An online revision scheme for GCSE students, brainchild of Bristol teacher Paulette North, has been extended to a whole BBC region. Re-christened BBC Revision Online, the free service was pioneered at St George community college in the run-up to the summer exams last year. In only eight days at the start of the scheme, teachers based at the school had to deal with more than 350 calls and 100 emails from anxious pupils in Bristol and neighbouring authorities. Worried students can fax too.
"I know all the theories about children doing it for themselves," says Ms North, "But at certain times everybody just needs a straightforward answer so they can break through the block and move forward with their revision."
The scheme has been extended to include a helpline for parents run by parents. Urdu, Somali, Punjabi and Bengali speakers are on hand to make complicated concepts easier tounderstand for those whose first language is other than English.
Ms North would like to see Online Revision run until the last exam is out of the way but is hampered by lack of funds.
"This is an innovative, exciting and useful service and we want to be able to help even more students and their parents get through the stresses and strains of revision," says Ms North.
Andrew Wilson, head of regional and local programmes in the BBC West region, says: "We're delighted to support such an innovative project which will benefit thousands of students and their families across the West. Paulette and her team at St George Community College should be congratulated for coming up with the idea and making it happen."
The service is sponsored by Telewest, EDS, Select Education, Protel, Bristol LEA and Community at Heart.