Let’s keep it simple.

School success is about Learning.

Learning in simplest terms is a change in long term memory.

If you have new knowledge, skills or behaviours stored in your long term memory you have learnt.

If there is no change in long term memory then no learning has taken place.

The problem is that knowledge does not stay in your long term memory unless you think about it regularly.


Forgetting is an inevitable part of learning. Our brains learn new information and then naturally forget it.

Here is the “forgetting curve”.


It is bad news for us learners.

It shows that you can be “all over” the content you are learning when you are learning it. Just after the initial learning event you have 100% retention of the material you are learning. This means you can remember 100% of what you have been taught. You are thinking “I’ve got this. I know this.”

After 20 minutes you will have forgotten 42% of it.

After one hour you’ll only have retained or remembered 44% of it. And the forgetting continues with time.

But we can do something about this. All’s not lost.

When it comes to learning it is “Use it or lose it”.

If we revisit or relearn material our brains retain it for longer. Forgetting is slower.


You can see by the 4th and 5th review, especially with good time spacing, there’s very little forgetting taking place.

So why are the holidays important?

They provide the ideal time to review knowledge that your brain is starting to forget. For year 10, 11 and 12 students you will have to sit exams where you will be required to recall knowledge you covered in the first weeks of term 1.

The ideal time to review this material is now.

Your teachers are the best people to get advice from about the most effective way to revise over the holidays.

Have a great break but also do some review to fight off the forgetting curve.