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Student Support Question 6: Support for SEND Part 1: 0-25 Code of Practice

Monday, 22 January 2018

Qs. My child is SEND.  What support am I entitled to from the school?

Please note anything written here is simply advise and under no circumstances can I be deemed liable.


All People Holding Hands

Introduction:

In 2014-2015 the system for SEND radically changed, in England.  New acts put into place for SEND children included:

  • "the Children and Families Act 2014"
  • "the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014"
  • "the Special Educational Needs (Personal Budgets) Regulations 2014"
  • "the Special Educational Needs and Disability (Detained Persons) Regulations 2015"
  • "The Children and Families Act 2014 (Transitional and Saving Provisions) (No.2) Order 2014"

In addition, statutory guidance was put into place under "the 0-25 Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2014" (also known as 0-25 SEND Code of Practice) [1] [3].  This blogpost will look at this code of practice though not in detail and as a brief overview.

The Code of Practice

The 0-25 SEND Code of Practice provides detailed information that should be followed as good practice relating to SEND children and young persons aged 0-25 years [2] [3].  The code though non-statutory itself, should be followed in conjunction with the law and clearly outlines good practice(s) that should not be ignored as well as providing reminders of the law. 

The 2014 Code replaced the 2001 "Special Educational Needs (SEN): code of practice"  which became obsolete with the 2014 Code [2] [3].  "Inclusive Schooling" (2001) and "Section 139A Learning Difficulty Assessments Statutory Guidance" (2013) also became obsolete [3].  This is because the Children and Families Act 2014 changed and it was necessary for the Code of Practice to reflect these changes [3].  The Children and Families Act 2014 therefore underpins The 0-25 Code of Practice.

A main change though with 2014's code was the removal of School Action and School Action Plus systems for SEND children.  School Action was "used when a child" was "not making progress at school and there" was "a need for action to be taken" [4].  School Action involved in many cases providing extra teachers, different learning materials, special equipment and different teaching strategies for SEND [4].  School Action Plus was used when School Action was not effectively helping an SEND child to "make adequate progress" [4].  With School Action Plus extra services (therapists, advisory services, educational psychologists etc.) may have got more involved and one-to-one support was available [4].  With the 2014 changes these were both abolished.  As the SEN magazine pointed out, this seems to be moving away from differentiation in the classroom and pushing the Governments perspective of inclusion and "Achievement for All" [4].  See my post on dyslexia for some further thoughts on this.  Also replaced by the 2014 changes were statements, Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDAs) and Individual Education Plans (IEPs) [3] [4].  Instead the 0-25 Education, Health and Care Plan (aka. EHC plan or EHCP) were put into place [3]. 

However, "the 2001 code still applies" in part.  For  example, for those who have a SEN statement under part 4 of the Education Act 1996, rather than an EHC plan under the Children and Families Act 2014" [2].  This enabled a smooth transition to ensure all SEND people 0-25 were protected.
  1. Definition of SEND

In the 0-25 SEN Code of Practice, the definition of SEN (Special Educational Needs and Disability) is further defined [1].  Someone with SEND is covered by the Code of Practice if they are 0-16 as a student that must receive compulsory education and 16-25 as a young person in receipt of education. 

SEN is defined as "a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her".  Someone who is SEN may also be classified as disabled.  A disability under the Equality Act 2010 is "…a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities" [3]. 

Therefore a person can be SEN and not necessarily disabled or they can be both.  This article tackles SEN children and young people 0-25 years old however some of what is written here will apply to disabled children and young people also.
  1. Who has a duty of Care

The code also defines "the duties of local authorities, health bodies, schools and colleges" linked into "part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014" to SEND children and young people [2] [3].  It is applicable to "headteachers and principals, governing bodies, school and college staff, special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs), early education providers, local authorities, health and social services staff" [2].  For a full list of who it applies to please visit the SEND Code of Practice itself.  It should be noted it is also applicable at a First-tier Tribunal on SEND whereby a parent of young person is appealing [3].

