Easter revision sessions

 Easter revision sessions
Posted: Thursday, March 30, 2017 @ 03:37 PM
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Joined: 30 May 2012
Posts: 76

Quick question... What are your attitudes towards Easter revision sessions? 


I'm running several again this year but I'm starting to doubt the impact that they have. Maybe less is more? I am thinking of changing the way I run them to use the time for answering and marking exam questions rather than recaping on content. 

Posted: Thursday, March 30, 2017 @ 03:49 PM
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Joined: 1 November 2007
Posts: 2040

I am doing recap of yr 1 / as content in the morning including practice questions. Afternoon we are looking at application questions and extended answers. I have a mix of yr 12 / 13 students.

However I am not sure about the value anymore. I end up doing after school sessions as well because not all the students can attend the Easter one. I also have a wide ability range (E grade if they are lucky right up to A*) and 25 students in the session so whatever I do it won't tick all the boxes for every student

Posted: Thursday, March 30, 2017 @ 04:20 PM
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Joined: 8 December 2008
Posts: 727

I've never done Easter sessions in my nearly 40 years of teaching - however I have been persuaded to do a day this year and I am regretting it.  It encourages students to be lazy, dependent and powerless and gives the impression that somehow I can revise for them, which is untrue!!   What I am finding is that the students who will be attending are those that do no or little work.

Posted: Friday, March 31, 2017 @ 07:53 AM
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Joined: 9 January 2008
Posts: 581

I felt pressurised to do them in my previous school, and agree that they had little if any value to them. I would work really hard but the students rarely did as they saw it as holiday time. I agree with Wendy, it encourages lazy and dependent learning.

At my current school there just isn't this culture. I offer in school and after school sessions that range from one to ones and group revision sessions plus quiet study time when they can come and do their own revision. I find this works best. I also don't mind doing this extra work as I know my holidays are free and I can relax and catch up.

Posted: Friday, March 31, 2017 @ 12:06 PM
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Joined: 24 November 2008
Posts: 219

I have previously done a mixture of content and exam technique
This year I am doing a day focusing on exam technique only. I have spent a lot of time going over content in class and am not sure this has had any effect with students acting as if this is the first time they have seen material (I returned from mat leave in Jan so they have been able to act dumb on what they were taught in year 1)
I am quite concerned over the group I have over their own efforts in revising. I have offered sessions in school time but only one or two students have turned up. A letter has been set home to parents though about the study day in the holidays, so hopefully this will motivate students to come.
I tend to find the opposite to what has been said, and that the motivated students are the ones who attend extra sessions, and these are the ones who are of less concern generally.

Posted: Friday, March 31, 2017 @ 02:23 PM
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Joined: 1 July 2009
Posts: 86

I also question the value of revision sessions and agree it makes the students think that revision is something that you do for them. I have been running a session once a week mainly aimed at weak students who will struggle to pass, but my good students always turn up and I don't think it helps them. At Easter we usually put on a day in each subject, but its not compulsory (for staff or students!) This year I have decided to spend a day on research methods for both AS and A2 students combined. Hopefully tackling the material as a whole will help them with the application questions.

Posted: Friday, March 31, 2017 @ 02:23 PM
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Joined: 18 September 2009
Posts: 580

No choice to do at least one day, to revise Paper 1 for year 13. Not enough teaching time to get through the Spec, nevermind to go over Year 1 stuff. They are all keen to have this day, revising content and quesitons,,,.. I feel without this it will be very difficult for them to focus on Paper 1 just out of the blue....wihtout some sort of recap...
Nothing for year 12, cause we are doing 2 year course.

Posted: Saturday, April 1, 2017 @ 07:32 AM
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Joined: 13 January 2009
Posts: 1956

The clue is in the title Easter HOLIDAYS! If we're off school, I'm away on holiday, whilst I realise that makes me really lucky, it does mean holding extra revision sessions in holidays is simply not a consideration. It makes me angry that schools, parents and students have come to expect this. One of my ex-colleagues has gone to work in New Zealand as an English teacher, when she suggested running extra sessions she was told this was not allowed as it would set a precedent and put unnecessary pressure on other colleagues. Whilst I'm not adverse to running revision session just before the exam after school, I do think that this can sometimes be counter productive. Some students see attending revision sessions as box ticked for doing revision. But I also agree that really conscientious students also attend as a security blanket.

So do it if you want, but be careful about setting a precedent, encouraging dependency and putting pressure on other members of staff. If you need to deliver content, rather than revise, then go back to your scheme of work and re-write it for next year. I know that sounds harsh because the new specifications are content heavy, but something has got to give and it shouldn't be your precious holiday time.

Posted: Saturday, April 1, 2017 @ 08:41 AM
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Joined: 27 April 2010
Posts: 86

There is absolutely no way that I am doing Easter revision classes. It's the slippery slope. I do two after school revision classes every week and hardly any students turn up. I couldn't believe it last week when a group of students who are chased for homework etc, who never turn up for revision or intervention lessons, asked what I was putting on for the holidays. Sun cream and a bikini! Take a break guys. You've more than earned it.

Posted: Saturday, April 1, 2017 @ 11:21 AM
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Joined: 1 November 2007
Posts: 2040

Unfortunately it has become an "expectation" over the years in our school that these will be run. We do get paid a day's cover and resources come from a separate budget but I think they are not that effective. Under current, financial constraints I have suggested the school drops these sessions... too much pressure on younger colleagues to give up days. One art teacher has given up three days and already loses most lunchtimes.

