Recall, Retention and Student Understanding

Recall, Retention and Student Understanding

In order to prepare students for examinations and better embed learning, both the learning content and recall and retention strategies should be considered. Chew Valley School have designed the CVS Big Three to aid student recall, retention and understanding.

“At Chew Valley School (CVS) we believe teaching is a high value skill that ensures knowledge content and mastering of skills is committed to long term memory. This allows students to be able to recall information and apply it at will in any given situation.

We are proud to be working with PE Scholar to develop our strategy to improve recall and retention. This focuses on transferring thinking in the working memory to remembering in the long term memory using three simple but powerful ideas.

As part of the Chew Valley lesson, teachers are systematically building in the use of low stake quizzing. Often at the start of lessons, the short answer questions requires students to recall knowledge from previous lessons, terms or years. This regular, consistent retrieval improves students abilities to recall important knowledge at will, whilst providing opportunities for teachers to ask good questions and modelling correct answers.

Students at Chew Valley School are also expected to prepare in their independent study time. Our preferred recall strategy (although not limited to) is the use of Flash Cards. With the support of the Lighthouse school partnership we have developed resources for all subject experts to co-create important flash card material for students to use as they prepare for assessments and exams. The co-creation and modelling is a key aspect in ensuring that students have bespoke, high quality learning material to use as required.

The final strategy is based on timed retrieval. Within subjects, teachers have developed and encouraged ways to enable students to be able to recall and revise required knowledge in a given time frame. This approach is used both in lessons and in student independent time. The ability to perform well under a time constraint is one indicator that content is being learnt well.

At Chew Valley School students in their final year of KS4 study have dedicated time with our achievement coordinator who leads on improving recall, retention and student understanding. This work, in partnership with our CVS Big Three strategy is aiming to improve outcomes for all our young people.”

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