All above organisations should be aware of:
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013)  which is "Statutory guidance from the Department for Education".  It "sets out what is expected of organisations and individuals to safeguard and promote the welfare of children" [3].
  • The Children Act (1989) - Guidance and Regulations Volume 2 (Care Planning Placement and Case Review) and Volume 3 (Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers) [3].  These provide guidance for "setting out the responsibilities of local authorities towards looked after children and care leavers" [3].
  • The Equality Act (2010) which provides non-statutory advice for schools from the Department for Education.  It was "produced to help schools understand how the Equality Act affects them and how to fulfil their duties under the Act" [3].
  • Reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils (2012) which provides technical guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission [3].
  • Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions (2014) which provides statutory guidance from the Department for Education [3].
  • The Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice: Protecting the vulnerable (2005) [3].

Additionally all organisations should work together when trying to support SEND children and young people [3].  This includes special schools and colleges working with mainstream education providers "to develop and share expertise" [3].
  1. SEND rights

  1. General

Importantly for parents, carers and SEND people, the 0-25 SEN Code of Practice includes a reminder to people in or involved in education of an SEND's persons rights under the Equality Act (2010) [3].  These are below as follows:

  1. SEND people "must not directly or indirectly" be discriminated against, harassed or victimised [3]
  2. SEND people must not be discriminated because of a disability [3]
  3. Adjustments in advance should be made to support SEND people so they are not disadvantaged compared to peers [3]
  4. Public bodies (including Further Education institutes, Local Authorities, Schools etc.) must actively eliminate discrimination promoting equality and evidence this [3].

  1. Local Authorities

Local Authorities should/must:

  • Consider SEN children, SEN young people and parent/carer's "views, wishes and feelings" [3].
  • Ensure SEN children/young people and parent/carers are involved in decisions and are provided with the relevant information to make informed decisions [3].  This includes Local Offers and making sure the information is readily available [3].  The 2014 changes have meant that SEN people older than 16 are encouraged to have more decision making rights and be involved in EHC decisions [3].  They should also be involved in health and social care decisions and management of Personal Budgets [3].
  • Support SEN children and young people and the parents/carers in aiding the SEN person's development [3].  The 0-25 Code of Practice points out that "early providers, schools and colleges" should "take steps to ensure that young people and parents are actively supported in contributing to needs assessments, developing and reviewing EHC plans" [3].  Local authorities should take into account assessments made and suggested health provision for someone with SEN when creating decisions such as local offers [3].
  • Identify SEN (and anyone can bring SEN to the attention of local authorities) [3].
  • Ensure all organisations are working together in the best wishes of the SEN person, ensuring head teachers, proprietors, principals of schools and post-16 institutions etc. in the area know about information and advice services available [3].  Local Authorities must have set up information and advice, information and support services which consider SEN children, young people and parent/carer wishes [3].  These services must provide a parent/carer and/or SEN young person with "the local policy and practice, their Local Offer, personalisation and Personal Budgets" (including reviews and access to additional services such as support services, treatment and therapies), "the law on SEN and disability, health and social care, through suitably independently trained staff, advice for children, young people and parents on gathering, understanding and interpreting information and applying it to their own situation and information on the local authority’s processes for resolving disagreements, its complaints procedures and means of redress" [3].
  • Create arrangements for agreeing "education, health and social care" for a SEN child or young person aged 0-25 [3] including EHCs, personal budgets etc.

  1. Health Bodies

"Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), NHS Trusts or NHS Foundation Trusts who are of the opinion that a child under compulsory school age has or probably has SEN or a disability must give the child’s parents the opportunity to discuss their opinion with them before informing their local authority (see paragraph 1.16)" [3].  However CCGs, NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts have to inform local authorities if SEN is found in a child of compulsory school age [3].

