Revisiting old posts: knowledge

POSTED ORIGINALLY IN JAN 2018 – talking about knowledge since day dot.

This isn’t a radical blog post but I kind of promised myself I would write more this year so instead here is a summary of where we are up to with knowledge.

75% of what I do at my academy now has been influenced by Michaela. I’m not going to claim these ideas as my own because 9/10 they aren’t. They are modified versions and that is incredibly important because what works in one school won’t necessarily work in another so you have to modify and adapt accordingly.

However, when it comes to knowledge much we do is the same.

  • Knowledge organisers

All Literature units at KS4 have a knowledge organiser (these are attached below). These are issued to pupils at the start of a unit. They are also sent home to parents. Knowledge organisers give parents a useful role in supporting their children with their education. They provide parents with the key knowledge pupils need to know so that they can support this by testing them each week. By September, all KS3 units will also have a knowledge organiser. As we teach these KS3 units for the first time, we are building them rather than going in all guns blazing. However, this does not mean knowledge at KS3 is omitted.


KS4 Macbeth Knowledge Organiser

KS4 A Christmas Carol Knowledge Organiser


  • Daily recaps

Every lesson in English begins with recap questions testing prior knowledge. Every time there is an opportunity to link into the teaching of prior knowledge across a lesson that opportunity is taken. Repetition, daily recaps and drilling have helped to improve our pupils’ knowledge.

  • Weekly tests

Each week pupils are tested on a section of the knowledge organiser. Each week the sections increase. Every fortnight, pupils at KS3 have a distinct knowledge and drilling lesson dedicated to securing the foundations ahead of GCSE.


  • Data tracking  

We collect these in as a form of knowledge tracking. We do this live – therefore we don’t have to do this at a separate time nor does it become an additional admin task.

Pupils work out their scores and convert these to % which tag into our Learning / Mastering / Extending assessment system. Numeracy – tick!


We can easily identify sections pupils did not perform well in and retest.

It is the pupils’ responsibility to learn their knowledge.

In our summative assessments (one every big term), we compile a larger knowledge test, testing all the knowledge from the unit and all the knowledge from previous units if applicable.

If pupils’ knowledge does not improve, then we shall intervene with after school sessions and the like. This happens rarely.

  • Self quizzing

We did this last year with mixed success.  Must try harder with this and build this in to what we do.

Overall, we are seeing an increase in how much our pupils know and will continue to push this on and on because we recognise how much of a difference the amount we know could impact upon our outcomes.


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