Actiontrack – On The Record 3

Students from across Somerset including several Heathfield Students feature on ‘On The Record 3’; a collection of songs written and performed by young people aged 11-18. Listen below:

If you would like to get involved with On The Record 5 as a performer, writer or technician speak to our Musician-in-Residence, Mr Cooke.
Listen to more Actiontrack Recordings at

Calling all Heathfield football fans!


Students, Parents and Staff

Why not try your hand at the amazing

Heathfield Fantasy Football League ?

What you have to do (by September 18th):

  1. Log on to the website at and click on “sign up now”.
  2. Follow the instructions to create your team.
  3. Enter your team in the “Heathfield League” (a “private league”) – entering the following secret code : 326852-98138
  4. Choose your team for the next “gameweek” – and off you go.
  5. Monitor how your team gets on and make transfers as we go through the season

It’s simple – and fun – and you don’t actually have to know anything about football to join in!

If you were in the league last year then you should automatically be added to the league when you refresh your team.

(Many of you have already done this)

The league will start on Friday Sept 18th so everyone starts from zero points (to make it fair)

You have until September 18th – so get your team organised now !

Julian Breeze (League Administrator)


As part of the Year 10 work-related course, several Heathfield students are walking a section of the Camino walk across northern Spain.

The purpose of the expedition is to help develop greater self-esteem and to promote team skills.

It is a physical and mental challenge but also a spiritual one in the widest sense of the word and will hopefully provide a life-changing experience.

Follow the exploits of our adventurers below.

Collected our Compostella Certificates first thing then returned to our hotel for breakfast. 2 hours shopping in the old part of Santiago. Light lunch before taxiing the boys to another hotel to their outdoor swimming pool. Madonna and I went to midday mass, and yes, they swung the Bethune. Also the Archbishop of Exeter had walked from Sarria with incense and said prayers at the mass. I’ve recorded the moment on my phone. We will enjoy our Last Supper tonight before seeing you all at the end of school tomorrow.


You’ll be pleased to know we arrived in Santiago at 1.30pm.
Hurrah!  A fantastic achievement.


Donna Venning surprised us with a visit and the boys were delighted.

She joined us on another long walk 15 miles/ 24 km. the heat was very heavy for the last three hours and we were struggling in the last 1/2 hour apart from Callum who has been absolutely amazing.

Now relaxing before our evening meal at 8.00pm. Donna has gone back to Santiago and is meeting us at 8.30 tomorrow morning in Amenal where we finished today.

Only 16km/10miles tomorrow before we hit Santiago.


A photo taken between Melide and Arzua



Already arrived at our next accommodation. Just under 12 km in 2.5 hours. Speed walking . Left earlier in the cool of the morning.

Small rest now before heading off into town to buy a football.

Picture of Cameron eating the remains of last nights Paella for breakfast at 7.30 this morning.
Seeing some wonderful gardens on The Way. 


A truly amazing establishment tonight. The host family are exceptional. Nothing is too much trouble. Sonia the host has taken a real shine to Kieran and in turn he couldn’t do enough for her He’s getting up extra early tomorrow to help her in the kitchen from 7.00am.
Been another exceptionally hot day today. All drinking lots of water.

We flew out from Gatwick one hour late, having had a dinner at the airport and arrived at the hotel at midnight.
The next day Kieran was up showering at 5.00 am! They walked 15 miles the first day, taking 8½ hours with numerous stops in 30 degree heat – but that was the hardest day. They had ice creams at 6pm and dinner in the hotel at 8pm.
Yesterday they walked for just over 4 hours again in 30 degrees. Below is picture of them stopping for water – a regular occurrence I believe! They then went swimming in the afternoon.


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: