Key Stage 4 homework and revision at Cedars
Traditionally, revision is seen as something done at the end of a course after students have learnt all their topics. Often there is a ‘revision period’ in the few weeks before the exams start. However, this is not the best way to prepare for exams.
Students actually ‘learn’ very little in a lesson; they will see new ideas, and understand new concepts, but to truly learn them (in other words, to get so good at them that they can always remember them) they have to practice them over time, just like with any skill.
The best time to revise is shortly after new ideas are taught, and then continuously all the way through the course. We have designed our revision plan for KS4 to start early – after Christmas in year 10 – and the revision programme encourages students to be regularly reviewing and practicing the skills and ideas as they go through the course.
We have lots of resources and practices to support students, and you will find them described or linked to below.
- Retrieval practice. This is the practice of deliberately and systematically trying to remember information that was first taught some time ago. We all naturally forget knowledge over time, but studies show that if you plan a system of regularly testing yourself, you remember much more effectively. Every lesson at Cedars will start with some retrieval practice, where students will be asked about work from previous modules or topics. This makes them regularly practice their knowledge. You can find out more about retrieval practice from the learning scientists and here in this short video.
- Homework system. To help with retrieval, virtually all homework at KS4 is now based around revision. All our subjects have planned a week-by-week revision program, starting at Christmas in year 10, so students know what to revise all through their course. Following this plan will ensure students are regularly revising the whole curriculum. You can access this by clicking on this link to the revision programme – feel free to download a copy and add your own notes to it.
- Online learning platforms. Your child will already be using several different platforms such as Seneca learning, or Complete Maths. They will have log-ins to each of these, and homework is often set on these platforms. You can also find more information here by accessing the Complete Maths Tutor Parent Helpsheet
- Revision hints and tips. If you came to the revision evening in early November, you will have seen a PowerPoint presentation containing lots of information on revision techniques, subject specific tips and also on time management and mental wellbeing. You can access the Y11 parent revision PowerPoint
- Revision timetable planner. There are lots of well-produced revision timetable and planners available. We have made a cedars year 11 revision study planner for our students that you can access here if you would like to use this, and our tutors will be talking to students about how to use it. The year 10 version of this will be available by Christmas.
- After school revision lessons. All main subjects run at least one evening after school. In these sessions, students can drop in to get help with that weeks revision and retrieval. On some occasions, specific students will be invited in to get some extra help. The subjects and days are currently:
Tuesday - Maths and Science
Wednesday – English
Thursday – History and Geography
Friday – PE/Sports studies and Biology
Monday – Wednesday on rotation – creatives
Targeted days - French
If you would like to discuss our resources and provision further, you are very welcome to contact Mr Allard at Cedars for a conversation.