Supporting Learning Through Effective Revision Techniques

Class Teaching


The 15 minute forum tonight was led by yours truly.  As Y11 begin the final countdown from mock exams to the their final exams in the summer, Andy Tharby and I have been reviewing the resources and guidance that we give them, to support their revision.  Over the years this has accumulated into a large booklet full of revision ‘advice’.  The problem is that this booklet has become far too big and contains too many techniques and so ends up adding to their confusion!  Furthermore, many of the techniques are questionable.  So, we looked to the paper above (download here) to gain some clarity.

In the paper, Dunlosky et al identify the most effective techniques to support learning, that could be used for revision.  Before this though, they also identify some common revision techniques that have been shown to have very little effect on learning.


Three commonly used revision techniques…

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Hopemongering For Year 5

jonny walker teaching

Nousheen WorkNo teacher is madly keen about going ‘on record’ to declare that they wish to bring misery into pupils lives. Today, I did. In the unit we put together on Global Citizenship for my Year 5 Class, I have very self-consciously wanted to bring the realities of the modern world to the children. What I have found so far is something powerful.

Hopemongering. It is a term I have taken from the writings of Herbert Kohl and it is central to my teaching of ‘the big questions’. To be a Hopemonger as a teacher is to ensure that even in the darkest of times, you indicate the potential for things to get better. Part of me thinks that children should be protected from the woe of the world –  the seemingly immovable forces that as adults we have come to see as unalterable reminders of the grimness of existence –…

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This much I know about…the workload debate


I have been a teacher for 26 years, a Headteacher for 11 years and, at the age of 50, this much I know about the workload debate.

I’ve just completed a 63 hour week; by the time I get to Sunday bed time that figure will be 70 hours plus. I write that as a fact, not a complaint. From doing my bus duty to leading an eight hour strategy meeting with Headteacher colleagues to teaching Economics A level, I love my job.

None of us working in schools goes underground to dig coal. In relative terms, our working conditions are pretty good. We have long holidays. As Shakespeare said, working with young people, Physics the subject, makes old hearts fresh. Our teaching always has the potential to be joyous.

It’s a year this weekend since I wrote about how my job has impacted upon my relationship with my…

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