Knowledge is power at Alsop High School

This term Alsop High School has taken a different approach to homework with the introduction of Knowledge Organisers for every year group.

The introduction of Knowledge Organisers at Alsop is an important component of the newly created five-year curriculum where powerful knowledge is explicit and identifies what students must know, understand and do in each subject. This includes the building of effective revision strategies into homework and lessons.

The extensive work undertaken around the curriculum design and teaching and learning is underpinned by research-based evidence. Regular retrieval practice using the look-cover-write-check technique, done in regular small chunks is one of the most effective ways students can learn relevant knowledge over time and more likely to be committed to memory.

At the start of each term, every Alsop student is given a Knowledge Organiser. These include the key knowledge across each subject area. Alsop Knowledge Organisers identify the exact facts, dates, events, characters, concepts and precise definitions that students need to remember for the topics or unit.

Mrs Avison, senior leader at Alsop said: “By learning and securing this knowledge base, we want our students to increase their confidence, understanding and analysis in lessons. Our Knowledge Organisers are supported by subject specific tasks in Years 10-13 to develop the disciplinary elements in each subject.

“Our students have been given extensive coaching on how to carry out the look, cover, write, check technique by teaching staff and this self-quizzing process is checked each morning.”

Staff are delighted with the positive feedback they have received so far including the engagement of all students and parents in supporting such an important whole school initiative with one parent admitting their son “had never studied so much at home,” and another praising “the quality of such an excellent homework resource.”

Alsop students like the idea that they have their homework in one place, and a resource that enables them to study ahead of the lesson, is improving confidence and knowledge recall and retention. Knowledge, respect and opportunity are the three pillars of the Alsop Way. The using of these knowledge organisers ensure students know more, children can go on to improve their life chances, having the confidence and skills to compete with their peers on any future stage.

Headteacher, Mr Chris Wilson said: “Knowledge Organisers embody our commitment to powerful knowledge here at Alsop High School; they allow our students to learn about the best that has been thought and said.

“As a result our students are building the foundations they need through which they will improve their academic outcomes and life chances for years to come. I am extremely proud of these resources and the hard work of students, colleagues and families in making them and this is a testament to the quality and hard work of Team Alsop.”

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