Knowledge Organiser Homework
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What are Knowledge Organiser books?
At the beginning of each academic year, every student across Yewlands Academy is provided with a knowledge organiser book containing a summary of all the key content from across the year and across all subjects.
These knowledge organiser books have been written bespoke by leaders across Brigantia Trust and are aligned specifically to our curriculum. The books include keyword definitions, key texts, quotes, big ideas, equations, visual aids and worked examples to consolidate the learning taking place in lesson.
Many pages of knowledge in the books is followed by a page of questions to facilitate self or paired quizzing.
How will the Knowledge Organiser book be used?
Knowledge Organisers are an integral part of the learning journey at Yewlands Academy and will be used daily in lessons to facilitate:
- Retrieval starters- every lesson at Yewlands starts with quizzing of prior learning. Questions are displayed on interactive white boards as students enter and it is the expectation that all students settle quickly into completing these. In doing so pupils will develop their retrieval skills and embed knowledge into their long-term memory. Knowledge organisers will help them to complete retrieval starters and page numbers will often be referenced in the questions.
- Self-assessment- students assessing their own work promotes student autonomy and self-reflection. Knowledge organiser books allow students to check the accuracy of their work against the key concepts summarised in the book. This acts as a powerful improvement tool.
- Scaffolding- the knowledge organiser can be used as additional support providing definitions of key words, key information and visuals of key concepts. Students can refer to it during lessons to help build confidence.
Knowledge Organisers will also be taken home daily to allow the completion of homework (see homework strategy below)
At Yewlands Academy, we are committed to ensuring that all students are provided with the opportunity to achieve their best possible outcomes. To support this, we follow a centralised approach to homework which is designed to enhance knowledge retrieval, promoting better progress in lessons whilst also considering the wellbeing of students outside of school. Our policy is consistent and standardised to ensure that pupils can organise and manage their time to complete the required independent study weekly via our knowledge organiser books. It helps our pupils develop positive study habits and time management skills which will serve them well throughout their time at the academy and beyond.
Our homework approach gives students multiple exposures to key knowledge, lessening the ‘forgetting curve’ and has been adapted from best practice seen in other Outstanding academies. The homework policy is built upon sound education research which outlines the purpose of homework as an opportunity to provide extended practice, giving students tasks that enable them to improve their fluency and confidence and tasks that support deeper and more fluent recall.
Evidence shows that lesson time is not enough on its own and students need structured guidance to support their practice activities. Homework helps to develop students’ capacity for independent learning, to develop a sense of responsibility for their own learning and to prepare for lessons so that teachers’ input is optimised.
Our homework policy centres around the Knowledge Organiser book and is underpinned by the following core principles:
- Homework must be simple and accessible to all students.
- Homework must support the retention of knowledge within students’ long-term memory to support their learning over time.
- Homework must rely on a culture of praise within academies.
- Homework must be evenly distributed throughout the academic year so as to avoid undue stress and pressure on students.
- Homework must be aligned to the curriculum and aid progress in lessons.
On the first day of each week pupils and parents receive a homework bulletin via email (also published on the website and social media sites) detailing the 6 pages from the Knowledge organiser book they should be learning across the week.
The 6 pages of learning are assigned as summarised in the table
Students are trained on effective revision skills during tutor time and are encouraged to use Look, Cover, Write, Check; Self-Quizzing; and Pair and Test, to help them to revise and recall the content of the pages across the week.
Students will get the opportunity to show off their knowledge from the homework within lessons through the implementation of low stakes quizzing and retrieval starters in the first 5-10 minutes of each lesson. This will be an intrinsic part of lesson planning within all subjects. Whilst the testing is designed to be low-stakes and non-threatening, students should endeavour to achieve ≥80% on their quizzes which is the optimum success rate.
There is also an extended quiz at the end of each half term during tutor period which is linked to rewards (including highest individual scorer, most improved and highest scoring tutor group).
Acknowledgement of Homework
Homework will be acknowledged through the Trust-wide praise culture. Students that regularly complete their homework are more likely to thrive in lessons, receive House points, ‘Extra Applause’ and positive emails and postcards home.
Providing Feedback on Homework
The policy is designed so that there is no additional workload for classroom teachers. Teachers are not expected to retrospectively mark homework as this directly contradicts our feedback policy. Instead, teachers may offer verbal praise on homework outcomes and should use the academy praise culture to celebrate the work that students do. The learning of Knowledge Retrieval Sheets will be tested daily through low stakes quizzing within lessons which is immediately self/peer assessed. Following retrieval activities, teachers should seek to establish the gaps in student knowledge and alter their planning accordingly as outlined in the feedback policy (re-teaching a concept).
Knowledge Organiser Book Expectations
It is the expectation that Yewlands Academy students have their knowledge organisers with them to use in all lessons and these are then taken home daily to complete home learning.
Students are expected to:
- Bring their Knowledge Organiser into school every day in their school bag and have it with them for use in each lesson.
- Bring their Knowledge Organiser home every day in their school bag to allow homework to be completed.
- Ensure that their Knowledge Organiser is always in good condition, without any rips, doodling, missing pages or other damage (whether intentional or through carelessness)
Consequences for failing to follow expectations
If students fail to follow the above expectations, the following penalties may be imposed:
- Missed social time
- Conversations/ meetings with parents
- Time in the Reflection Room
If students lose or damage their Knowledge Organiser, parents/carers will be expected to pay £8 to replace it.
How can parents support?
As parents/carers, we ask you to support by:
- Making sure your child has a bag to carry their knowledge organiser to school
- Reminding your child to complete their knowledge organiser homework tasks
- Reminding your child to take their knowledge organiser in to school each day
- Asking them quiz questions from the knowledge organiser book
- Asking them to explain what they have learnt to you
The use of supplementary online learning programmes
Where appropriate, students will be provided access to online learning programmes including Hegarty Maths, Educake Science, Seneca Learning and GCSE Pod. These platforms will support further learning beyond the lesson and help to reinforce understanding of the key content of the knowledge organiser
Click on the icons below to access the online learning programmes.