ICT - Tailored to fit
The key to revision has to be engaging pupils in a stimulating way and ICT can obviously be a huge help. Using the Microsoft Learning Gateway, at Shireland Collegiate Academy we've established a school-learning platform that acts as an effective "glue" for staff, pupils and families. Pupils track all their revision (and other learning) through the Learning Gateway, which helps them manage their workload and share their progress with their families.
We've also encouraged the pupils to review the revision resources and to give helpful hints and tips on their value and when best to use them - advice that has been developed as part of the Young People's E-learning Network and now has its own site on the Learning Gateway. Pupils review specific applications such as Microsoft's Photosynth (a package for combining photos into 3D views) to help us understand how we can best use applications such as this in school.
To ensure that pupils focus primarily on their revision, we've also hunted for the best online resources and have integrated revision guidance from MyMaths.co.uk, Brainpop, GCSEpod, ClipBank and, most recently, O2 Learn, alongside learning resources produced by teachers. These are grouped by theme, media or even examination syllabus, which makes them much easier for pupils to access and saves them lengthy, and often fruitless, internet searches.
The O2 Learn videos score highly when it comes to engaging pupils as they have been produced by teachers and cover key concepts and elements of the syllabus. Short and snappy, they help pupils to focus on the essential facts.
Teacher-created online resources are also popular. Home-grown resources, such as our Help Me Revise site, offer pupils a wide range of revision hints and tips from the staff who teach them. It's the personal nature of this that makes it so effective.
In fact, even guidance on behaviour management can prove popular. We produced the Attitude Rocks resources to encourage good behaviour. It was set in school, with staff and pupils working together, and was a huge hit.
So, take the skeleton of a Learning Gateway and hang some commercial resources and a selection of home-grown aids from teachers and pupils on it. Hey presto! You have an instant revision resource, available to pupils whenever they want.
Sir Mark Grundy is executive principal of Shireland Collegiate Academy and a member of the judging panel for O2 Learn. For more details, visit www.o2learn.co.uk
In the forums
You'll find some handy revision tips for OCR's computing GCSE on the TES ICT forum.
Find all links and resources at www.tes.co.ukresources034
For a range of revision resources divided by subject, check out the TES revision collection.
Try MagisterArtium's quick techniques and tips to help pupils make the most of their study leave.