Curriculum for Year 10 (Age 14-15) - Young Adult GCSE - Key Stage 4

The final year of GCSE and the last year at secondary schools. So here we are... I can’t sit here and promise that next year isn’t going to be hard, or that there won’t be tears, or that, at certain points, you will want to give it all up and throw a mug at the wall. It is hard; it is frustrating; it is full of pressure.

But it is also such an amazing time, and as you sit there before it’s even started, here are six tips to make sure that Year 11 goes phenomenally well from the morning of the first day back.

1. Get organised
Organisation in year 11 is so crucial.

There’ll be homework, deadlines, coursework, assessments, exams, prom dates to ask out, as well as everything else that comes with being a young person and enjoying your life. In short: it’s busy.

Having your time planned is really important, so that you can make sure everything gets done, you do it justice and you also give yourself time to enjoy what you like to do outside of school.

Use your school planner, your phone’s calendar or a piece of paper to plan what you need to do, when for, and how it’s going to get done.

When you’re back at school, think about exactly where you are in each subject, what you need to work on, and how you’re going to go about it.

Talk to teachers, school staff, mentors and anyone else who’s out to help, and use the advice and support that’s there. You can do this, and you’re the one doing it, but you can’t do it all by yourself!

2. Understand perfection is not practical
Get this: you aren’t going to get everything correct in every assessment for the entire year.

You still have a year to go, and mistakes are part of the process of learning. If something goes wrong, that’s fine; look at what went wrong, think about why, and consider how you can make sure you learn so that it doesn’t go wrong again.  

3. Revision starts early!
The earlier it starts, the longer you have to re-revise information. And the more time you allow that to move to your long term memory, the easier it is to recall in exams.

Don’t make revision just for your mocks; make it a part of your overall exam revision for the summer. Plan your evening’s revision out on your planner/diary/phone (from tip #1!) and bank that knowledge for the future.

4. Look after yourself
The most important thing about you is your physical and mental health, and Year 11 can be a stressful time for everyone.

If you’re struggling, tell someone. If you’re not well, tell someone. If it’s getting you down, tell someone.

Only by talking can anyone help anything, so don’t soldier on letting it get worse. Talk to someone who you trust and start to make things better.

5. Be yourself
All anyone wants from you is your best. Not your friend’s. Not your sister who left school three years ago with top grades in everything.

Run your own race and don’t compare yourself to anyone else.

It’s sometimes hard when your friends are all getting exams back and talking about what they got, but your future is not about them, it’s about you, doing your best, and being the very best version of yourself.

6. Enjoy it!
Right now, as you prepare to start the year everyone’s been talking about for ages – how important it is, what’s going to happen, when you’ll finish, your plans for the summer that seems ages away at the moment - you’ll think this is ridiculous!

In a few years’ time, though, that won’t be the case. Massive things will happen this year which, right now, you’re in control of. Take control of your future and own it from the first day back in September.

Enjoy the highs, and get help through the lows, and make sure, when you reach the end, you've done the best you can.