Revision – often a minefield and something we have addressed as a school from Key stage 3 internal assessments to GCSE exam preparation. We have moved to a model where we structure revision sessions prior to Key Stage 3 assessments and use mark schemes which we share with pupils so there is clarity about the detail required to raise achievement and demonstrate progress. SOLO offers a way to add a visible structure to this (see Can you display … post which has been updated with exemplars of hexagons being used on the IWB).
Year 9 are to complete their Key Stage 3 with an exam based on 4 of the 5 units studied this year. Rather than leading them through the revision which often happens it is time to try a different approach with two lessons available I decided to model a stations approach that allowed several revision strategies within the classroom at one time. Would it work or would the second lesson need to return to a more traditional approach?
I rearranged my classroom to include 4 stations see pictures of the introductory presentation used with the group as a starter.
So, how did it fare? Well, it was a step too far this time but a target to get to in the future. The passive revision area was used well by quieter members of the groups who had time to read to themselves. The active station worked best when our lead department TA was asking questions. Some pupils used this area well testing each other as well. The ask the tyeacher station was popular and brought out some individuals that would normally not ask anything. However, over three groups there were individuals who did little at any station and gained nothing from the experience on this occasion. The kinetic station just acted as a distraction – this was the wildest leap and it was too far without a background of prior use. The subsequent revision lesson was more structured but used aspects of the three successful stations and kinetic was limited to teacher led from the IWB – this proved much better at this stage.
Readers, your comments are welcomed – development must be gradual but risks have their place at times and I believe we must be prepared to take them at times.