Really Effective Teaching (for ALL pupils)

A blog about inclusive teaching and supporting pupils with additional needs.

When considering pupils with additional needs—be it SEND, a hearing impairment, PP or AGT—the most common mistake we make is treating those needs as additional. Accounting for diverse thinking is integral to what makes teaching effective.

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The Power of Conversations

Last week leaders from across the trust looked at powerful coaching conversations with John Samuels. Whilst there was much to reflect on, the most powerful message that stood out for me was that all relationships are a result of a series of conversations. More than this, all conversations lead you either closer to your goals or further away.

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“Are there any questions?”

…Following this year’s INSET I vowed never to say these words again. Yet, they crept back into my lessons almost immediately. Scolding myself at the start of most days since, I’m beginning to change the phrasing and structure of my questioning:

What do you understand?”

“What is the first step to this task, and what should you include?” Continue Reading

HubTales: a case study from our Pitch and Challenge Hub 7 weeks in.

Enquiry question: ‘Which tools and strategies, both teacher-led and independent, effectively support and engage KS4 learners in climbing out of the “learning pit”?’

My enquiry question was built from extensive academic research that discuss the dangers of pitching lessons too low – essentially ‘spoon-feeding’ information to pupils – in the belief that this is ‘learning’. An intriguing opposition to this form of teaching is James Nottingham’s concept of the “learning pit”; in short, that pupils must be cognitively challenged, leading to confusion, but with the right tools, strategies and support, they “climb out of the learning pit”, and consequently have a fuller understanding of the concept. In my reading, I have discovered that this teaching strategy is commonly applied to primary teaching and mathematics, but there is little evidence of its application in Modern Language teaching. Could it be applied effectively to MFL teaching? Continue Reading

Learning-Centred Curriculum Design

When you start delving into the research on how pupils learn, you would be forgiven for thinking that they do very little of it at all. Indeed, there is as much written about what doesn’t support learning as what does. What is immediately clear however, is just how counter-intuitive the process of learning can be. As we plan for the remaining two years of curriculum changes, perhaps it is time to think about the extent to which we take this research into account when designing schemes of learning, resources and classroom practices.
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