Revision is going to feature frequently across our training programme over the next few weeks.  For our week 3 differentiated CPD this week, our middle leaders (subjects and pastoral) continued their NPQML programme with @AjrReid.  We usually then split staff into NQT – 4th years and 5 years plus, however this session we decided to split into BTEC and non-BTEC.  This gave BTEC staff the chance to meet together, discuss current progress and consider implications of specification changes.

The non-BTEC group began by doing a quick analysis of their exam classes (years 11, 12 and 13), simply coming up with a What’s Going Well? and an Even Better If?  Almost without fail, the EBI was that students weren’t taking enough responsibility for their revision outside of school.  Pulling this issue apart, we realized that much of this was due to the fact that we needed to model different revision techniques more during lessons and then set more of an expectation that students would revise independently.

Then came the challenge.  How could staff, working in cross-curricula groups of three, use the items I provided to tackle their EBIs?  This involved one of my favourite shopping trips: a Sunday morning in Poundworld picking up random objects. Groups were given two items, which ideally had to be used together.  Below are the items and the ideas staff had:

  • Pipe cleaners & paper plates – turn into ‘flying saucers’, by punching a hole through the edge of a plate and fastening in the pipe cleaner.  Hang the other end of the pipe cleaner from a washing line and write questions on the plates for students to come up, collect and answer.  As the pipe cleaners come in different colours, differentiating the questions becomes easy.
  • Easter eggs & craft hands – the eggs open so pieces of paper could be put inside containing key terms or questions.  The hands could be used to condense key information onto.  Together, the hand contains a ‘big’ question and the eggs hold the key terminology required to answer it.
  • Shot glasses & giant glasses – questions/key words could be put in the shot glasses (different colours to differentiate); giant glasses could be worn by an ‘expert’ or ‘hot seat’ student.  Giant glasses could be used for taboo, with key words/phrases stuck to the front of the lenses.
  • Cut out people & lollipop sticks – the people could represent characters from novels/poems/history/key figures and students could reduce key facts down on to the people.  The lollipop sticks could be used like flash cards, key terms on one side/definition on the other or key question on one, answer on the other.  The two could be merged by having questions specific to the character.
  • Popcorn bags & top hats on sticks – the popcorn corns bags could contain revision takeaway materials.  Past questions could be written on the hats and these put around the classroom for students to visit and answer.
  • Paper money napkins & straws – straws could be cut into different lengths and then matched with differentiated tasks; students need to create a certain length straw, made up from the smaller pieces (length linked to target grade).  The napkins could be cut up and the money used to reward the use of key words in answers.  Straws could be used to create a tactile mind map.  Napkins divided into a range of topics and each one assigned a colour (matching the straws); students complete tasks and aim to collect one straw of each colour (like Trivial Pursuit!)

At the end of the session, each member of staff was given a bag containing the resources they had worked with so that they could put the ideas into action.  Below are some photos they’ve sent back.