At Rossington All Saints Academy we have a clear focus on the content of our whole curriculum and ensure that there is an emphasis on ‘powerful knowledge’ that students need in order to truly understand concept.
What is a knowledge organiser?
A Knowledge Organiser (KO) sets out in detail what we want students to know by the end of the topic. The knowledge organiser (KO) is adocument that contains key facts and information that students need to enable them to learn the basic knowledge and understanding of a topic. Our knowledge organisers will include: the essential facts about the topic, usually laid out in easily digestible chunks.
Every half term in Years 7, 8 and 9, 10 and 11 the content for each subject has been broken down into a Knowledge Organiser. All of the Knowledge Organisers have been collated into a booklet which each student receives. These booklets support the students with their revision homework, alongside regular skill-focused prep-work.
Used well, a knowledge organiser can support students in grasping the foundational concepts that will pave the way for future learning
How do I use my knowledge organiser?
At Rossington All Saints Academy we recommend the Read, cover, write, check technique. Students learn key information in their Knowledge Organisers by reading a small section, covering it up, saying the definitions to themselves, writing out those key terms and definitions in their jotters, then checking to see if they got them right. They should correct any errors in red pen, then repeat the process. Alternatively, students can convert the information from the KO into a mind map, cartoon strip or flash cards.
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. It won’t be recalled unless it is revisited frequently, which will embed it in the long-term memory. This will make it easier to recall in the future.
Students in all years should be revising what they have been taught recently, but also content that they were taught previously such as last term, or last year, for example. To support this revision, students should be testing themselves regularly on the content in their Knowledge Organisers by self-quizzing.