Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Revision Plan

The top tip for successful revision is to make a plan; otherwise it is easy to waste your precious revision time. It is recommended that you start your revision at least six weeks before your exams begin. It is helpful to look at your exam dates and work backwards to the first date you intend to start revising.
Ø  List all your exam subjects and the amount of time you think you will need for each one. It is unlikely that the amounts will be equal. Many people find it advisable to allocate more time to the subject or topics they find the most difficult
Ø  Draw up a revision plan for each week
Ø  Fill in any regular commitments you have first and the dates of your examinations
Ø  Use Revision Checklists or Syllabuses for each subject as a starting point. Look at what you need to know and try to identify any gaps in your knowledge. (A good way of doing this is to look at the results of past papers or tests you have worked through)
Ø  Divide your time for each subject into topics based on the units in the revision checklist or syllabus, and make sure you allow enough time for each one
Ø  Plan your time carefully, assigning more time to subjects and topics you find difficult
Ø  Revise often; try and do a little every day
Ø  Plan in time off, including time for activities which can be done out in the fresh air. Take a 5 or 10 minute break every hour and do some stretching exercises, go for a short walk or make a drink
Ø  You may find it helpful to change from one subject to another at ‘break’ time, for example doing one or two sessions of maths and then changing to Geography, or alternating a favourite subject with a more difficult one. It helps to build in some variety
Ø  Write up your plan and display it somewhere visible
Ø  Adjust your timetable if necessary and try to focus on your weakest topics and subjects
Ø  Don’t panic; think about what you can achieve, not what you can’t. Positive thinking is important!

 Source: University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, 2012, Revision Tips [Online] Available from:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Revision Tips

These days are very important for the students who are doing O’Level this year since these are the last days their revision. So this article is targeted for all those students who are sitting in the Cambridge O’Level exam this year.
Everyone feels nervous about taking exams. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your revision time and keep those nerves under control.
It’s important to remember that an examination is a test of learning, not memory. Examiners want to see evidence that you have drawn on your knowledge to develop a reasoned argument, rather than replicate course notes and textbook facts. Revision should be a process of consolidating understanding rather than cramming as much information as possible before the morning of the exam.

Study skills

Where to study
Creating good conditions to study in can help you make the most of the time you spend revising. Here are some suggestions:
  •           Find a quiet place to study and make sure you are sitting comfortably
  •           Make sure your desk is well lit
  •           Keep background noise to a minimum
  •           Avoid studying in an area where there will be distractions (like television!)
  •           Have everything you need to do your revision to hand before you start

How to study
There is no ‘right way’ to revise, as long as the method you choose enables you to gain a solid grasp of key facts and consolidate your knowledge. Some students are happy to read their classroom notes from start to finish, others prefer to simplify the information as much as possible, turning everything into skeleton notes, diagrams or mnemonics. In practice, most students find that mixing techniques suits the varied nature of the subjects being revised, and provides essential variety when studying.

  •   Turn your notes into revision tools;

o    write ideas and facts on to cards to use as ‘prompts’
o    create memory aids such as diagrams or mnemonics (e.g. initial letters to make a word you need to remember or SMART objectives: Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Realistic; Targets). These will help you remember key facts
o    write key facts/notes out and display these around the house where you will see them
o    record yourself reading notes to listen to
  •    Study with a friend and test each other’s knowledge, but remember you are meeting to revise rather than to chat!
  •    Work through past question papers – and use a watch to time them so that you can practise timing your answers.
  •    Choose study and revision guides sensibly. It’s not hard to find help with revision – as well as established published revision guides, there are hundreds of websites offering help and advice. The problem is not how to find such help, but how to judge which is the best source for your needs. Save valuable time and get recommendations from your teachers
  •    Remember course notes are also a valuable source of extra help
  •    Keep yourself more alert by changing revision methods during a session. For instance, try switching from note taking to memorising; from reading to asking someone to test you
  •    Attend any revision classes that your teachers may be running at school and get their advice on revision methods
  •    Look after yourself – Sometimes revision can become a competition – who stayed up latest, who worked longest, who’s worrying the most. But the more tired you are the less efficiently you’ll work. You need to rest as well as study, eat well, drink lots of water and make sure you pace yourself. Don’t rush, and equally don’t over-revise by doing too much too soon

Source: University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, 2012, Revision Tips [Online] Available from:

Monday, August 13, 2012

5 Ways to Bully-Proof Your Kid


Schools are taking a strong anti-bullying stance to stop bullying in schools. It is being discussed by teachers and other staff of the schools. In addition to these, parents can do their part at home, too. Here are five smart strategies to keep kids from becoming targets — and stop bullying that have already started:

1.      Talk about it. Talk about bullying with your kids and have other family members share their experiences. If one of your kids opens up about being bullied, praise him or her for being brave enough to discuss it and offer unconditional support. Consult with the school to learn its policies and find out how staff and teachers can address the situation.

