Year 11 Support

Dear Year 11 families, 


"Students who are deliberately trained to set good targets for themselves, not be afraid of hard work, be well organised and methodical, and have effective and varied study-habits, do better in their exams. And they are better prepared for learning beyond school. The GCSE Mindset tells us that even in the GCSE years it is not too late, or too difficult, to work on these habits.” 

Professor Guy Claxton, author of The Learning Power Approach: Teaching Learners to Teach Themselves. 


We hope that you are all well and have had an enjoyable Christmas holiday. In my new role of Assistant Headteacher, I will be working alongside the year 11 pastoral team of Mrs Way and Miss Fitzgerald as well as one of our teaching leads, Mr Wooster, to continue our consistent programme of support for all year 11 students. We want to encourage our students at Key Stage 4 to develop a positive learning mind-set to help them as they tackle the challenges of this year and to help prepare them for their next steps towards college or other training routes post-16.  

Students can often feel dispirited by their progress, especially after receiving mock results and especially following the disruption the pandemic has brought us all, and, left unchecked, this can be detrimental to their preparation for the external exams. They may feel that they are unable to achieve their potential because they believe they are no longer ‘bright enough’ or ‘academic enough’. However, there is a growing body of research that suggests, successful students, regardless of ability will approach their studies with a set of behaviours, skills and attitudes which allow them to perform better than someone of equal ability.  In short, academic success can be as much about character and effort as it is about intelligence or other factors we sometimes attribute it to.  

I am writing to make you aware of the support we will be putting into place over the coming months to further support your child to develop these positive habits which will help them at Noadswood and in their future endeavors. Below is an outline of just some of the work we have planned: 

  • We will be creating a revision goody bag of the key stationery that we believe your children will find helpful with their revision. This will be free and available to all year 11 students.  

  • We will be running off-timetable sessions for all Year 11 students this half term focusing on making revision manageable, effective strategies and managing exam anxiety and then another one after March mocks. More specific details will be issued soon. 

  • We know that a successful partnership between students, staff and yourselves is essential for helping your child to achieve their potential.  We will be putting into place a series of online workshops designed for parents and carers on a wide variety of relevant themes - from revision, to anxiety, to getting college ready.  More details to follow. 

  • We know that year 11 and the pressures of lockdown have not been easy. We have been running sessions in conjunction with Hampshire Youth Access and our own in-house ELSA focusing on anxiety and strategies to address this; we will continue to do this throughout the year. If you think your child might benefit from these sessions, please do ePraise Mrs Way. 

  • Alongside our normal after-school revision sessions which have been running throughout the year, Mr Wooster will be working with small groups of students on a weekly basis to help with the organisation of revision and effective strategies in six-week blocks. If you think your child might benefit from this please do ePraise Mr Wooster.

  • All students have access to VESPA. This is programme that we have used to support our students to develop a positive mindset at Key Stage Four. Activities are focused on these five areas: 

V = Vision. How well do our pupils know what they want to achieve?  

E= Effort. How many hours of independent work do they do per week?  

S = Systems. How do they organise their learning and time?  

P = Practice. What kind of work do they do to practice their skills?  

A = Attitude. How do they respond to setbacks?  

This year we have also invested in the upgraded online VESPA platform which will further benefit students. This will be introduced during private study throughout Key Stage Four. This gives students access to questionnaires and activities that will provide further support with regards to revision. More detail on VESPA can be found here: VESPA | Noadswood school 

We have created a questionnaire for students and also invite families to complete this on what your children have found difficult and strategies that you think they might find useful (click link). We will also ask year 11 students to complete a questionnaire based on their experiences of their mocks. Together we can then co-construct a programme that ensures your child feels supported at every step of their GCSE journey and beyond. 


In the meantime, don’t forget that lots of useful support for revising, making revision timetables, or finding support for wellbeing can be found on our GCSE Support page on the school website (click link).



Best wishes, 

Mrs E Rollett 

Assistant Headteacher