Starting a lesson effectively

This is a useful article based on how to start a lesson effectively. The article highlights the benefits of asking pre-questions, playing memory games, and creating a sense of purpose, whilst also elucidating that a teacher doesn’t necessarily have to start off with ‘learning outcomes,’ which is what teachers may believe Ofsted requires. This is an excerpt from the article relating to the benefits of asking pre-questions at the beginning of lessons.

A recent study found that students who had been asked pre-questions were later able to recall almost 50% more than their peers who had not. This is thought to be because this method draws in the attention of the learner and creates a sense of intrigue.” Continue reading

Bridging the gap between research and teaching practice

This is a very good article based on an extract from Carl Hendrick’s book, which is based on bridging the gap between research and teaching practice. The article highlights six principles which are a distillation of key research on what really matters in the classroom. One of the six principles focusses on the benefits of revisiting previous learning. This is an excerpt from the article relating to this, as quoted from Rosenshine. Continue reading

Show us that you care

By Matt Smith


Our recent Student Voice research that we carried out with over 800 AS students found out that these students felt the most important thing that teachers do to help their learning was

Personality – enthusiasm, approachability, humour, positive relationship and motivational.

With this in mind it was very interesting to read this recent article in The Guardian that seems to support our findings.

What do you think?

Will it Work?

Blogged by Matt Smith


I came across this recent post by John Tomsett.  He is a headteacher at a state secondary school in York and he regularly blogs about teaching and learning.

This latest post caught my attention because it went through a particular new approach he was using with his own A-Level class. It was not so much what he was trying but the fact that if he failed to improve learning then “it’ll be time to think again”.

It reminded me that we all try new things in our lessons (often based of proven research) but it is important to look at the evidence as to whether it has actually improved learning and hence results. Sometimes it does not work and it is back to the drawing board.

The full blog post can be found below.