Are last-minute Easter cramming sessions harmful rather than helpful?


The popularity of holiday revision classes are growing rapidly with one tutoring organisation expecting more than 3,500 students this April.

Whether students are attending sessions run by their own schools or those set up by independent enterprises, it strikes me that they are going back to the classroom, when what they need to be doing is consolidating their own learning.

Most of the course content for GCSEs, AS and A2s will have been taught by Easter. Most of the assessment and portfolio work will be completed and moderated.

It’s the perfect time for students to sit down with their own notes and text books to figure out what they have learnt and what is still a slight mystery to them.

These two weeks empower them to fix these gaps and come back to their teachers with the questions they still need answering.

If, instead, they are sitting in some ‘fits all’ revision session that is covering a number of key points, they are not targeting the areas that they personally need to develop.

There is so much unhelpful spoon feeding that we are taking away the ability of some students to discover and plan for themselves. They will need to be able to study independently when they go onto further education and we should allow them to begin now.

The worry is that for some students knowing that a revision class is scheduled for Easter may make them believe this to be some sort of magic solution and that their simple attendance will wipe away the fact of not enough effort until that date.

I think they can have false hopes as to how much progress these sessions can bring them.



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