Posted: Sunday, April 2, 2017 @ 08:57 PM
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Joined: 4 September 2012
Posts: 6

We used to do blanket revision sessions but have recently changed them to be more targeted. Only some students are invited to more specific sessions that tend to then be shorter. I might do an hour on institutionalisation & Bowlby followed by an hour on 16 mark question structure/planning and there will be different students in each session.

We can do these in our school library so it means students can come for the whole time I'm there and sit doing independent work; afterwards joining in for their specific sessions. I recognise we have smaller classes than some of the classes discussed on here though - so it may not work well for bigger groups.

Posted: Monday, April 3, 2017 @ 11:48 AM
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I'm with Deb and Julia on this.  Don't do them.  It's a holiday.  I was once told by a leader that they were 'disappointed' in me when i refused to do Easter revision. Shame on me for going away with my family. That's my two pennies worth. 

Posted: Tuesday, April 4, 2017 @ 10:42 AM
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Joined: 18 September 2009
Posts: 580

I agree on principle, but I do so much after school anyway, and at least you get paid for these sessions. I would not do them without pay!
But you are correct that it does put pressure on staff.... I know of one member of staff who has been questioned re not doing any sessions!
We are in a culture of intervention, and I don;t think we will be going back to the good old days!

Posted: Tuesday, April 4, 2017 @ 10:45 AM
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Joined: 18 September 2009
Posts: 580

nb/// yes I have revised the SOW for this year, and doing it differently with Year 12. But at my school we lose teaching lessons to other activites, and in the end, they HAVE to have at least a whole day to go over the content from Paper 1 .... no other time to do it, no matter how I tinker with the SOW!

Posted: Tuesday, April 4, 2017 @ 01:28 PM
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Joined: 1 November 2007
Posts: 2040

Sat in 30 min lunch break during Easter revision and deciding not to do this again. Only half the students booked have turned up (they don't pay for these), have several coming in asking for stuff but deciding to attend clashing sessions and only have 20% of my student here anyway.

I will run lunchtime sessions for the next 6 weeks anyway :(

Posted: Thursday, April 6, 2017 @ 11:21 AM
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I am running one morning session over Easter.  I don't plan anything for the revision sessions I do.  I expect students to come in with a plan of what they want to cover and with a list of questions they have from their own revision of what they are not clear on.  I then go through these questions with them.  I will recap anything they are not sure on and then we do practice questions.  It should come from them what they need to revise. At this stage they should be able to recognise themselves what they need to work on.  If I tell them then they are too passive in the learning process and reinforces an idea of the teacher doing the work for them.  It is their grade and their A-Level.  There is such a pressure on us to get them to perform, there needs to be a cultural shift and that has to start from us. 


Sorry, that was a bit 'ranty', not aimed at any comments above I just don't like how we are made to feel responsible for the students' failures.  We are responsible for providing opportunities to achieve the best they can and facilitate the process, not do it for them. I think I need a cup of tea!

Posted: Monday, April 17, 2017 @ 04:04 PM
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Joined: 14 March 2010
Posts: 664

I used to do this. In fact it is still expected in the school where I work. However, I knocked it on the head around three years ago when I was doing additional lessons in my own time for a student who had learning issues ( under pressure from her parents).  I gave almost every spare minute I had. It did it voluntarily.

The upshot became twofold

a) another teacher who was not offering this additional support was directed by SLT to do so because "holly is doing it, so should you". I felt that was moral blackmail and also morally bereft in principle. No one should be made to do something because someone else is doing it voluntarily.

b) the following year I had additional lessons ( unpaid) added to my timetable to cover cock ups by management where subjects were clashing. I was supposed to do catch up for the  kids whose timetables were clashing ( rather than SLT sorting the clashes).

I knocked it all on the head - easter revision, extra lessons, the lot. Instead I worked out a quicker pace in lessons. Made it clear to students I would not back track and that any missing lessons they had to catch up themselves. I did give them notes and worksheets all loaded onto the school server to do their won independent learning in this regard. 

I found last year my results were somewhat improved for not doing extra's. OK not scientific.

This year some depts were moaning that they couldnt  fit the new spec into their teaching time and  had to do additional classes / nights /lunches etc to catch up.  This was mainly because they were busy doing silly off curriculum events and were out of classes for the lessons. It ended up that we were all asked to do this, and more, we were asked if we would accommodate those subjects who were behind by allowing kids out of class to attend additional revision/work in those subjects ( which was supposed to be code for "you will do this).

I am afraid I was quite forthright when I got this dictat. I said I was not at fault. I had built  adequate space for revision  into my SoW/programme and it was not my fault that other teachers/depts were failing to deliver their curriculum within their timetabled hours and further it was not good practice that they had not taken account of the time available and needed  additional lessons. I further added that I did not feel it was acceptable to disadvantage me by taking any of my lessons to enable these depts to catch up and I would not be allowing my students out of class to engage in  any of these programmes. I was not running additional revision and Easter classes because we did not need them as I was well organised ( yes smug of me I know).

Posted: Thursday, April 20, 2017 @ 02:32 PM
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Joined: 1 July 2009
Posts: 86

I don't think I will do this again. I've just had 7 out of a possible 45 students attend my revision session on research methods! Which means that the other 38 students will be expecting me to do the same content during lesson time! I was hoping that a full day on RM would really cement the material in their memory. Oh well, hopefully those 7 will get benefit from the extra support. Could have been in the garden instead!

Posted: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 11:09 AM
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Joined: 8 December 2008
Posts: 727

Same here magenta, did a whole day of RM and had a fair turn out but many were late to class coming at 11 rather than 10!!!) and I felt they weren't taking it seriously.  The students who had made a real fuss about wanting the extra revision session didn't turn up!!!!!