UKED Magazine April 2016

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Revision & Assessment Theme


  • April 2016 Issue 28

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    Supporting the Educational Community

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    14 20

    Feedback & Markingin SEN

    Five Revision


    Revision &Assessment



    Matter of Time

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    Many images have been source under a Commercial Creative Commons License. See Cover Photo Credit: Souced from

    4 Active Revision Strategies for the ClassroomJohn Mitchell explores interesting and fun strategies for getting your pupils looking back over their learning.

    ContributorsJohn Mitchell @JivespinMark Anderson @ICTevangelistKim Constable @hecticteacherNick Overton @nickotkdVKate Jones @87historyKeranjit Kaur @keran77James Wren @jameswren1975Joe White @jw_teach@ShhhteacherGary Henderson @garyhenderson18Mark Griffiths @GriffermansMarkPaul Stockley @bradwaystockleyKathleen Sorrell @Kat_S76Andy Lewis @iTeachREClaire Loizos @primary_sci

    Contact & Social MediaEmail or editor@ukedchat.comTwitter @UKEdMag @UKEdChat @UKEdSch @UKEdResourcesWebsite ukedchat.comFacebook

    From the EditorEducation is turned on its head. Normally rational

    teachers exhibit rabid behaviour. The students are on edge and grumpy... more than usual. The school is on high alert and there will be tears. Yes, once again exam season is upon us.

    The phenomenon isnt new. Ancient Chinese stories from over two millennia ago include accounts of exams failures and stress. Yet in the intervening time the way we assess and test has changed little. Are there really no better ways to relate our learning to others than putting ink or graphite to paper?

    For the time being then, we had better get revising! In this edition of UKEd Magazine we have gathered ideas and articles from across the education spectrum to get the best advice for your students to reflect and revise.

    Martin Burrett @ICTmagic- Editor

    6 Discovering the TechFutureExplore the possibilities of a career in tech for your pupils. The range of opportunities and careers open to your students may surprise you.

    8 Its Just a Matter of TimeMark Anderson discusses ways to improve your use of time in your lessons to improve pace and get more done.

    16 Tried and Tested Revision StrategiesKate Jones shares her best revision techniques and a range of resources for you to use in class.

    Issue 28: April 2016

    10 Spaced RevisionKim Constable explains the spaced revision strategy where revision is completed in stages to maximise retention.

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    14 Five Revision TipsNick Overton writes about his five top revision tips to help your pupils do their best when it matters most.

    13 ICTmagic EdTech Resources

    24 UKEd Leader Supplement

    20 Feedback & Marking in SENJoe White explores how feedback and marking can be done students with SEN from his years of teaching in a special school.

    32 UKEd Resource Scientific Method iMat

    22 Making SPaG a Little More InterestingMartin Burrett returns to the topic of SPaG and offers a range of tools and resources which might make it more interesting to learn... and teach.

  • By John Mitchell

    Active Revision Strategies for the

    ClassroomCrocodile creek

    Students can work in pairs or groups for this activity and they will need a grid like the one below to represent a crocodile-infested creek.

    The aim of this activity is to move a counter across the river, row by row, by selecting one square from each of the rows. Each chosen square must link with the previous one in order to make a successful passage across. The student with the most successful series of links wins.

    The first stage of the activity is to ask students to fill in their blank creek with items of information from a topic that they need to revise. It would be a good idea to model this stage so the students know what they should be producing. So for example, a crocodile creek on The Cold War could look like this

    Successful routes across the creek could be Churchill 1946 Iron Curtain or Roosevelt 1945 Yalta.

    Once the students play crocodile creek in their pairs or groups, challenge them with a target of how many links they need to make. This can them be shared in a plenary session with the students sharing the different links they have made.

    Visual hexagonsThe main objective in using visual hexagons for revision

    is to encourage students to make links between different elements of a topic and to explain them.

    Visual hexagons have a fixed pattern like the one below with images relating to a central question or topic to be revised in each hexagon.

    The first stage of the activity is students must identify the images and how they relate to the central question. The

    The very word revision can strike fear into the hearts of

    students and teachers. Revision is associated with prolonged

    periods of stress in preparing students for examinations and

    assessments, extra sessions in an already overburdened

    workload and teachers being on their knees at the end of

    June exhausted after investing so much energy and time in

    their young charges before they enter the exam room. It does

    not have to be like this. Revision and reviewing knowledge

    can be an extremely engaging and enjoyable experience. The

    active revision strategies that follow in this article all aim to

    tackle the traditional image of revision being cooped up in a

    room reading and writing endless notes. All of the following

    ideas can be applied to any lesson and requires minimal

    preparation for the teacher.

    Revision shoppingThis activity can take up most, if not all, of a revision lesson

    and online materials which can be adapted for any lesson can

    be found on my blog Revision shopping works in the following stages using a history topic as an


    1. Prep-prepare a list of terms or factors associated with the

    topic to be revised, for example the rise of Hitler.

    2. Add a price tag to each factor depending upon the

    importance to the topic or exam question that you are

    focusing on. For instance, on the topic of the rise of Hitler

    you could price the Treaty of Versailles at 2, the Great

    Depression at 3 and so on.

    3. Give your students a budget, deliberately keeping it short

    so they cannot afford all the factors.

