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Using Gaps in Revision to Improve GCSE Science Scores

7/04/2017


A new study conducted by the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation (CESI) at Queen’s University Belfast showed that using gaps between GCSE revision sessions had promising results on test scores.

A new study conducted by the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation (CESI) at Queen’s University Belfast showed that using gaps between GCSE revision sessions had promising results on test scores.

A team from CESI worked closely with a group of teachers to refine a programme based on spaced learning techniques which uses gaps during revision sessions. The emerging programme called SMART Spaces used high intensity GCSE science revision lessons broken up by short 10 minute distractions (where the pupils did some juggling). They repeated these lessons over three days and the results showed that combining these 10 minute spaces and longer 24 hour spaces between revision sessions was the optimum way to improve performance on GCSE science test questions.

The principal investigator Dr Liam O’Hare (Senior Research Fellow, CESI) said: “This is a great example of how experimental trials informed by the research evidence in neuroscience and psychology can help improve classroom practice and ultimately student performance.”  He went on to say “One of the best things about this project was the clear benefits of teachers and researchers working in partnership to produce evidence based educational programmes that can used practically in classrooms.”

Alastair Gittner, Project Leader at Stocksbridge High School, said: “We hope this will be a time efficient way of helping teachers provide a new revision strategy for all students in science.”

Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: “In SMART Spaces, the Hallam Teaching Schools Alliance have taken findings from neuroscience research and put them to use in the classroom in a way that teachers and pupils have responded well to. The next step for us will be to find out what impact it can have on grades.”

For further Information please contact Dr Liam O’Hare.

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