2.      Remove the bait. If it's lunch money or gadgets that the school bully is after, you can help neutralize the situation by encouraging your child to pack a lunch or go to school gadget-free.

3.      Buddy up for safety. Two or more friends standing at their lockers are less likely to be picked on than a child who is all alone. Remind your child to use the buddy system during the interval period, or wherever bullies may lurk.

4.      Keep calm and carry on. If a bully strikes, a kid's best defense may be to remain calm, ignore hurtful remarks, tell the bully to stop, and simply walk away. Bullies thrive on hurting others. A child who isn't easily ruffled has a better chance of staying off a bully's radar.

5.      Don't try to fight the battle yourself. Sometimes talking to a bully's parents can be constructive, but it's generally best to do so in a setting where a school official, such as a counselor, can mediate.

Reference: The Nemours Foundation, 2012, 5 Ways to Bully-Proof Your Kid [Online] Available from:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Teaching Excellence Awards 2012

 Teaching Excellence Award- 

 Recognizing and Rewarding the Dedicated 

The TE Award was initiated by Dr. Mustafa Lutfy, acting Minister of Education in 2010. The process allows for anyone in the Maldives to nominate outstanding teachers, heads of schools and staff members who are making exceptional contributions to the schools in Maldives. The awards are catagorised in such a way that all key players within a school community are acknowledged. 

The Ministry of Education is greatful to the various partners who continue to support the award categories and those who assist in the process of event planning, management and selection. Quality Schools Blog hopes our readers start looking for that special dedicated school member in their school. Categories and the nomination details are given below.

Award Categories:
10 different award categories recognizing different ranges of people and skills

1.    Four Seasons Resorts Award for Teacher of the Year in a Pre-school
     All certified teachers (including head teachers) working with pre-school children are eligible

2.    ADK Group Award for Leading Teacher of the Year in a Primary School

3.    Media Net Digital Award for Teacher of the Year in a Primary School
     All certified teachers teaching primary students (including leading teachers, in-charge of primary students/teachers)

4.    Villa College Award for Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School

5.    Alia Investments Award for Leading Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School
      All certified teachers teaching secondary students (includes higher secondary within the eligibility category)

6.    Global Links Award for New Teacher of the Year
      Certified teacher in a school who have up to three years of teaching experience

7.    Air Taxi Award for the Principal of the Year
      All heads, principals and deputy principals are included in this category

8.    Ensis Award for Life-time Achievement
      All certified educators with at least 25 years of experience (working or retired)

9.    Island Aviation Award for Support Staff of the Year (1 award)
     All working in the support staff category; it includes, counselors, health assistants, librarians, lab technicians, sports supervisors, secretarial staff etc.

10. Orchid Holdings Pvt Ltd Award for Special Educational Needs Teacher of the Year     
      All teachers teaching SEN classes/students are eligible


Anyone except family members can submit a nomination for Awards for Teaching Excellence in the Maldives.
For nomination, the person will have;
1. To choose the appropriate award category
2. To get consent from the nominee (a written consent from the nominee need to be submitted)
3. To submit additional endorsements from 2 other people. The people who write these endorsements should
    know the nominee and should write in their letters why the candidate should receive an award. Two
    different perspectives should be included; example, a parent and a principal, a student and a teacher, etc
     (members of the family cannot write endorsement letters supporting the nominee). Each letter should not
     be more than 3 pages long, typeset in Times New Roman, font size 12, single line spacing.
4.  To complete the nomination form ( downloadable from the Ministry of Education website: -)
5. To send it in before the nomination deadline.
Deadline: 12th August 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

Differentiated Learning


Differentiation means getting the best out of every pupil so that they are able to show what they know, understand and what they can do. Differentiated teaching is a process which includes planning curriculum aims, teaching strategies, resources, teaching methods and ways of interacting with pupils while giving special consideration to:
  • differentiation between pupils according to ability
  • the different ways pupils learn
  • the different speeds at which pupils learn 

As well as the above, differentiation between pupils also occurs in attitude, background, gender, support etc. The following show the ways that differentiation can appear:

                               in the planning 
                               in the teaching 
                               in the learning 
                               in the feedback to pupils

"It must be understood that the abilities and needs of every pupil are different and therefore teaching must reflect that, so that a challenge is provided for every pupil so that their learning is allowed to progress".

