Again, this post is going to be related to time, and how much time teachers spend doing seemingly mundane tasks…
In the lead up to the exams I’m trying to make sure my revision sessions with my Year 13s are targetted and efficient. In order to do this I am slowly working my way through the specification points with them, trying to give them exam questions that are related to the specification points that they are struggling with. Unfortunately, I do not have time to sit there and do this with them all individually, which would be ideal.
I am spending my next lesson with them working on the part of the specification that deals with the Big Bang, the possible fates of the Universe, Hubble’s constant, the cosmological principle etc. So I spent a good hour of my day today working my way through every single past paper I could get online and picking out the questions that were related to these parts of the specification. I had to work my way through each paper, cutting out the relevant questions and pasting them into a word document that I could then send out to them, so they could get started on the questions tonight if they wanted to.
Was this extremely time consuming? Yes.
Was it an efficient use of my time? Not in the slightest.
Will it be useful to the students? Yes.
Have I found an easier, more efficient way to do this? Not yet.
Although as a side note, the Physics department I am a part of has come up with a useful idea to help the students target their own revision. We have decided to print out all the past papers available to us, cut them up into all the separate questions and write next to each question which specification point it is related to. We will then put them in order of the specification points. The idea is that they can then work their way through the specification point with the traffic light system (highlight in red things they are very worried about, yellow/orange things that they think they need a little bit of work on and in green things that they feel very comfortable with). They can then use the booklet with the question in to work through the questions that are related to the bits of the specification that are highlighted red. This will mean they can target their own revision effectively, and gives them ample exam practice on the topics they are uncomfortable with.
Unfortunately, as you might have guessed, this is going to require a good deal of time and effort on our part. Between the three of us we will need to work through every past paper that we have, and putting them in order of the two (both AS and A2) specifications. However, we are hoping that this time will pay off in the long run, and once the resource is made, we can simply add in new past papers as they are released. Adding the new past papers should not take more than an hour or two each year and eventually we will have a very useful and thorough booklet of exam questions based on the specification points.
Hopefully this whole project will take less time to set up than I am dreading it will…but I am sure the promise of a beer from the Head of Physics when we finish will provide some motivation to get it all completed faster!