Revisiting topics later on in the year

As a teacher there is always a certain amount of work you need to get through in an academic year. This can often leave very little time to fit in other things and with pupil absences, school trips and holidays you are left with little movement. Often children of a young age forget things quite quickly so it is important that you revisit things time and time again to allow them to understand and memorise it. It may be that most of the pupils have understood something but a small group are still struggling. If this is the case then you may need to work with them a little more closely or ask your TA to do some extra work with them when you are doing another task that they could miss out on.

You may not have to go over the topic in the same way. Often teaching them the same principle but in a different way can help them to really get to grips with it. If you are struggling for ideas then you could search online or ask other teachers how they went about it.

Another way to give pupils a bit more time on a task is to set them some homework that is themed around the subject you have been teaching them about.

Stressful times ahead as GCSE’s and A-Levels loom

The start of the year is often a stressful time for students who will be completing their A-levels or GCSE’s in May and June. With only a short time left before the exams start across the country, many students are trying to cram in revision as well as carry on with their lessons.
Undertaking revision has been proven to help improve grades and give pupils confidence when they head in to an exam, but often many people get overly worried and find revision too much.
When thinking about revision it is important to plan it out and come up with a timetable that also allows for downtime when you can put down the books and do something you enjoy.
Creating a timetable of what days and times you are going to do revision and then splitting it down further in to the subjects you are going to revise on which days can help you start with a clear mind.
Often schools, colleges and universities also try and focus the classes more on revision during the run up to these exams.
If you find that you are struggling then working with a friend can make revision less daunting and help you both practise what you need to.

Making use of your lesson plans for a second or third time

As a teacher your time is very precious as you often do not get a lot of it. You can spend much of your evenings and weekends planning lessons and marking work. It is a good idea to try and reuse as much of your planning as possible to cut down on the time it takes in the future. The first way to do this is to have a template that you can use for planning. You may be given this by the school or through a teaching agency (if you use one). If not then a simple Word document can help you plan the lesson using the same structure.  

Although things do change in terms of topics to be taught and the way you should teach them, some will remain the same and therefore it makes sense to base your new lessons on a similar plan. This is especially true if you have found a great way to teach a particular subject or topic.   Another way your lesson plans can come in use is to share them with other teachers that work in your school or through teaching forums. Sharing ideas and letting others know what worked and what didn’t work can be a great way to make the most of your experiences

Schools and parents working together in education

Schools like to see parents and carers taking an interest in what the pupil is learning about at school and encourage them to continue this at home. This may be as simple as asking your child what they have been doing that day and trying to integrate part of it into their home life. For example if they have been learning their two times table, then you may make a game when it comes to dinner time where you ask them a times table question and they have to count out the correct number of peas on their plate to give you then answer.
Reading is a very important skill for a child to grasp. Being able to read will not only help them understand books but can also improve their spellings, imagination and manage their feelings. You should try and listen to your child read at least every other day, even if it is just the ingredients on the back of a packet of the information on a poster.
Working closely with the school will help the child learn new tasks quicker and give them continuity. If your child is struggling with a particular subject at school, then you could ask the teacher if there is anything you can do at home to help.

Teaching your child to cope with exam stress

From a very young age children are expected to undertake some sort of exams. The first official ones often happen in year one when your child may do a phonics check. This is a very informal test which is done in a classroom environment where you child will be asked to read out a certain list of words. Not all of the words are really words, and it is used to check their understanding of sounding out. The following year your child will do their first SATS exams. Again in Key stage one these are quite informal but some children can still get very worried about them. Throughout the rest of their school life they will again be tested at regular intervals and in year 11 will do their GCSE’s.
It is very important that you talk to your children about exams and their worries and help to reassure them. Early tests and exams are often done without the children really being aware of them but you may still want to talk to them about it. Some parents feel it is better not to say anything but if your child is already mentioning it or has questions it is better for them to feel they can talk to you.
Helping your child come up with a revision schedule and trying to ensure they stick to it can help take away the feeling of stress. If you are struggling ask their teacher for some advice as to how they can structure revision and what you can do to help aid it.