It’s 10 days until Paper 1; time for final preparations- next week is  crucial one, use it wisely.

Due to popular demand for a bit of Learning with Lowndesy and Mastery with Martin, we’ll do an intense session the day before the exam. We’ll spend an hour on Germany and an hour on the cold war. The workshops will be in H5 and H6.

There’s been talk of take away pizza, bring along cash if you want to be involved……


WW1 Centenary


On Wednesday 29th April Heathfield is proud to be a host, for the largest history project currently running in the South West. 

It is part of Somerset’s commemoration of the centenary of WWI. 

The project involves sharing Somerset communities family history, memorabilia and links to WWI.

It’s a simple idea; pupils and their parents bring along any memorabilia they may have to school on the 29th. We will be open during the school day (in H6) for pupils and 3.30-6.00 (again in H6) for parents. Memorabilia may include letters, photos, medals, uniforms, diaries etc. We will have a team at school (made up of professional historians and six Year Nine Heathfield pupils) who will scan, catalogue and photograph the objects. The artefacts Heathfield catalogues will, alongside images and stories from other venues, become part of an online and offline exhibition recognising Somerset’s links to the great war. 

This link provides additional information.

Getting Revision Right



Over the Easter holidays I decided to read the document above to get some clarity on how best to revise, a question I do not think all students, never mind Year 11’s know the answer to. In the paper, Dunlosky et al identify the most effective techniques to support learning that could be used for revision.

Before this though, they also identify some common revision techniques that have been shown to have very little effect on learning.


Three commonly used revision techniques that appear to have very little impact on learning were:

  • Highlighting texts
  • Re-reading
  • Summarising text

The reason these are so ineffective, is that they require very little cognitive work…and its cognitive work i.e. thinking about things, that makes us remember things. It’s easy to see why are they are popular with students though. They are very low demand, make the students feel as if they are ‘doing revision’ and for highlighting and summarising, there is a product for their efforts. They can come bounding downstairs from their bedroom and show mum/dad highlighted sheets of text of revision that they have ‘done’. Gratifying? Yes. Effective? No.
So having established what doesn’t work, I have come up with 5 techniques / strategies that appear to work well and make a difference to learning (with thanks to inspiration from Chris Hildrew and Shaun Allison’s excellent blogs):

1. Practice Testing:

This technique is pretty straightforward – keep testing yourselves (or each other) on what you have got to learn. This technique has been shown to have the highest impact in terms of supporting your learning. Some ways in which you can do this easily:

  1. Create some flashcards, with questions on one side and answers on the other – and keep testing yourself.
  2. Work through past exam papers – many can be acquired through exam board websites.
  3. Simply quiz each other (or yourself) on key bits of information.
  4. Create ‘fill the gap’ exercises for you and a friend to complete.
  5. Create multiple choice quizzes for friends to complete.
2. Distributed Practice – time to forget!

Rather than cramming all of your revision for each subject into one block, it’s better to space it out – from now, through to the exams. Why is this better? Bizarrely, because it gives you some forgetting time. This means that when you come back to it a few weeks later, you will have to think harder, which actually helps you to remember it. Furthermore, the more frequently you come back to a topic, the better you remember it.


The graph above demonstrates this, by returning to a topic and reviewing it, you remember it for longer.

3. Interrogation – asking “WHY?”

One of the best things that you can do (either to yourself or with a friend) to support your revision is to ask why an idea or concept is true – and then answer that why question. For example:

  • In science, increasing the temperature can increase the rate of a chemical reaction….why?
  • In geography, the tourism industry in British seaside towns like Blackpool has deteriorated in the last 4 decades….why?
  • In history, in 1929 the American stock exchange collapsed. This supported Hitler’s rise to power….why?

So, rather than just trying to learn facts or ideas by reading them over and over, you should get into the habit of asking yourself WHY these things are true.

4. Self-Explanation:

Rather than looking at different topics from a subject in isolation, you should try to think about how this new information is related to what you know already. This is where mind- maps might come in useful – but the process of producing the mind map, is probably more useful than the finished product. So, you should think about a key central idea (the middle of the mind map) and then how new material, builds on the existing knowledge in the middle. For example the rock cycle links to geography and science revision….

Alongside this, when you are solving a problem e.g. in maths, you should explain to someone the steps you took to solve the problem.

