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Exercise Books, Notes and Revision

(15 Posts)
OneInEight Wed 02-May-18 05:32:10

So ds1 is revising for his English Lit GCSE but it has become clear he has not written work to revise from. No exercise books. No folders with handouts. Nothing. dh and I were stunned. Is this normal these days. He says it is the same in other subjects. And if so how are you meant to revise when you have nothing to revise from.

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Psychobabble123 Wed 02-May-18 05:45:03

No, in my experience this doesn't seem right at all. How confident are you that he works hard at school, could he have exercise books etc but never bothers to fill them in?!

Phosphorus Wed 02-May-18 05:56:30

Generally at GCSE class notes are in A4 folders, or saved on tablets/computers.

They'll have copies of the texts they are studying, possibly annotated.

Has he just not made any notes?

I know there's a feeling amongst some students that English is a subject you can get through with no revision, just a familiarity with the texts and Spark Notes etc.

Others go all out with flashcards of quotes, themes, keywords etc.

He might be fine just knowing the texts inside out.

OneInEight Wed 02-May-18 06:13:54

In fairness his performance is variable in class but it is the total lack of anything we were shocked about. I hadn't thought about work being on a computer and this may well be the case. It just seems very strange (to me anyway) that at this late stage he is making notes from scratch at home and trying to find suitable quotes. And we are also now wondering whether he will have anything more for subjects like history and science (luckily not till next year for him) where surely there are lots of facts to recall. Thought I'd ask the question to see whether I was just being old-fashioned or whether teaching methods have changed so dramatically.

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tinytemper66 Wed 02-May-18 06:48:18

This is unusual. My class have their exercise books, notes and revision packs.

tinytemper66 Wed 02-May-18 06:49:33

Tell him to go on YouTube and find Mr Bruff' s guide to most of the Lit texts. I recommend him. I have used him in my classroom for revision.

OneInEight Wed 02-May-18 07:00:07

He has found the delightful Mr Bruff already! Thanks for the recommendation.

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tinytemper66 Wed 02-May-18 07:01:19

I found him on Twitter. Has his school got a Twitter account? I often retweet what other schools have posted on Twitter with regards to revision and resources.
Good luck 😉

TeenTimesTwo Wed 02-May-18 08:24:15

DD1 had dyspraxia and was hopeless at taking notes.
We found revision guides was the way to go, though English was an issue, especially the poems (her annotated book got lost at school, I suspect by the disorganised teacher).

How did he revise for mocks and y10 exams?

OneInEight Wed 02-May-18 08:45:09

Previously he has done no revision at home, I think he does some at school, and would you believe it has never had homework (not for want of us asking).

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TeenTimesTwo Wed 02-May-18 08:54:37

Is he y10 taking early, or y11?

You sound remarkably laid back if in y11!

OneInEight Wed 02-May-18 09:01:25

Resigned (or broken into submission) rather than laid back. The only fortunate thing is that he is in Y10 and taking this one early so we have become alert of the problem now. It is a specialist independent school for children with an ASC that charges £££££ (LA not us) and supposedly should meet academic needs but my goodness has it been a battle all the way through. The teacher had a beautiful lesson planner she showed us at the last parent's day so I guess we thought this subject at least was under control.

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TeenTimesTwo Wed 02-May-18 14:13:49

Go to Smiths. Get the York notes (or whatever) for the books / plays he is studying. Read the books and the notes. Discuss character development and themes, and have quotes to back things up.

No idea about the poems.

@MaisyPops will be able to help way more than I can.

MaisyPops Wed 02-May-18 16:34:19

TeenTimesTwo Thanks for the tag in. smile

It would seem unusual to have no notes at all. That's worth checking with school.

My mixed ability comprehensive class have:
Around 5-6 exercise books each
Copies of the set texts with annotations in (if they chose to buy their own)
Revision booklets for each set text
Access to lots of online videos and resources
A revision folder on the VLE
Weekly- fortnightly homework depending on the size of the task
Full copy of example papers with notes on how to complete exam questions
Exam answers for every question
All their mock papers
Any notes from revision sessions they've attended

Whilst I wouldn't expect a special school to have quite that much, I would expect:
Exercise books or evidence of working through work booklets
A bank of key quotations for students to learn (self made or teacher made)

If he's genuinely not been making notes then in my opinion the school should have been in touch with you months ago.

I would agree with another poster that some students think they can turn up and do well in English with limited revision. This is bloody impossible with the new spec.

In terms of you moving forward:
York notes do good overviews for set texts and so do Cambridge University Press (both vastly superior to CGP)
Watch Mr Bruff clips
Look online for 'key quotations for...' and have DC rote learn them with you.
Once secure with quotations, get DC to think about one word and why it's effective. (E.g. If studying Romeo and Juliet and it says 'a plague on both your houses', DC would talk about why 'plague' is effective)
Make sure DC knows main characters and themes.

Hope that helps.

OneInEight Wed 02-May-18 17:39:36

That is absolutely brilliant Maisypops. Thank you so much for your help.

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