Last week a couple of colleagues and I delivered a workshop to parents on revision and retrieval practice. When I shared the following tweet, there were a number of requests to share the presentation. Unfortunately since the presentation and workshop are not my sole work, I’m unable to distribute it. Instead below you will find an outline of what was covered.
First we started with an introduction into the long term need to review and recall information. We explained how teachers will naturally and continuously refer to prior content and learning, encouraging students to create links between what they know and what they need to know. Also explaining deliberate practice and retrieval although without those terms.
Next we gave a bit of theory. I explained the forgetting curve and the importance of reviewing notes on a regular basis.
I then went on to discuss the work of Graham Nuthall and long-term memory as well as the necessity for deliberate practice.
After a bit on theory, we turned to the 4 stages of revision.
- Stage 1 Developing & maintaining a positive mental attitude
- Stage 2 Getting organised
- Stage 3 Little and often
- Stage 4 Review and revise
Stage 1 Developing & maintaining a positive mental attitude
Firstly we discussed the impacts of exam stress nationally on student mental and physical health with evidence from research carried out by the NSPCC. This was followed by a series of quotes from our own students of the pressures and stresses they feel associated with exams and assessments. These quotes were really powerful to explore the wide range of pressures students endure and a reminder of what it is like in their shoes.
This was followed by exploration of the following:
– Healthy Balance, this outlined ways to keep a healthy balance in terms of diet, work-life balance and physical health
– Mindfulness, this outlined how and when to apply mindfulness practices
– Workspace, this outlined how to set up a suitable workspace for students
– Reduced distraction, this outlined ways to reduce distractions through preparation, phone blocking apps and the impact of music
– Support and guidance, this outlined places parents and students can go for advice on revision, mental health and exam stress
Stage 2 – Getting Organised
In this section we outlined ways parents could help students to organise themselves in preparation to revise.
We encoruaged that students do the following to help themselves to prepare
- Identify subjects and topics to revise for
- Carry out self-assessment of the topic content and identify missing areas of knowledge
- Gather notes, revision resources and equipment
- Create a revision timetable
- Interleave and chunk revision by distributing the topics from within each subject into blocks to make the memory work harder
Stage 3 – Little and Often
In this section we offered a wide array of strategies students may wish to try and use as they prepare for exams. To start with our main advice was students should try to make their revision a long term process that is regular and spaced out, they could break it down into chunks of time or subjects or topics. They should identify key areas to focus their revision by RAG/confidence rating the specification content and after that it’s a case of practicing and applying what they know to exam style questions.
Some of the suggested strategies included:
Stage 4 – Review
The final stage involved discussing how students should review their revision notes regularly and make use of them through application to other strategies such as the self-testing and flashcards.
We also demonstrated how students may wish to use the Leitner system to review and self-test and reiterated the importance of deliberate practice.
Hope this helps you to prepare something similar to help your students with the revision process.
Other useful blog posts of mine
Resource – How to Revise in Geography
Resource – Learning to Revise Guide for KS3
Mrs Humanities shares… 6 Epic History Revision Resources
Mrs Humanities shares… 10 Great Geography Revision Resources
Resource – IBDP Geography Case Study Revision Booklets
Resource – GCSE Case Study and Exam Question Revision Booklet
Resource – AQA Revision Booklet adaption by @MrTomlinsonGeog