More information about knowledge organisers and how we use them
What is a ‘Knowledge Organiser’?
A Knowledge Organiser is a go-to document for a topic/unit of work. Each one identifies the key information that children need to have learned by the end of a topic. It also acts as a tool to support children in retaining and retrieving knowledge for life-long learning.
How do they help teachers?
They are used as a tool, to plan the essential knowledge that children need to cover in the unit: Key dates, key people, key events, Key vocabulary and definitions and key concepts, all in ‘child-friendly’ language.
How do they help children?
They provide the essential knowledge that children need to cover in the unit. They are shared at the beginning of the topic so children know what they are going to be learning. They also help them to remember: key dates, key people, key events, vocabulary and definitions and key concepts.
They can be used as a fun assessment tool to help remember the units. They improve their ability to remember. They also help children develop other skills. E.g. when writing a non fiction report. If they already have the knowledge they can focus on the writing skills.
How do they help parents / carers?
Parents / carers will have a better understanding of what their children need to know. They will allow parents / carers to build on their children's knowledge at home and provide an easy tool for parents to quiz children at home (and children to quiz parents).
How do we use them in the classroom?
We give the knowledge organiser to the children before the start of a topic to encourage discussion and prior research. We may also choose to send a copy home.
We talk through the knowledge organiser at the beginning of the topic, asking the children what information has sparked their interest, and if they have any questions.
We use the knowledge organiser as a regular retrieval tool. We mix-up practice using short, low-stakes quizzes, games, partner discussion, and so on, rather than constant formal testing. Do the children know more than is included on the knowledge organiser? Ask higher-level ‘why’ questions to stretch the children’s understanding and add detail. This is the ideal scenario, as it means they have deepened their knowledge beyond the baseline outlined on the knowledge organiser and have formed stronger subject schemas.
We use them to identify knowledge gaps throughout the topic.
We display an enlarged copy of the knowledge organiser on a working wall, encouraging children to add information around it during the topic.
We use the knowledge organiser as a handy spelling and vocabulary reminder. Keep it visible at all times and expect the children to use the proper vocabulary correctly.