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Seeing a general trend moving more towards terminal examinations and less coursework, Mortimer College wanted to prepare the students to be able to do revision for the exams, and ensure staff, parents and the students themselves were all clear about what work was being set when. Deputy Head Stephen Pickersgill found the answer in Revision Plan.
Mortimer’s staff had tried producing their own revision plans for each subject, but Stephen found that “we had a lot of staff trying to do the same thing, and from a student’s point of view they were getting bombarded – we needed to make sure the revision staff were setting was appropriate, and would get done in the time available.”
After looking at ways to do this in house, including “students putting together revision plans in tutorial time, which actually took three or four hours of revision time away from them,” Stephen met the Revision“Plan team at the SCHOOLS NorthEast Conference and knew it was what the college needed.
“It’s a fantastic tool to provide a bespoke planner for every student. We’ve got teachers who have children at other schools and they were asking if they could have a copy for their kids! It just allows you to bring revision to life and break it down into bitesized chunks.”
As well as ensuring students don’t spend all their revision time making their plan, Revision Plan has simplified things for staff. “Using it is really straightforward,” said Stephen. “We put the dates and times of the exams into the system, and say how many sessions a week we want a subject to have. That then produces a Word document which the staff just populate with things like ‘read pages 36 and 37 of your booklet and do exercise 4’ or with screenshots of past exam questions.”
And while giving students a personalised revision timetable may not seem like the most obvious way to improve their own planning skills, Stephen says that the realisation that occurred when students saw all the work they had to do has actually motivated them to become more organised.
“When they got the document and saw how much work there was to be done, the students just bought into it, and knew the onus was on them to think, ‘I’ll do this tonight’ or, ‘I’m busy this night, I’ll switch a couple of days around’, and do whatever they needed to do to make sure everything got done.”
Staff at Mortimer College quickly realised that strong parental engagement was going to be key to the success of Revision Plan. The day that students received their bespoke plans, the college held an open evening attended by 85% of parents, where they laid out how the revision timetable would work.
“It’s all about the triangulation of teachers, students and parents working together, and making sure parents see the plan in context,” said Stephen. “We can email the plan to parents as a PDF, so there’s no element of ‘did it get home?’, and once parents have it they can run o templates that show the revision plan itself, which is a four or ve page weekly breakdown, or they can print off an overview that they can then stick to the fridge so they can monitor progress.”
Following their adoption of Revision Plan, Mortimer College had a 78% pass rate in English and 75% maths pass rate, with Attainment 8 gures above national average.
Going forward, the college plans to roll out Revision Plan in Key Stage 3 to embed the importance of revision into the culture of the school. They’re also using Revision Plan’s versioning tools to create ‘higher’ and ‘foundation’ revision packs for students who are working on different papers.
“It’s a fantastic tool to provide a bespoke planner for every student. We’ve got teachers who have children at other schools and they were asking if they could have a copy for their kids! It just allows you to bring revision to life and break it down into bitesized chunks for the kids.”