GCSEs and A-Level grades to be decided by teachers: How can your teen get the grades they deserve?

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Over a quarter of parents agree that their child feels that their long term university and career prospects have been damaged by COVID-19

Leading EdTech platform MyTutor speaks with former Deputy Head and reveals top tips for achieving good grades without exams

42% agree (4,730,000) that their child has the highest levels of stress they have observed in his/her lifetime

26% (2,426,000) of parents agree that their child feels that their long-term university and career prospects have been damaged by COVID-19

42% of parents (4,113,000) agree that their child has experienced high levels of anxiety due to the reduced class time for assessments that exam results will be gauged from

42% (4,562,000) say that they have relaxed the pressures of home-schooling for their child considerably in comparison to previous lockdowns and school closures

It was announced last night that GCSE and A-Level grades will be decided by teachers using a combination of mock exams, coursework and essays. After last year’s chaos which saw A-Level students achieve lower grades than expected due to algorithms, there is hope that this new method may be slightly fairer, yet there are undoubtedly still concerns over just how well this will work.

Research commissioned by leading online tutoring platform MyTutor has found that sadly 42% of parents agree that their child has the highest levels of stress they have observed in his/her lifetime. In light of this, leading MyTutor spoke to Marc Naylor, a Teacher Trainer and former Deputy Head, to find out the key areas which require attention when continuing learning at home to achieve the best grades possible:

  1. Try to keep standards up throughout the year

The most important things are for students to listen to their teachers, email or message them if they’re unsure about anything, and complete all the homework and classwork they get set. Each piece of work a teen completes and sends to their teacher will help them build a picture of the grade they should be awarded in the Summer.

Some teens might feel this adds pressure to each piece of work they do, but really it means your teen has lots of opportunities to prove themselves. If they struggle with a new topic one week, for example, but then work at it and improve by a couple of weeks later, the teacher will be impressed that a student has worked through a challenge, and also have evidence in their later work that they should achieve a higher grade.

  1. Engage during lessons

Teachers are looking for genuine engagement during live lessons, and teens should get involved as much as they can. They shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions, just like they would in school lessons. Most tech platforms like Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams and Zoom let you virtually raise hands to ask questions — teens should use it and wait for the teacher’s response rather than interrupting. If there’s something the student really doesn’t want to say in front of the class, then it’s fine to message the teacher privately about it. It’ll show initiative and engagement (although teaching staff may not be able to give an immediate response), and help them keep up with their learning.

  1. Stay motivated

We know this one is easier said than done – we’ve all had to find ways to stay focussed and productive during this time, and it’s difficult! Key elements that help include having a daily structure, having a sense of achievement and having something productive to show for each day. For teens, online school can provide the basis for all of these: the digital timetable offers up the structure for them to follow, they can feel a sense of achievement when they learn something new, and completing the school work means they have something productive that shows engagement with each lesson.

  1. Stay connected

As well as seeing their classmates in their remote school lessons, your teen and their friends can help each other by staying connected at this time. They could set up a WhatsApp group where they talk about the work they have to do this week, share online resources and remind each other of upcoming deadlines. Or they could schedule Zoom study sessions with mates where they get on with their work “together” as they might have in a library – this is a nice way to create accountability with each other, and it’ll help fend off isolation too.

Over a quarter of parents have sadly reported that their child feels that their long-term university and career prospects have been damaged by Covid-19. In light of this, leading online tutor MyTutor will be holding a careers festival this week and next, to provide a platform for teens to ask experts questions on topics that are unique to the current climate, and receive real-time answers. Please find a link to book places here: https://mytutor-group-tuition.webflow.io/webinars

 

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