Information for Students
Students will receive a Statement of Entry and an Individual Candidate Timetable. Students must check these very carefully to ensure that their entries are correct. If students have any queries regarding their entries, they should speak to the subject teacher/subject head and for any exam organisation queries, please speak to the Exams Officer.
By being entered for formal exams, students agree to abide by the regulations of the exam boards. Copies of the current Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) regulations are shown below. Students must read these carefully and note that any break in examination rules or regulations could lead to disqualification of some or all qualifications. The school must report any breach of regulations to the relevant awarding body.
Exams cannot be rescheduled. Medical evidence will be required from a doctor or hospital if students are too unwell to attend an exam. If they are delayed or unable to attend an exam through illness, they must contact the absence line immediately and get a message to the Exams Officer.
If any problems arise during the exam season, students should speak to the appropriate person as soon as possible:
Exams Officer: [email protected]
Exam Contingency dates for 2024 are:
Thursday 6th June - half day
Thursday 13th June - half day
Wednesday 26th June - whole day
Y11 October Mock Exams
|Date||Morning Exam 9:00am start||Afternoon Exam 13:00pm|
|Mon 16 October||Statistics Paper 1 (90mins)||English Language (105mins)|
|Tues 17 October||Combined science (70mins)|
|Spanish Reading (F= 45mins, H = 60mins)|
Hospitality & Catering (80mins)
|Wed 18 October||Y11 English Literature (105mins)||Maths Paper 1 (90mins)|
|Thurs 19 October||INSET DAY||INSET DAY|
|Fri 20 October||INSET DAY||INSET DAY|
|Mon 30 October||History Paper 1 (75mins)||Geography Paper 1 ( 60mins)|
|Tues 31 October||Maths Paper 2 (90mins)||Spanish Writing (F=60mins, H = 75mins)|
|Wed 1 November||Combined Science (70mins)|
|Mock Catch up session|
|Thurs 2 November||Combined Science (70mins)|
|Computer Science Paper 1 (90mins)|
P3-6 H&S coursework session
|Fri 3 November||Maths Paper 3 (90mins)||History Paper 2 (105mins)|
|Mon 6 November||Religion and Philosophy (60mins)|
Statistics Paper 2 (90mins)
Y11 Art Group C (P1-3)
|Y11 Geography Paper 2 – 30mins|
Y11 Geography Paper 3 – 45mins
|Tues 7 November||Photography Group B (P2-4)||Art Group A (P4-6)|
|Wed 8 November||Photography Group A (P2-4)|
|Thurs 9 November||Y11 Block D|
Computer Science Paper 2 (90mins)
P3-6 Music coursework session
P3-6 Sport coursework session
|Fri 10 November||Business (60mins)|
Mock Catch up session
|Mon 13 November|
|Tues 14 November||Art and Design Group A (P4-6)|
Subject revision sessions
Letter to parents
Dear parents and carers,
This letter contains a detailed summary of the upcoming Y11 mock exam period between Monday 16th October and Tuesday 14th November.
This is the second set of mock exams that this cohort have undertaken, and they will be keen to build upon the impressive start they made during the end of Y10 mock exams in June. As a cohort, they are already close to performing at their target grades for the end of Y11 (set in relation to the results they obtained at KS2 when leaving primary school). By the end of the year we expect that they will perform well beyond their target grades as a cohort, empowering them in their next steps as they leave JCA.
Read this letter with your child so that you both understand the mock exam process.
Mock exams are most impactful for students when they:
- Have full attendance, so that they can start to learn the rhythm of an exam period. This is particularly important during the Autumn months when sickness bugs are prevalent – for a summer exam, the only circumstance under which a child can miss an exam is with a note from a medical professional stating that they are absolutely unable to attend. This, therefore, is the same standard we expect for mock exams. Otherwise, we will pick students up using the school minibus if we think they are at risk of not attending.
- Revise diligently, otherwise mock exams will be a wasted opportunity to see what level a student can currently attain when performing at their best. Teachers may make tiering decisions based on these exams (Foundation or Higher), it is therefore imperative that students take them seriously.
- Don’t judge success by only looking at marks gained – there is still a long way to go in Year 11 and, while we want students to gain as many marks as possible, at this stage we would rather they judge success more holistically. Did students manage to do regular revision at home to prepare for each exam? Did they stay calm in each exam and pick up as many marks as they could? Did they improve their approach to the mock exams compared to June of Y10?
With this in mind, please have a careful look at our plans for the Year 11 mock exam period, starting next week. If you are unsure of anything covered in this letter, please do reach out to [email protected]FAO Y11 team.
Expectations during mock exam period: Monday 16 October – Tuesday 14 November
Uniform – normal JCA school uniform is expected during the mock exam period for every examination. Students must ensure they maintain high standards throughout.
