A few minutes later we got seriously wet….

Hawklad’s final school exams are fast approaching, they start in a months time. School are now providing a weekly one hour teaching assistant session to help with English. Another subject teacher is providing revision instructions which help. The rest is down to us now. The REST means revision and subject learning.

It’s a real mixed bag across the subjects. In History (his best subject) we have just about completed the course and can start to revise. This is the subject which has consistently provided teaching materials for Hawklad to work with and marked his submitted work. But in the other subjects we are still scrambling around trying to cover all the topics. It’s clear now that he has missed out significantly being at home. The school and the national education system isn’t setup for pupils who miss significant portions of classroom teaching on health grounds. On top of that teachers are having to cope with class sizes of up to 30 with increasing pressure from Government to stick to prescribed teaching methods. They just don’t have the time to teach outside the box now.

The end result is that Hawklad is having to learn new material when he is supposed to be revising old material. The dilemma now is do we try to cover all the missing topics which would effectively rule out any real revision in most of the subjects OR do we take a punt on just covering some topics and revising these. Cover everything thinly or cover some of it a little more in depth….

In Geography and Sciences we are going to try to cover the entire subject and see if we can squeeze in some crash revision over the last few days. In these subjects we are dumping all the school material as it is so incomplete. We have bought into an online science teaching site that was recommended by a fellow blogger ❤️. For Geography we are finding teaching videos on YouTube.

We have also largely dumped the school maths materials and I’m reteaching the entire subject. Again we hopefully will get a couple of days to crash revise at the end.

With English and Literature we will cover some of the course using the teaching assistant weekly sessions and by watching teaching videos we find on YouTube. Here we just can’t realistically cover all the required reading content in the time left, so we intend to cover and revise just part of the course (and hope we get reasonably lucky in the exam).

The other factor is the actual exams. School haven’t been able to organise a mock exam for Hawklad, so he won’t have sat any practice exams at all before these main ones. In addition, with the time constraints it’s unlikely we will be able to spend too much time practicing exam questions at home. That is just so not ideal. The knock on effect of no exam practice is that we haven’t been able to test whether Hawklad will be able to write his own answers, or whether he needs to type them or if he needs a scribe. All we can do is have a stab at guessing which way will suit him best and then see who it goes in the first exam. If it doesn’t work out then we will have to switch approach for the second exam.

As Hawklad says ….. what could possibly go wrong ……

56 thoughts on “Exams

  1. The school system truly has let you and Hawklad down, Gary. It is a good thing that Hawklad had you by his side through this. I’m thinking of you both and sending you my most positive wishes for the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The government should be ashamed of themselves. Do none of them have children with challenges? Oh right, they are all wealthy. It does make one very cynical. But you are a brilliant team. Whatever the test result, Hawklad will have a great education.


  3. Oh, my, I cannot even imagine how much pressure this must be for both of you and I understand the thoughts about how to approach this mountain of a task.


  4. Remind Hawklad to use his memory, I know he has a great one. It was long ago I last wrote an exam, but some things I taught myself was to always read the question thoroughly, and understand it to the best of my ability. (Well-written) Questions contain a lot of key information, and allowing the memory to take over was often the key. Rule of thumb: Don’t panic! If necessary read the question two or three times and if nothing comes, move on to the next question. Have him finish as much as he can, and then go back to the missed ones. By then the memory might have remembered something. So don’t waste time on things that aren’t answerable in the moment. Get points for what you know first, and then if you have time revisit the the one’s you don’t.


  5. Gosh; you have a lot on!
    My two penworth (as an apologetic exam machine) would be to sacrifice a bit of content skimming for past paper practice. Particularly in subjects such as : lit, lang, history, geography, how you answer can matter as much , if not more, than what you answer.
    Maths, if you check the spec will tell you what weighting goes to each area (it’s different for F or H tier) so you can target the marks . Also as the exam season begins, sites like maths genie, maths tutor, will release predictor papers which are pretty helpful too. On Physics: know your formulae (and the formula sheet) !!
    Sorry, will stop now !! Wishing you the energy to keep going xx


    1. Thank you I really do need to spend time on the art of reading the questions and how to keep calm and get as much info as he has down and not panic. I’ve now managed to work out which topics are getting asked in each paper now. That allows us to better focus the work. ❤️❤️.

      School sent the last years maths equation sheet today, so we can start to work in that.


  6. Gary, every single day, go someplace where your heart stills. Then, lean in and listen for the whisper that will come to you from within. That will be your guiding light for your son. There’s just too much to be covered in its entirety, anyway, that would be so unfair to your brilliant lad. So, go with the voice from within and you will know where to go deep and where to go thin. I will support the both of you in prayer from here. You’ve got this, Gary.


  7. I am sending you and Hawklad lots of care as you tackle this. You really are a wonderful dad Gary. ❤️ Your care and devotion to your son is always lovely to read and reaffirming.


  8. Just reading about this is overwhelming to me. I can’t begin to imagine how immensely hard it is for the two of you. Sending, hugs, prayers, love and any other positive thoughts to you both.


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