Due to confines of this article if you wish to find out more about a health bodies duties please read the Code of Practice in full.
  1. Schools, Colleges and Early Year Providers

The 0-25 Code of Practice also points out the following:

  1. SEN people cannot be discriminated against when being admitted or excluded from educational settings and must make adequate adjustments to the SEN person including physical adjustments.  "Schools must publish more detailed information about their arrangements for identifying, assessing and making provision for pupils with SEN" and disabilities [3].  However schools and local authorities do not have to make changes to the physical environment straight away but show plans to increase accessibility for SEN people [3].
  2. Policies for admitting SEN people must be published by school governing bodies and proprietors concerning:
    • "The arrangements for the admission of disabled children" [3].
    • "The steps taken to prevent disabled children being treated less favourably than others" [3].
    • "The facilities provided to assist access of disabled children, and their accessibility plans" [3].
  1. "The school must set out its SEN policy and information on its approach to supporting children and young people with SEN. The school’s governing body must ensure that arrangements are in place in schools to support pupils at school with medical conditions and should ensure that school leaders consult health and social care professionals, pupils and parents to make sure that the needs of children with medical conditions are effectively supported" [3].  School policies must be published on the schools website.
  2. SEN people aged 0-25 covered by SEN legislation must have reasonable adjustments and access arrangements made for them and this should be considered when SEN planning and reviews are made [3].
  3. A parent/carer, young person, school and colleges "have specific rights to request a needs assessment for an EHC plan and children and their parents and young people should feel able to tell their school or college" of suspected SEN.
  4. A parent/carer and young person have the "right to ask for a particular educational institution to be named in" an EHC plan and Personal Budget.
  5. Schools and colleges must provide provisions (including additional educational provisions) to support SEN children and young people in attendance under Section 21 of the Children and Families Act 2014 [3].  The support given to SEN children should both be individual and inclusive (as under the 2010 Equality Act - see above) [3].
  6. Schools and colleges and early year providers should know exactly where all children and young people are "in their learning and development" indiscriminate of SEN.  All children should have set targets for them that stretch their needs, tracking their progress through goals and reviewing as necessary [3].  This includes that schools must provide an annual progress report for each child's progress [3].  Development includes preparing  children and young people for higher education or employment, independent living, healthy living including living in society and making them aware of supports available [3].
  7. Schools and colleges and early year providers should make informed decisions that take into account the insights of parents and the SEN child and young person themselves [3].
  8. An SEN child without an EHC must be educated in a mainstream setting [3].  However, a SEN child can be admitted to a special school and special post-16 institute without EHC if there is an agreement they will be assessed for an EHC when admitted or if coming from hospital or if the school does not have EHCs.
  9. All children and young people, including SEN, should be safeguarded [3].
  10. Schools and Early Year Providers must have a SEN Coordinator or designated teacher in control of SEN [3].

Further Reading

  • I would read Code of Practice 0-25 for full details [3] and relevant Acts.
  • The Department for Education also released a document called "Special educational needs and disability : A guide for parents and carers" [1].

References

  1. Department for Education (2014, Aug).  Special educational needs and disability : A guide for parents and carers (pdf).  Retrieved 16th January 2018 from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/417435/Special_educational_needs_and_disabilites_guide_for_parents_and_carers.pdf
  2. Gov.uk (2014, 11th June).  Statutory guidance : SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years.  Retrieved 16th January 2018 from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25
  3. Department for Education (2015, Jan).  Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years : Statutory guidance for organisations which work with and support children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities (pdf).  Retrieved 16th January 2018 from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25
  1. SEN Magazine (2018).  Farewell to School Action.  Retrieved 16th January 2018 from https://senmagazine.co.uk/articles/articles/senarticles/farewell-to-school-action-will-children-with-sen-be-left-unsupported

Student Support Question 5: Dyslexia (Part 2)

Thursday, 18 January 2018


Qs: Where can I get further support for a person with dyslexia?


What is dyslexia?  What should I do if I suspect my child has dyslexia?


According to Nessy.com 1 in 10 people are dyslexic.  According to Ray Ham, dyslexia affects 60 million people in the United States and is the number 1 learning disability (Ham, 2014, e-book). From neurological scientific research Dyslexic brains are wired differently but dyslexics are neither more or less intelligent than someone who isn't dyslexic (International Dyslexia Association).

