‘How am I supposed to remember all of that?!’ How I’m supporting year 11 with their memory.

At the start of this year I took over a year 11 class at my new school. Year 11 is a tough time to take over a class and after their mocks I quickly realised that they’d forgotten so much of what they’ve learned so far, especially when it came to their writing. Memory was already something I was looking into, and lately I’ve been working with retrieval practice starters (shared in a previous post), knowledge organisers and self quizzing.

I started by having a think about what I wanted students to be able to remember to include in their writing. At the minimum they needed opinions (and justifications), past and future. I wanted to come up with some ways of helping them remember these things and to give them some set phrases to use so that hopefully they’ll be able to write them accurately. What I came up with looked like this:

I know that these structures are not enough to get the best grades, but I’m hoping they are enough to kick start some students and to provide a foundation to work with for others. For those that can handle a wider range of language, but yet still need the support of set phrases to learn I created the below.

I took inspiration for this from something on twitter, but I can’t remember exactly where, feel free to tell me if it was you and I’ll credit you. I’ve then started to create Quizlet sets for each module – one using the foundation structures and the other SMASH PoPS. For my Chartered Teacher research project I’m looking at memory and retrieval practice. The use of these quizlet sets fits in with the schedule I’ve created for year 11 to revise with between now and their next mocks in February. Now I don’t know if it’ll do the trick, but I don’t think it can do any harm. Let’s see how it goes, I’ll report back.

Download the documents here:




  1. Sherrieq

    20th September 2021 at 10:03 pm

    For the missing ‘o’ in SMASH PoPs, you could have a phrase with ojalá 🙂

    1. learninglinguist

      20th September 2021 at 10:04 pm

      Oh I like this!

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