St John Plessington Catholic College

Helping your child with Tests

Is your youngster aged between 13 and 14? Then they're working towards important tests that will help them when it comes to GCSEs. Here's how to give them the help they need.

helping with homework and revision
Helping your teenager through the Year 9 tests

Like all parents you want to help your child do their best at school and get good exam marks. But its not always easy. Ask them about their homework and all too often you get blank looks or you dont see them for dust.

To make things even more tricky, some of the jargon used by people in education can be pretty baffling. There is, though, something we should all know about. You've probably heard about Key Stage 3 - KS3 for short. It stands for the first three years of secondary education when children are between 11 and 14 years old.

These are very important years because it's a time when children develop the knowledge and the skills that they need for their future education. Children are tested in English, maths and science at the end of Year 9, when they are 13 to 14. Doing well in the KS3 tests means that they are more likely to succeed when they take their GCSEs two years later.

But remember, children do not pass or fail. Their results are simply given as a level. Most kids are expected to achieve level 5 but their target is level 6. As well as the tests, teachers assess them in the other subjects they have studied.

How you can help
Children do better at school when their parents take an interest in their studies. Here are some ways you can help them:

  • Make sure they have a quiet part of the house where they can study and revise and keep their work safe.
  • Get the rest of the family, especially other children, to keep the noise down and leave them in peace while they are studying.
  • Help your child to make a home study plan split into 30-minute sessions with a break between each one. In each session, they should start by tackling the bits that they find most difficult.
  • There are useful tests, quizzes and revision guides to be found in many bookshops. Get your child to ask their teachers for recommendations.
  • The  width=Brain Boosters [External Site] website helps children learn and revise for the KS3 tests. It has revision tips presented in a fun way and links to some other great revision sites. Encourage your child to use it at school, the local library or in the comfort of home.
  • If you have any concerns about your child's progress in any subject then don't hesitate to ring the school to speak to the teacher for help and advice. They will be glad to help.
  • Never forget to praise your child for their hard work. Make sure they have time to relax as well, and that they get enough sleep.