First of all I would say don't panic.  Dyslexia is not a disadvantage and in my opinion an advantage.  People like Richard Branson, Thomas Edison, Stephen Spielberg, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Agatha Christie, Tom Cruise, Erin Brocovitch etc. have dyslexia and companies often look to higher Dyslexics because they think so differently, creatively and out of the box.  Trust me, it is a good thing.  For more information on this and support (such as private tuition) please read my blog post: Student Support Question 3: Dyslexia.
Handshake with Supportive Words

Support


  • Study Buddy


Having a fellow student to work with can be fun, educational and support dyslexics.  It is something that could be suggested to your teacher.

  • Teaching Assistants


Sometimes teaching assistants are available in schools to help students with things like reading, organisation etc.

Girl Reading Books

Further Help


Please note below are some suggestions that could make a dyslexics life easier.  Every person is an individual and whilst some things may work for one person, they may not work for another.  These are only suggestions not definitive solutions.

  • Knowledge is power

As Ray Ham points out, the more you know the better prepared you are.  Check out the links on this blog post.

  • Audio-books

I love reading and I love audio-books.  There are many libraries in the UK now offering free audio books and for a wider selection companies (like Amazon) offer audio-books for a price   Listening to a recording can take the pressure off a dyslexic student.

  • Computers

It always amazes me how many of the dyslexic students I have tutored have a passion for computers. 

If you are looking at tutoring why not consider online tutoring like I offer with RK Tutors? 

When it comes to writing assignments why not type them? Dafont.com has a computer font called Open Dyslexic designed to support dyslexics and when I last downloaded it, it was totally free.  Since researching it I have noticed that a few variations have been added.  Click here to download.

Another suggestion from Ray Ham, why not teach your child to touch type?

  • Reading pens

These are pens that read for you when placed over words.

Books on Dyslexia


OK so a Dyslexic may find reading difficult but often the information on Dyslexia can be found in books.  Check out some of the following:

  • Ham, R (2014).  Dyslexia 101 ways to make your life easier (Kindle Book).  Available on Amazon.
  • Eide, B & Eide, F. (2011).  The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain.  Available on Amazon.
  • Stanway, C. & Miles, L. (2012).  Parenting a child with...dyslexia.  London : BAAF

Tree with Internet Icons


Websites


Student Support Question 4: Extra Support

Wednesday, 17 January 2018


Qs. My child is behind in school what extra support is available?




OK so this is probably the most common question I field when tutoring: "My child is behind at school and I do not know what extra support is available or who to ask.  Please help!"  I hope to offer some advice in that will hopefully support parents and carers.



There are many different options available and many options which parents/carers don't know about.  I want to outline some that I can think of off the top of my head!

  1. Private Tutoring (e.g. on-line tutoring, home tutoring)

Learning
 
There are many different types of private tutoring available.  There are people who work within companies and there are people who work independently as tutors.  Some tutors have more experience than others and some have even qualified as teachers or University level tutors.  Tutors should be DBS checked to work with children and I would always ask this as my first question when choosing a tutor.  Some tutoring companies offer Safeguarding and Child Protection training too.  Tutors can also range in experience and there background.  If your child speaks a foreign language and you wanted a tutor in Maths it is possible to get both these needs met with private tutoring. 

Private tutoring can be face-to-face or on-line. 

Although on-line can seem very daunting to some parents it can be a great method that helps students practice their technological skills in a private, quiet environment on a one-on-one basis.  If you’re a student that travels, is finding it difficult to locate a tutor or lives in a remote place this could be for you.  If your child is being bullied, on-line tutoring can often offer a way of supporting them (see my blog post on child bullying for more information).

Face-to-face tutoring is very personable and can involve the use of physical and virtual resources.  Face-to-face tutoring has the benefit of a chosen location.  It could be in your house, tutors or at a chosen location.  Private tutoring can be for children or adults in a range of subjects and it is tailored to the student's needs.  Tutoring is a great option for excluded and SEND students.

