A Christmas Card Challenge for pupils in Year 11, 12 and 13 at Sedbergh School will focus on Revision Cards, not snow scenes, holly and ivy. These cards will be vital tools for exam preparation.

Two weeks ago, pupils were invited to take part in this new challenge, ahead of a Study Skills session taking place in late February, run by Elevate, a national training provider.

The session, ‘How to Ace Your Exams’, involves completing lots of past papers in conjunction with teachers,  and relies on everyone having completed revision notes. Mock Exams for GCSE and A Levels also take place in February.

The Christmas Cards are intended to be flash cards with trigger words, memory maps and spider diagrams.  

Dan Harrison, Deputy Headmaster Academic, said: “Our Christmas break is 25 days long, allowing eight days for family occasions, social events and rest, and 17 days for building in preparation for the exams.

If pupils were to work on exam preparation for two hours each day of those 17 days, this would create 34 hours of work. If pupils complete this challenge they will be in a very good place in the lead up to the Mocks and the Elevate session.”

A spokesperson from Elevate said: “The question for many students is: How do I take all the work I have done and turn it into the marks I deserve? The seminar in February will outline the critical exam skills that will allow pupils to excel in the exam room, whilst also demonstrating that exams are not just about the exam room – the preparation is where the marks are.

We will look at preparation, fixing mistakes, allocating time, stress management and how to tailor succinct, focused answers.” Elevate has been working with schools for 11 years and uses young presenters who pupils can really relate to.

The details of the challenge, in preparation for the seminar, have been put to the pupils. Head of School Tom Robinson said: “This challenge is a perfect opportunity for Year 11, 12 and 13 to get ahead of the game, with regards to preparing for the Summer Exams.

Nobody can underestimate the importance of these exams, and early preparation is vital for those wishing to achieve their best in the Summer. It forces us to get into the heart of the material and, following this, we can continue the revision process by practising plenty of past papers, which is only worthwhile if the material has been studied already.

For Upper Sixth especially, this is a crucial time with offers flying in from Universities for a wide range of different courses. Benjamin Franklin said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”, and this challenge has been set to ensure that all pupils have the opportunity to achieve their academic potential and to be completely satisfied on Exam Results Day in August.”

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