The circumstances of the past two years have created some really uncertain times in the education system for students, parents, tutors and teachers alike. As a result of these national changes triggered by Covid-19, we’ve witnessed new processes being introduced in order to support students to reach key milestones in their educational journeys. Whether your child is moving up a Key Stage, changing schools, or even sitting their GCSEs, we are here to help you support your child now that the usual rulebook has been thrown out.
Formal assessments may have stopped this year, but this doesn’t mean learning has! Despite not having the usual end to the academic year, it’s really important that students transition from this year into the next feeling happy and confident. Also, for key milestones like GCSEs, most schools will still be using exams as a key tool to provide supporting evidence to their teacher-assessed grade recommendations, so exams have definitely not disappeared altogether!
We believe that, utilising a personalised combination of our resources, you can help boost your child’s belief in their academic abilities so that they kick start their next academic year and reach their potential before the summer holidays. The EdPlace approach is 'little and often' as opposed to ‘exam cram’. That’s why the majority of our activities are short (10 question activities focused on a specific National Curriculum skill) to encourage regular use over a period of time, developing genuine understanding and confidence.
Non-exam years (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9)
For children moving between Years 1-5 or 7-9, teachers usually use summative assessments at the end of the school year as a way to gauge levels of understanding and any gaps which may need filling next year. For this reason, we recommend utilising an EdPlace assessment from our collection as a way to easily identify areas in which your child or student could practise more over the summer period to best prepare them for their next academic year. (For more information on which assessment to use and when, please click here.)
SATs (Year 6) and GCSEs (Year 11)
For those children who would normally have sat their SATs tests or GCSEs, it’s really important that they show their potential to their teachers now to achieve the grades and recommendations they deserve, plus to help them take the next step in their educational journey. To support this, we’d recommend utilising the EdPlace revision resource suites we have available for these age groups.
Our revision offering allows children to finish the year using real-life practice papers, that replicate the style and duration of the national tests. If they are revising for an internal school exam, they can use these and assessments to identify which areas they need to revise and then use targeted EdPlace activities to be 100% exam-ready. They can also use our exam-style questions to work on speed and test their knowledge, not to mention catch up on some great exam practice experiences which they have missed out on this year.
11+ (Year 6 in September 2021)
While the majority of formal external examinations have been cancelled, the 11+ is still set to go ahead for those students in Year 6 in September 2021. However, the 11+ is likely to take on a slightly different format this year due to the disruptions of the 2020/2021 school closures. It is therefore really important to check the specifics (including the subject areas that the schools you are applying to are planning to assess) so that students can use EdPlace resources to be best prepared, minimising stress for you and them. Our EdPlace 11+ exam-style questions offer students the chance to practice specific 11+ skills under timed conditions to really help boost confidence. We also offer full-length 11+ practice papers replicating the style and duration of the national tests and supporting students to be as exam-ready as possible come September. (Please note, these reflect the full breadth of understanding required under normal circumstances but they will provide fantastic real-life practice opportunities.)
Each child’s individual needs should be considered when applying any of the suggestions above to their learning schedule. If your child or student is struggling with confidence at this point in the year (which is absolutely to be expected!), we would recommend working with them to build this up. At EdPlace, all of our activities are levelled from 1-3, so why not begin with Level 1 activities and move upwards over the next few months? It may also be appropriate to assign your child or student activities from their previous year to consolidate skills in some areas. Alternatively, you may want to push them on a bit in some areas and really celebrate their strengths by progressing onto work from the year above to prepare them for back-to-school in September.
No matter what age, children respond really well to general and specific praise. Through your EdPlace account, you’ll be able to see exactly where students have excelled. They’ll be able to see their scores and the badges that they achieve as they go, but knowing you’re also up to speed here can be a real motivator. You can also utilise the rewards function (for more info, click here) to create a bespoke reward for your child or student to work towards.
We hope this article has provided you with all the information you need to use EdPlace like a pro to unlock your child or student's potential at this challenging time! If you have any other questions or need any help at all, please contact our friendly Customer Support Team at email@example.com. We are here to help you get the most out of learning on EdPlace!