Plymouth Marjon University and Next Steps South West hosted 38 GCSE students from across Devon for an Easter Revision School on the Marjon campus.
The aim of the four-day event was to help prepare GCSE students for their exams with active revision workshops and some enrichment activities away from the classroom to help ease any exam nerves.
Terry Doyle, who is Schools and Colleges Liaison Officer at Marjon, was delighted with how students engaged at the event.
“The event was really successful,” said Terry.
“Everyone got involved really well with the English, maths, science and study skills sessions as well as the additional enrichment activities we put on to help relieve stress.”
The revision school, jointly-funded between Marjon and Next Steps South West, provided free food for students who wanted to keep up with their revision over the Easter holidays ahead of their GCSE exams in the coming weeks.
Terry continued: “Initial analysis of our data shows pupils gained improved attainment, increased confidence around their studies and improved aspirations for staying on in education.”
“Being on a university campus took the young people out of their normal school environment and away from the distractions that can exist at home when it comes to revision.”
As part of the scheme, students got involved in enrichment activities away from the classroom to ease nerves ahead of the exam season. Students got to use the Marjon Sports Centre for activities that included climbing and badminton.
Terry believes the more relaxed elements of the revision school helped make the event a success.
“We wanted to take a holistic approach to learning; it wasn’t just about drilling them to revise English, maths and science,” said Terry.
“We wanted to make sure we looked after every aspect of their wellbeing during the revision school. That meant we took a human-scale approach to the revision workshops with a maximum of 12 in a class. But it also meant that we put on breakfast and lunch for everyone and we gave opportunities for more relaxed sessions away from the classroom.”
“Attaining knowledge is only one part of the revision process. We ran a wellbeing and study skills session that focussed on how students should look after themselves in what can be a stressful time. This included skills like learning how to put together a study timetable but it also included suggestions on how to relieve stress by getting outside and being active; something we encouraged them to do while they were here with us.”
PAT-registered therapy dog Little Bear stole the show as far as media coverage was concerned; as BBC Spotlight covered the revision school by looking at how the Newfoundland dog helped students ease in to a new environment at Marjon.
Terry concluded: “Little Bear was a calming and reassuring presence in the classroom. He was a great ice breaker for everyone and he also helped keep the atmosphere positive in revision sessions.”
Find out about Marjon’s inspiring Summer School for 2019.