We were excited to speak with Isabella (elizabella.x) this week, a GCSE student in the UK. We discussed the differences between the first and second lockdowns for her learning, how she leverages the Stairway Leaderboard feature to improve her learning, and the advice she would give to all other Stairway learners!
How have you found learning during lockdown?
I think lockdown learning has hugely improved my understanding of myself and the learning methods that work best for me. During the first lockdown I struggled initially as my school weren’t posting a lot of work yet as it was so new to everyone. So I had to depend on myself to continue the specifications which made me more responsible for my own learning. Being able to learn at home has made me very productive as I'm able to learn in the correct environment. This present lockdown has truly been amazing for my learning. My school like others have been doing live lessons which are great and perfect for people like myself who aren’t as confident contributing in classes. There are times where the work load can be a bit overwhelming but organising my time has really helped with that.
How have you motivated yourself to learn during lockdown?
I would say I get a lot of inspiration to learn from Pinterest, seeing all the aesthetic notes and new layout ideas. Then I find motivation to learn through the instagram study gram community, where everyone is bouncing off each other. When you see others studying I can’t describe it. It just makes me excited to learn.
What's your favourite STEM subject (any of the sciences or Maths)?
My favourite STEM subject has to be maths by far, that’s probably been my favourite since year 5. It's just so satisfying to me; I love learning new methods and then using them to solve complex questions. Although recently I have been enjoying biology more than I used to. Sciences just aren’t particularly a subject I think I will continue with as they aren’t as relevant to my career choice. Whereas maths will really help with economics and business studies.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to your learning? How are you overcoming this?
My biggest learning challenge would be tiredness. I suffer from a condition called chronic fatigue that makes it very difficult for me to do lots of simple tasks, such as full school days. However, during the first lockdown I was able to devise a schedule fitting my needs which would allow me to complete all the work I was behind on. I found that organising your time and to pace yourself is the best way to overcome learning challenges as you can base it around you and your needs. I applied this theory to the rest of my life and it's been very successful too!
What’s one top learning tip you’d share for other Stairway learners?
Be interactive with other learners! On the home page there is a leaderboard and I highly recommend getting competitive with your friends, digital and school. Try do a weekly challenge with your friends to see who can get the most xp and highest on your leaderboard. Have an incentive to get involved like a prize. I find this makes me extra determined to learn and complete lessons so give it a try!
How did you first learn about Stairway?
I first learned of Stairway when it was still in its early phases. I was scrolling on Instagram sometime last year, and I got an advert which I almost tapped off until I read it properly about a new GCSE website for STEM subjects (which at the time I was very behind on) and instantly signed up. I remember being so confused how I had never heard of it before because it was exactly what I had been looking for. An easy, convenient and quick way to learn without heavy studying. Then I tracked down the Instagram account and waited eagerly for the iOS app to be released.
How do you use Stairway?
Stairway is one of the best accessories to learning! I use it mostly after lessons, though sometimes just for fun, to apply the knowledge I have just learnt in an interactive way. It's great for practising after lessons because even if you're still unsure you are fully supported and guided through. I also use stairway for active recall revision, going over past topics on the go in short bitesize lessons. Allowing me to feel a sense of achievement without the daunting task of revising huge topics.