At Corpus Christi, we support all pupils in revising effectively so that they are prepared to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in summative assessments. This support includes delivery of assemblies to pupils and parents / carers about the most effective ways to revise; sharing a set of fundamental principles that each individual teacher builds upon when communicating expectations for revision in each individual subject.
Children cannot revise effectively with distractions. Finding a place at home that is suitable for carrying out revision is essential. It is vital that all mobile telephones and gaming devices are removed during the revision session. We recommend that a revision session should last between 30 to 45 minutes. Parents and carers are encouraged to agree rewards at the end of revision sessions. This may include returning a mobile telephone or agreed activities in their free time at the end of the session. Parents are a vital part of a successful revision session.
The most commonly used strategies for revision are the most ineffective. Reading content and note taking which involves copying from one resource to another are often employed when revising, which fail to ensure that knowledge has been learnt and transferred to long term memory. So, at Corpus Christi, we explain to all pupils how to avoid adopting ineffective strategies. We focus on not just what to do, but how to do it.
The starting point of all revision must be an understanding of what content needs to be revised. As such, we provide topic lists prior to assessments, so that pupils are fully aware of what knowledge and skills they will be examined on.
Although all content in the topic lists will need to be revised, inevitably some content will be more secure than others for each individual child. Therefore, pupils must identify areas of strength and weakness before deciding what to revise and importantly, what strategies to employ.
Once weaknesses have been highlighted, a pupil is in a position where revision can be focused on areas of greatest need. This avoids a pupil revising their favourite aspects of a subject, or their favourite subject, which is a common starting point for all, unless this critical first step is followed. The aim is to ensure that revision makes the pupil improve.
Once an area of weaknesses has been identified as the first area to revise, the pupil must use their exercise books, or another resource provided by their teacher, which covers the identified content.
Although this will involve reading content, the aim must always be to test memory and practice. Once the pupil has revisited the content, they must select a strategy in which they repeat the information from memory, without the resource. This could be done using a whiteboard, it could be to create a mind map or revision card, or it could be to answer questions related to the content. Either way, this must be done without the content.
To support this, we encourage parents and carers to test their child during the revision process. This can be achieved by simply asking them at the end of their revision period to share what they have learnt or by using resources created for testing by teachers in school.
All learning requires feedback. By checking for errors or missing content following completion of work from memory, the pupil receives feedback on what they have remembered and understood, and more importantly, what they have not remembered or understood. Where this is identified, the pupil can repeat the process which will improve them further.
Once confident, the pupil should repeat the process in the next revision session with a different area of content, returning to any identified areas of weakness or uncertainty.
At Corpus Christi we have worked tirelessly to ensure that our Year 11 pupils have a bespoke revision plan to support them as they prepare for their GCSE examinations. We are incredibly proud of what we provide for our pupils, who greatly value this support.
“Without the revision support I wouldn’t have known where to start.”
“Having videos made from our teachers really helps because it feels like you have your teacher at home helping you.”
“The set structure made sure that I was able to have enough time to revise for all my subjects and it helped me feel calmer knowing I had been revising for a long time before my exams began.”
Shortly after Christmas, our pupils engage in a 20 week plan prior to their first exam. We know that having the support of the class teacher, who knows exactly where to pinpoint the revision for each class, is critical for success.
Each department have created a set of videos which pupils’ access in every session. Each video has a step-by-step guide for pupils to follow; it explains how to complete the tasks and recap the learning. Pupils will be guided to pause the video at certain points to carry out a task and then, once complete, re-start the video. Pupils can work at their own pace and, using these strategies, can re-watch videos, re-do any sessions that they feel they are still unsure of, and return to any areas of need as the examinations approach. Pupils are taught how to recap regularly and, because the teacher is in control of the revision, they can prepare suitable recap work in the lessons that follow.
Pupils attend a revision evening with their parents or carers prior to the start of the plan. During this, we explain what we expect of parents, as well as pupils, during the revision period. Pupils are all surveyed earlier in the year to check on the availability of IT and wi-fi at home and, where any issues are highlighted, we provide pupils with a laptop to borrow to complete their plan.
We also provide every pupil with a pack of resources, including a clear pencil case which can be used for exams. This is filled with many stationary items such as: pens, highlighters, notebooks, flashcards and, most importantly, a whiteboard and whiteboard pen. We ensure that every pupil has the necessary items to be able to access all parts of the revision plan.
You can see a small insight of our revision plan resource hub in the video below.