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Are you looking to upgrade revision time?

The first Bethany blog of the summer term has been written by Mr Bolton, Head of Key Stage 4 at Bethany. He writes about revision techniques and how even in our sleep our brain’s are still revising.

I would imagine many parents who have children in Year 11 are finding it very hard to believe that we are now approaching examination season. However we choose to frame education, pupils will always be tested through external examinations and this means a slight shift in your child’s learning habits. For many of our pupils, Year 11 subjects are now in the revision phase and this brings with it a fresh set of challenges. Memory recall, exam technique, time management and of course understanding examination questions will become the main priority in classes. So what can the parents do to make sure their child is prepped and ready for a life changing set of examinations?

Why not try these examples of Active Learning with your child?

  • Get active: note key points, make links in a spider diagram/mind map
  • Get creative: Draw a picture, write a story, get the playdough out – or pretend to be interviewed about it on a chat show.
  • Test Yourself: This forces your brain to practise retrieving the information from its memory banks, use past papers.
  • Explain it to someone else… and get them to ask you questions. Your brain will work with the material in a new way, which will help to lodge it in your long-term memory.  If you can’t answer a question, you know you need to revise it a bit more.
  • Rehearse it: Look back over what you’ve learned at the end of every study session to consolidate the memory. And have another quick look the next day, week, and month. Use it or lose it.
  • Sleep on it: Your brain will rehearse the information but without any effort from your conscious self… Studies show that recall really does improve after you sleep – and similarly, marks go down if you don’t get enough sleep.

Memory techniques: Roman Room

Mentally picture a room in your house and select several items in it. For example: your bedroom = your bed, your lamp, your PC, your wardrobe… The basis of the Roman Room system is that things to be remembered are associated with these objects, so that by recalling the objects within the room, all the associated objects can also be remembered.

  • Mentally place the information on / in  / under / next to these places in your room – remember that the more unusual you can make these connections the better – you can use images to help you remember.
  • Mentally you can then walk around your room reciting your information.
  • The items in your room act as prompts for the information and the route you take around the room helps you remember the sequence.
  • At home you can physically put post-its with the information on these items of furniture and walk your route using a different room for each question.

As you can see revision is far more active than we may have experienced and takes on board the content most GCSE’s now demand on our children. It has been incredibly rewarding to see our pupils put these skills into practice and you may wish to try these techniques out at home.

I am so grateful to our Key Stage 4 tutors who have supported Year 10 and 11 pupils in their study skills. Through their hard work and diligence so many of our children have been supported academically and pastorally. Bethany asks our pupils to be the best they can be and our tutors provide a level of support that certainly enables that to be put into practice. Our tutors seek to promote excellence and it is simply a pleasure to work alongside a team that deliver this on a daily basis.

I have been very proud of our pupils achievements this term and equally impressed with how so many immerse themselves within the life of the school. One aspect this is deeply apparent is through our series of Key Stage 4 assemblies where each tutor group will deliver an informative presentation linked to their learning and the world they live. For me, it is so powerful to have a pupil who may not normally public speak, deliver an assembly to their peers. We have subsequently enjoyed presentations on; climate change, international women’s day and sustainable energy to name a few. Our pupils are very supportive of one another and despite a few nerves I am always in awe of the quality that is shared.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our GCSE pupils the very best for their forthcoming examinations. I strongly believe our pupils will achieve through preparation, hard work and a positive attitude that exudes resilience.


Mr Bolton

Head of Key Stage 4