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Science of learning: Interleaving (Long-term memory)

Interleaving means revisiting or reinforcing previous topics and switching between ideas. Rather than teaching topics as stand-a-lone, practice is distributed across multiple episodes. Evidence suggests interleaving can support long-term memory in the following ways: Help pupils to see the links, similarities and differences between ideas more easily. Builds long-term memory since pupils are required to switch between …

Science of learning: Spaced practice (Long-term memory)

Spaced Practice involves studying the same information over multiple sessions rather than cramming it all into one. Through doing this pupils review material in short bursts over a long period of time rather than in a single massed amount of time. This gives their minds time to form connections between the ideas and concepts so …

Science of learning: Knowledge Organisers (Retrieval practice)

A useful tool to aid retrieval practice are Knowledge Organisers. These are fact focused, and present information in an easily digestable format in order to help construct schemas. When referred to regularly, in a planner manner, they can greatly aid working memory and explicit vocabulary instruction. It is essential to think carefully how these are …

Science of learning: Retrieval practice

Retrieval practice is the act of recalling learned information from long term memory. Each time the information is recalled it strengthens the connections between ideas and changes the context they are viewed in, which develops a pupil’s ability to use the information in different situations. Regular retrieval practice of prior knowledge can also help make …

Science of learning: Concrete examples

Children learn new knowledge by tethering it to prior knowledge. Concrete examples can be useful at giving meaning to the learning and supporting the working memory by linking to already existing schemas. Many of the concepts we teach are fairly abstract in nature and in seeking to help pupils understand them we can build on …

Science of learning: Reducing cognitive load

Working memory capacity increases with age and in general, a person can hold 5-9 items in their working memory at one time. Working memory is limited by content and time. Only a set number of items can be considered in the working memory at one time, therefore chunking material is essential. When items are chunked …

Science of learning: Improving attention

Attention is limited and is all too easily lost. There will be times when it is hard for children to focus. The main limitations for a pupil when it comes to maintaining attention include: Capacity: a child’s capacity to focus it is not large and pupils are not able to process everything they sense at …

Science of Learning: Theory of Information processing

The Theory of information processing helps us to understand how children learn. Info_processing_model There are 3 stages: Attention: This links to our focus and motivation to learn. Pupils are bombarded with new information from our environment and surroundings, as well as the content they must learn. This is an immediate effect and if pupils are …

Vocabulary: Tier 2 icons to support dual coding

It really helps pupils to understand a concept when it is presented in partnership with a connected visual. Based on the principle of dual coding this will help cement the word in the child’s mind. It will also help to attach the word with the image, therefore increasing the likelihood they will remember that term. …

Vocabulary: Top Tips for explicit instruction

In Beck and McKeown’s book (Beck et al., 2007) ‘Bringing word to life’ there is fantastic guidance in relation to explicit vocabulary instruction: 1.Introduce words through explanations in everyday connected language, rather than dictionary definitions 2.Provide several contexts in which the word can be used 3.Get students to interact with word meanings right away 4.Develop …