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Schools step up preparation ahead of first GCSE exams in three years

Secondary schools across the region are stepping up their efforts ahead of the summer exam period.

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Bristnall Hall Academy

GCSE examinations will start as soon as May 16, and the current crop of year 11 students have faced additional challenges over the last two years due to the pandemic.

These exams will be the first sat in three years, something which has been described as a "minefield" nationally.

To help students through this time, schools are implementing additional revision sessions and guiding students in terms of managing stress.

Beacon Hill Academy, Sedgley, is one of the schools stepping up their efforts, and headteacher Sukhjot Dhami is feeling positive ahead of the exams.

He said: "On the whole learners are really engaged, we have a positive feel around the school.

"Over the next few days and weeks, we will do revision days and weekend sessions.

"We also have half-term revision days taking place, as well as virtual sessions and one to one tutoring.

"The current year 11 students have missed out over the last few years but we have put a lot in place to ensure they get the most out of the year."

Bristnall Hall Academy in Oldbury is also providing students with similar support, and are confident ahead of exams commencing.

Principal Kully Uppal said staff and students at Bristnall Hall Academy are feeling well prepared for the return of examinations.

He added: "This feeling of confidence comes from a sustained determination by all stakeholders to attend additional GCSE revision session outside of academy hours as well as ensuring the academy itself provides students with the necessary resources they need in order to revise independently as well.

"Additional support sessions have also been provided for students throughout the academic year in order to ensure they know how to revise, stay confident and avoid cognitive overload by preparing revision pans which allow for students to work and play appropriately.

"Of course, all of us here at Bristnall Hall Academy are aware that one size cannot fit all and in this light, bespoke and tailored GCSE lessons and revision sessions have also been arranged and facilitated effectively."

Mr Gareth Lloyd, headteacher at Pedmore High School in Stourbridge, admitted staff and students are feeling a mixture of nervous anticipation ahead of the exams.

He said: "Students are keen to show what they have learnt and achieved during the difficulties of lockdowns.

"Students have been attending extra sessions after school as well as focusing on exam technique in their lessons over the past few weeks.

"Staff have been preparing students for the exams by checking their revision plans.

"Students have been reminded about the need for a planned approach, with rest periods built into their schedules."

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