Wilson's School

Study Support

Helping your child succeed
We are regularly asked at Parents' Evenings how parents can help their sons in their studies. Please read on for useful advice both on general principles and also on specific subjects.

HOMEWORK

  • Homework is intended to be done at home. It is a good idea to set aside a specific period of time for study and to make this into a daily routine.
  • The length of time needed to complete homework varies from approximately an hour a day in Year 7 to two or three hours further up the school; however, some days there will be less (or, rarely, more).
  • Your son will need a suitable space in which to do the work, preferably free of distractions such as electronic devices.
  • Tasks set may involve using a computer, so you may want to take steps to ensure that the time spent on the computer is directed towards the set task.
  • It is not possible for parents to supervise the entire homework session closely, but it is important to take an interest in what your son is doing; the occasional oversight of his work and question about what he has learnt will be very helpful.
  • You can check the details of the tasks set in your son's homework planner. There may also be messages from your son's teachers on the current page. Please sign the planner weekly to confirm that you have read it and are satisfied that your son has done his best to complete the work.
  • Very bright boys often make short work of their home study and may claim to have finished it at school or on the way home. This may well be true from time to time, but it should not become a regular occurrence. If it does so, please inform your son's tutor.
  • If you have any concerns over the homework or your son's progress, you can use the planner to note your comments, and this should be picked up within a week by your son's tutor.


ACTIVE REVISION

At various points during the school year, your son will need to prepare for formal assessments in many subjects. It is essential for boys to get into the habit of revising methodically. In order to do this, they need to ensure that they know what they are going to be asked to write about. They then need to revise the relevant material; this is often best achieved with a series of shorter sessions, over perhaps a few days, than in one long marathon.

Where boys have a set amount of factual material that they must master, it is usually insufficient simply to re-read the text-book. In order to learn effectively, the facts have to be mentally processed, and this is often best done as follows:

  • The student makes his own notes in stages: first, he condenses paragraphs into shorter paragraphs or sentences; then, perhaps a day or two later, sentences into bullet points or key words.
  • The information can be arranged on the page sequentially, or in any number of other ways, such as a flow chart or a spider diagram. This transforms the process into active revision, as opposed to the purely passive activity of reading.
  • If the notes are put together thoughtfully, it should be possible to dispense with the original text or source book and set about learning the condensed notes; make it a goal to be able to reproduce whole sections of notes from memory, and then compare with the original to see whether anything significant has been left out.
  • This process (often called 'mind mapping') should be a challenging and enjoyable activity that instils a sense of purpose, achievement and confidence.

DOWNLOADS

Learning and Revision Techniques
Preparing to Revise
Other RevisionTips