Retrieval Practice

Overview and Reading Lists

Retrieval practice is the act of having to retrieve something from your memory (often with the help of a cue).

What does the evidence tell us?

  • Recent research has shown that retrieval is critical for robust, durable, long-term learning. Every time a memory is retrieved, that memory becomes more accessible in the future. Retrieval also helps us create coherent and integrated mental representations of complex concepts, the kind of deep learning necessary to solve new problems and draw new inferences. (Durrington Research School)

A really useful starting point to understand retrieval practice, interleaving and spacing can be found here, here and here.

It is well worth the time to read The Science of Learning – Deans for Impact to get an understanding of how students learn and what implications this has for how we teach.

At FHES, we use knowledge organisers for our home learning (homework) strategy, and to read about how to use knowledge organisers, as part of retrieval practice, please read the blog posts below:

How do knowledge organisers work alongside retrieval practice?

Blog Posts to read:

Information to share with students:

Useful Videos:

Useful Podcasts:


  • Rosenshine’s Principles in Action – Tom Sherrington
  • Teach Like Nobody’s Watching – Mark Enser
  • Retrieval Practice: Research and Resources for Every Classroom – Kate Jones

Latest FHES Teacher Blogs on Retrieval Practice

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