It is that time of year when we are feeling tired and exhausted and really pushing, driving and encouraging our students to be successful. Below are a few suggestions that have seemed to work really well at our school and require minimal time and resources.
Make them feel valued:
Every Friday for the final few terms teachers have been allowed to select students who have been working particularly hard to wear business dress. This requires minimal resources and has really boosted their self esteem. It also gives them a taster of sixth form life! It has created instant positive role models for the students around them. Money off ‘prom’ tickets seemed to work a treat too!
Show them how to revise (on a regular basis):
Every student in Year 11 was given a red index card bound booklet (They loved receiving a gift). The hall was booked twice every half term with exam desks. A microphone and visualiser was set up out the front. Students then brought their revision guides with them and using the visualiser and the support of the science team, they were shown exactly how to turn their @CGP revision guides into clear, easy to memorise revision cards. Student feedback was outstanding and we also took this opportunity to gain some interesting feedback from every single student and find out what they want from us as science teachers during their revision.
We have made sure every single student buys and brings their revision guide to all their lessons. Online purchasing systems have been essential to check and make sure all students buy their guides, pages can then be referenced at the start of the lesson and the red ring bound cards can be used in in conjunction with these in the lessons building up to the exams. Regular updates at department meeting meant that we could keep pushing the revision guides.
Make the most out of form time:
Core subject teachers rotate during form time, rather than form time each morning being wasted time, we are using it to grab an extra 30 minutes of additional revision.
This seems a little archaic now, but we should never under estimate the power of a letter. Send a letter template to all class teachers to use when they are concerned about groups of pupils. This might save time and can be more powerful than a phone call. The letters can be positive too! The more parents are involved and on side the greater the probability the students will revise more at home. This means late nights aren’t spent making phone calls home.
Walking talking mocks and walking talking marks:
We have all heard of these by now and there is no doubt that talking students through an exam paper and even through the mark scheme helps them. Do this in the class room or in the exam hall in the weeks building up to the exam. When planned thoroughly this can be really beneficial. A simple search on YouTube also reveals many walking talking mocks that students can use at home.