  • A specific purpose to the work (clear aims)
  • Linked to aims and objectives of the course
  • Purpose clear to pupils and teacher (core, extended and reinforcement)

  • Balance of activities over time in lessons
  • Classroom organization suits the learning activity
  • Reinforcement techniques encourage pupils to move on
  • Vocabulary and linguistic requirements are relevant (differentiation between pupils, suitable tasks and support, readable materials, preparing suitable materials)

  • Explain what is required
  • An adequate level of challenge
  • Tasks which test pupils' understanding of the materials
  • Opportunities to reinforce the lower ability pupils
  • Extension activities to challenge the more able pupils (effective questioning)

  • Effective communication between teacher and pupils
  • Effective questioning to facilitate learning
  • Pupil presentations to bring out understanding (constructive marking - leading to improvement)

  • Sensitive oral feedback
  • Constructive marking
  • Emphasizing improvement

Thursday, August 2, 2012


While working in the laboratory, you may encounter cuts, burns, injuries caused by chemicals skin, eyes), or poisoning caused by inhaling poisonous vapors or swallowing poisonous substances. 

There is always a risk of fires, explosions and electric shocks.  In order to avoid all these dangers in the laboratory, you need to respect the safety measures. It is also important that you react in time to help yourself and others.

DO NOT CAUSE PANIC – This is the very first step in providing first aid

CUTS are usually found on hands, and are mostly caused by glassware. Verify if there is a shred of glass, metal or other material in the wound. Use sterile tweezers to pull it out, cover the injury with a piece of sterile gauze or bandage, and apply pressure to stop the bleeding. In case of profuse bleeding, apply a compression bandage and seek medical help. 

BURNS are usually found on hands too, and are mostly caused by handling hot objects or hot reagents. If there is no significant damage to the skin, cool the burned spot with cold water (or ice placed on a sterile cover). In case the clothing has become stuck to the skin and blisters have formed, use a piece of sterile gauze to cover the burn and immediately seek medical help.

If a chemical has come in contact with your skin, rinse the spot with running water and neutralize if necessary (acids should be neutralized with saturated solution of sodium bicarbonate and alkaline with a 2% solution of acetic acid). In case of more severe skin damage, cover the spot with a piece of sterile gauze and seek medical help.  
In case your eye(s) come in contact with any kind of chemical, wash it (them) with running water (for at least 15 minutes) and seek medical help.

The affected person has to be carried out, where he or she can inhale fresh air. Remove the affected clothing and seek medical help if necessary. If the person has lost consciousness, position him or her on his or her side, and immediately seek medical help. If necessary, apply the CPR technique.

The stomach contents have to be diluted with large quantities of water (or water with activated carbon). If you know the composition of the substance swallowed, you can induce vomiting. You are not allowed to do this in case the person has swallowed concentrated acid or alkali. In that case the person should drink large quantities of water and seek medical help.

Electric shocks can be caused by faulty wiring. Shut off the source of electric power using insulated equipment. Remove the affected person from the electric circuit and if necessary, apply the CPR technique. Seek medical help. 

The most frequent causes of fires and explosions in the laboratory are the following:
  •  Faulty gas fittings
  •  Mishandling of easily flammable substances (white phosphorus, etc.)
  • Open-flame heating of easily flammable solvents
  •  Incorrectly assembled and connected equipment
  •  Inadequate control of the chemical reaction (too high temperature, or pressure, too rapid addition of the reagents, etc.)
  •  Working with compressed gases and explosive mixtures

In order to extinguish a fire, use sand, fire blankets, fire extinguishers or water, (when it is safe to use it). Small laboratory fires can be extinguished by applying wet towels or sand, while larger ones are extinguished by using fire extinguishers. 

Everyone working in the laboratory has to be instructed on how to use a fire extinguisher (water-based, sand-based, dry chemical-based extinguishers and CO2-based fire extinguishers).

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

Even though extinguishers come in a number of shapes and sizes, they all operate in a similar manner. Here's an easy acronym for fire extinguisher use:

P   A   S   S
  -  Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep

Pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher that keeps the handle from being accidentally pressed.
Aim the nozzle toward the base of the fire.
Stand approximately 8 feet away from the fire and squeeze the handle in short intervals to discharge the extinguisher.
Sweep the nozzle back and forth at the base of the fire. After the fire appears to be out, watch it carefully since it may re-ignite!