Ep 9 Testing Times: Retrieval Practice and its role as a GCSE study technique with Kate Jones

As parents we’re often confronted with situations where our teens will tell us: “I don’t know how to” or “I’m just no good at remembering this”. From our own experiences too, we might have found that we’ll recall some things very easily even from school; the rhyme about Henry VIII’s wives. But other things seem to slip through or harder to grasp; what those wives names were. Is there a way that we can help our young people to better recall the information we’re told?

In this week’s Study Sessions podcast we are looking at retrieval practice. This is a phrase that is being used a lot by teachers and educators, although many of us parents may not have come across it. Today’s guest defines it as the act of recalling learned information from memory and in doing so make the original memory stronger.

Nathan talks to Kate Jones about what we mean by Retrieval Practice and the role that testing can play in revision.

For many students, half term is upon us. That’s a week – or two – where students can unwind after what has been an incredibly hard start. Our students are also aware that they have catching up to do.

As a result we’re looking at working smarter not longer. That includes the role that testing and retrieval play in revision. Challenging the perception that revision is about reading and re-reading books, highlighting as you go.

Kate Jones


Kate is Head of History at The British School Abu Dhabi in The United Arab Emirates. Kate is also the author of the highly acclaimed “Retrieval Practice” and excitingly soon to release “Retrieval Practice 2”. If that weren’t enough, she regularly speaks at international educational conferences, provides training to educators the world over and has a podcast “The Love To Teach” and manages her dedicated teaching and learning blog lovetoteach87.com