Practical revision

Contact Peter Watts for more information about this technique

When revising the GCSE PE syllabus, we try to make revision as active as possible in hope that students will remember the movements they do; we find this is often better than reading a passage from a text book. One topic we cover is GCSE PE is the Circulatory System. Students need to know the path that the blood takes as it makes its way through the body, but also the delivery of oxygen and gaseous exchange. In order to revise this topic our students complete a basketball circuit.

How the revision strategy works:

  1. Students collect a ball out of one of the two boxes at the top and dribble the ball along Route 1 until they reach Activity 1.
  2. For Activity 1, students must pass the ball around their bodies 5 times and then dribble the ball down to Activity 2.
  3. For Activity 2, students must pass the ball around their legs in a figure of 8 and then dribble the ball along Route 2.
  4. At the end of Route 2, students need to zig-zag in and out of the cones while dribbling and follow Route 3 until they come to Activity 3.
  5. For Activity 3, students need to spin the ball on their finger for as long as they can before moving down to Activity 4.
  6. For Activity 4 students bounce pass between their legs five times before moving off up Route 4.
  7. At the end of Route 4, students take a shot at the basket, place their basketball in one of the two boxes, pick up a new ball and dribble off again to complete another circuit.

PE routes

What are students actually doing?

Students are actually Red Blood Cells and the basketballs are oxygen/carbon dioxide. The first route students are travelling along the Pulmonary Vein to the Left Atrium. They then travel to the Left Ventricle before heading along the Aorta to the rest of the body (Zig-Zag). At this point the student’s oxygen gets used up by they pick up carbon dioxide before travelling up the Vena Cava to the Right Atrium, the Right Ventricle and then along the Pulmonary Artery to the lungs. Once at the lungs they drop off the CO2 and pick up the O2 before setting off for the journey again.

As students make their way around the circuit they call out where they are.

How can this be used in your subject?

The same principle can be used in any subject area where there are pathways to follow. For example:

  • If writing an essay, the teacher could physically lay out a pathway with cones. As you follow the pathway students will come across questions which they have to answer, however, when there is a question there should also be a crossroads. Students then pick the next pathway based on their answer. Some pathways will lead to a dead-end, others will lead to success.
  • The topic of the session could be effective essay writing for exams. At every crossroads, students could decide what goes into the essay until eventually they come to the end and receive feedback on what they have done. If the students didn’t choose particularly well they could try again.
  • The same process would work in Maths…where students are given an equation and at every crossroads they have to choose what the next stage of solving the equation would be etc.
  • In History, students could complete a circuit which went through all the key stages of the build-up of World War One.

With a little bit of creativity, this method could be used in a number of different ways.