Our emphasis on developing ‘Learning Qualities” amongst our learners, to supplement their acquisition of subject specific knowledge and skills, means that we encourage students to adopt approaches which build their initiative, resilience, critical thinking and self-reflection and to challenge themselves.
With new more demanding linear GCSE examinations, it is more important than ever that students exercise these skills in effectively revising for assessments, in order to improve knowledge retention, effectively develop examination skills and forge links between different elements of the curriculum.
The Importance of Revision
The multi-store model of memory states that long term memory is formed through the continual retrieval and rehearsal of knowledge.
When we learn something new, the new information is processed by our brain and stored in our short term memory. The short term memory is a temporary memory store in which information will be encoded visually (as an image) or acoustically (as a sound). Short term is thought to have a capacity of just 5-9 items and a duration of approximately 30 seconds.
To recall information many months or ever years later, as is required by linear exams, we struggle unless we process the information further upon learning it. Without this, we will simply forget it, as that memory is unused. However, through rehearsal and continual use of the information, over time, it will transfer to our long term memory. Long term memories have an unlimited duration and our long term memories can store an infinite quantity of information.
In simple terms, this means that knowledge must continually be revisited and reinforced, otherwise it will be forgotten.
This undermines the importance of students revising for all assessments within school and explains why assessments in school are designed to be cumulative and iterative across all years.
Strategies that could be used are:
- Devising mnemonics – this helps to chunk information into groups or chains of ideas, promoting short term memory and longer term memory if reused.
- Revising something and then teaching someone else e.g. a parent.
- Revising and then have someone test you on it, with this repeated at periodic intervals to maintain that knowledge.
- Building in the use of past exam paper questions (see links below) after you have revised a topic, in order to use the information.
How we develop these skills in school
Within school, we use KS4 form time to introduce students to the resources and techniques which have the greatest impact on their progress, at the earliest opportunity. Form tutors, along with KS5 Student leaders, support students to explore a wide variety of revision and sites and revision techniques, and model the use of revision strategies in forming revision programmes. Students develop their own approach over time by trialling these strategies and creating their own resources.
By using form time in this way, we enable all students to make informed choices and take ownership about how they approach revision.
Our programme for this (by half term) is below:
Methods for developing memory and effectively revising
Resources to aid revision
All Temple Moor students have access to GCSE Pod, a high quality award-winning revision resource which provides concise revision videos specifically written for the GCSE courses which our students sit. Students are able to plan their independent revision using these, as well as completing assignments set by staff as part of their home and in-class learning.
Students all have accounts, which can be activated by selecting the “New Here? Get Started” option from the main login page.
We are also keen to involve parents in revision and are, therefore, happy to set up usernames and passwords for parents.
All students have been shown how what this site has to offer and how to set up their own account. This site has a wealth of resources that students in KS4 and KS5 can access, with resources suitable for both GCSE and BTEC courses.
Resources range from ready-made flash cards, mind maps and model answers, to quizzes and presentation.
Teacher recommended resources are easily identifiable and students can, should they choose, adapt the resource themselves once they’ve downloaded it to personalise it further.
The site also offers the opportunity to create their own resources using the templates provided, including a revision calendar, as well as access to exam papers and revision tips.
Through our association with PiXL (Partners in Excellence) students have access to PiXL’s revision apps for English Literature, Maths, Times tables, History and Geography. These apps provide material which students can use to diagnose their areas of weakness, test themselves and complete tutorial therapies to overcome areas of weakness in their knowledge. These apps are administered by staff within these subject areas, and tie in directly with assessments undertaken at GCSE, allowing staff to set students tutorial therapies personalised to the student’s individual needs.
All PiXL apps are available to download for free from the Apple, Amazon and Android App stores, as well as on Desktop and Laptop websites.
The School ID for PIXL apps is TM4119. Students will be issued with usernames and passwords individually by their teachers.
PiXL independence is a programme developed by PiXL to encourage Year 11 students to take ownership over their work by undertaking structured learning outside the classroom. This strategy provides students with access to a series of subject-specific resources, with students being given autonomy over the activity they select. This is particularly useful for students to follow up on classroom based feedback by doing tasks to address targets set by the teacher.
To access these resources, students should follow the link and enter the following details: the PiXL school number is 405137 and our password is Indep158.
Revision guides are available from many suppliers, such as CGP books. The school offers students the opportunity to buy GCSE and A-level revision guides in many subjects at a discounted rate. Further information can be obtained from your son/daughter’s subject teachers.
Temple Moor Revision Materials
Get Revising guide for students and parents version 2.pdf
Get Revising resource pack.pdf
GR School Poster.pdf
Top 10 tips for helping with revision.pdf
Revision and memory techniques (2).pptx
Modern Foreign Languages
Many subject teams within school produce additional subject support materials for students to use. There are also links to other useful web-based revision sources. These are available by following the hyperlink below:
Seneca learning is a free to use system which students and parents can sign up to, which has been developed to allow students to learn twice as fast.
- Ensure you have a quiet workspace, free from distractions e.g. your phone or TV.
- Be organised with your revision – start early and plan our a schedule of what you will revise and when. A weekly revision timetable can be downloaded from:
- Revise in the morning and afternoon where possible, as your alertness decreases in the evening.
- Revise in 30 minute chunks as your ability to absorb information decreases after this.
- Do something with the information you revise to help commit it to memory. This could include getting someone to test you. Build this in as part of the 30 minute revision period.
- Don’t just read as your only form of revision as this doesn’t work for most people – practise different techniques of revision e.g. mind maps, cue cards, to find the one which works for you.
- Set yourself realistic revision goals and stick to them – those who are self-disciplined in completing revision are generally the most successful.
- Build in rewards and time away from revision to keep yourself motivated.
- Be sure to practise past exam papers as part of your revision. These are available from the exam board websites:
- Edexcel – https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/support/support-topics/exams/past-papers.html
- Educas – https://www.wjec.co.uk/question-bank/index.htmlSleep and diet are well documented to influence learning. Eating nutritionally well balanced meals has been shown to enhance concentration, energy and performance during the school day and during examinations. To support with this, PiXL have put together the following resources in conjunction with celebrity chef Mark Lloyd, as part of their Power to Perform initiative. This initiative also includes other aspects of wellbeing which are linked to performance at school, such as exercise.
- Main meal recipe cardsAdditional materials (use the PIXL school number 405137 and the password Indep158).From revising with students and testing them, to listening to anxieties and reassuring students, parents play a vital part in supporting students ahead of examinations, alongside the activities undertaken by the school.GCSE Pod Supporting your child through their GCSEs:
GCSE Pod How to support your child in using GCSE Pod
GCSE Pod How to deal with exam stress
The following links provide additional information for parents about how to support students:
Parental Resources and Information
Power to Perform