Using knowledge organisers to improve retrieval practice

Class Teaching

At our school, all subject departments are in the process of creating knowledge organisers to support each unit of work. For the uninitiated, a knowledge organiser is a simple tool that provides clarity for both teachers and students. A successful knowledge organiser summarises and condenses all the most vital, useful and powerful knowledge on a single A4 page. We do not have a standard knowledge organiser template; each department designs them in a way that suits the bespoke needs of the subject discipline. For example, here is the knowledge organiser the English department have designed to teach John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men to Year 9:


Knowledge organisers are all the rage at the moment. However, if they are going to help support learning and retention, departments and teachers must be very clear about their purpose and how to use them effectively. Used well, a knowledge organiser can support students…

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