Supporting young people through their GCSEs

GCSEs are well under way now, after a half term break young people across the UK are hopefully feeling refreshed and ready for ’round two’.

My daughter has seven exams left to do now, meaning she’s over half way through. She’s pleased that the remaining exams are all a bit more spaced out, in that she doesn’t have any other days with two exams in one day. She’s also a bit frustrated that she has so long to prepare for her music exam which comes right at the end, when she feels this prep would have been better shared between other subjects. However, it is what it is and she’s calm, relaxed and prepared so that is the main thing.

If you are a regular reader of the blog you may remember that back in January I reminded you all about The Extraordinaries Club that we’ve been a part of. The Extraordinaries Club is an online hub containing Lucy Parson’s academic coaching signature study skills programme that will help your child to achieve their grades in the best way for them. It gives you on demand access to a library of workshops and downloads that cover everything you need to study successfully. You also get personalised advice from Lucy and her academic coaching team through weekly coaching calls and a members only Facebook group.

If you want to find out more about what we thought in the earlier stages you can check out my last post here and my initial thoughts here.

What’s been useful during final preparations for exams

So, in terms of the club, I thought I’d highlight this time, what’s been useful during the final stages of preparing for exams and during half term.

I think, at this stage the most useful thing has been the masterclasses available on subjects like English Language, where it isn’t always obvious how you can revise. There are some really helpful links to super resources like Mr Salles You Tube which have all sorts of wonderful tips and tricks for getting the best grades in GCSE English Language. As well as this, the masterclass itself has some really detailed and specific help including:

  • The examiners’ secret advice on each question.
  • Why you can score many more marks once you progress beyond writing in PEE paragraphs
  • Discover how best to use your time in the exam so that you don’t throw away marks
  • Learn why you need to experiment with the order of the questions, and why doing questions in the order they appear might not be the best solution for you
  • Learn how to make your writing lively, interesting and get the highest grades
  • Discover how to prepare for the narrative question, so you can stand out from the crowd, and have a real choice in the exam

As a parent, my feeling is that this masterclass takes young people far away from the view that “you can’t revise for GCSE English Language” and gives some really good tips for achieving their best grade possible.

The other thing that has been helpful is the resources lists that come with these masterclasses. In particular the one for physics, as it is full of useful you tube videos, meaning you can quickly access these, rather than searching through all the rubbish ones to find the good ones yourself.

It would be really good to see a masterclass on how to revise for GCSE music, as that is probably the one exam my daughter has struggled with how to revise for. It’s a listening exam, which seems to be complicating things, anyone else have children taking music and finding this tricky?


I will be updating you all on our progress with the club following exams when the results are out. Perhaps your child is in year 10 and things are starting to get serious, or maybe they are in year 9, and have just chosen their GCSE options. Whatever the situation, it helps as a parent to be prepared so you can support your child in the most effective way. I can honestly say this feels like it’s come around so fast – anyone know where the pause button is?

The dashboard is super easy to navigate for parents and children and there is a wealth of information available at your fingertips. 

Parents who want to help their children stand out from the crowd may want to take a look at what Lucy can offer.

You can follow Lucy over on Facebook and Twitter . Parents, find out everything you need to over on Lucy’s website.

This is a collaborative article.


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