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To be involved with my year 8 exam revision?

112 replies

Doingprettywellthanks · 07/10/2022 11:17

Just wondering how much others get involved in their year 7/8/9 child’s revision?

I was a complete swot at school / uni - and study skills is something that I really do appreciate makes a huge difference. Consequently - every evening I am structuring a plan with my DS, re what he will learn that evening and then testing him on it.

His classmate’s mother, who is also my friend! And I were chatting and I mentioned how I would be relieved to get my evenings back post exams and saw looked quizzically at me. Transpires she leaves her year 8 entirely to his own devices, which is obviously completely fair enough! But it did prick my interest. Am i the minority or majority?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


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conkercollector · 10/10/2022 00:52

At my DC's school they do assessments in every subject 3 x per year (once in each term). These assessments are used to determine which set the children are put into (for those subjects that will be set) and will also help to determine the "pathway" they are on in terms of target setting for GCSEs. So they aren't meaningless as some posters suggest. Where my DC is concerned, I was worried that if she didn't show her true capability in assessments due to not having revised, the school would have lower expectations of her and not challenge her. Equally, if I knew she had revised thoroughly but still found the assessments challenging, I would be happy thay she would be put into a group with the appropriate level of support.

I don't do the work for her, just help her with a revision timetable and sometimes do some quiz questions with her. Rightly or wrongly, so much about the exam system is being able to retain knowledge in preparation for a test.


Doingprettywellthanks · 10/10/2022 06:46

LittleBearPad · 10/10/2022 00:13

Why is he revising in October? Why are you so involved. It’s all very odd

Because he has exams this week 😐

OP posts:

TheRubyRedshoes · 10/10/2022 07:18

It depends op.
I have one DC who I've never had to step in with since year 2 and another who I imagine will need lots and lots of support and encouragement etc.


Pinkittens · 10/10/2022 09:15

I think it's great personally OP and I have done the same. I went to a very academic school but they didn't teach me how to revise, I learned the hard way by myself. I did well enough, but I feel that f I'd have had more help/support at home earlier on, I think I'd have done better. My mum had nothing to do with any of my schoolwork and I could have done with an organising and supporting hand, that's for sure.

My DC's school does not really teach revision techniques. I helped my DC revise in both Year 7 and Year 8 for the end of term tests and end of year exams, and made sure they revised for all the little tests in between. I don't care if Years 7 and 8 test/exams are not "worth" anything academically ("a doss year" like a PP said) - in fact that made it perfect to practice good revision habits on, because the stakes were not high whilst my DC were learning to study and revise.

How are DCs meant to know how to revise if the school don't show them and parents don't help them? My DCs school basically teaches the info, but after that it's up to the students - it's a very "hands-off" approach, so students either sink or swim, and there's hardly any communication between teachers and parents or even teachers and students, outside of the classroom. My DC is Year 9 now and has taken so much more responsibility for school work and the tests they've had so far in term - even in the subjects they don't particularly enjoy, because I have shown them how to study, in much the same way as the OP has. I have given them the tools early on to show them what good revision looks like, the time it takes (more than it looks!), making revision cards, a revision timetable etc, and now they are applying those tools themselves. All kids are different and some don't need that kind of input, but for the ones that do, if you have skills to pass on (and how to revise/study is a skill that can be learned) then definitely I will help them with that.


FireballTwenty · 10/10/2022 09:22

ADHD tendencies or potentially actually ADHD? Because if it's actual ADHD you're doing him a big disservice by not addressing it.


JoulesTowel · 10/10/2022 09:28

@Pinkittens I like your approach and agree with your post. Ds is in year 8 and school don't show the children how to revise. Would you be happy to share some of your revision strategies and approaches?


Ibizamumof4 · 10/10/2022 12:44

I don’t do anything with my girls they just do it but I do need to help my rudest soon with GCSEs mire in terms of making sure she’s free from distractions has set time aside. Depends on child ultimately my parents didn’t intervene at all with me I naturally got on with it my brother was the opposite they planned it , checked it he couldn’t organise himself and still can’t. I did much better 😂


Lulusays · 10/10/2022 13:47

I think it’s brilliant and commendable to help your child like this. As a very bright student who ended up achieving well lower grades than I should have, I really really wish my parents had helped me study like this and set learning boundaries; taught me the importance of study and so on. The irony is that my mum was a teacher but too busy with work to invest in her own kids. Good for you i say!! I really wouldn’t worry what anyone else says about pandering/mollycoddling etc, helping your kid doesn’t mean they won’t be independent, you’re teaching him life skills he can go on to apply once he is independently learning at uni and so on. The other parent probably reacted like that as they felt guilty/defensive. Well done you for investing in your kid. X


onethirtyfive · 10/10/2022 18:46

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Wisenotboring · 10/10/2022 19:19

DontMakeMeShushYou · 10/10/2022 00:08

OP, I'm genuinely confused by some of the responses you are getting! I'm a teacher and I can say for certain that most students have really poor instincts for study skills and revision. These are really important things that need to be scaffolded as they don't generally get absorbed by chance.

My kids' secondary school spent considerable time teaching the kids this stuff. Do other schools not do this?

I think it must really vary. All I know is that I have received loads of students who don't have a clue. Effective revision is a difficult skill and whether at home or work I'm always happy to put some work in to help build those skills. Hopefully with my own children it will pay off and make them more independent as they get older! It's also worth noting that as in all areas of life, children are different and what comes easily to one may be difficult for another. The aim should be providing a supportive springboard to manage external exams when they come. Some children will reach that point with minimal support, others will need much more input. A personalised approach is what's needed for all children whether that's revision, potty training or teqching them to use public transport. It can be so frustrating sometimes and hard to know if we're doing too much or too little. We can only try our best!!


Pinkittens · 11/10/2022 10:00

@JoulesTowel Much the same as any common revision techniques (revision cards, making notes of original notes etc) but if I were to add anything it would be to start off by listing every subject on a separate sheet of paper, each with a bulletpointed list of every topic to be covered within that subject.

These subject sheets should be pinned up somewhere obvious eg on a wall or a noticeboard, and topics ticked off when revised, until all the subjects have a list of ticked off topics underneath. Having this clear visual guide of all the subjects and listed topics helps to focus on what's done/what's left to do and gives a sense of achievement to tick topics off once covered. Work through in chronological order, because term topics can build up week by week especially in subjects like Science or Geography, so it makes sense to start from the beginning.

Even the act of compiling a list of topics (found by looking through their exercise books week by week) per subject is an important part of the revision. I'm teaching the DCs that for really good marks they need to have comprehensively covered it all - the easy bits and the hard bits, not just randomly picking and choosing topics or subjects they enjoyed.

If there's been a lesson where not much info is written down other than the topic heading (perhaps because there was a class discussion on the topic that lesson rather than copying written text, for example) then the title of the topic can be explored, and notes made, using Bitesize etc to fill in any gaps in written work.
I do check their subject books regularly to see the quality of their written notes from class. One of my DC went through a period of writing lazy, poor quality notes which obviously would make things harder for revision. (They now write pages of beautiful, full notes but I doubt they would if I hadn't spotted it early and nagged them to improve on note taking and why it's important, ie for good revision).

Store end of topic/term revision notes clearly in a binder folder using subject dividers, with plastic pouches to hold revision cards, so they can be referred back to for end of year exams.


vix3rd · 11/10/2022 13:52

I'll be honest - I did rubbish in my exams because my parents sat back & left me to it. I had no idea how to study or revise.
I wish my mum had been more involved. I'd have done so much better. Instead I was sent to my room & read stuff, but then became bored & just gave up.

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