The lead-up to end-of-year exams and assessments can often be a stressful and challenging time for students, especially for those who feel ill-equipped and apprehensive. However, thanks to the supportive and robust framework at ACG Tauranga, senior students are given the help and guidance they need to flourish.
To ensure Year 11 to 13 students are not only prepared academically but are comfortably able to manage their workloads, ACG Tauranga offers additional after-school tutorials and workshops across the entire school year. The hour-long tutorials are provided for every subject every week (as well as during some lunchtimes) and create an open forum for students to ask specific questions or clarify any areas where they need more information.
Eager to make the most of this opportunity to extend and consolidate their coursework knowledge, ACG students are welcoming these supplementary sessions with open arms.
“The uptake from the student body has been great,” says Deputy Principal Terence Beeton. “Students have been really good about identifying specific aspects of their learning, or questions in exams, that they need help with.”
These tutorials have been combined with an eight-day mock exam schedule to strengthen revision opportunities for students approaching their Cambridge assessments. This foundation acts to familiarise students with the examination process, build time-management and effective study skills, and highlight any areas where more work is needed.
“The mock exams are an opportunity to assess students on the majority of the course content,” explains Terence. “This gives both teachers and students valuable insight into current levels of preparation, as well as highlighting progress made throughout the year.”
“By running the mocks in a manner that closely mimics the Cambridge exams, students are better prepared for this rigorous routine and are therefore less anxious about the format and logistics they will experience. Instead, they can focus on their learning. The mocks allow teachers to provide students with some additional feedback, not just in terms of content knowledge, but in terms of examination technique or study strategies as well.”
Terence believes it is impossible to understate the importance of this extra support in response to its effects on student confidence, wellbeing, and ultimately success.
“It is crucial that as a school, we prepare the students as well as we possibly can. Our responsibly is to ensure that each and every student is set up to attain the best possible results that they are capable of achieving. Readiness means knowing what to learn, how to learn it, how to manage time, and how to manage the stress associated with such a high-stake assessment.”
Another proactive tool that ACG Tauranga promote and proudly encourage is their Next Step philosophy. Understanding that despite our best intentions, things don’t always go to plan, the school helps students plot a course of action should they underperform in their assessments.
Teachers connect individually with any disappointed pupils to prevent them from feeling discouraged or overwhelmed. Discussing where improvement is needed, what the student would like to achieve, and how they are going to get there, together they interactively formulate a series of ‘next steps’ to achieve these aims.
In addition to sessions held during the July holiday period, Terence confirms that ACG Tauranga’s annual IGCSE, AS-Level and A-Level workshops have been organised for the October term break. Delivering a final boost to Cambridge prep, they focus on core content and exam expectations and are welcomed by students to expand their knowledge and understanding and help balance their study programmes.
“Our workshops are not compulsory, but the majority of our students turn up to all of them. I think this shows the commitment of our students and the incredible determination they have to succeed.”