Interleaving involves teaching subject content not in a single, continuous block, but in chunks which pupils revisit over time. This approach helps embed new learning in long-term memory. Revisiting content involves the act of retrieving previously learnt knowledge, identifying what may have been misunderstood or forgotten, filling gaps and then developing further knowledge and understanding.
We have trialed a range of approaches to interleaving across subjects and have chosen a model we call ‘blocked and interleaved’ learning. This involves teaching a block of content for one or two weeks intensively, then spending time on a different subject, before returning to the original block to develop it further. When we return to a topic after a break, we use low stakes quizzing to assess prior knowledge.
We use this approach in history, geography and science. At the very end of each History, Geography or Science cycle, we assess what children have learnt. There are 5 Science topics each year. In the last half term of the year, we revisit each Science topic to assess and embed retention of knowledge.
See an example of a blocked and interleaved approach.