Case #1: The exam-preparation class
Let’s say that you’re taking a group of students through a two-year course (such as the IB Diploma, IGCSEs or ‘A’ – Levels).
In an ideal scenario, those two years would be broken up as follows:
Year 1: Cover as much content as possible (at least 60% of the syllabus). Complete all coursework if the timetable permits.
Year 2: Finish off any remaining content. Allow as much time as possible for revision and past-paper practice.
I believe that a good way to get our kids to be ahead of the game before Year 2 is to set them a significant piece of summer homework that is achievable, but not too onerous.
I’ve found the following tasks to be effective (sometimes I combine them both together):
- Provide a booklet of notes and questions covering a topic that the students haven’t studied yet. When they get back to school after the summer, collect the booklets in. Check those booklets to make sure they are completed. Peer assess them and provide a one-week condensed summary of the topic in your lessons. Keep a record of who has and hasn’t scored well on the content, and intervene where necessary (e.g. with some after-school classes).
- Give students a test on a topic they learned over the summer. Provide notes for the students to revise from. Analyse the grades and help out any students who haven’t performed well.
When both of these techniques are combined together powerful and deep learning can take place over the summer. This can give our students a head-start in Year 2, giving them more time to do revision and past-papers.
Article continues on the next page…