Elm Wood Writes Bell House: Episode One

In July this year, we welcomed Year 6s from Elm Wood School to Bell House for our first ever school visit! The pupils learned all about bees and how honey is made on a trip round our beehives, and helped us make some beautiful quilts for premature babies at King’s Hospital.

They also explored the house itself, learning about Bell House and its place in local, national and global history, before bringing these histories to life in our creative writing sessions! This series, Elm Wood Writes Bell House, showcases the best of the poetry, diary- and story-writing from our time with the Year 6s. Read on for the first of these fantastic pieces:

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"Study smarter, not harder" - Revision tips for dyslexic students

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Do you learn best by listening? By reading? By looking at colours? By moving around as you learn? For many people, especially dyslexic children, the answer to this question could be the key to unlocking the secret to the most effective revision techniques. As Caroline Bateman explained to a room full of parents at Bell House Dulwich, the answer for everyone is different. We should embrace this, and use our individual learning styles to help the revision process. 

“Study smarter, not harder”. This really was the theme running throughout Caroline’s talk, as she steered a group of parents with dyslexic children towards a set of techniques that could help with revision. The group was made up of parents who had children of varying ages, which made for great discussion, and opportunities to learn from each other. 

Instead of reinventing the wheel, Caroline showed us easy ways to transform existing resources into effective and, dare I say it, fun ways to revise. For example, take a PowerPoint presentation used in the classroom. A pupil can turn this into a quiz, so they can test themselves on information they have just learnt. This is a relatively low-tech way to use resources which are already there, and make them more interactive. Caroline underlined the importance of self-testing; it’s the best way for children and teenagers to truly engage their brains, and assess what they have truly absorbed. And a great way to incentivise revision!

We also discussed a range of practical tips which are beautifully simple to implement. For example, fitting school folders with a small plastic wallet containing coloured pens, glue, hole-punch, and post-it notes. This saves time when revision rolls around, and kids know exactly where to find all their revision stationery. Seeing such an organised, well-equipped file made lots of us in the room at Bell House wish we had these tips when doing our own school exams!

At the end of the two hour session, all the parents left Bell House feeling reassured that revision is not impossible, and armed with a new portfolio of revision techniques to try with their children. Due to the fantastic response from this evening, Caroline Bateman will be repeating her talk at Bell House Dulwich on 20th March. Please visit bellhouse.co.uk/events for more information, or get tickets at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/parents-discover-how-to-support-your-childs-revision-tickets-43018171509