Knowledge organisers are a whole school resource we have introduced to support long term learning.
A knowledge organiser is a simple, specific, (ideally) one page summary of the key knowledge of a particular topic. They specify what students will need to successfully learn. They can be used to get an overview of a new topic, be referred to during a topic for key points, spellings and meanings and used home to consolidate learning. Knowledge Organisers are being created for all year groups, in nearly all subjects. Teachers will share them with students each half term/term via Google Classrooms and set homework tasks which relate to them.
At Glyn School, we have drawn on recent educational research to help us better understand how we learn. We understand that learning happens when we connect knowledge in our long term memory. This allows us to understand, store and retrieve it when needed. If knowledge isn’t secured in our long term memory, we need to keep going over it, or think about it a lot, which takes up space in our working (short term) memory. The problem with this is that our working memory is really limited and gets easily overloaded. Our long term memory, however, is thought to be unlimited. The more knowledge we can store in long term memory, the more thinking can be spent learning new things or applying our knowledge to new tasks. For more on the model of long term learning, please refer to this interactive digitised document.
One way we can transfer knowledge to our long term memory is through self-quizzing (or retrieval practice). It can take many forms, but essentially involves working to see how much can be remembered, without looking. It has been proven to improve understanding, increase recall and retention as well as reduce test-anxiety. It allows students and teachers to pinpoint what is known and not yet known, so that this can be targeted. Whilst teachers will set self-quizzing homework tasks, students will have all the resources they need to consolidate their learning at any time. Using any Knowledge Organiser with any of the suggested consolidation tasks here or as shown in our Homework policy. students will always have homework they can do. For more information about our expectations of students’ homework, please refer to the section on homework.
All Knowledge organisers can be viewed and downloaded here. They are filed by Faculty/Subject, Half Term and then Year Group.
If you have any further questions about Knowledge Organisers or how to support your child’s use of them, please email R.Picken@glynschool.org.