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Tracking Knowledge Organisers

Discussion in 'Primary' started by theictdungeon, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. theictdungeon

    theictdungeon New commenter

    So, we have been using knowledge organisers for our homework since September. It's actually been really effective and the children have enjoyed using them. We quiz every week and so we can see retention of knowledge. The think I can't get my head around at the moment is how to track the retention of knowledge effectively. At the moment each teacher records quiz scores, but then we don't really do anything with them. Has anybody set up an effective way of tracking quiz scores form Knowledge Organisers that takes into account what needs revisiting and when? Thanks :)
  2. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    Not more bleeding data. What will it be used for?

    Is it useful? Is it necessary? Will it add to workload? Will it be used at some point to beat teachers over the head? Is this a tool to support teacher assessment?

    Surely teachers can just be trusted to make their own assessments using their professional judgement?!
  3. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    Well despite all the headlines about not looking at internal data and the problems that some schools have encountered of wanting to show Ofsted their internal data to support their argument that they are on an improvement trajectory and being refused, we still find phrases such as the following included in Ofsted reports
    "Assessment... does not focus precisely enough on what pupils have learned in depth to inform what they should learn next.
    ... ensure that assessment is more accurate and informs what they teach next in [foundation subjects]"

    I read another report recently which was critical because children were unable to infer the meaning of 'noble blood' which clearly meant they hadn't learned about royalty and weren't making links with the history curriculum!

    I hear tales of schools which are taking national curriculum (although given the vagueness I pity the geography coordinator) or school/trust determined learning objectives and putting them in a spreadsheet with teachers then being expected to RAG or otherwise assess against them for all the foundation subjects after each lesson (although how that measures retention of knowledge goodness only knows). Others are no doubt using classroom monitor, target tracker, pupil asset or whatever for similar purposes.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
  4. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    I'm not surprised Ofsted are not interested in internal data. It is often evident if most children know something through simple questioning, observation and looking through some books.

    Dispelling some ofsted myths

    The issue is usually 'we told the pupils this (possibly X times) therefore they know it.' Foundation subjects are often given little space on the timetable so in a rush to cover everything no depth is achieved and little knowledge is retained. From my observations a key facet is a lack of understanding by the teacher of how skills and knowledge in the subject are related, followed by a lack of PCK in that area.
  5. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    That's not quite what I was getting at though - Ofsted said they don't want data (fair enough) but then actual reports imply they do want children assessing. Many schools are going to interpret this as formal assessments of what children can recall. Personally I'm not convinced by book looks - unless a single piece of work is read very carefully for every single child it is not always apparent how much teacher input they have had. In my opinion there is a world of difference say between the class where the teacher has written five facts on the board and they've been told to write two paragraphs incorporating said facts and the class which has used books and the internet to research and then written independently (not saying that one approach is right and one wrong but the work from the first is likely to produce better work across the whole class but more uniform where it appears that everybody understands the knowledge whereas the second approach is probably going to create more variety in the outcomes but more inconsistent).

    I do wonder sometimes what is reasonable for children to be expected to retain. In maths and language learning there is a key principle that you have to keep revisiting/refreshing learning to maintain it and that is important because knowledge is used for other areas in an ongoing manner e.g. times tables are needed for area, fractions, solving algebraic equations, ratio and proportion etc. History is not a set of neat facts which can be learned like times tables though. I'm not sure that knowledge automatically follows through in the same way in some subjects. It can help me draw comparisons. Knowledge of an earlier period can help understand a later period in some circumstances. But not always. And not always at a level that is connectable for children. Skills are different of course. Also if children's heads are currently full of what it was like to be an evacuee in WW2, they are probably going to be a tad thrown if they are asked 'last year you studied the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons and wrote about Danegeld. Tell me about it'. They probably could give an exhaustive description of their exciting trip to the Jorvik museum though. They might even be able to have a coherent conversation about Viking helmets not having horns yet their ubiquity in popular culture especially if provided with visual clues. It doesn't necessarily mean that they were badly taught previously.

    Then there is the issue of nuance e.g. in themes like invasion and settlement or empire, as I think there is a very real risk of children getting a very black and white view of things which is not overly helpful later on.

    So many schools have updated their curricula to include even more challenging content like teaching the structure of an atom and the periodic table or moving content that used to be taught at KS2 to KS1. I can't help thinking this is just going to make the superficiality worse.

    I really wish we (i.e. on a national level) could have a proper, thoughtful conversation about what is reasonable and developmentally appropriate and of most use in preparing for the next stage, especially without being accused of having low standards or dumbing down.

    Apologies for rambling!
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020

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