Here’s a list of small in-class tweaks to close progress gaps.
They assume that the lesson is pitched to the more able and then supported underneath. I’ve aimed to group them by how much additional preparation is required.
- Seating plans for learning and progress not behaviour
- Change your language – talk in terms of progress, not behaviour. My favourite questions are: How is that/[behaviour] helping you learn effectively? How much progress do you think you’ve made in the last 10 minutes?
- Model high-quality vocabulary in each lesson
- Use Standard English grammar in all lessons
- Create a connective display. Primary VCOP displays can easily be adapted for secondary
- Display terminology around the room. (KS3 display can be accessed here and GCSE display can be accessed here)
- Embed reading for pleasure at KS3 – 10 minutes silent reading at the start of lessons where you read too (be the change you want to see).
- Use a questioning matrix (example) to push students thinking towards higher level ‘why/might’ questions
- If work doesn’t make sense, ask students to read it aloud quietly to you. Saying it out loud should help them see it doesn’t make sense.
- Sincere praise for more than meeting basic expectations
- Pitch your model answers just above the top of the class but make sure there’s something everyone can understand in them
- Regular low-stakes testing e.g. knowledge quizzes etc
- Word of the week – introduce a new high level word once a week, teach students how to use it
- Teach peer marking as a skill and apply it well – know when not to use it
- Use low-fuss intervention sheets as a discussion point with students
- Send examples of work home – show parents/carers how well their child is doing
- Have review slips periodically where students can reflect on their learning and decide on their next steps. Then hold them accountable for it.
- Create thinking mats for a topic that guides thinking. If students need a sentence starter, they can rephrase one of the questions. Saves time creating loads of writing frames.
- Have students pick an area of literacy and plan/resource a micro-lesson on the area. Students can deliver these at the start of lessons as refreshers.
- Have a whole department intervention pack digitally available. It can be placed on the shared area or emailed home to parents/carers who want to do a little additional work at home.
- Have a bank of graphic organisers that can be given to specific students for certain tasks. Keep them general so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel each topic.
More coming soon.