Revision Guide

The increased complexity and content of the newly reformed GCSE and A Level exams means that effective revisiting is essential if our students are to achieve academic success.

As teachers, our capacity is already stretched to limit, ensuring that content and skills are covered during curriculum time. Our evenings are often busy with intervention and therapy sessions to consolidate knowledge and to prepare students as fully as possible for the rigour of their exams. We teach, challenge, assess, feedback, and intervene in the hope that our guidance will get them through. However, there is a time every year when we must leave our students to their own devices. We must let them go… armed only
with their revision guides, some general advice and some well wishes.
Our main concern, for some pupils, is whether they will actually revise enough in the time they have left.

Our second concern is whether the methods they use to revisit will be effective. We certainly don’t want our students expending energy and time studying in a way that produces no fruit.

So how can we ensure our students are working effectively outside of the classroom? What does good revisiting look like? The newly reformed exams mean that students will have to recall greater amounts of facts and knowledge quickly. While rote learning and regurgitating content doesn’t lead to deep thinking, we know that firstly the information needs to go in, through memorisation of key facts. Fundamental knowledge needs to be embedded, even imprinted on the minds of students to facilitate quick and easy recall. Next students need to deepen their knowledge through higher-order thinking as information learned and processed through higher-order thinking processes is remembered longer and more clearly than information that is processed through lower-order, rote memorisation.

Finally, students need to retrieve, demonstrate, apply and test their learning. PiXL Revisit is a simple revisiting method that ensures students
are preparing for external exams in an effective way. It is based on the three key stages explained above and is arranged around a 10 week cycle.