Knowing more, Remembering More at Bleak Hill

Retrieval Actvities

Following our REACH principle, each lesson begins with a Retrieval Activity. These activities are either whole class discussions, paired activities or individual tasks. We understand that retrieval practice improves pupils' memory and recall. In turn, it can also improve children's application skills and their ability to transfer their knowledge to new concepts and new situations.

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Review and Do

KS2 particpate in 'Review and Do' programme, a daily quiz reinforcing preious learning. Each afternoon starts with a 10 question quiz focussing on topics from years gone by. Have a look at a sample of some of our questions. 

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Please have a look at the document below, which shows how we continue to develop our children's knowledge and understanding across the curriculum. 

At Bleak Hill we recognise that learning is complicated so it can be useful to use conceptual models to help understand and discuss it. A powerful concept is the idea that we organise ideas, knowledge, the things we learn, in patterns of connected information called schema.
Schema-building is at the heart of this diagram by Oliver Caviglioli.
Remembering is a label for a wide set of processes that involve drawing on our memory of things we know or have experienced;  it doesn’t only mean the simple act of conscious factual retrieval. This is why when we were designing our curriculum we ensured that we broke learning down into chunks and we discuss retrieval practice techniques. We ensured taht we considered that information and ideas arrive and form in complex ways and we should assess our children in a variety of ways.  If we think too reductively in terms of simple knowledge inputs and simple knowledge outputs, we’re likely to be missing huge swathes of the warp and weft that enable us to form sound schema for the concepts.
Stretch and Challenge
It is crucial that our most able students fulfil their potential. We need to harness the talents of these students so that they can become successful individuals in the future. We know that able children do best in classrooms where the work is intellectually challenging . Such work will involve the child exercising both cognitive and metacognitive skills. Vygotsky's zone of proximal development research inspires our stretch and challenge opportunities; we aim to support and challenge our more able pupils to ensure that they are continuously learning. 
Spacing and Interleaving
Spaced retrieval practice (spaced practice) means studying information more than once but leaving considerable time between practice sessions. In short, it’s the process of spreading learning over time. Evidence suggests that spaced practice is more effective for long-term retrieval. 
Interleaving involves teaching subject content not in a continuous block, but in chunks which pupils revisit over time. This approach helps embed new learning in long-term memory, through the act of repetition. Repetition for learning is not simply about replicating previous lessons; it involves the act of retrieving previously learnt knowledge and then developing it.
Cognitive Overload
Cognitive Load Theory provides an explanation of how pupils absorb new information. Our memory has a limited capacity to learn and it is very easy to overload with new information. Whilst designing our curriculum we have used this theory to help sequence how new subject information is delivered to pupils and carefully plan and deliver the new learning in components as we realise this can vastly alter learning outcomes.
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