We all remember the horrors of our GCSE exams, and as parents, GCSE exams can be even more painful as we see our ‘babies’ struggling to cope with one of the most stressful experiences of their life! One Mum who’s recently survived the GCSE’s and A Levels with her own kids, is Siwan Jobbins, who contacted Mam Cymru to ask if we could share this article about the new films she’s produced for the BBC, to help children who are studying for their GCSE’s this year. The article also contains lots of other useful resources to help students who are preparing for those dreaded GCSE exams!
This can be a lonely, stressful and confusing time for young people, so the BBC has created a great new Welsh language resource, bbc.co.uk/meddwlarwaith to help address these feelings. The website is home to a whole bunch of fun and informative short films where young people, who’ve been through the stresses and strains of GCSE’s share their tips with those about to sit their exams. Advice shared range from last minute revision tips to how to prepare for an oral exam.
During filming, one thing that all the participants raised was how their parents’ constant checking up and chatting about exams stressed them out. So if that sounds like you – stop! One positive thing parents can do to help is look out for useful resources. Here are some suggestions:
Back in 2015, The WJEC launched a new maths curriculum, GCSE maths and GCSE Maths – numeracy. bbc.co.uk/tgau is full of short, fun, animated films in which characters solve mathematical problems in ‘real’ situations. Every unit has a ‘revision’ section as well as quizzes to help students test themselves. You can visit either the Welsh or English site.
Also available of the bitesize website are resources that correspond with the new biology and physics curriculum. New chemistry resources will be added soon.
Based on Bangor University’s Science GCSE revision guidelines, the ‘Revison’ / ‘Adolygu’ app – which is available in both Welsh and English – uses a quiz format to help students revise. There are 2 apps available, one for year 10 and the other for year 11. They can be downloaded from itunes.
www.wolframalpha.com is an ‘answer’ engine’ as opposed to a ‘search engine’. It offers answers on an array of subjects but works particularly well for numbers and stats-based questions so is great for subjects like maths and computer studies. Use if to check answers to maths problems and help with formulas.
www.studymaths.co.uk notes all the formulas need for both the higher and foundation tiers. There are also GCSE-like questions for you to test yourself.
www.schmoop.com can be used for maths but is particularly good for English literature. It includes short, simple films of novels and plays such as Lord Of The Flies, An Inspector Calls, A View From The Bridge, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, and The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night Time. Most of these novels and plays, along with revision notes can also be found on bbc.co.uk/gcse.
www.cliffsnotes.com is an American site, so not all the GCSE novels and plays are included. For those included, the information given is more thorough than many other sites, so its worth browsing through it in search of material for GCSE, AS & A level exams.
For Welsh Language and Literature, again take a look at bbc.co.uk/tgau. Three new novels were introduced to the curriculum recently: O Ran; Dim; Diffodd y Sêr . The website includes short films and plenty of information on these as well as revision notes on some of the older novels, like Llinyn Trôns and Yn y Gwaed. There are also some Welsh as a Second Language resources on the website.
The written exams kick off on May 8th, so good luck everyone!
Mam Cymru would like to thank Siwan Jobbins for sharing this information with our readers and GOOD LUCK to everyone in their exams, and all the parents too!
By Heulwen Davies, Mam Cymru