When learners plan their revision, they often split into two groups. There is one group that always put planning their revision off to the next day or until they reach the night before the exam and panic that they have not done any revision. At the other extreme is the learner who spends hours putting together a perfect revision timetable, carefully spending an equal amount of time on each subject and colour coding their timetable; this then becomes their safety blanket but almost as soon as it has been written, it is out of date and has to be repeated. The result is they spend more time planning than actually revising!
Our links with Stephenson College allow us to provide our learners with a rich curriculum of vocational subjects and work experience placements. Stephenson Studio School has a two–week timetable which allows all learners to attend a one day work experience placement one week and a vocational learning day in the college the next week.
One way of planning a revision schedule can be to take a copy of the weekly activities and begin by blocking all the time out when the learner is busy.
This could begin with when they are at school, when you have meal times and then structured events such as Cadets, sports practice or dance lessons.
You may also block out the regular social events, for example, if they always spend Saturday afternoon with their friends shopping - block out that time too.
Look at the time left and then consider if that is a good time to revise.
Unlikely as this may sound, one thing to be wary of is too much revision early on. Think of the number of people who start a fitness programme, do too much on the first day, feel awful the next day and as a result never go back to their exercises; it can be just the same with revision.
The best approach to revision is usually 'little and often'. Commit to doing 20 minute bursts of revision of a really high quality with no television on and no mobile phone for texting then three of these bursts can be far more effective than two hours in a room with text book open but does not get down to any study because the television is on!
Revision resources tend to fall into two main groups. Firstly, there are a huge range of books available to buy. Secondly, there are many ICT resources; whether these are books on CD or more interactive resources which are either available on the internet or which schools have subscribed to.
One of the problems for young learners is that they can feel drowned with the range of revision resources available and either collect so many that they just don’t feel they can start, or they never get round to trying anything. One of the key things to discuss with your child is if they prefer to revise using an IT package or if they prefer to have a book to look at.