At St Mary Magdalen’s we introduced the use of Knowledge Organisers. Knowledge Organisers are documents that contain key facts and information that our students need in order to have a deeper knowledge and understanding of a text and topic. The knowledge organisers that the teachers use to plan learning sequences have been written to match the curriculum that we deliver, allowing the students to learn knowledge sequentially as they move through school.
Our knowledge organisers include the essential facts about a specific topic in Science, History and Geography (Humanities). They include: key vocabulary or technical terms and their meanings; images such as maps, timelines or diagrams; and famous quotations or author facts, if relevant.
Text and Context
What a knowledge organiser includes will depend on the ‘Text and Context’ and specific subject area. For example, a ‘World War One' knowledge organiser and a ‘Rivers’ knowledge organiser would both include maps, but the former would also include a timeline, and the latter would need diagrams. At our school, these units would be within the ‘Text and Context’ so linked to the Reading Cannon for each year group e.g students in Year 4 learning about WW1 as the context to reading ‘War Game’ and Year 5 explore rivers as part of the context around ‘Journey to the River Sea’. This links our English and Humanities explicitly so there is greater opportunity to apply facts and vocabulary across curriculum areas.
The key vocabulary is referred to throughout the sequence of learning, daily Close Reading sessions and is on display in the classrooms so that students' knowledge and understanding of specific vocabulary is developed each day. Learning new vocabulary in Science, English, Humanities etc. ensures that the students can apply their understanding to other subjects and fully understand new words and terms within context.