I hope this finds you well. Here in Kent, we are looking forward to a week at a slightly different pace, and many of you will be welcoming your children happily home for a rest, and perhaps a bit of revision. For those families for whom travel home is not possible, please be assured that we will look after your children and help them to rest, and get ready to go again in a week’s time. I asked the students to take this moment to thank their teachers, house managers, cleaners and cooks for looking after them and helping to make this a happy community. I hope that they did so. Gratitude is an important life skill that gives as much to the giver as the receiver.
ITY and Year 13 students will have trial, or ‘mock’ exams, just after the half-term break and I thought I would write to you about how to support them in preparing. Here are three ideas.
Plan. Have the weekends off and ‘earn’ the evenings off during the week, by working 9 to 4, Monday to Friday on revision. That way, students can put in a real shift, and feel they have prepared well, but also not feel guilty when they do put their pens down and relax with friends and family.
Sleep. Stick to term-time sleep patterns as far as possible; shifting sleep patterns at the start and end of the half-term break will be disruptive and take time to recover from.
Study smart. At Earlscliffe, students follow the advice of The Learning Scientists who have done excellent work researching how we learn best. Highlighting does not work, reading a book and copying it out does not work, flashcards – unless used properly – do not work. The website www.learningscientists.org has lots of simple, brief resources which lay out clearly and simply what will work, with every student, every time. There are six key techniques – six alone – and using them will make a difference. Trust me.
I hope a combination of work and rest and play will make for a positive and productive week. This message, as ever, comes with my very best wishes.
Joss Williams, Head Teacher