Collage: General Certificate of Secondary Education and Post- 16 Library Essay

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The Nottingham Bluecoat School and Technology College Post 16 Centre

Independent study guide 2011-12
Help make the jump from GCSE to Post-16 study with these suggested study tasks from your teachers.

Post-16 Independent study guide
“What determines your success at GCSE is how hard you work in your lessons. What determines your success at A Level is how hard you work outside of lessons.” Across the country GCSE results have steadily been rising over the past few years. Some people put this down to young people working harder and standards in schools rising. Others claim that GCSEs have got easier. Whatever the reasons, it is true to say that many schools have become exceptionally good at preparing their students to pass GCSE examinations and The Nottingham Bluecoat School is no exception. The other side of this coin is that the leap from GCSEs to A Levels is as large as ever. Students who succeed in achieving their 5 higher grade passes aren’t necessarily well-prepared to tackle A Levels which are, by name and by nature, “Advanced”. GCSEs require that you remember, understand and apply; A Levels require higher order thinking skills: the ability to evaluate, analyse, research, assess, investigate and explore. Students can be coached through GCSEs by skilled teachers but must be capable of independent thought and independent study to succeed in their A Levels. Many graduates look back and agree that studying for their A Levels was every bit as challenging as studying for their degree. This booklet is designed to help you make this leap to Level 3 study. The tasks have been written by your teachers, each of them specialists in their subject areas. Use your study periods and time outside of school to work through some of the suggested tasks and don’t hesitate to ask any of your teachers with support at any stage. Good luck! The Post-16 team

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Art AS & A2 • • • • • • Go to Art room to continue practical coursework. Read through OCR AS/A Level Art & Design Suite specification at www.ocr.org.uk Ensure sketchbooks are thoroughly annotated. Use internet/library to further your artist research. Refer to local newspapers to research local exhibitions and visit them. Spend time reading around the subject - 'The Story of Art' by E. H. Gombrich is in the school library.

Biology AS • • • • • • • Read relevant sections from the text book, including key definitions and examiners' tips. Answer questions from the text book at the end of each double page. Have a go at practice questions and examination questions at the end of each chapter. Check through the specification (found at www.ocr.org.uk) to make sure you understand the concepts you have covered in class. Learn your definitions for key words. Practice calculations for magnification. Work through past exam papers and look at mark schemes to see what examiners are looking for (can be found at www.paperbank.co.uk or www.ocr.org.uk; the papers on the paperbank website are from the old specification but will be very similar styles to the new exams). Use the concept maps in the text book which are found at the end of each module. Add notes to your own version and use them as revision tools. Use the exam café CD at the back of the book to practice exam technique and develop revision systems. Buy and use a revision guide. Most of these contain other questions (with answers) for you to test yourself. Work with a friend to test yourself with definitions and other problems. Make revision cards for the key words in each topic. Read the 'New Scientist' (available in the Post-16 library - check with the librarian) or similar scientific journal to expand your knowledge.

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Biology A2 • • • • • • • • • • • • Work with a friend to test yourself with definitions and other problems. Make revision cards for the key words in each topic. Draw concept maps for each topic. Read the 'New Scientist' (available in the Post-16 library - check with the librarian) or similar…