Revision Tools: Personal Learning Checklists

Personal Learning Checklist

Personal Learning Checklists (PLCs) are a useful revision tool for both students and teachers because they allow both to identify areas of strength and weakness in an overall revision strategy: students, for example, have a list of everything they’re expected to know by way of preparation for their exams and teachers can identify any areas students feel they need additional help with in the weeks leading-up to the exams.

Revision help can, in this respect, be precisely targeted to individual students – some of whom need it and some of whom don’t – rather than broadly aimed at everyone.

Basically, they’re a win-win situation for all involved.

The downside to all this general positivity is that if students don’t create their PLC as they go along, it means being faced with a huge amount of work to do at the end of the course. Time that’s normally spent revising (or “staring blankly at some notes for a few weeks” as it’s sometimes sadly known).

Although I’m a fan of teachers identifying information to include in a PLC as their students encounter it during a course – I’ve previously posted a blank A-level PLC Template that can be used for just this purpose – there may be times when you really need a completed PLC. This is something I’ve posted for GCSE Sociology, but I’ve held-off doing the same for A-level for a number of reasons:

1. PLCs are Specification-specific and there are a lot of Sociology Specifications out there. While there’s always a certain amount of cross-over, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the problem.

2. PLCs are teaching specific. Even teachers following the same Specification are likely to use different sources and resources with their students and this can lead to Checklists that while perfectly familiar to one set of students may be decidedly less-familiar to another.

3. PLCs can go out of date quickly whenever a Specification changes.

Having duly noted the above I have managed to find a reasonable range of pre-completed PLCs that might be useful if you’re looking to see how other teachers do it or you and your students are new to the PLC idea and want some help putting together a reasonable checklist at short notice.

Most of what follows uses the standard  RAG Traffic Light system to identify ideas students don’t understand (red), understand a little (amber) or completely understand (green).

A-Level PLCs

The Appleton School
AQA Sociology PLC 2022: Education,
Methods, Sociological Theory,
Families, Beliefs in Society,
Crime and Deviance.  

Blenheim School
AQA Sociology Year 1: Education
AQA Sociology Year 2:
Crime and Deviance.  

Hayesfield School
Families and Households
Beliefs in Society
Crime and Deviance  

The Sociology Guy
Families and Households
Crime and Deviance
Theory and Methods
Global Development

Ravenswood School
Sociology Whole Course

Beliefs in Society1
Beliefs in Society2 
Beliefs in Society3

Crime and Deviance1
Crime and Deviance2
CIE AS Theory and Methods
CIE A2: Families, Crime and
Deviance, Mass Media  

Culture and Identity1
Culture and Identity2  

Health and Illness  

Education with Theory and Methods
Education: Differential Achievement
Families and Households
Families and Households1 (By Topic)
Families and Households2
Families and Households3  

Social Inequality1
Social Inequality2  

Mass Media1
Mass Media2
Mass Media: Audience Effects
Mass Media: Ownership and Control
Mass Media 
Research Methods1
Research Methods2
Theory and Methods

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