Arena Academy tell us about their first revision residential break at Frontier Centre.
A revision residential can be a great opportunity to focus students, grow confidence and reduce stress. Coming away to our sites for focused revision time can make an enormous difference to students and foster great study skills when they return home. Combined with a schedule of active sessions students are rewarded for their hard work and encouraged to study harder. We met with Andy and Knile, Directors from Arena Academy, to talk about their first revision break to Frontier Centre in December.
Why did you decide to book a revision residential?
This is the first time we have booked a revision residential. Our pupils have not had a residential experience since Year 7 so we wanted to combine the outdoor activities with a revision focus during this critical time. We focused on the core subjects – Maths, Science and English combined with revision tips.
In total, we took 97 Year 11 pupils to Frontier Centre, split into two groups each staying 2.5 days/2 nights.
Why did you choose this time of year?
We came in December primarily because it is the right time of year for us. Pupils have just done their mock exams and with 60 school days left before their GCSEs, it is an ideal time to reflect and move forward. Combining dedicated revision time with motivational adventure activities. Financially the cost is less in low season, which helps parents and the school fund the trip too.
What was the structure of the revision residential?
We spilt pupils into smaller groups based on ability to deliver the revision sessions over 2.5 days. With outdoor adventure activities and refreshment breaks in between to break the day up and provide motivation.
The Head Teacher and Deputy Head also visited to do a motivational session on exam preparation.
What do you think are the benefits of the revision break?
Away from the school environment and in a different setting, the students are more proactive in asking questions. They have learnt independence and resilience. We can use this as a reminder during exam time – ‘remember when you couldn’t abseil’ to encourage them to be positive and apply this mind-set to their schoolwork.
Do you think spending time outdoors is beneficial to pupils during revision?
Yes definitely. It is good to see them off their mobile devices and enjoying the outdoors. The adventure activities broke up the revision sessions and they learnt valuable life skills.
What skills do your students gain from a residential?
They have learnt team work, communication skills, how to think independently, problem solving, resilience and to step outside their comfort zone.
Which activities did you choose and what did your pupils enjoy the most?
We chose three activities; abseiling, mountain biking and kayaking and two spotlight sessions – Above and Beyond and Walk the Plank. These activities really challenged our pupils and they have enjoyed everything, particularly the mountain biking.
Do you have any top tips for revision?
Our tips would be:
- Keep it concise, quality over quantity
- Do short 20 minutes sessions, with regular breaks
- Have something to focus on at the end of revision as it really helps to motivate