Top revision tips

Exams looming? Stress levels rising? At a bit of a loss on how to most efficiently revise? Taking a break and browsing the History blog?

We got your back, read on for some handy revision tips, applicable not only to History but most subjects!

Before that though, a reminder that it is perfectly natural to feel anxious when exam time approaches. The best way to keep on top of the stress is to be organised and have the confidence in yourself to realise you can (and will) do this!

Revision techniques

Flashcards using both sides of the card to test yourself on key figures, concepts, dates, definitions etc.

Colour-code your notes.

Re-read your textbook or copy out your notes.

Mind-maps for complicated topics/ concepts.

Draw pictures or symbols that will spring to mind easily.

Group study/ find a buddy to revise with, and to test you!

Listen to revision podcasts or watch revision clips.

Complete revision activities in revision guides etc.

3 months to go

Plan: create a realistic revision timetable, and stick to it!

Track your progress: use progress checklists to help you track your revision. It will help you stick to your revision plan.

Be realistic: revise in regular, small chunks, of around 30 minutes. Reward yourself with 10 minute breaks (plenty of time to catch up with your favourite blog cough cough)- you will be amazed how much you remember.

Positive thinking: motivate yourself by turning your negative thoughts to positive ones, Instead of asking ‘why can’t I remember this top

ic at all?’ ask yourself ‘what different techniques can I try to improve my memory?’

Organise: make sure you have everything you need- your revision books, coloured pens, index cards, sticky notes, paper, etc. Find a quiet place where you are comfortable. Divide your notes into sections that are easy to use.

Timeline: create a timeline with colour-coded sticky notes, to make sure you remember important dates relating to the topics.

Practise: Ask your teachers for practice questions or past papers.

1 month to go

Big picture: make sure you are familiar with examples- from the different periods you have studied (or other topics if a different subject), of factors relating to a Thematic study (such as GCSE History medicine).

Identify your weaknesses: which topics or question types are easier and which are more challenging for you? Schedule more time to revise the challenging topics or question types.

Make it stick: find memorable ways to remember key details such as chronology, try using rhymes, or doodle, as example.

Take a break: do something completely different during breaks- listen to music, take a short walk, make a cup of tea, for example.

Check your answer: answer exam questions and go over the answers to practise applying your knowledge.

Understand your mark scheme: Where available, review mark schemes for exam questions, and make sure you understand how you will be assessed. 

Master your exam skills: study and remember the steps to answer each question type.

Time yourself: practise making plans and answering exam questions within the recommended time limits.

Take mock exams seriously: you can learn from them how to manage your time better under exam conditions.

Rest well: make sure your phone and laptop are put away at least an hour before bed. This will help you rest better.

On the big day

Sleep early: Don’t work through the night, get a good night’s sleep.

Be prepared: Make sure you know where and when the exa

m is, and leave plenty of time to get there.

Check: make sure you have all your equipment in advance, including spare pens!

Drink and eat healthily: avoid too much caffeine or junk food. Water is best- if you are 5% dehydrated, your concentration drops 20%.

Stay focused: don’t listen to people who might try to wind you up about what might come up in the exam- they don’t know any more than you do!

Washington/New York trip 2017

The History department resident celebrity (and avid ABBA fan), Mr Dickson, took part (along with students from year 11 upwards) in an exciting trip to Washington and New York during October half term 2017.

The trip was a great opportunity for the students (and Mr Dickson of course) to explore a number of amazing landmarks and sites, such as, the Capitol Building, Library of Congress, the White House (including Rose Garden and view of Oval Office) and the Lincoln Memorial to name but a few (and all visited on the first day there, quite an achievement!)

The trip then saw the group visit; Arlington Cemeterythe Tomb of the Unknown Soldierthe tomb of Pierre L’Enfant (the architect of Washington), as well as the resting places of JFK and his wife, Jackie. The trip was non-stop with even more exciting sites and activities, including, the Museum of American History, the Jefferson Memorial and even a trip to an authentic American mall (McDonalds being a highlight). 

From here, the group then left Washington behind, travelling to New York. Here they were met with well known (yet still thrilling) sights such as the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge.

Whilst in NYC, the group were very busy indeed, with lots of activities and sites to see! A few of these being (the full list being much more extensive); Miss Saigon at the Broadway Theatre, Liberty and Ellis Island, the 9/11 museum and memorial grounds, New York Stock Exchange, Empire State Building, Central Park and Grand Central Station. 

The trip proved to be a once in a lifetime experience, with the sheer breadth of activities, sites visited and the experiences gained from these being almost indescribable (Although this post has given it a good go!) All those who were a part of trip had an amazing time and will tell you such (they don’t take prompting to talk about this trip).

For more stories or detail about the trip, or simply for some ABBA appreciation, have a chat with Mr Dickson.

