At Farnborough Spencer Academy we know that by that equipping students with the skills to be able to learn, retain and recall knowledge is key to the examination success. The newly reformed GCSEs and BTECs are more rigorous and increasingly challenging. The focus of these exams is 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 secret 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 day to day learning and experiences. To this end, we are introducing Knowledge Organisers as part of our homework strategy.
At the start of every half term, your child will be given a knowledge organiser booklet containing knowledge organisers for every subject. These will include facts, dates, events, key concepts, and definitions that your child will need to remember for the topic. In addition, your child will be given a practice book in which they use to write down and learn key information needed. Your child will need to bring their practice book to school everyday as part of their equipment. Homework will be set based around information in the knowledge organiser as part of their regular homework.
How does my child remember all the knowledge?
Retrieval practice using the look-cover-write-check technique, when done in regular small chunks, is one of the best ways you can learn relevant knowledge over time.
Your class teacher will also set different homework tasks based on the knowledge organiser. These may include self quizzing, mind maps or spider diagrams, creating questions based on the knowledge, vocabulary or definition quizzes, essays and more.
Please support your child each week to learn the key information through the homework tasks using the practice book.
For any further information, please contact your child’s Head of Year or Deputy Headteacher Mrs Watson.