
All Lansdowne students are monitored carefully in order to maximise their potential and deal with any problems. Subject teachers issue internal grades on each student they teach to The Head of GCSE on a monthly basis, who then in turn discusses these with each student on a one-to-one basis. These grades not only monitor attainment and effort but also homework, performance in Examination Practice Periods and punctuality and absenteeism, allowing us to gain a full picture of a student’s progress. Copies of these monthly reports are sent home to parents and the Head of GSCE is happy to discuss any concerns.
Full written reports from the subject teachers and the Personal Tutor are sent twice in the Autumn and Spring Terms and once in the Summer Term. Parents’ Evenings are also held each term when parents can meet up with the subject tutors and The Head of GCSE.
Students are expected to be punctual for and attend all lessons unless there is a very good reason for not doing so. Parents are informed if a student does not attend on a daily basis and we ask that parents inform the College if a student is ill and is therefore unable to attend College. Permission for any absence during term-time other than for illness must be sought in advance from the Head of GCSE.