By Gemma Miles (English)
How effective I thought this was:
What I did:
Year 10 are the first year group to be facing the new GCSEs. One of the challenges they will face will be remembering quotations and details from literature texts without having the books in the exam.
Firstly, I trialled an approach in which pupils were shown sets of images and had to link them to quotations from Macbeth that we had previously studied. The pupils began to become more confident in remembering parts of the quotations with only the images being shown to them. However, the results of their mock exams revealed that only a couple of pupils could actually quote these in an indepent setting.
Other techniques that had some success were freeze-framing quotations, focused discussion and having pupils draw their own images. Overall, there was mixed success in terms of memory.
What you should consider if you want to do this:
The class that I chose comprised of only 12 pupils, with about a third of these having limited focus. This definitely affected results in that I wasn’t able to fairly test the success of the different strategies they trialled.
Freeze-framing, for me, has been a way of involving more active and unfocused pupils in the play, but I would suggest that not all pupils enjoy being put on the spot in this way.
My key finding is that pupils need to attach meaning and understanding to what they are memorising, otherwise they are simply recalling information and not learning or storing it in their long-term memory.
Any recommendations for further reading:
Memory Tips for Exam preparation, Oxford Royale Academy:
This may be a good link to share with pupils of all year groups and offers similar tips to the year 11 memory revision sessions.