For more information on tutoring visit RK Tutors website.
  1. Extra-curricular Activities (e.g. homework clubs, Maths clubs, Art classes, Adult learning)


Girl, Books and Numbers


You want to help your child yourself but you feel totally underqualified.  There is the option of private tutoring for your child or even yourself.  A number of tutors work with adults and there are many adult learning courses available including ones where you want to gain a qualification (e.g. a GCSE).  Adult learning is available at all levels with various funding options.  You could study at a University or a college.  It is even possible to organise tutoring and adult learning classes together.  Your partner might not be able to read or count.  Classes and tutoring is available to everyone and should be non-judgmental.

If your child is in within the formal school education system and is struggling I would suggest firstly talking with his/her teacher.  I say this not only because they educationally know where a student is up to but because a teacher (particularly at primary level) can spend up to at least 6 hours a day with a student (not including extra-curricular activities!).  This is a 1/4 of the day and if you imagine most of us spend roughly 1/3 sleeping that leaves a primary student with only roughly 10 hours!  My point is good teachers should know their children and they can give you insights educationally, socially and emotionally as to why they are struggling.

Often within schools there are programs aimed to support students.  Some schools have after or before school homework clubs which can help support a child's learning but also support the parents (e.g. a working parent).  Extra homework can even be tailored to a student's needs.  Extra-curricular clubs can be subject specific as well so if a student needs support in Maths or English this may be a great time for a busy teacher to offer the one-on-one or with a smaller group.  Maybe your child has a special talent and actually isn't behind but excelling.  Maybe you can find one-on-one support in extra-curricular clubs.  Please note a lot of extra-curricular clubs are physical.  There have been many studies showing that physical education can support quicker learning and mental health.
  1. Extra-school support (e.g. Teaching Assistant support)


Professional Solutions written on Blackboard

So you have spoken to the teacher and they are worried what's next?  A child who is struggling may be an SEND child (Special Educational Needs and Disability child) but not always.  Different children struggle in different ways and just because a child is SEND does not necessarily mean they are slow at learning.  However, what I would say is a child who is struggling in whatever area they are struggling (e.g. Maths, English, social skills etc.) is required by the school to have that needs met.  Although the following advise applies to SEN children I would read through this information (click here) and it may support you.  Schools often have EHCs for students to support learning and these are reviewed with meetings which parents, teachers, teaching assistants, educational professionals etc. are encouraged to attend.
  1. Books, websites, resources

Books with Never Stop Learning Written on them

Finally there are many educational books, videos, computer games, websites etc. to support a child's learning.  These do not even need to be expensive.  For example, reading 15 minutes a day with your child with a library book can be supportive of learning.  There are creative books now with reward systems (e.g. stickers) that can help your child learn in a creative way.  Ask a teacher, tutor or professional what they think will help.  The web is also changing how we view education.  There are many teach yourself sites and many are free.

Student Support Question 3: Dyslexia

Sunday, 14 January 2018


Qs: I think my child has dyslexia/dyscalculia what should I do?

Jigsaw Puzzle Human Head


Dyslexia

Firstly many people talk about dyslexia (including number dyslexia - dyscalculia) as a disadvantage and actually dyslexia has many advantages.  Many famous leaders have dyslexia in a range of fields.  I recommend reading "The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain" by Brock and Fernette Eide for further information on how having dyslexia is not a disadvantage.

Many children with dyslexia don't get discovered early enough.  It is very common for dyslexia to be found at University level in the UK because Universities tend to offer free, good assessments.  This can mean students with dyslexia can often be ignored by the system, have low self-esteem, problems with reading, writing, counting, directions etc. even though they are often extremely bright, can have great spatial awareness, brilliant creativity etc.

There is a high chance that if someone in your family is dyslexic you may be as well.  This is because dyslexia has ties to genetics.  It is also common in students with other learning difficulties such as Autism or ADHD.

Initial Steps: Health and Teachers

So what should you do?

Firstly I would actually try to read up as much as I can about dyslexia as the more you know the better.  There are many charities supporting dyslexia and dyscalculia and they can provide you with great advice.

Secondly, I would take the person in question to the opticians and get their eyes thoroughly checked to rule out eye problems.  At the same time I would get a hearing test (which can be organised through your GP) to rule out audio problems.

