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Retrieval Practice

Retrieval Practice at Minchinhampton Academy

Retrieval practice is the process of recalling previous learnt information from our long-term memory. Research has shown that retrieval practice can benefit pupils’ learning.

For retrieval practice to have impact we must consider the following:

  1. Are we providing the right level of challenge and difficulty? Making the questions/statements too easy will not generate enough challenge to improve the memory of the pupils. Are we leaving enough time between retrieval for pupils to also be challenged?
  2. Addressing the misconceptions that may arise within a unit of work and responding to them effectively. We need to ensure that our feedback is delivered in a way that will clear up any mistakes but also allow the pupils to commit the correct information to their long-term memory.
  3. Using a variety of effective retrieval methods to ensure that pupils are not just simply remembering factual information; they must also be able to elaborate on that fact and build upon their knowledge.

Below are a few examples of retrieval methods, which will be adapted to suit the needs of the class where necessary. All pupils are exposed to this practice throughout their time here at Minchinhampton C of E Primary Academy.

  • Brain dump – pupils writing down as much as they can remember about key event/person etc.
  • Market place – pupils picking up and sharing their learning
  • Use of stem sentences – giving something for the pupils to hang their learning on as a starting point
  • Repeated learning for an audience e.g. putting on a workshop for pupils and parents
  • Use of quizzes – low key and low threat
  • Picture prompts to generate conversations
  • Creating links between learning

In order for our vulnerable learners to be able to access our retrieval methods, we have considered a variety of approaches to help them including:

  • Multi-sensory
  • Pre-teaching of lessons
  • Child led sessions e.g. Maths buddies
  • Role play
  • Use of drama and music
  • Making the pupil an active participant in their learning e.g. be the teacher

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