A teaching and learning inventory



Parental Engagement in Y11

Having trialled a version of a ‘How to support your child through Y11’ handout to give out at parents evening, I’ve continued it again this year with some additions. I’ve always thought about improving parental engagement and it is something my school does across KS3/4, especially in supporting revision and preparation for GCSE’s. This handout is something that we hope will give our parents some guidance and understanding of their child’s year ahead and they they can support them.  It includes examination information, key dates for 2018/9, revision information and communication opportunities.

Having read an article about the power of parental engagement and its impact on progress (Can’t remember where though!), I had a look at the EEF, who are producing a report in Winter 2018 (EFF Guidance Reports), and one of their earliest suggestions is ‘offering advice on improving the home learning environment’. This is something our school has been doing through Revision Evenings for Y11 Parents/Carers, and our weekly Y11 Bulletin kindly compiled by our Head of Year @MissZEvans. This information, alongside consistent feedback on our students progress, both formally and informally, we hope will really help our students & parents alike.

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Therefore this sheet will be provided with our history bundle at Parents Evening, including our homemade revision guides, mock exam guidance and our ‘how to revise in history’ sheet (How do we revise for history?).

Revision handout here:Y11 Parents Evening Handout 2018

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How do we revise for history?

A combination of using Twitter & working at a Research School, I have the wonderful opportunity to read and engage in the latest evidence and research based practice but often during readings, conferences and discussions I wonder how can I translate this practice into meaning methods and resources for my students.

One of these issues is independent revision and a lack of student confidence/knowledge of what to do. I often hear ‘I just read my notes sir’ or ‘I don’t know how to revise sir’, even in the last week before Y11 examinations. This sorely needed fixing.

Luckily, the recent move towards evidence based practice has allowed me to really focus on methods to help my students that have proven success, I must nod to the Learning Scientists, Alex Quigley, Oliver Caviglioi, Sandringham Research, Impact Wales and various others for research, explanation and inspiration. Our school are great at introducing a range of revision techniques and methods that are beneficial, with revision evenings led by @lizzyfrancis and Breakfast Jam CPD sessions whilst  Science have recently introduced the Cornell Method and my lovely colleague @missbkearns has been doing some great research on retrieval practice.

Despite this, I still felt I needed to create something history specific that linked to these tools within my subjects’ context, hence the ‘How do we revise for history’ sheet below which outlines methods with clear ‘how to use in history’ sections, linking to the knowledge and skills GCSE students need.


Free PDF copy attached here: How Do We Revise for History

Editable copy here: Tes

Featured post

Breakfast Jam – Visualisers in the classroom

Today I had the opportunity to present at our in-school CPD sessions called Breakfast Jams on how I have been using visualisers throughout the history classroom & my thoughts going forwards. I must say a big thanks to Susan Strachan @susanSenglish and those at Michaela for the inspiration to these uses.

I LOVE my visualiser at the moment & hope to continue finding new methods to use within the class.

PPT attached at the bottom:

V 1v 2v 3V 4v 5v 6v 7v 8v 9v 10v 11v 12v 13


`Breakfast Jam Visualisers

Revision Bookmarks

As part of my revision packs for Y11, I created a version of the popular bookmark that contained simple exam question guidance and QR codes to relevant videos created by   .

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Simple printed and laminated – you may need to fiddle with or ask reprographics to get the two sides aligned as it can be tricky!

Please find attached resource for AQA Unit 2 Germany, Vietnam and Roaring Twenties topics:


‘The basics’ sheets for revision

After inspiration from our geography department and the fantastic @Mawhinney, I decided to make these ‘basics’ sheets for Y11 for the final push in the day/morning of the exam. Handed them out Friday and the guys were receptive!

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Please find attached for AQA Unit 2 VIetnam, Hitler’s Germany and 1920’s America:

Unit 2 – The basics A4 Sheet

Lucky Dip

A nice simple idea for revision – pupils enjoy/hate it as they could get a nightmare q.

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This is an exam where I gave them 2 minutes to quickly plan and they would answer next lesson after homework revision.

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Please find attached resources:

Lucky Dip Questions

Lucky Dip Sheet

Lucky Dip


Nightmare before exam time

An idea alongside quick thinking was one first suggested by @littlestobbsy – getting pupils to write out and plan their nightmare exam questions.

Nightmare before the exam

Getting pupils to do this helps to build confidence and works as excellent revision. I usually get kids to write their own questions which is quite a skill – many of them struggle and they find it hard, but this is what we want!

Please find attached resource:

Nightmare before exam time

Quick Thinking Exam Questions

As part of revision, we discuss with pupils the need to plan and think about your answer within the first few minutes of the exam. The first minutes can be crucial and can get their brain into gear, therefore we have begun quick thinking exam practice.

Simply, the students write down their paragraphs they will include within 30 seconds to 1 minute. Ones they struggle with we discuss and peer share, they also can create their own for peers to complete. My Y11 really enjoyed it and I have begun to use on every topic in these last frantic weeks!

Quick Thinkin Exam Q's

Please find attached resource

Quick Thinking Vietnam Question

Quick Thinking Questions

Breaking down events

Students often struggle to move past the description/explanation of an event in exams and assessments – this simple tool allows pupils to delve into deeper analysis and evaluation of the importance of a single event. See instructions below:

Breaking Down

Please find attached resource:

Breaking Down


MEKAKO Source Analysis

Ever since i started teaching last year, I always struggled to get my head around teaching the AQA Unit 1 6 mark questions. I went too far into unpicking them and confused both myself and students on a question which is essentially small and simple.

My colleague  is an expert and helped team teach the class (and me) on a much simpler way to answer/structure these questions. We then decided to use the mnemonic MEKAKO to help students remember this.

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Simply put, students need to ensure they use the source and own knowledge to agree/disagree with the source’s suggestion. Therefore, the MEKAKO allows students to do this!

The poster is rather simple to follow, but to aid your understanding the A means to discuss the reliability of the source. So, why would the author have this view, what is their motive or audience. Try to get students to argue the source is reliable



Tetris Quiz

A really simple starter/plenary/AfL or revision.

Pupils create a quiz using questions, pictures etc in each of the Tetris blocks

Tetris Quiz 1

Please find attached resource

Tetris Quiz

Tarsia Wars

Tarsias have been used for years but they were firstly introduced to me by a colleague @mrhynesgeog when I was an NQT. They have become a great go to revision activity and can be used for a number of different ways

With Tarsia Wars, I use it as a competitive way to recap a topic in revision – students simply sort the cut up Tarsia pieces into either a shape or hexagon shape. The Tarsia itself contains a range questions, quotes, statistics, sentences and pictures which need to be matched up to form the shape.

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The tarsia then can be used for a number of things:

  • Card Sort (categorisation e.g positives and negatives of the economic boom)
  • Essay Planning (used to answer a gcse question)
  • Revision

Tarsia Wars

Revision o’ Clock 

One of my favourite (and pupils’) revision activities that I use across KS3/KS4.
Shout-out to @teachgeogblog for the original idea.

Revision o ClockRevision o Clock 3Revision o Clock 2

Simply put, student’s revise 12 different topics in 3-4 minute time periods.
You can choose the topics or ask pupils to suggest ones they would like to revise.
They then have to fill each section with information, key words or pictures to represent what they can remember. Pupil’s like the challenge of picture section or key words, which is particularly useful at GCSE.

Attached below Revision o Clock template

Revision o Clock Template





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