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Examinations and assessment

PPE information 2023 - 2024  

Examinations can be a stressful time for students and parents/carers, therefore it is important that all those involved are as well informed as possible.

The information below has been designed to answer some of your questions and queries. We want you to understand that the rules and regulations in place are designed to ensure fairness in exams and minimise disturbance so that exams run smoothly.

We will make every effort to ensure that students receive the best possible preparation for their Pre Public Examinations (PPEs), that the administrative arrangements run smoothly, and that the examinations are conducted in a way that will cause as little stress as possible and help students to achieve their potential.

The examinations will provide the school with key evidence of student progress in GCSE/GCE subjects and will act as part of the overall evidence faculties use to highlight any gaps in knowledge and ensure students are prepared for their final examinations. For this reason, it is important that PPEs are a true representation of ability. Therefore, I urge all students to prepare for any PPEs in the same way they would for any national exams.

Although this can be a stressful time, we are confident that with continued hard work and the use of applications such as Educake, Everlearner any other revision software, these PPE results will confirm the excellent progress that students are making and will boost confidence during this year.

Please keep reading for a guide through the examination process and information about examination procedures and expectations, answering some of the most frequently asked questions. 

Mrs K Davis, Assistant Head – Director of KS4                                


Important points for students to remember

  • Make sure you know when your exams are and that you have an accurate, up-to-date timetable.
  • Familarise yourself with the location of the exams.
  • Arrive at your exams at least 20 minutes before the morning timetabled start time and at least 10 minutes before the afternoon start time.
  • If you are going to be late, inform the school.
  • It is the candidate’s responsibility to bring everything they will need in order to complete an examination.
  • Do not bring any unauthorised materials into the examination room.
  • Any exam related queries can be emailed to


PPE dates for 2023 - 2024

14 to 17 November 2023 - Year 11 Core Subjects

27 to 29 November 2023 - Year 13 All Subjects

5 and 7 December 2023 - Year 11 Fine Art & Art, Craft & Design 

11 to 14 December 2023 - Year 11 MFL Orals

12 and 13 December 2023 - Year 13 Photography 

14 and 15 December 2023 - Year 13 Fine Art 

18 and 19 December 2023 - Year 11 Option Subjects 

27 to 1 March 2024 - Year 11 Core Subjects (No 2) 

13, 20 and 27 March 2024 - Year 13 All Subjects (No 2) 

25 to 28 March 2024 - Year 10 MFL Orals 

25 and 27 March 2024 - Year 11 Art & Art, Craft & Design 

22 to 26 April 2024 - Year 10 All Subjects 

11 and 12 June 2024 - Year 12 Photography 

13 and 14 June 2024 - Year 12 Fine Art 


Information for Students

What are PPEs and why are they important?

  • PPE stands for Pre Public Examination.
  • We run PPE exam sessions at various points throughout Year 10 and 11 (GCSE) and Year 12/13 (GCE).
  • PPEs give you the opportunity to practice completing exams in the exams environment. This gives you the opportunity to become familiar with the examination process, environment and rules.
  • The exam assessment also gives the teachers an opportunity to assess the progress that you are making.
  • We understand that taking exams can feel stressful, but practicing the process will help alleviate some exam anxiety. We are here to support you.

How will I know when my exams are?

  • You will receive an exam timetable in advance of your exams.
  • Your timetable will contain information about the time and location of your exam.
  • On occasion, you may discover an administration error on your timetable. Don’t panic! Raise your concerns with your tutor who will contact the Exams Officer to investigate. Once any administration issues are resolved, we will reissue you with an up to date timetable.

What if I am unwell on the day of my exam?

If  you are unwell on the day of any examination, please ensure you notify main reception prior to the exam. They will get a message to the Exams Officer advising of your absence.

For PPE exams your subject teacher will reschedule your exam on your return.

What time do my exams begin?

