Knowledge organisers capture the key information, terminology, and dates or quotes for a topic. The information on the knowledge organiser is the minimum that needs to be known, rehearsed and stored over time in the long-term memory, in order for pupils to become fluent in the material. It is a given that plenty of other technical vocabulary and facts will be encountered and learnt through the topic.
Knowledge Organiser – History
About Knowledge Organisers
Pupils benefit from knowing up front that the knowledge organiser contains the essential information they need to know in order to succeed. Pupils are not expected to know the content from the start, but incrementally over time. This is done by setting some information to be learnt through retrieval practice for homework, revisiting in class and low stakes testing or quizzing. The act of revising and checking for the correct answer deepens learning. Pupils benefit from the ‘testing effect’ which is gains in long-term memory and retention of knowledge by active retrieval through quizzing.
If the quizzes are given on a regular basis, pupils will be able to see the progress they have made, over time. This is satisfying and rewarding for pupils, helps to build confidence and means that they are more likely to persevere with difficult material, when they understand it can be mastered over time.
Knowledge organisers are stored in folders – a Book of Knowledge in the classroom to be used for revision. These folders are transferred to the pupils’ next class through the school until Year 6.