    4. Ask the students which factors would they buy and

    they have to record their choices and the reasons for their


    5. The evaluation and class discussion are crucial for this

    task. Key questions could be Were the prices fair?, Would

    you adjust the prices for any of the factors? and Were there

    any factors that were missing?

    04 UKED Magazine

  • John Mitchell History Teacher and author of 100 Ideas for Secondary School Teachers: Revision published by Bloomsbury Find him on Twitter at @Jivespin and read his blog at

    image can represent not only a specific person or event but also a larger point that may summarise an area or bigger aspect which link to the set question. Once students are clear about each image, students can then complete the main task which is to explain each link between the images where the sides of the hexagons touch.

    These visual hexagon activities can provide students with a great revision visual learning aid which gives the hooks to prompt memory as well as attractive summary of a topic or question within a students notes.

    The lift test

    The lift test allows students to consider carefully the core of a specific argument, its importance and the central pieces of evidence which support a specific point.

    The lift test must be placed in a scenario such as the following - you need to start this activity by giving each student, pair or group a particular argument, this could be in the form of

    You have written a book about To Kill a Mockingbird and it could be used to support the causes of Civil Rights Movement in 1960s America.

    You have produced a documentary called Henry VIII hero or tyrant?

    You have written an article about the significance of bees.

    You have created a public art project about the three most influential modern artists.

    The student has been granted five minutes of the publisher/TV producer/editor/gallery owners time to present your pitch [i.e. argument]. However, once you arrive for your appointment, the publisher/TV producer/editor/ gallery owner has double booked and and says Sorry, something has come up give me an overview on the way to my car. You now have one minute to pitch your argument as you join them in the lift down to the car park. Students make their presentations.

    This form of presentation can work extremely well in a revision context as it makes the students think about giving an overview of a specific issue or argument which they may face in the exam you are training them for. The task is flexible enough to modify for any subject and for any arguments and issues and requires very little preparation on your part. Also the lift test allows student to practice important exam skills such as

    Communicating an important argument in a concise manner.

    Evaluation of the main points of an argument and their importance.

    Consider the significance of the evidence that supports the key points of an argument and to emphasise the selling point of the argument.

    Application of knowledge and present it in a structured manner.

    This article was influenced by the work of Isabella Wallace, Leah Kirkman, Mark Cowan and Neil Watkin.

  • As classroom teachers we often assume that our pupils know their way around technology as digital natives. Compare the average pupil with the average teacher and the answer is clear... they do. Yet, are your pupils using technology as passive consumers of media, or are they using the tools and skills which will allow them to be creative and innovative users of technology? If it is the latter your pupils may have a bright future as a tech specialist.

    This exciting, ever-changing, and specialist digital world of a career in technology is outside the experience of many teachers, and therefore it can be difficult for educators to advise and guide their pupils.

    Furthermore, even for the careers and opportunities already in existence, the scope and roles open to tech specialists is often under appreciated, with almost half of tech specialists working in areas outside of traditionally techie areas, in sectors as diverse as the arts, finance, the sciences, catering and fashion.

    The TechFuture website is a superb place for both educators and students to explore possible paths and roles which require technology skills and know-how. The site explores the possibilities for young people and is categorised into sections for 16+, 18+ and 21+ with relevant information, advice and ideas for each age group looking to go into a tech career.

    Developing and maintaining good, up-to-date, functional knowledge and skills of computing and technology is important for our students today, not just to ensure they have the best study skills to make them adaptable and creative in the classroom, but also to provide them with the skills to survive and thrive in the global job market and prepare them for their future careers, many of which may not even exist yet. This is where ideas and career pathfinder resources at can help.

    by Martin Burrett

    Discovering the


    Opportunities &

    16+Opportunities & info

    18+Opportunities & info


  • The site is supported by a diverse set of companies and organisations who together have provided a set of resources, tools, media and information to guide pupils and their teachers through the basics and it is designed with those who have little idea about what is needed and how to gain a job in tech. The website will guide future employees towards their dream digital job with advice on the routes available, including information and advice about studying at higher education and/or workplace training opportunities and apprenticeships.


    techfuturecareers.comConnect: @Tech_Careers

    of tech specialists are employed by

    companies in non-tech sectors

    of employers expect to increase or maintain the number of tech

    specialists they employ during 2015

    is the amount each employee working in the tech industry contributes to the

    UK economy

    Employment of tech specialists is growing

    over four times faster that other UK


    of companies anticipate hiring more junior-level tech specialists in


    No matter where your students skills lie or what their passions in life are, theres a place in tech for them. Help students discover their dream digital job role with

    the quiz link below.

    Play the Quiz via

    Whether your pupils simply show promise with digital technology, or are actively seeking careers in tech, TechFuture Careers is the perfect place to explore the multitude of exciting and rewarding possibilities open to them and to help you, as an educator, to be better informed about the tech future that awaits.

    The Is it for me interactive quiz is a superb introduction into tech careers and whether this might be the right path for a student and what role may suit them.

  • As teachers our time is unfortunately finite, but there are ways that we can use time in the classroom to have a positive impact on learning, progress, attitudes and mindset. In this article I hope you will find something that will really resonate. It is important that you carefully discriminate and find the new tips that work for you...