The SLRs allowed me to create bold and efficient summaries of each topic.
At GCSE we provided students with workbooks to capture their learning. When completed these ensured students had sufficient notes so that revision guides were not necessary. These also created effective knowledge organisers. This scaffolding was necessary because younger students are not sufficiently skilled to organise their own learning. At A level we encourage much more independence to prepare them for their next steps in life by removing this scaffolding.
SLR – AN EVOLUTION OF GCSE WORKBOOKS
Instead of workbooks, students have a structured learning record (SLR) for each topic. An SLR is a PowerPoint presentation with the following slides:
HOW STUDENTS COMPLETE THEIR SLR
We provide hundreds of mini activities covering the whole course helpfully organised into each SLR. Students can be given these activities to complete in class. We call each completed activity an "asset". Students then choose which assets to include on the slides of their SLR to answer the key question. They will need to add additional annotations, notes and illustrations so that a completed SLR is coherent and not just a copy/paste dump! Additional slides can easily be added to add more content to the SLR. Being selective and distilling information is a higher order learning skill, ideal for A level.
PowerPoint may seem like an odd choice of application to use for this work. We find it is the tool that gives you the least amount of hassle as an editor! Slides are independent. Changes on one slide do not affect content on another. Moving and positioning objects is straightforward, and you can also easily present slides to the rest of the class or import them from other presentations.
COMPLIMENTING THE FREE VIDEOS
Our free videos compliment the SLRs by providing the necessary theoretical knowledge. However, the SLR is not dependent on a flipped classroom approach and all the assets can be created with other teaching techniques too.
ASSESSING STUDENT WORK
Each SLR has an assessment sheet for the teacher included. This lists what evidence to look for on the slides the students produce. We call these the "minimum expectations" and students should aim to go beyond these outcomes. It also provides students with some basic guidance on what good evidence might be. The intention is that teachers tick what students have achieved so that students can see where there are gaps in their work.
The SLR is assessed on a four-point scale under the headings breadth, depth, presentation and understanding:
Breadth – how much of the SLR was completed. How many expectations were met. (All, most, some, few)
Depth – how much detail has been included on each slide. (Links, explanations, descriptions, little)
Presentation – how effective the presentation of the completed work is. (Excellent, good, fair, poor)
Understanding – how accurate the work is. (Excellent, good, fair, poor)
There is a space for the teacher to record target and assessment grades, write additional comments and a student response if required.
Marking checklist documents for each SLR are included for the teacher in addition to answers to the sample examination questions included.
In addition to the specification requirements being clearly stated, each SLR has a revision checklist that supports the clarification document provided by the exam board. Students know exactly what they need to know and learn.