Subject Knowledge Organisers
What is a knowledge organiser?
Knowledge Organisers are short documents which contain all the key facts for a topic.
These are the key facts that we believe students need to know, to be able to understand a subject. They are useful for
- Seeing the content of a topic at a glance
- Memorising facts like dates and spellings
- Looking up facts you may have forgotten
We use them in lessons and for homework. Often we give them out in class at the start of a topic.
Where can I find the Knowledge Organisers?
Our complete library of Knowledge Organisers is here:
Why are Knowledge Organisers important?
Research suggests that equipping students with the skills to be able to learn, retain and recall knowledge is key to the examination success.
The focus of most GCSE and other examinations is the retrieval (the ability to recall key facts and ideas) 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 frequently use Knowledge Organisers as part of our homework strategy.
Supporting your student with knowledge organisers
Here are some strategies that might help you to support your students learning;
- Read through the organiser with your student – if you do not understand the content then ask them to explain it to you – ‘teaching’ you helps them to reinforce their learning.
- Your student could try converting the information into a mind map or make their own version using clip art imagery if the organiser contains a lot of text. Display on the wall or the fridge door until the memory ‘sticks’.
- Test them regularly on the spellings of key words until they are perfect. Make a note of the ones they get wrong.
- Get them to make a glossary (list) of key words with definitions or a list of formulae.
- Try recording the knowledge from the organiser as a sound file on their phones, so that your child can listen to it. Some students retain more information this way.
- Read sections out to them, missing out key words or phrases that they have to fill in.
- Test them about their knowledge.