TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR AS-MODULES BEFORE THEY TAKE CHARGE OF YOU!
The move up from GCSE’s into the sixth form isn’t easy. Felicity Kilpatrick, Head of Learning Support at Christ College Brecon, offers tips on making the move.
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It’s your first day of the life in the Sixth Form and you’ve probably been looking forward to this moment since the middle of your GCSEs: you are about to embark on courses you enjoy, you are going to be doing fewer subjects and you will have fewer timetabled lessons.
The change from GCSE isn’t all about a different combination of subjects, though. With your first exam as early as March, you need to take control of your work from the beginning of your AS courses and make sure you stay in control.
Learning to work efficiently will mean that you are more likely to work effectively and that means more time for yourself and your life outside the school day.
Take control of your modules:
Make sure you know how the modules on your chosen courses are arranged. Keep a note of the details if you think you are going to forget. Most schools provide information about the syllabus, either website references or paper copies. If you haven’t been given this information, ask someone who knows.
Make sure you know the title and content of each of the modules. You should also make sure you know who will be teaching them, how they will be examined and when. The different content of each module is an important feature of many of the AS courses; if you don’t know how the content of your lessons fits into the module structure it won’t be easy to stay in control of what you are learning.
Take control of your files
Armed with information about the way your modules are taught and examined, organise your files carefully from the very beginning. By the time you notice that the ‘one subject/one file’ system you used at GCSE no longer works, your files will already be bulging and it will almost certainly too overwhelming to sort them out.
Keep a separate file for each module. Print out a single sided-copy of the syllabus; put the appropriate pages in the appropriate files. You could also cut up sections of the syllabus and paste them onto dividers. Separating out the various units of the module in this way will make your notes easier to refer to when it comes to working on past papers or when you are revising.
Take control of your time
The Sixth Form may be the first time you’ve needed to make decisions about how to use ‘free’ time at school. By about the third week of term, a pattern to your week will begin to emerge. This means you are in a position to take control of your free time by making decisions about when you are going to focus on school work. If you don’t make these decisions, you’ll find yourself working late into the night or falling behind all too quickly.
Nominate parts of your day - whether in school or at home – for study. At the start of each study session tell yourself what you intend to achieve and how you are going to achieve it. You’ll probably find that you soon fall into a pattern of work and then you can keep good habits going rather than fall into the bad habit of allowing distractions to get in the way.
Taking control of your AS courses from the outset means that you can work more effectively, you can enjoy your subjects more and you can have time to enjoy your life outside the classroom: that’s not a bad way to start life in the Sixth Form. Good luck!
Take control of your AS modules before they take control of you
Find out how your AS modules will be taught and examined
Find out when they will be taught and examined
Find out what you are going to be taught at AS
Organise your files according to the relevant syllabus
Make decisions about when you are going to study
Make decisions about what you are going to study
Make sure you have time for yourself too