So, a new focus for me and my department this year has been Knowledge Organisers.
I attended a seminar at the SHP conference this summer about knowledge and one of the parts they introduced was the use of Knowledge Organisers, it was something I was aware after reading the blog of @joe__kirby (Blog Post) but I didn’t have time to set up.
Very simply, these are documents which give the background and contextual knowledge to a set topic – the bare bones you could say. They are given one per topic, so our Y7 students receive a total of 6 a year.
The example below, created for the Edexcel British Medicine Through Time topic, contains all the basic informations students should know about Medieval Medicine. This includes key dates in a timeline, second order concepts and key word – you could obviously include important people and statistics. Each fact is numbered, so that students can be given specific sections to revise for their homework.
We give students certain numbers to learn, e.g 1-10 for a weekly test. They are given one physical copy as an example and the remainder are put on Show My Homework so they can access a digital copy. The tests given to students are based on the KO, this could include recalling dates, spelling key words, describing key terms or any way of applying their understanding. Results are tracked and graded (BSG), if they get below half it is a fail.
Eventually as part of our assessment, students are asked 10-15 questions from across the whole KO as a memory activity.
The aim of Knowledge Organisers is simply to improve student retention of key information, develop revision skills and as a result improve their application of knowledge within their written assessments.
Please find attached example of our medieval medicine knowledge organiser.