How We Used Science to Create our 11+ Summer School
What do you think is the most powerful predictor of exam success? Natural intelligence? The number of study hours? Those components certainly play a part, but many people often overlook the huge importance of revising in the right way.
Whilst ability and effort are certainly factors in a student’s success, studying the right materials and having a solid strategy for revision are almost always the keys to achieving a top score. Without a science-backed, effective revision strategy, information can go in one ear and out of the other, leaving children no better off than they were 20 study hours earlier.
A great deal of scientific research has been done into effective ways of improving learning and helping students to retain information in the long-term. We've taken this research and incorporated it into our classes and our 11+ summer school in order to make sure that your child receives the very best education. Not only are these methods backed by scientific research, but we know from experience they work - these are the same strategies we teach our pupils and their parents, and they’re also the same techniques that I used at grammar school and at university (where I graduated with a First Class Honours degree from The London School of Economics).
We’ve combined our experience with science-backed revision techniques to create an 11+ summer school that is simply unlike anything else available.
Spacing Revision Sessions
We started designing our summer school syllabus by rotating between different subjects each day. By covering a subject for a shorter time one day and returning to it the next, we help our students to remember what they’ve learnt long after classes have ended.
Research shows that learning is much more effective when it is spread out with gaps in between to allow forgetting. Whilst allowing children to forget may seem counter-intuitive, it’s this process that strengthens their recall abilities and engrains information into the long-term memory.
Shorter Hours Boost Productivity
You may have wondered why our summer classes don’t run all-day. There is a reason for this.
Studies have shown that even adults struggle to work at a consistently high level for an entire day, so why should we expect kids to be any different?
Rather than asking children to work at half-speed for an entire day, we expect them to work at full-speed during the course of our sessions, with short breaks in between tasks. By working this way, we achieve more and children are also more enthusiastic about coming back.
Increasing Exposure to Test Questions Reduces Anxiety
Did you know that the brain reacts to anxiety about academia in the same way it reacts to a fear of spiders, heights or any other common phobia? When children have anxiety about a topic, the brain produces a fear response that makes it hard for children to function properly.
By exposing children to plenty of test questions in a safe and reassuring tutoring environment, you can actually improve your child’s ability to cope with exams and therefore improve their results.
By attending more intensive classes with us, your child will have the opportunity to work on a plethora of test questions that will provide them with the mental preparation they need to pass the 11 plus.
Developing Working Memory
Strong working memory has been shown to be a good predictor of academic success in tests. Put simply - if you have a good memory, you’ll have a good test score. Whilst some people naturally have better memories than others, working memory can still be improved with targeted activities.
We’ve incorporated a range of activities that improve children’s subject knowledge whilst also being scientifically-proven to be good for working memory. We are therefore not only teaching 11+ subjects, but we’ll also develop the underlying skills that will lead your child to exam success.
Developing working memory is particularly important for students with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia. Improving working memory can help to reduce the impact of such learning difficulties in classes and tests.
Using Regular Testing
Practice tests are another essential component of effective revision. Short tests are interspersed throughout our class schedule and are based on the work we’ve been doing in class. These regular tests increase each child’s chances of successfully applying these new skills in future.
What could your child gain from an 11+ summer school?