Advice for Teachers

           How to use

... for revision



'Basics' Brains Trust,        'Smartass' Pub Quiz,





As they teach the GCSE course to the pupils, most teachers will try to organise the syllabus so that they finish with a few weeks to spare for revision.   At this point it is tempting for the exhausted teacher just to sit the pupils in silence with their materials, or put them onto the computers, and let them 'get on with revision'.




many children are dreadful at revision, lacking application, unable to concentrate for long enough and - worst of all - often simply (skim) reading through their notes in a such a shallow way that the information 'goes in one ear and straight out the other'!!!   These pupils are the ones who complain that they 'just can't seem to remember anything'.


Teachers should spend a number of lessons TEACHING the pupils how to revise - perhaps using the How Do I Use This Site To Revise webpage - modelling different techniques, and giving the pupils opportunity to practise them.



If you can find the energy to do so, however, children benefit also from being TAUGHT a revision session.   You will, of course, have a repertoire of such revision sessions and games using textbooks and your own materials, but here are a couple of ideas for things to do using the materials.  



(PS: I am sure that you can think up many much more interesting and exciting ways than my rather staid ideas which follow, and - if you have time - it would be really good if you could email them so I can add them here!)




Did You Know?

Although designed specifically for the AQA exam, the pages are useful for ALL exam boards.


























FAQ: Why is it best to TEACH a revision session - surely the pupils just need to get on with revising?

In a sense, this is true.   Ultimately, pupils DO need to sit down and learn the stuff FOR THEMSELVES.    Also, there are some pupils who will not ever do this at home, and your lesson - when you MAKE them - is the only time they will do so.

       Nevertheless, especially with 'old'  topics they have not addressed for some time, pupils do appreciate being 're-taught' the content in a direct way, and you need to be sensitive to their need for a balance between the taught whole-class sessions and directed time for private learning.


Different Group-Revision exercises


Possible ideas for class-revision exercises using the website include:



Brains Trust (using the 'Basics' leaflets)


Pub quiz (using the 'Smartass' lists)






'Basics' Brains Trust


This seems the most boring approach possible, but it has been VERY well-appreciated by pupils.


Assemble a 'brains trust' of three or four people - perhaps 'free' History teachers, or able Sixth formers etc.   If you can't find any, you alone will have to be the 'brains trust'.


Put the pupils into groups of four, and give out the 'Basics' leaflet for the topic you are studying.   (You can get hard copies of all the 'Basics' leaflets by clicking on the  icon on the webpage.)


Work through the leaflet one section at a time.   The pupils read through the section, then discuss in a group what bits they feel they don't fully understand - they are charged to come up with at least one question to ask the 'brains trust'.   These questions may range from 'what does that word mean?' to 'explain how that worked'.


After giving them a short preparation time, get the groups in turn to ask their questions to the brains trust.




If pupils are being reticent about asking questions, take a word that you know they will not understand, and ask a pupil - whom you know will not know it what it means - to tell you what it means.  

     'Now I'm sure that someone here will not know what '[xxx]' means but, since he didn't ask the brains trust what it meant, I'm happy that [N] will be able to tell us!' is a good line here.



Then move on to the next section.


Put in something different halfway through to stop the lesson getting tedious, but - I have found - pupils remain well motivated for the hour.




Brains Trust


'Smartass' Pub Quiz


Put the pupils into groups of four, and give out a 'Smartass' questions leaflet for the topic you are studying.   (You can get hard copies of all the 'Smartass' questions leaflets by clicking on the  icon on the web-page.)


Dividing the questions up into sections (as in a pub quiz), give the teams time to answer as best they can, then give them the answers.   Run the show exactly as a pub quiz (without the alcohol).




Take the time to explain/elaborate as you give out the answers - this, of course, is the 'teaching' element of the exercise.

       You can keep attention by subtracting marks from any team which allows its attention to lapse during this!



Give a prize to the winning team.  

Pub Quiz