Teaching and Learning Principles
At the start of each new unit of History, Geography and Science, a knowledge organiser should be given to each child. This knowledge organiser must contain all the key information that the pupil needs to know and remember in order to have a good age-related understanding of the subject, and it should contain enough information to enable pupils to write an extended independent piece at the end of the unit. Opportunities to learn and use the Knowledge Organiser should be built in school time, but it should also be sent home to learn. This enables parents to have an understanding of what is being taught, as well as encouraging enthusiastic pupils and families to explore the subject in more depth.
To support this knowledge retention, we will hold regular quizzes throughout the year that ask pupils to recall the knowledge they have acquired during their time at the school.
In class the teacher teaches depth around this knowledge to place it in context and create flexible knowledge - knowledge that is valuable/ useful in different contexts.
Work and Planning Booklet
Each unit includes a work booklet which ensures that every lesson includes rich, challenging texts that are written at an age appropriate level. Key graphics, images and diagrams are all included alongside the text. Question and tasks break up the lesson, meaning children get regular opportunities to practice new things, in line with Rosenshine (2012). The work and planning booklet clearly sets out the standard expected in term of class work and supports teachers’ subject knowledge. These also greatly support the reduction in workload of teachers as they are created at the start of a half term.
The majority of lessons include a presentation of material visually that is clear and precise. This material aids children's memory by making effective use of dual-coding - combining visual with verbal material. This approach can improve the absorption of new knowledge without increasing extraneous cognitive load.
The benefits of retrieval practice is one of the most robust findings in cognitive psychology. Low stakes multiple choice quizzes are efficient, effective and motivating for children, while providing feedback to the teacher on the security of learning. The questions on these can be recycled and the use of spacing can be used to ensure content is retained in the long-term memory.
At the end of each unit of learning children write an extended piece of writing. This ensures that they can synthesise and elaborate on all the knowledge they have gained through the unit. These extended pieces strengthen the storage of the material learnt, whilst helping knowledge move from the inflexible status (knowledge tied to a single structure – Henry II was a medieval king) to be being more flexible (knowing what is meant by medieval monarch) where it is more useful as it is linked into a range of knowledge rather than just standing alone.