All morning examinations start at 9.00am and finish around 11.00am. This means that students will register at 8.30-8.40am as normal and then go directly to their exam venue. Students will be able to have a short break before going to P3 lessons. P3 and P4 lessons and lunchtime will run as normal. Afternoon examinations will start as soon as possible after lunch and students should not attend afternoon registration or house assembly. Examinations may end later than 3.00pm.

What happens if I am late?

  • If you think you are going to be late, please contact the school as soon as posssible.
  • If you are not in school for the start of the examination, we will try to contact you or your parent/carer to remind you where you should be.  
  • Please make your way to the appropriate examination venue as quickly as possible.

Do I have my timetabled lessons between my exams?

  • During your PPEs, normal timetabled lessons and registration sessions will not be suspended and you will be expected to attend lessons when you are not in an examination.
  • Subject teachers may also have made specific arrangements for this week, so please ensure you listen carefully in lessons for subject specific information to ensure that you do not miss important revision sessions.

Where will my exams be held?

  • Most examinations will take place in the sports hall, the community room, or in the Edison Centre.
  • The exam venue and the times of each exam are on your individual examination timetable.
  • It is important that you check the information provided by your tutor during the PPEs to ensure you are aware of the examination venue for each of your examinations.
  • The main exam venues are:


Registration meeting point

Additional information

The Sports Hall

Register at 8.30am-8.40am as normal and then go directly the netball courts for morning exams.


P5 teachers will meet you at the netball courts for afternoon exams.

  • Your teachers will organise you into lines according to tutor groups or subject classes.
  • Take the equipment that you need out of your bag.
  • Follow the instructions of the SLT/Invigilator in silence.
  • One line at a time you will put your belongings into the storage cages (these will be locked during your exam).
  • Line up against the wall outside the Sports Hall in order to enter the exam hall in silence.

The Main Hall

Register at 8.30am-8.40am as normal and then go directly the Main Hall for morning exams.


Line up outside the Main Hall for afternoon exams.


  • Line up outside of the canteen in silence.
  • Take the equipment that you need out of your bag.
  • Follow the instructions of the SLT/Invigilator in silence.
  • When called in you will put your belongings into the storage cages (these will be locked during your exam).
  • Enter the Main Hall in silence.

The Community Room

Register at 8.30am-8.40am as normal and then go directly to line up outside the Community Room for morning exams.


P5 teachers will meet you at the Community Room for afternoon exams.

  • Line up outside the Community Room in silence.
  • Take the equipment that you need out of your bag.
  • Follow the instructions of the SLT/Invigilator in silence.
  • When called put your belongings into the storage cages (these will be locked during your exam).
  • Enter the exam room in silence.

All other exam venues apart from Edison

Register at 8.30am-8.40am as normal and then go directly to line up outside the Community Room for morning exams.


P5 teachers will meet you at the Community Room for afternoon exams.

  • Line up according to exam room in silence.
  • Take the equipment you need out of your bag.
  • Follow the instructions of the SLT/Invigilator in silence.
  • Bags can be stored in the cages outside the community room (these will be locked during your exam).
  • Students will be escorted to their exam rooms.  Students to follow in silence.
  • Enter the exam room in silence.
  • On occasions it may be necessary to use additional venues such as Edison, a computer room or the Red Room. If these locations are used we will discuss this with you in advance.

What is an Invigilator?

  • An invigilator’s job is to supervise an examination.
  • We have a committed team of regular invigilators in the school who support many different types of assessments in school. You may recognise some of them from your GL assessments.
  • They are trained to make sure the exams run in line with exam regulations.
  • Whilst they will have limited communication with you, they are there to support you if you have any questions or queries.
  • If you need an invigilator, please raise your hand to get their attention. Do not shout out. You are in exam conditions.
  • You may see the invigilators writing during the exam. This is because they have to document any incidents, disturbances and rule breeches. This is reported back to the Exams Officer to identify any consequences.

What equipment can I take into the exam room?

