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Study Skills in Key Stage 4


It is essential that you are able to organise your time effectively during your GCSE years. GCSE demands continuous commitment to learning, to achieve the knowledge and skills needed for final examinations, but also to meet the deadlines for assessments set throughout the year. There is a busy and demanding schedule of controlled assessments and examinations during Key Stage 4; you will need to have a dedicated approach to your learning and strong organisation skills to achieve the best results possible. 


Homework is an integral part of the programme in Key Stage 4. Students are expected to complete one hour of homework each week for each GCSE subject. This means there will be 3 hours of Science homework per week and 2 hours of English per week. It is important to utilise the full allocation of time given for each subject. Homework could take many different forms, from written tasks to reading, revision, past papers or vocabulary learning. Students should also seek to further their knowledge of their GCSE subjects, for example by undertaking additional independent reading or watching a relevant documentary. 

Support Sessions 

Throughout the year there are a variety of support sessions run by different departments. These may be held during lunchtimes or after school and you can sign up for them via SOCS. Often students can just drop in and ask specific questions to seek the help that they require. Other sessions may be more structured, for instance those that offer help with preparing for controlled assessments. You are advised to attend some of these sessions as they will develop your ability and therefore enjoyment of your subjects.  

Study Skills 

Students are expected to continue developing their scholarly approach to learning as they move into Key Stage 4. The greatest challenge of GCSE study for many students can be the volume of material that needs to be learned in order to be successful in the examinations. As GCSE exams are based on linear assessment rather than modular units, students need to be able to remember the material covered at the start of the Year 10 as fluently as the material covered at the end of Year 11. We therefore work with students to develop and apply appropriate methods for learning new material in a more efficient and effective manner. These strategies include: retrieval practice, dual coding, spacing and interleaving, generation, calibration, concrete examples and elaboration. By developing these approaches students will not only be well prepared for success at GCSE but will also be laying the foundations for future success at A level and beyond.