Australia’s national education evidence body
Practices that improve long-term retention of learning


Spacing and retrieval involves separating learning over multiple lessons and providing opportunities for students to recall what they have previously learned in different contexts. Science indicates that this helps to commit learning to long-term memory.

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Spacing and retrieval practice is related to 'Focus Area 1.2 Understand how students learn' in the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Why spacing and retrieval practice works

Understanding the science behind learning and memory can help teachers understand why spacing and retrieval practice are so effective in helping students learn and remember information. Depending on the situation, spacing can strengthen learning, or make students less likely to be mentally exhausted, and retrieval practice can strengthen memories, or make them more likely to be retrieved and connected to new information later.

View a diagram explaining spacing and retrieval


Spacing and retrieval practice has a strong evidence base that meets our highest standards of evidence. For more information about the evidence base, see below:

Tried and Tested practice guide

This guide describes a set of spacing and retrieval practices that have been found to improve students’ long-term retention of learning.

Annotated reference list

An overview of the research evidence cited throughout our spacing and retrieval practice resources.

Using the practice

To be effective, spacing and retrieval practice need to be implemented well. See below some 'things to know' when using these practices. 

Snapshots of practice

Spacing and retrieval practice may look different in different contexts. See below examples of spacing and retrieval practice in a variety of classrooms and settings.


Example of practice

Use this example of practice to think about how to use spacing and retrieval in your own context.

Spacing and retrieval at Alfred Deakin High School

See how this classroom teacher at Alfred Deakin High School uses spacing and retrieval.

Implementation tools

Here you will find tools to help you implement spacing and retrieval practice  in your classroom or setting.

Implementation checklist

Practical steps you can take to support the use of spacing and retrieval practice in your setting.

Free high-quality curriculum resources

AERO has partnered with Ochre Education to provide Australian teachers free access to hundreds of high-quality curriculum resources to help drive excellence and equity in educational outcomes.
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