  • You are responsible for bringing all of the equipment you require for an exam.
  • You should bring a black pen, coloured pencils, erasers, ruler, calculator etc. in a transparent (clear) plastic bag or pencil case.
  • Non-transparent pencil boxes or cases will not be permitted in the examination room.
  • You must write in pen not pencil apart from drawings. Pens must be black.

Is there anything I am not allowed to take into the exam room?

Some items are strictly banned and should not be brought into the examination room under any circumstances. The exam boards treat mere possession of these items as an infringement.

  • Please leave all restricted items in your bag.
  • If you forget, don’t panic!
  • Please raise your hand and give to an invigilator before the exam starts.

The following items are restricted – please look at the restricted items poster outside the exam venue:

  • Mobile phones - Remember, we are a mobile free school.
  • Watches of all types.
  • Any device that can be connected to a mobile internet network eg Fitbit.
  • On occasions text books may be allowed in certain exams. If this is necessary, you will be informed by your subject teachers in advance.
  • No lucky mascots etc.
  • No food items or chewing gum are allowed.
  • No Tippex or correction pens. You should cross through work you do not wish to be marked.

How do I know where I will sit?

  • Every exam has a seating plan. You will have been allocated a seat.
  • The teachers/invigilators will organise you in order prior to entering the room.
  • Once you are in the room the Invigilators will guide you to your seat.
  • On your table you will find a card with your name and exam number on it. This must remain on your table throughout the exam.  This name card must not be removed from your table, neither are you allowed to deface it in anyway (draw on it, fold it, etc.)  JCQ regulations require that invigilators are able to identify students sitting exams.

Note: once you enter the exam room, you are in exam conditions and therefore you must remain SILENT. You should not communicate with anyone other than an invigilator.

Can I bring a drink into the exam room?

  • Yes, you can bring water into the exam room.
  • No more than 750ml of still water in a clear bottle with no label (preferably a sport cap bottle). No fizzy drinks, cans or pouches will be allowed.

How do the exams begin?

  • Any instructions for the exam will be read out along with the evacuation notice.
  • Do not open the question paper until you are instructed to do so.
  • You will be reminded of the exam regulations.
  • You will be asked to complete your details on the front of the paper.
  • An invigilator will formally announce the start of exam and you will then be instructed to begin.

What do I do if I am feeling unwell in an exam?

  • Raise your hand to notify an invigilator.
  • If you need to leave the room, you will be supervised. Your details and the time you left will be documented.
  • Once you feel ready to return, the clock will restart and you can continue your paper.

What happens in an emergency evacuation?

  • On hearing the alarm, remain silent and await direction from the invigilator.
  • Students in exams have a separate assembly point.
  • You will meet on the smaller netball courts to the left of the main evacuation point.
  • You will be evacuated in the rows that you are seated. This means that you will be released row by row by an invigilator.
  • You remain in exam conditions therefore you must remain SILENT as you move from the exam venue to the evacuation point.
  • You must stay in postion in your line, when you assemble at the evacuation point.
  • If you talk and break exam conditions you risk your paper being disqualified.
  • When the Exams Officer has been given the all clear, the invigilator will move you from the evacuation point back into the exam venue and you must remain SILENT.
  • The invigilator will change the finish time for examinations as soon as you are permitted to continue with your exam.

Can I leave once I have finished my exam?

  • You will need to wait until the end of the exam before you can leave.
  • Once the exam ends, invigilators will collect your exam paper.
  • Once all papers are collected, you will be dismissed by an invigilator, row by row.
  • There may be other exams continuing so please leave in silence as other students will still be working.

What happens if I don’t follow the exam conditions?

  • This is known as Malpractice and exam boards have very strict rules if you disrupt an examination in any way.
  • If you cause any issues in any examination venue during the PPEs you will be removed from the venue and your parents will be informed.
  • You will be expected to sit that examination at another time as arranged by the Head of Faculty.
  • This may not be the same examination paper other students sat at the designated time and this will result in you needing to complete further preparation.