B1 Active Summary

A quick one, this – and, you’ll be glad to hear, totally nonpolitical. I’ve expanded my idea of a revision checklist to make it a revision booklet. In an ideal world, I wouldn’t do this. I’d give kids a stack of blank paper and make them write their own damn headings. Deciding what matters most, what order it should go in, which areas should be linked together and so on would be a great activity. In fact, I’d recommend using that – perhaps in the format ‘give me ten episodes for this series’ – as a starter before handing this out. Kids could write ideas on post-its then argue about the best combinations. In reality, if we don’t give them some kind of structure they’re probably doomed.

B1 active summary as .pdf

Anyway, this is scaled for A4 but in most cases should copy down okay to an A5 booklet, two double-sided A4 pages. You’ll have to ask nicely at Reprographics. I spent ages sorting out the sequence on A5, messing around with page numbers, only to be told they needed to reduce it from A4 anyway. Oh well. Learn from my mistake and ask first.

The first page is a recap – for my students at least, who are probably sick of hearing about MORSE code revision – of effective approaches to exam preparation. Six pages of headings matched to the B1 exam of the AQA Science A specification, which many year 10 and 11 students will be sitting in January and June. And the back page is a checklist for them to assess their star rating, from 1 to 5, for each section. I usually make them tell me the difference between confidence and competence before I let them write on that bit.

Oh, and I included page references to the CGP revision guide (Core Science, Higher Tier). it’s the one we use and recommend, but obviously there are others about.

I’ll be doing an equivalent to this for the P2 module in the same course; please let me know if you’ve any suggestions for improvements in style or approach. And if you use this, I would very much appreciate you commenting below; I’m working on my CSciTeach application and it would be nice to show that my blog gets read and used by distant colleagues (as those in my department use the resources, but don’t know who I am online…). If you want the original .docx file, ask in the comments and I’ll send it your way.


10 thoughts on “B1 Active Summary”

  1. I think that this is a useful compromise between giving students no structure and giving them notes.

    The idea of asking them to come up with important headings first is a good one, and you could ask them to see if they think that you have missed anything out (unlikely, but it will be good for them to read through and check.

    1. I guess I could always leave one section blank, and have them produce headings in their own words before sending to Repro. Doing something collective in class – chapters of a book, episodes in a series etc – should help them feel ‘ownership’. And a class activity, followed by individual revision notes, is a great example of collaborative work which still rewards individual effort.

  2. Hi Ian, thanks for the retweet! I’m impressed with the structure that you’ve given the topic and I like the intro page about how to revise. I like the idea of the 5 stars but how do they decide how many stars to give a sub-topic? Could maybe link each sub-topic to questions in the CGP guide? A bridge too far?

    1. I ask them to test themselves and my classes are used to idea of self-testing to check competence, rather than confidence. Any practice questions give a chance to regrade themselves, but is more a guide to priorities than a prediction of their actual grade. You could certainly use questions, VLE exercises or whatever to generate star ratings.

  3. I found the intro about revision really helpful. I haven’t seen MORSE before, will definitely use that with my students. I liked the way that you have structured it. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Hi Ian this looks great I am teaching OCR but could adapt it if ou could send me the .docx please.

    1. Don’t suppose you have done the P2 summary? Im doing some revision with Y11 on Forces, velocity, vectors, acceleration etc, any other ideas to support this would be gratefully received. Thanks LInda

      1. Thanks Ian for P2, could I ask for the word version? The school is doing Edexcel, and Id just like to change the intro. The content is much the same.


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