Exams

GCSE and A level examinations are public exams which have set start and end times dictated by the exam boards.

Morning exams start at 9.15 (students are expected onsite by 8.40)

Afternoon exams start at 2.00 (students are expected onsite by 1.30)

Lateness

If a student arrives to an exam after the paper has already been started they may not be allowed to enter the room so it is imperative that students arrive on time.

Exam room rules

Students are not permitted to communicate with any other student during an exam.

Students are also not allowed to have a mobile phone or any pieces of paper on their person. These must be left in their bags which are not allowed in the exam room or passed to a member of staff for the duration of the exam. If a student is found to be in possession of a mobile phone (or any other smart device including smart watches) we are duty bound to inform the exam board who may decide to invalidate their exam paper, even if the device is switched off.

Students cannot leave an exam room early even if they have finished their paper.

Students are not permitted to eat or drink during exams with the exception of water. The water should be in a transparent bottle with the label removed.

Uniform during the exams period

Students are expected to wear full school uniform throughout the exams period. The exception to this may be when the weather is particularly warm when students are permitted to remove their ties and blazers.

A level students should continue to wear smart clothing throughout the exam season.

Equipment for exams

Students are expected to bring their own equipment for exams. This should be carried in a transparent pencil case or small bag. The minimum expectation would be:

  • 2 black pens

For exams such as science and maths students will also require:

  • Pencil
  • Rubber
  • Ruler
  • Scientific calculator

Sickness

If a student is ill on the day of a written exam and is so sick that s/he cannot come to school, a parent or guardian must ring the school immediately to inform the Exams Officer.  As evidence of the sickness a medical certificate should be obtained which must be signed by the doctor.  The certificate should be sent to the Exams Office at the earliest opportunity so that the relevant exam board can be notified of the reasons for the absence.

Examination clashes

If there is an examination clash exams will be sat one after the other.  The Examinations Officer will be aware of this situation and will speak to any student concerned.

Exam preparation

In the lead up to public examinations students will have the opportunity to attend revision sessions for each subject. These may take place before school, at lunchtime, after school or during the holidays. These are free of charge and of great use to students who may need extra support during the exam season. We also provide rooms for students to use for quiet independent revision.

Staff also run ‘warm-up’ sessions just prior to exam papers to prepare the students and ensure they are all present before the paper starts. For morning exams these start at 8.40 and afternoon exams at 1.30.

Students should also be revising at home, even if they are attending the revision classes at school. Staff work hard to teach students revision techniques that they can use at home so that students can become more independent. For more information on how you can support your child through exams at home please visit:

www.bbc.co.uk/schools/parents/helping_with_exams/

Ramadan and Exams

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has worked with a wide range of British Muslims to produce an information paper for schools and colleges to help the leadership team initiate discussions with Muslim students and their families on how best they can balance their Islamic obligations and do well in their exams.

We have selected some of the advice and guidance to share with parents of students observing Ramadan during this examination period.  We have been made aware of the flexibility of Islamic Law to delay or withdraw from fasting and late night prayers if it is believed performance in exams could be affected and that Islam does not require Muslim students to put their futures in jeopardy.  The report also states that Muslim students may “break the fast and make it up later if they feel fasting will in any way jeopardise their performance”.

The guidance asks that we inform students and their families that “extra devotions in Ramadan are voluntary; whereas for a child or young person to perform well in exam given their consequences is obligatory”.  It therefore recommends that where students have important exams they should not spend all night praying to avoid being tired and therefore unable to perform as well in their exams.  We would like to highlight that following government changes to A Level assessments exams for many subjects are now much longer than previously with students sitting 2 hour exams or longer which has not previously been the case.

If you are happy to let us know whether your son/daughter is fasting we can aim to support them by running their revision sessions in cooler classrooms/ensuring they are near fans and providing a quiet space for them to rest during the lunch break.

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