What are knowledge organisers?
A knowledge organiser is a set of key facts or information that pupils need to know and be able to recall in order to master a unit or topic.
Why knowledge organisers and self-quizzing?
- Research has shown that self-quizzing is a key habit of successful learners (Dunlosky et al, 2013)
- Pupils who know more are able to understand more and more easily acquire new knowledge
- GCSE and A-Level qualifications require the application of large amounts of knowledge to a range of contexts
What does successful self-quizzing look like?
Successful self-quizzing requires students to use 'Look, Cover, Write, Check' in their self-quizzing books. A short video on how to do this is below.
Why are we moving to knowledge organisers?
Our knowledge-based curriculum requires students to know, understand and apply large amounts of subject content. This knowledge builds towards GCSE/A-Level examinations that require the retrieval and application of knowledge to a range of different contexts. This puts increasing pressure on our students to know and retain even more information for longer. Typically, when students leave their revision until a few weeks or even days/hours before the examinations and tests, this presents a problem. Our short term memory has limited capacity and students find themselves unable to retain the information so they become stressed and often give up, convincing themselves they are no good at revising or that they “can’t do that subject”. The key to success is to regularly revisit the knowledge to be learned (known as ‘spaced retrieval’). This helps transfer the knowledge from the short-term memory to the long term memory. This not only helps to make ‘learning stick’ but it also frees up our short-term memory for more complex tasks.
How will a knowledge organiser help my child?
Regular use of knowledge organisers will prevent students forgetting previous learning, as they will continually revisit and retrieve prior learning from their memories.
How can parents use knowledge organisers to help students to learn and retain information?
Many parents/carers ask us how they can help to support their children at home. Here are some strategies that might help you to support your child’s learning:
- Read through the organiser with your son/daughter – if you do not understand the content then ask them to explain it to you – ‘teaching’ you helps them to reinforce their learning.
- Test them by asking questions based on the knowledge organiser
- Read sections out to them, missing out key words or phrases that they have to fill in.
- Support your child in recording the knowledge from the organiser as a sound file on their phone or other device, so that your child can listen to it. Some students retain more information this way.