Attendance and punctuality – morning exams begin promptly at 09:00 and afternoon exams start at 13:00. This means that students must arrive at school for 08:35 as usual so that they have time to get to their exam in a calm and ordered manner. To facilitate a 1pm afternoon start, students will need to line up as soon as their lunch ends at 12:50.
Lessons during the exam period – lessons continue as normal during the exam period.
Equipment – it is imperative that students are prepared for their examinations. They are expected to have a clear pencil case with equipment needed – including basics such as black pens, pencils, rubber, highlighters, rulers, a compass and protractor as well as a scientific calculator. By coming to their mock exams fully prepared, they take the first step in empowering themselves to be successful. By learning how to use their own calculator, for example, they avoid having to use an unfamiliar model for the first time in an exam.
Breaches of exam rules – students will be reminded before every mock exam, but it is vital that you are also aware: any breach of exam guidelines (for example, having a phone in their pocket during an exam, even if unused) is likely to result in a score of 0 (and therefore a U grade) for the exam in question, and could have consequences for every single one of their GCSEs depending on the severity of the breach. It is important you discuss this with your child – by being more prepared in advance they will be able to focus on their exam performance each day. We will treat breaches during mock exams seriously – this is a serious practise for the real event.
Revision – teachers will be speaking regularly with students about what revision they should be doing to best prepare for their upcoming mock exams. They have all been emailed an excel revision timetable to complete – please speak to them to ensure that they have done this. They have also had tutor time sessions on what good quality, subject specific revision looks like. As a guideline, we always aim to follow these principles:
- Quality over quantity
(doing 2 hours’ of revision whilst talking to a friend is less impactful than half an hour with full concentration – followed by a 5 minute brain break)
- No distractions
(linking to principle 1, having phones turned off, outside the room immediately allows our brains to focus only on the subject content we are trying to learn)
- Have a go, don’t just highlight
(students need to do questions, then mark questions, then re-do questions to see if they have remembered, then repeat often)
- Sensible Spacing
(revising a Maths topic on Monday, then the same topic on Wednesday, then the same topic a week later gives students a chance to commit learning to their long-term memory. Revising a Maths topic on Monday, then a different one on Wednesday, then a different one a week later will likely lead to a student forgetting all three topics in a short space of time)
If your child is ever in the position where they say they are unsure of what to revise for a subject, please email [email protected] immediately FAO the subject teacher – this should not be a position that students are in.
Support for Parents
At John Cabot Academy, we give all our Year 10 and 11 students an opportunity to sit mock exams in ‘formal’ exam conditions to ensure they are well prepared for the whole exam experience. This helps students overcome their anxieties about working for a sustained period in the exam hall and understand the pressures that they may face in their ‘real’ exams.
Access Arrangements and Special Consideration
If a student’s normal way of working in class involves additional support, they should be eligible for Exam Access Arrangements to be put in place for their official exams. If the student goes through difficult personal circumstances during the exams, Special Consideration may also be applied for.
The following links outline the most common Exam Access Arrangements that can be put in place for exam candidates and the Special Consideration process.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if I have an exam clash?
Depending on the total length of the exams, arrangements will be made for you to take the exams one after the other, either in the morning or afternoon session. You will be supervised between the exams as you will still be in exam conditions.
What happens if I have an appointment on the same day as an exam?
You will need to change the appointment! Exams must happen on the date and time specified by the exam board.
What if the fire alarm sounds?
You will be instructed by the invigilator to stop writing and close your exam paper and answer booklet. You will remain seated and in silence. If you are instructed to evacuate the room, you must do so in silence and follow the instructions of the invigilator. Once you are re-seated, the exam will restart and you will be given the full working time set for the examination. The examination board will also be informed of the events.
What happens if I fall ill during an exam?
If you feel unwell during an exam, raise your hand and wait for an invigilator to come to you. You may be able to be given a supervised rest and to discuss your options with school staff.
What if I need special consideration?
The school can request special consideration in exceptional circumstances. Please talk to your teacher, tutor or the Exams Officer for information or advice.
Collecting GCSE Examination Results
GCSE results will be available to collect from the Academy on GCSE results day between 9am – 10am.
Post results services
We hope you will be pleased with your results. However, should you have any concerns, we encourage you to discuss them with the Exams Officer, a teacher, head of department or the Careers Officer. We will be able to advise on your options and next steps. This might include explaining how your grade was reached, requesting a review of marking, explaining options for re-sits and finally the possibility of asking us to appeal your result.
The PRS form below relates to post-results services that the exam boards offer, such as:
- clerical checks (checking all parts of the script have been marked, the totalling & recording of marks)
- reviews of marking (a post-results review of the original marking to ensure the mark scheme has been applied correctly)
- access to exam scripts (e.g. accessing copies of exam scripts to determine whether or not to request reviews of marking)
Before we can request any of these services on your behalf, you must sign and return the form to us, confirming that you understand that grades are not protected, meaning a grade could go down, stay the same or increase as a result of a review. Fees also apply for many of the services, payable per paper rather than per subject, and are listed in the document below.