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Foxton Primary School

Foxton Primary School

Working Memory

What is working memory?

"Psychologists use the term ‘working memory’ to describe the ability we have to hold in mind and mentally manipulate information over short periods of time.

Working memory is often thought of as a mental workspace that we can use to store important information in the course of our mental activities.

A good example of an activity that uses working memory is mental arithmetic. Imagine, for example, attempting to multiply 43 and 27 together, and spoken to you by another person, without being able to use a pen and paper or a calculator."

Understanding Working Memory A Classroom Guide, 2007 by S. E. Gathercole and T. P. Alloway

Useful strategies might include:

  • word mats

  • sound mats

  • pre-teaching key vocabulary, core facts or concepts

  • first and then boards

  • task planning