If you are a student in Year 11, you’ll know that you have it tough. You will have so many GCSE exams to sit which can seem never-ending. However, you need to remember that they soon will! The end of the year is a time all students look forward to, as they can take a break for rest and relaxation. Particularly for Year 11 students, this is an opportunity to put down the books and enjoy the end of a long slog towards exams. As a reward for this, Year 11s always finish for the summer earlier than any other school year group. This date can vary from school to school, so it is vital that you find out exactly when your school’s final day is.
Year 11s officially finish school on the last Friday of June. For 2023, this will be the Friday 30th June. However, this depends on each individual school. Some schools will encourage Year 11 students to continue having lessons after they have finished their GCSEs, meaning they will finish later.
If you want to find out more about the leaving dates for Year 11s and the factors that affect this date, check out the rest of this article!
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What date do GCSEs finish in 2023?
GCSE exams may certainly seem like they last forever. However, there is an end date in sight! GCSE exams started on the 15th of May 2023. GCSEs will then end on the 21st June 2023.
This period is the same for all exam boards. However, the days specific exams are set depends on individual exam boards.
You can find the key dates for individual exam boards and subjects if you read this article from BBC Bitesize. This highlights the fact that GCSE exams definitely do finish!
They do not last forever. You just need to keep on going and soon this date will be here.
When do Year 11’s get study leave?
Study leave is defined as a student’s extra time off school, allowing them to study and revise for exams. You can find out more about what study leave is on this article from Think Student.
There is no exact date where Year 11s are allowed study leave. This is because it is up to the school to decide when they offer this to students. Some schools may not even offer study leave at all!
It generally takes place two weeks before GCSE exams if schools do offer it. You may be surprised at how many schools actually don’t offer study leave!
Lots of schools don’t allow students to take extra time off school because they may not trust that students will be using their time wisely. As a result, students are kept in school so that teachers can lead taught revision sessions.
You can find out more about whether Year 11s do get study leave on this article from Think Student.
Does Year 11 finish early?
Put simply, Year 11 students do tend to finish school for the summer holidays earlier than other year groups. This is because after they have completed their GCSEs, they don’t need to be taught anything else from the curriculum.
The official leaving date in 2023 is the 30th June. This is according to this article from Studying Hood. The government website also explains how students are able to leave school on the last Friday of June, as long as they turn 16 years old by the end of the summer holidays.
This information can be viewed on the government website here. In comparison, other year groups finish a month later than this.
This varies every year, however the last day of school is normally around the 21st or 22nd of July. For 2023, the leaving date for students who have not sat GCSE or A-Level exams is the 21st July, according to this article from Metro.
However, you need to be aware that this date can vary across schools.
When do Year 11’s stop having lessons?
Again, the date Year 11s stop having lessons differs across different schools. Some schools stop teaching students as soon as the first GCSE exam starts. As of 2023, this will be the 15th of May.
However, some schools encourage students to keep turning up to lessons, during the exam period. This means that students may have to keep going to lessons until the 21st of June.
Further to this, some schools actually ask students to still attend school after they have completed their GCSEs. This is because they may offer taster sessions or extra lessons to prepare students for A-Levels.
What do Year 11’s do after they’ve completed their exams?
After you have completed your GCSEs in Year 11, often you are free to do whatever you want to! However, as already stated, you need to be aware that your school may still ask you to come in and do some extra lessons.
These lessons most likely won’t take full school days to complete, however, again, this differs between schools. If you do get to forget about school for a bit as soon as you have completed exams, there are plenty of things you could be getting up to as a Year 11 leaver!
You could just have a relax, after all, you will have just completed an intense study period. However, you could also use the time to learn a new skill, gain work experience or even do some volunteering!
This is completely up to you, as the summer holidays are your own! You can find out some more ideas of what to do after you have completed your exams in Year 11 if you read this article from Think Student.
It is always a good idea to prepare for your next steps in education too. You could use the time to search for apprenticeships or gather school supplies for sixth form or college.
When is prom?
The date for the Year 11 prom varies between schools. However, it will definitely take place after exams rather than before.
It generally occurs before the start of the official six-week summer holidays. You have plenty of time to prepare then!
Schools will normally send out letters to students as invitations with the exact dates and prices. If you still haven’t heard anything about when prom is, it’s best to just ask your teachers.
Some schools don’t even have prom, so it’s a good idea to ask. If you want to find out some more information about prom in general, check out this article from Think Student.
Is there a school graduation for Year 11?
Again, whether you get invited to a Year 11 graduation or not depends on each individual school. It is not a very popular option.
In general, most students prefer just having a prom. However, if you really want to have a Year 11 graduation, it is best to bring it up with your teachers if other students share your view.
Graduation ceremonies are normally just used at universities and sometimes nurseries hold mini ones for when the children leave for primary school.
When is GCSE results day 2023?
GCSE results day is on Thursday the 24th August 2023. This occurs a week after A-Level results day, as A-Level students need to know their results slightly earlier in order to prepare for their next steps in post 18 education.
During results day, you will be called alphabetically to receive your GCSE grades. They usually come in a sealed white envelope, so you can open them yourself.
Alternatively, you can just get the results emailed to you. This can be a very stressful day. However, you need to remember that exams are not the be all and end all.
If you do receive the grades you weren’t hoping for, it is not the end of the world! Year 11 is not the ending, it is actually the beginning, as you pursue the career that most interests you.
How can you prepare for sixth form college?
After plenty of relaxation, results day will roll around and you need to think about the next steps in terms of your education. Whilst some students choose to stay at their original school, others may want to move to a sixth form college, as might be a better environment for them to thrive in.
Applications for other schools and sixth form colleges should ideally be handed in before Christmas in Year 11, but in the summer, there are some big decisions to be made.
On results day, you’ll find out if schools have accepted you and how suited you are to your A-Level courses. During August, you need to have a good look at what your options are and decide on the best course of action for September. Whether you’ve already decided on a sixth form, or are stuck between several choices, it’s always worth doing extra research into schools and subjects.
If a sixth form or sixth form college provides a taster day you may wish to visit these, as it could help make your mind up on the best environment for you. Attending open days will allow you to meet the other students and teachers you may be studying with at sixth form, so that the transition into September goes as smoothly as possible.
To get some inspiration on how to transition from GCSEs to A-Levels read this Think Student article.
The important thing to remember is that you never get another opportunity for a break like this again (except after A-Levels) so enjoy the chance for slow-living while you can!