Thanks again to all the parents, guardians and students for doing their best in this difficult time. There have been some great examples of work produced, and we’ve seen many students really try their best to complete work independently. Remember, your teachers are available to answer your questions via email, and extension tasks are there should you wish to challenge yourself further. As well as all the activities your teachers are setting, don’t forget all the fabulous lessons available on BBC bitesize. These can be accessed via the internet but are also available via the red button on many smart TVs. It’s a great time to look into areas that you are interested in.
Learning Top Tips
The way we learn and commit information to long term memory, ready to be used at a later date, is the subject of interest for educators across the globe. Given that we are currently working with remote learning, teachers have been reminded of the best methodology to use to ensure students are learning, and not just performing or being kept busy. Your children may want to use some of these tips to revise previous topics taught in the year: certainly a really good use of their time during the lockdown.
Tip 1: Scientists have discovered something called the ‘Testing Effect’. The testing effect shows that pupils remember more information in the long term if they’ve been tested on the information. For example, pupils who were asked to answer quiz questions on previously taught information a couple of times in the term performed much better than students who re-read those units or were even re-taught those units again. The thinking is that retrieving information previously covered helps create long term memories. Pupils can try this method at home by creating quiz questions, perhaps putting them on flashcards with the answers on the back. They can test themselves, or even ask family members to test them.
Tip 2: In order to strengthen memory, you need to space out practice and interleave it with other topics. That means we need to return to previous units, and re-cap knowledge by recovering some elements, and re-testing, all the while covering other knowledge. Scientists have discovered the testing effect only works if you leave some time for forgetting some of the information in between. This is counter-intuitive and feels more difficult to learn. How many of us try to get better at things by trying to master one thing before moving on? For example, a cricketer may try and improve their leg-spin bowling by only practising leg-spin bowling until they feel they’ve mastered it. However, it is this illusion of mastering something that is the problem, as we trick ourselves into believing we’ve learnt something as we can remember it immediately after studying it. In order to remember something long term, we need to space out practice, return to old topics and re-test frequently. Try and quiz yourself on old topics taught in the Autumn term. How much do you remember of the old units? Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten lots. Testing again, finding the right answer after trying and maybe finding it difficult, actually strengthens your memory. It’s called a desirable difficulty in learning.