March updates

Revision classes
Please complete your revision class booking by the end of the day on Saturday.  If you are having problems with the online system, please email your requirements to Richard, and he will issue you with a log-in to arrange payment.  Please note that after Saturday, any revision class with fewer than two participants will become a normal session for the person who signed up, or be cancelled fully!
Richard’s availability in March and April
There are a couple of day swaps in March and April.  Please check the availability page (link:Availability) to see if this affects you.
Building work on The Moorlands
There is currently a lot of building work on the Moorlands, as the local housing association are replacing the roofing on of all their properties.  The road is passable most of the time, but if you have large vehicles (e.g. 4x4s), or do not like driving through narrow gaps between hedges, vans and equipment, it may be sensible to park on the South access road, or alternatively on other nearby roads, and walk around.  Please avoid parking on the pavements on Sherburn and Sunderland Roads, as this not only can cause access problems, but also severely impedes visibility for other road users.

Summer revision sessions 2017

Following a successful small-scale trial in 2015, and a full scale trial in 2016, I’m pleased to announce today that Summer Revision sessions will make a full return for the 2017 exam season, however there will be a few changes to how they will be run.
Continued partnership
Firstly, we will be continuing our room booking partnership with Bowburn Community Association, who will be hosting most, if not all, of our revision sessions.   The centre is easily accessible by car (with a large free car park) or bus (the regular X12 Newcastle – Middlesbrough bus stops directly outside).
Advance payments
We will, however, be operating a different payment system to last year, so that all sessions are paid and committed to in advance.  This will prevent larger rooms being booked when they not needed, enabling us to spend more money on the learning resources necessary for a successful session.
The main booking window for the summer revision classes will open on 1 January 2017, and close 2 months later, on 4 March.  At this point, sessions with low / no bookings will be rescheduled to smaller venues or cancelled.  From 5 March to 22 April, bookings will remain open, however they will be at a premium rate.  From 23 April, last-minute bookings will be taken, although these will be at our emergency rate!
Early bird bookings have now closed
In spite of the above, the fee for sessions for 2017  is outstanding value, as other tutors running similar events often charge over £60 for essentially the same service.

Bookings from
Bookings to

5 March 2017
22 April 2017

23 March 2017
Start of session

Ok, so when are the revision sessions?
Our revision timetable is shown below.

Week 1 (1 – 7 May)

No sessions

Week 2 (8 – 14 May)

Saturday 13 May 11am – 1pm: AS Maths – Pure Core 1, session 1

Week 3 (15 – 21 May)

Monday 15 May 5pm – 7pm: AS Maths – Pure Core 1, session 2
Saturday 20 May 11am -1pm: AS Maths – Pure Core 2, session 1
Saturday 20 May 1.30pm -3.30pm: GCSE Science – Physics, session 1
Sunday 21 May 11am – 1pm: GCSE Maths Non-calculator, session 1

Week 4 (22 – 28 May)

Monday 22 May 7pm – 9pm: AS Maths – Pure Core 2, session 2

Week 5 (29 May – 4 June)

Saturday 3 June 4.00pm – 6pm: AS Maths – Statistics, session 1
Sunday 4 June 11am – 1pm: GCSE Maths calculator, session 1

Week 6 (5 – 11 June)

Monday 5 June 5pm – 7pm: AS Maths – Statistics, session 2
Friday 9 June 5pm – 7pm – GCSE Maths calculator, session 3
Sunday 11 June 11am – 1pm: A-level Physics, session 1
Sunday 11 June 1.30pm-3.30pm GCSE Maths calculator, session 4

Week 7 (12 – 18 June)

Tuesday 13 June 5pm – 7pm: A-level Physics, session 2
Wednesday 14 June 5pm – 7pm:  GCSE Additional Science and Separate Science – Physics, session 2
Saturday 17 June 11am – 1pm: A-level Physics, session 3

Week 8 (19 – 25 June)

Monday 19 June: 5pm – 7pm: A-level Physics, session 4
Saturday 24 June 11am – 1pm: A-level Physics, session 5

Week 9 (26 June – 2 July)

Monday 26 June 5pm – 7pm: A-level Physics, session 6

Suspended sessions
Regrettably, sessions with low numbers of signups on 5 March 2017 have been cancelled.  These include all sessions on Biology, Chemsistry and AS Physics; and also the problem solving classes at the start of  month.

When are the summer exams, or “am I on schedule”?

One of the most common questions that I’m asked is “am I on schedule” or “am I behind your other students?”  Hopefully, this post will go some way to answering these questions.
Exam timetables have been published for a long time
Firstly, exam timetables for Summer 2017 are already online.  I’ve put links for the different exam boards in the footer. [1. AQA GCSE, AQA GCE, Edexcel GCSE, Edexcel GCE, OCR GCSE, OCR GCE.]  Indeed, exam timetables for Summer 2018 will be finalized in February, so there really is no excuse for not knowing when your exams are well ahead of time.
Pacing and scheduling is a very individual problem.
Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to say how long something should take a person: we’re all very different, and so it will naturally take us all a different amount of time to learn new things.  As a rule of thumb, though, you should not be learning anything new after Easter.
This is easier to specify for A-levels that GCSEs, as most modern A-levels still have leftovers of the modular structure, even though modular examinations have now gone.
It’s very simple to split the course up into sections, and make sure you’ve completed each section in a given time.  For example, for A-level Physics:

Autumn Term AS
Spring Term AS
Autumn Term A2
Spring Term A2

(based on AQA)
Particles and QM
SHM and Circular Motion

Nuclear Physics
Thermal Physics

It’s slightly harder to split up A-level Maths, as you need to have three slots rather than two, however it is still possible:

Autumn Term AS
Spring Term AS
Autumn Term A2
Spring Term A2

(based on Edexcel)
Core 1
Core 2
Core 2
(trigonometry)Statistics 1
Core 3
Mechanics 1
(equations of motion)

Mechanics 1
Core 4

Of course, there are other ways to split the modules, these are only suggestions.
GCSEs are more challenging
GCSEs are more challenging to schedule, as they have never had a proper modular layout.  However. every exam board splits their syllabus up into topics, which should be evenly distributed throughout the year, so you should have no problems working out for yourself whether you’re ahead or behind.
When should I worry about being behind?
If, by Christmas, you’re more than a topic behind where you need to be to finish by Easter, you probably need to take some action, possibly including independent study, or talking to your tutor!
Hopefully, this is helpful to you all – post in the comments if you have any questions!

Welcome to a new year

Today sees the start of our new teaching year at Mallard Days, and tuition is back to full time.  At the moment, Richard only has weekday daytime slots available, however Vicky has more slots throughout the week.
We will also be doing some updates on the Mallard Days website very soon, and also opening booking for summer term revision workshops.  Plus, we will be uploading more content here than ever before.
So keep your eyes open, and I look forward to interacting more with you in the upcoming year.