5. Interleaved Practice:

When you are revising a subject, the temptation is to do it in ‘blocks’ of topics. Like below:


The problem with this is, is that it doesn’t support the importance of repetition – which is so important to learning. So rather than revising in ‘topic blocks’ it’s better to chunk these topics up in your revision programme and interleave them:


In summary:
The power point below summarises the 5 key ideas and gives you some specific strategies to try NOW!

Revision Ideas

Here is some really good advice about how to do revision right. Follow this to give yourself the best chance possible to really SAIL in the summer exams:


Year 8 reach Foreign Film Competition Final at Bristol University

Just before Christmas, a number of Year 8 students took on the challenge of creating their own short film in a Foreign Language as part of the ALL South West competition. One group succeeded in being invited to the grand final at Bristol University on Friday 20th March. This was a fantastic achievement as only 5 films were selected from the entire South West region. This is their entry – Modern Rotkappchen. The students starring in this film are: Libby Gould 8T, Sophia Valmiki 8T and Georgina Croft 8R.

Non Uniform Day – Thursday 12 March

RED NOSE DAY – ‘Wear Something Red’

We will be holding a non-uniform day this Thursday in aid of “Comic Relief”.

Everyone is welcome to wear something red.

We hope to have a really successful event to raise money for the Comic Relief fund. The money raised gets spent to help poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged people turn their lives around across Africa, throughout the world’s poorest countries and closer to home here in the UK.

The usual 50p donation on the day would be appreciated.

For those who have PE on Thursday – don’t forget your PE kit!

Also just to remind you that Friday 13 March is an Inset Day so the school is closed to students.

Strictly Heathfield


Heathfield is pioneering its own “Strictly Heathfield” in aid of Red Nose Day.

This Dance extravaganza is proving extremely popular amongst staff and students. A sense of fevered excitement is building in the days leading up to the Final!

Staff participants are being supported by the Year 9 Dance Enrichment Company. The Grand Final takes place Friday 6 March in Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre (1.15-1.45 pm).


  1. Stu Walker and Rebecca Bird dance the Charleston.
  2. Lyn Gridley and Rhys Morgan perform Argentine Tango.
  3. Robin Trott and Lizzie Vowles (not photographed) demonstrate the iconic dance from Dirty Dancing.
  4. The Maths Department (left to right) Emily Gillard (back row), Helen Aries, James Cooke (on loan from Music Dept!), Estelle Smillie, James Andrews, Trudy Robertson, Vicky Richardson – go through their Disco routines.
  5. Jaz Wilson, Aileen St John, Ali Durand and Claire Martin – celebrate with the Salsa.

What are the attitudes of year 11 towards RE?

By Mr. W. Davies

As part of my teacher training, I am completing an individual research study into student attitudes towards RPE. My research is looking at the reasons why students might hold particular attitudes towards this subject. Attached is a short questionnaire which will allow you to show your opinion on RPE as a taught subject in school. The reason why I have selected you, amongst others, to complete this questionnaire is because I feel that you have important ideas on what the subject is. Your feedback will be greatly appreciated. Please be assured that the information that you provide will not be disclosed to other students and teachers. Also you are under no obligation to answer the questions, as this questionnaire is voluntary. This questionnaire is also completely anonymous which means that when I read the answers I will not be able to identify which student has completed it. Thank you for completing this questionnaire.

Click here to complete the questionnaire

Strictly Heathfield


With only a week to go to, Strictly Heathfield staff are making final preparations to get their hands on the glitter ball trophy! Come and support them next Friday in aid of Comic Relief!

Strictly Heathfield Year 9 Dance Enrichment

Come and be part of an exciting opportunity for you to take part in a dance enrichment project with dance artist Lauren Caveney. As an accomplished dancer and choreographer Lauren will offer you a varied, challenging and fun week of dance!!!

The dance project will take place during the week starting Monday the 2nd March 2015 during school hours and will consist of; making your own choreography and how to create your own moves, learning a performance piece to be shown in the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre with professional lighting and sound. (Previous experiences not necessary)


YEAR 11 ePraise DAY – fundraising for Young Mind and Ataxia UK.



Thursday 1PM, Small Hall, YEAR 11 ePraise DAY – fundraising for Young Mind and Ataxia UK.

Christmas busking, Present tombala, guest the number of sweets in the jar, cross bar challenge and sponsored leg wax! Ouch.

Bring your spare change and fill up the copper pots. Put what you can in the ePraise charity money pot! It is Christmas so give a little and make a difference. Thanks from Year 11 student organisers