When at the Doctors explain your concerns.  He may identify problems with eyes or ears or even a different SEND condition such as ADHD.

I would also talk to the student's teacher(s) as they are observing how the student is doing in school.  You can ask about their reading age level, how they are doing in numeracy etc. as well as voicing your concerns.  It could be worthwhile asking if the student is receiving any extra support from Teaching Assistants etc. and if you can, speak to the school's SENCO if you are still concerned.

Getting an Assessment: SENCO and Educational Psychologist

Believe it or not getting a formal dyslexia assessment can be like finding gold dust.  To run a dyslexia assessment you need to go to an educational psychologist or a dyslexia specialist teacher.  A parent can request from their school's head of SENCO that a local authority educational psychologist or dyslexia specialist test the child.

In my experiences some parents find the above challenging and often getting an independent psychologist to test a child can be less of a headache (although more expensive).

After Assessment: IEPs, EHCs and Private Tutoring

So you know it is dyslexia and nothing has changed.  What do you do now?

If the student is still in school with dyslexia then a school has an obligation to create a IEP (Individual Education Plan) for the student and often the parent, teachers, teaching assistants, SENCO staff, outside school support etc. are expected to meet to organise provision for the student.  IEP's are not legally binding but are good practice.  They are used to monitor how a student is progressing.

If a student is not progressing then a more formal legally binding EHC (Education Health Plan) should be put into place.

Whatever happens it is possible to organise extra support such as tutoring outside of school (see RK Tutors) for additional help and support.

For more information visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dyslexia/

Student Support Question 2: High Attainers

Saturday, 13 January 2018


Qs: My child is a high subject(s) attainer.  How can I get the extra support?

Selection of Gift Boxes


History of High Attainers and Education

From my research the history of introducing gifted and talented (G&T) into mainstream UK schools is a fairly new idea even though provision for gifted and talented children in USA has been looked at as early as 1920s.  The National Association of Gifted Children points out that from research conducted in the 1920s and 1930s, it became clear that "graded schools could not adequately meet the needs of all children" in USA [1].  Out of this research movements to support high attainers was spearheaded by pioneers such as "Lewis Terman and Leta Hollingworth" [1].

In the UK, "a brief summary of the impact and effectiveness of the National Strategies (1997-2011)" report indicates that prior to the Labour government there was no clear provision by local authorities for gifted and talented pupils [2].  It states that support for gifted and talented was "often seen as an "add on" or "optional extra" with provision through extra-curricular activities, no classroom focussed provision and pupils develop potential was stunted though there were G&T coordinators in place in many schools [2].  The report continues by saying that in 2007 61% of primary schools and 90% of secondary schools identified G&T pupils [2].  It says in 2007, 5% of primary pupils and 6.8% of secondary pupils entitled to free school meals were identified as G&T pupils.  

Under the Labour government, in 2007, the National Strategies introduced key programmes for teachers and leaders to support gifted and talented pupils (p.32) [2].  By 2010, the report states that training and standards were being provided to schools for G&T pupils in mainstream and whole-school environments [2].  Furthermore the Labour government introduced "Excellent for All" materials to support G&T pupils [2] [3].  The above report is obviously biased towards Labour and claims that G&T pupils benefited from these changes.

In 2010 Janet Murray for the Guardian reported that the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth was to be scrapped when the Conservatives came into power [4].  The arguments for this included that Gifted and Talented programmes were creating elitism rather than establishing inclusivity within the classroom [4].  Recently, there has been a push for equal opportunities in school over elitist practices although many schools still have policies in place for more able students.

