Starting the new term – connecting the learning

Three and a bit weeks into the new term and having ‘changed up through the gears’ I’m back into the swing of things again; seen all my classes, starting to match names to faces and just about got my head round the new timetable.
The start of the new academic year is obviously an important time for many reasons but amongst these is the fact that it is an absolutely crucial time for building what I think of as learning bridges. Alistair Smith’s work on accelerated learning describes this as connecting the learning and, after a long summer break, it makes perfect sense that pupils and teachers should invest time reviewing what was being covered in the previous academic year and how it fits together with what is to be covered in the coming year.Connecting
Our KS3 scheme of work is based around five themes: Ideas & Beliefs, Conflict, Empire, Ordinary life and Power. We return to these themes regularly over throughout KS3 with the aim that pupils will finish the KS with a big history firmly rooted in their heads. Where they often struggle however is in seeing the links between the different years of study; they seem to think that just because they are in Y8 they don’t have to think about what they studied in Y7. Well of course they get reminded of previous work as we chart our way through a new year but it’s as well to start as you mean to go on. So, with this in mind, I’ve spent a bit of time getting my classes to review their work from last year and note down the Big Points that they have remembered. Certainly not groundbreaking nor rocket science but hopefully a sound investment for the rest of the year.

About richmiller66

My name is Richard Miller. I am currently Director of Learning and Head of History at a secondary school in Suffolk, UK. I teach history, politics and geography to pupils aged 11-18. I am particularly interested in teaching more able pupils and looking for innovative and creative approaches to learning and teaching. Having recently started studying for the NPQSL I'm using the blog as my reflective journal - the views I share are 'work in progress'!
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