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Orchard School Bristol

Year 11 - The Year Ahead

Orchard School Bristol aims to make Year 11 as stress free and successful as possible for all students. GCSEs are probably the biggest responsibility our students have faced so far in their lives.  By being organised with their work, their notes and their time and by studying using smart and effective methods our students will feel confident and well prepared for their exams.

This page includes links to short videos made by each faculty at Orchard School. We would not expect you to watch them all in one go, but it is worth sitting down with your parents to go through your subjects and what is required in each.

Once you know what you have to cover and have heard some top tips from your teachers about how to be prepared, make a plan for revision for your mock exams. It is a reasonable expectation for you to be revising between 1-2 hours per day on top of your normal homework during Year 11.

Mock Exams

The mock exams take place at the start of Term 3. You will understand that, more than ever, mock exams (also known as Pre Public Exams (PPEs) are important. In the last year, many final grades were determined, in part, by performance in mock exams. This should not be a cause for panic - the mock grades are used as a guide to future performance. The grade gained in the mocks is not seen as the final grade - we know much valuable learning is completed between January and May.

Revision Tips:

There are many ways of revising for exams and it is important that you find methods that suit you. What is widely understood is that active revision is far more effective than passive revision. In other words, just reading through your notes is unlikely to be effective but completing braindumps, constructing mindmaps, answering past paper questions and quizzing yourself are.

The hardest thing is to take the first step. You can spend too long considering how, when, what and where you will revise, you might spend time rearranging your room or picking your favourite highlighter (this is called procrastination!) but, if in doubt, just start. Get 5 minutes done and then another 5 and soon you will have covered a topic. Then you can consider a revision plan that makes sure you are covering everything you need to study.


  • Ignore everyone else - do what works for you - just make sure you do it
  • Just start - if in doubt, sit down, do 5, 10, 20 minutes - it's no more complicated than that
  • Remember why you are doing it - fast forward 10 years and your doing the dream job that has been possible because of the work you are doing now
  • Make sure you have a quiet space in which you can revise undisturbed.

Get your parents to read a book called, 'GCSE survival guide for Parents' by Emily Hughes. If you get the chance, read it yourself too. It's short, simple and if you follow the advice you won't go too far wrong.


Prep Time

Prep time on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday is a great way to revise. 45 minutes working in small groups with a teacher who is an expert on your exam board requirements. See it as 90+ hours of private tutor quality tuition that you get for free. Your prep time is organised so that you can get help in the subjects where you need it the most.

Year 11 Overview

This is a short overview of the next few terms ahead at school. More information about revision techniques, exam preparation, exam dates and additional supporting material will be added this term.

The following are links to each of our faculties. Spend some time watching the videos. They will be accessible all the way through to your exams so please refer back to them when you need them.

Year 11 October/November Update




English Language and English Literature



















Art, Design and Technology (all subjects)













Sports Studies (all subjects)