We have put together some guides for students and parents, which we hope will find useful and informative. If you have questions please feel free to get in touch. Thank you.



GCSEs stand for General Certificate of Secondary Education and represent the culmination of formal education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Traditionally, children begin GCSE preparation in Year 10 and complete examinations at the end of Year 11. On average, students take between 6 and 9 GCSEs.

Where before there may have coursework or modular units, now there is only end of Year 11 examinations. The grading system in England has change to Grade 9 – 1, to represent the tightening of standards and increase in difficulty in the new GCSEs….


In September 2015 new Year 10 students in English and Maths started work on the new system of GCSEs. This moved from grading students from A*- G to 9 – 1. The first set of results were released for English and Maths in August 2017. Teachers and schools were aware of this change in 2013 and so moved to the new system with limited impact on the students.

Another 20 subjects moved to the 9 – 1 grading in the academic year beginning September 2016. The first set of results for these subjects will be August 2018. It is likely that this will cover all subjects that most students will take this year. There are some other subjects that change next year – but these are in marginal subjects…


The amount of choice of secondary school you will enjoy is somewhat limited.  It depends where you live and the nature of the schools in your local area.  If many of the schools are over-subscribed in your area, then it is likely that your child will be allocated to the school dictated by your postcode. Almost all schools use proximity within admission policies and sometimes siblings being in the school can influence decisions. There are means to appeal and so there is every point in investigating the local schools to help you state your preference on the form when it arrives.

Although you will receive a lot of material from local schools, there is often little relationship between promotional materials and the reality.  Therefore, it is important to visit – both formally and informally – and look for the right things.


We all deal with stress at some point in our lives, but not all stress is bad stress. Stress in moderation can make you more aware of your surroundings, and help keep you focussed and enable you do get more work completed.

There is no dispute that all exams are stressful. It does not matter if it is a practical exam, like a driving test or a written exam, it is going to be a stressful time. For young people who are about to take their GCSE exams, it has got to be the most stressful time that they have ever experienced to date, and equally, it is a traumatic time for parents who are supporting very stressful teenagers during this period…