A Parent’s Guide to GCSEs

A Parent’s Guide to GCSEs

Primary school is a relatively easy stage in a child’s academic journey, as children are still picking up on the basics and laying down a solid foundation for a future of advanced academics. This is usually quite easy to handle as a parent, given that homework is rather simple to complete and children spend most of their time working together with their peers. However, secondary school is a little different. Students are now on a new step in their journey, where they are expected to complete a lot more studies in much more depth. But what is it all for? The answer is GCSEs.

Secondary school is the step up created to prepare students for their GCSE exams at the end of the 5-year period. As a parent, you play a huge role in supporting and guiding your child through their educational journey. GCSEs are a significant milestone in their life, a time that will come across as quite daunting and difficult for students. It is important to understand how complex the GCSE system is before your child embarks on it, as you will need to provide the right support to stop them feeling overwhelmed. Continue reading for some advice from one of the top boarding schools, on a simplified parent’s guide to GCSEs. 

Understanding the GCSE system

This is an essential step to effectively supporting your child throughout the GCSE period. Think about it, the only way to truly help anyone with anything, is if you have background knowledge on the dos and don’ts. To begin, GCSE, also known as the general certificate of secondary education, are exams taken by students in the UK, with them usually being around the age of 15 or 16. They are a widely recognised qualification, and are needed for further education and employment purposes. They cover a wide range of subjects, with a language being included, and are graded on a numerical scale from 9-1, with 9 representing a grade higher than an A*.

Be sure to take the time to familiarise yourself with the subjects your child will be studying, as well as the exam boards they are following, as this will mark the criteria they need to meet to hit certain grades. This understanding alone will help you provide the right guidance and support throughout your child’s GCSE journey. 

Time management

GCSE exams are the first-time students will face any real form of responsibility, especially when it comes to their learning. They differ very much from homework and small tests that only need a weekend of work. GCSE exams need constant work, with time needing to be put in everyday once exam season arrives.

Encouraging effective time management is crucial for your child’s success in these examinations. They require a lot of discipline when it comes to study habits and a well-structured approach. Get together with your child and create a realistic study timetable, taking into account their school work, extracurricular activities, and not to forget their personal down time.

Remember to breakdown study sessions into manageable chunks and incorporate regular breaks as this will help maintain focus and prevent them from feeling burnt out. By instilling good time management habits, you will teach your child how to balance their responsibilities effectively and make the most of their study time.

As your child embarks on this journey, it is clear why your role as a parent makes such a difference. From advising them well to guiding them to making better use of their time, you can empower your child to excel in their exams. Keep in mind, GCSEs are definitely very important, but are only one step in education, be sure not apply too much pressure to your child and help them navigate their way with both support and love as well. Hopefully this parent’s guide to GCSEs has been invaluable for your knowledge and will aid you to better support your child.

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