Bradley Barton Primary School and Nursery All inspired to learn and inspired learning for all.

What is Retrieval Practice?

Put simply, Retrieval Practice is the process of bringing our long-term memories to mind. When we transfer knowledge from our long-term to our working memory, the connection is strengthened in our brain, so that it is less likely to be forgotten in the future. Retrieval Practice has consistently been found to be the single most effective way of  making sure learning sticks.


Retrieval practice can take many forms (please see Retrieval strategies tab for activity ideas). However, the guiding principles are that it should:

  1. Involve effort on the part of the learner (the more effort, the greater the resulting strength of connection!)
  2. Be low stakes (minimal pressure from adults)
  3. Involve instant feedback, so children can identify areas of strength and gaps in their knowledge
  4. Rely on memory alone (no referring to books or materials)


Here is a 3 minute video which gives a concise introduction:


Retrieval Practice Information Meeting (26.5.21)

Still image for this video
If you were unable to attend our information meeting, here is a recorded version, which explains:

-What Retrieval Practice is
-Why it is so useful for helping children develop their knowledge
-Ideas for supporting at home

If you have any questions you would like to ask, please use the Survey Monkey link at the end of the video.
Many thanks for all your support,
Mr. Elwood