At St Paul’s, we have created a five year curriculum plan that builds effective revision strategies into homework and lesson tasks. Research around memory suggests that if knowledge is studied once and not revisited or revised, it is not stored in the long-term memory. This means that after one lesson, or revising for one test, the knowledge will not be retained unless it is studied again and again. It won’t be recalled unless it is revisited frequently, which will embed it in the long term memory. This is often referred to as ‘Spiral Learning’ or ‘Retrieval Practice’.
The research shows that if our students engage in this style of learning and revision, it will work! To do this well, students should be revising what they have been taught in recent lessons as well as content they have been taught previously. We have created a bank of Knowledge Organisers for every year group and every subject that relate specifically to content being covered in lessons each term. These will show the exact facts, dates, events, characters, concepts and precise definitions that students need to remember for each topic. Some examples of how best to use these Knowledge Organisers and improve students’ independent learning skills are detailed below. These Independent learning strategies will not only help students to retain and recall knowledge but start to equip them with revision skills for examinations. In additional we hope that parents and carers will find these an easy way to support students.
As the year develops and the bank of Knowledge Organisers is developed, students will be able to use them to pre-learn and re-learn information, a vital part of processing all the information required to be successful in the new style GCSE’s.
Mind maps: Mind maps are a great way of getting lots of key information on one page. ‘A topic on a page’ which the students can revise from. It’s a good way of getting them to make links between events.
Knowledge Drop: This could be a great task for knowledge recall from a previous lesson or a topic studied some weeks ago. Simply write down all the points you can remember about a topic, it could be a spider diagram or a bullet pointed list. You can them check what you have remembered by using the Knowledge Organiser.
Flash Cards: These are great for examination preparation and especially good for people at home to support with homework. On one side write a question from your subject. This can be an examination style question or facts on a topic from the Knowledge Organiser. On the other side bullet point the answer.
Condense it: Students can read detailed pieces of information on a topic or from a Knowledge Organiser and find the key points. This can be done by highlighting the information or taking it further by condensing the information into 4 or 5 points or even some trigger words which will spark memory.
Give a lecture: This simple by effective task can be done in class or at home. Ask the student to talk about a topic without repetition for 1 minute. The aim is to get the student to verbalise their understanding of a topic and hopeful recall lots of information.
Mnemonic: The aim of a mnemonic is to remember important points, which may otherwise tricky to achieve. The time spent making the mnemonic is a great memory aid itself! An example used in history classes to remember the terms of a World War One treaty can be seen below:
T – Territory
In remembering the word BRAT will help recall these key points.
Sketch it: A creative way of committing information to memory, students can use symbols, storyboards and even actions to remember the sequence of events or formula. We all learning in different ways, this a great way to help with visual memory. A creative way of committing information to memory, students can use symbols, storyboards and even actions to remember the sequence of events or formula. We all learning in different ways, this a great way to help with visual memory.
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Students Guide on how to get the best from Knowledge Organisers
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