P.S- For more photos and details about the trip, the actual trip blog can be found here:


Year 11 trip to Thackray Museum

In October 2017, the History department took a group of year 11 to the Thackray medical Museum in Leeds.

Thackray Medical Museum provided a dramatic backdrop to year 11’s study of medicine, with insight into significant individuals, public health, science and technology, anaesthetics, antiseptics and other factors involved in the development of medicine.

Year 11 had a very engaging, interactive and ‘gory’ experience within Thackray, leaving with a deeper understanding to be applied to their own study of medicine, and also with a renewed appreciation for modern medical methods!

Definitely a test for the faint hearted (and those who had just had lunch)




Joanna Williams workshop

Year 12 A-level History students will have the privilege of attending a workshop led by former Head of History and published author, Joanna Williams, on Tuesday 24th April (3:40-4:40pm).

The workshop will be on the life and career of Lydia Becker, a suffragist.

Upcoming History KS3 trips

We have various upcoming History trips for KS3 which will be educational, engaging and lots of fun!

8th May and 11th May: Year 9 trip to Imperial War Museum…

The IWM North building is hard to miss – the aluminium-clad building with jutting angles has become an iconic part of the Manchester skyline since it was built in 2002


13th and 14th June: Year 7 trip to Skipton Castle…

Over 900 years old, Skipton Castle is one of the most complete and best preserved medieval castles in England.

KS3 Horrible Histories Club

The KS3 Horrible Histories club has been up to lots of fun and interesting things so far this year! Some of the highlights are below…

Creation of our own ‘Horrible Histories’ episode. In groups, the horrible histories members have scripted, costumed and directed their own little skits based on an area/individual within History that they find particularly interesting. Our wonderful year 10 helpers have then taken charge of editing and putting the skits together… final product to be announced, stay tuned!

We hosted our own gameshow, following the same format as ITV’s ‘The Chase’. This activity saw teams of 4 take on our resident chaser- Mr Flanagan in a series of quick fire question rounds, with question categories ranging from historical knowledge, to geography, Disney and even the Kardashians! Our chaser put up an impressive performance, managing to catch most of our teams. However, the chaser suffered 2 crushing defeats by both a year 9 and year 8 team.

Other activities taking place in Horrible Histories club include; watching episodes of the show, playing various games such as stop the bus or pictionary, creating our own “horrible historical recipes” and most recently creating our own Roman style mosaics.

Jodrell Bank Observatory

Some of the Sixth form History students took a trip to Jodrell Bank to attend a series of lectures and workshops on the Cold War including the war from different perspectives, and how we might use new access to archive evidence to determine motives, events etc.

The students (and staff) found these lectures/workshops to be engaging, enriching and the experience was enhanced by the picturesque sight of the Lovell Telescope looming in the background of the conference room as the day took place.


Battlefields Trip 2018

During Feb half term, the History department took a group of Year 9 students on the Battlefields trip (which has its own blog for more details/photos-

We visited and saw many sites linked with the war, such as; Lijssenthoek Military cemetery,  ‘In Flanders Fields’ exhibition, Vimy Ridge, Thiepval Memorial, Sanctuary Wood (Hill 62 Museum), and the Memorial Museum Passchendale to name but a few!

Whilst on our trip we also delved into the native cuisine with some crepe making, insight into bread and croissant making at Boulangerie Berquier “Le Fournil” and a visit to a chocolate factory, Les Chocolats de Beussent. Other activities included a trip to the beach, an aquarium and a scavenger hunt which showcased the creative and original skills (and dance moves!) of the students.

All students (and staff) returned safely and sleepily with a deepened understanding of the war and its impact, and also with a plethora of experience of French and Belgian culture.



Chester Cathedral Holocaust workshop

Around 30 students from year 10 visited Chester Cathedral in January to attend various workshops relating to the Holocaust.

These workshops consisted of various different ways of remembering and exploring the Holocaust, including activities such as survivor talks, creative art pieces and poetry.

The students found the day to be highly engaging and thought provoking.

Lessons from Auschwitz

In November, two of our sixth form students took part in a Lessons from Auschwitz project run by the Holocaust Educational Trust.

The students took part in a series of preparation seminars before undertaking the visit to Poland, including talks from Holocaust survivors, workshops on Prewar-Jewish life and discussion on why it is important to remember the Holocaust to the present day.

A one day visit to Poland then took place, in which the students visited Oświęcim to gain insight into pre-war Jewish life, then visiting Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps, culminating with a Rabbi led candlelit memorial service.

Although a very difficult experience (both emotionally and physically), the project was invaluable in understanding and exploring how remembering the Holocaust is essential, both in the context of the time, but to this very day also.

The students dealt with all aspects of this project with great compassion and respect, and have since been able to use their experiences to deliver a series of assemblies with the purpose of education and remembrance.