Support for Students

  1. Contact your child's teacher and school
  2. Explore setting own homework
  3. Tutoring (contact RK Tutors for further support)
  4. Contact local universities to see what they offer
  5. Read around the subject
  6. Search the web
  7. Contact support groups and extra-curricular organisations
  8. Out of school clubs and in-school clubs
  9. Self-study
  10. Computer games

References
  1. NAGC (date unknown).  A Brief History of Gifted and Talented Education.  Retrieved 13th January 2018 from https://www.nagc.org/resources-publications/resources/gifted-education-us/brief-history-gifted-and-talented-education
  2. Department of Education (2011).  The National Strategies 1997-2011 : A brief summary of the impact and effectiveness of the National Strategies.  Retrieved 13th January 2018 from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/175408/DFE-00032-2011.pdf
  3. Department for Children, Schools and Families (2009).  Excellence for All : A gifted and talented approach to school improvement.  Retrieved 13th January 2018 from https://giftedphoenix.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/excellence-for-all-a-gifted-and-talented-approach-to-whole-school-improvement-national-strategies-2009.pdf
  4. Murray, J. (2010, 2nd Feb.).  Farwell to the gifted and talented scheme.  Retrieved 13th January 2018 from https://www.theguardian.com/education/2010/feb/02/gifted-talented-scrapped-funds-redirected

My Tutor Tip 7: Creating a Revision List

Thursday, 11 January 2018


Exam Technique: Preparation and How to Revise


Sometimes actually creating a topic revision list can be more daunting than actually the process of revision.  It is important to have a good grasp of what you need to revise as well as how to revise and sometimes this is overlooked.  For how to revise see my blog posts on revision techniques part 1 and part 2.  This blog post is going to concentrate on the what of revision!
  1. Ask your teacher for a list

Checklist
Such a simple step yet sometimes overlooked.  A teacher should have a brilliant grasp of the subjects you need to know and they may have even produced a list themselves when creating their lesson plans.  Also the list of topics they could give you may also help your classmates so the teacher may be more than happy to produce a topic list is you ask.

A word of warning though you cannot solely rely on this and have the attitude that the teacher didn't tell me it was going to be on the exam so I haven't learned it.  You need to be a self-sufficient learner.  Teachers can only teach so much in the time allotted and will often focus on the class needs rather than one person's individual needs.

I would also ask your teacher for a list fairly early on.  This has some benefits.  The first is you will have plenty of time to build and put your revision timetable into practise.  Secondly you could even get ahead of your class and thirdly this can encourage a deeper foundation of learning so you will be more familiar with the topic areas.
  1. Ask your tutor for a list

Another person who can help you is your tutor.  A good tutor should have a solid understanding of National Curriculums and exam topics.  You could even show them the list the teacher has given you and ask them to add to the list. 

Often tutors are more willing to support you on a one-to-one basis so they will be able to identify where you need the practise.

For more information on private tutoring on-line and at home contact RK Tutors.
  1. Look at your textbooks

4 Subject Textbooks
It goes without saying that you should have the official text book for the exam you are sitting.  For example, if it is GCSE you may want Edexcel's textbooks.  This is because these textbooks often go through in-depth with topics that could be on your exam.  They also have lots of examples including worked examples for you to look at.  It will also help you identify areas that you get stuck on and you can even ask your tutor for extra support in these areas.

Please note I wrote textbooks (plural) not textbook.  You want to read around the subject.  Firstly, this can give you a deeper understanding and secondly some textbooks may include topics that other textbooks do not.


  1. Look at past papers

Someone Sitting an ExamLooking at past papers can often help you identify some of the areas you know and some of the areas you   It also provides you with worked examples so you are applying your knowledge base to your revision.  It also gives you an opportunity to practice exam technique (see my tutor tip 1 blog post).
don't know so you can know where to brush up.

Practising under timed conditions can also help you see the topics you are finding trickier because you are having to think harder about these questions.

With papers, particularly for GCSE and SATs, I would try to practice all the papers available to you including with the exam board, general and past papers.  Tutors and teachers can often supply an ample amount of question material.
  1. Look at the syllabus

Another place to go is back to the syllabus as often the topics are outlined here.  The teachers and tutors use this material when choosing exam board and to help them create lessons for their students.  Syllabi can be found usually on the internet.
  1. Go on the web

Today there is a wealth of information (often free) on the internet.  Somebody somewhere probably has the same question as you when it comes to what are the revision topics so why not Google it.

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