Motivation – Dialogue with a Future Self

By Paul Joseph


I recently read The Marshmallow Test, documenting Walter Mischel’s famous Psychology experiments about delayed gratification and the subsequent related research in this area. Apparently, this research suggests that a very effective method for adopting a more self-disciplined approach to decision making is to engage in thought experiments involving dialogue with your future self. Feeling that the time was right to promote a more motivated exam focus for my own students (during MEG reviews), I thought I would try and apply this technique as a lesson activity (Philosophy students are very used to thought experiments in any case!). The activity received Continue reading

Volunteer Mentors

By Matt Smith


We have just introduced a new mentoring system in the Economics, Business and Accounting Curriculum Area.  In the past we have allocated A2 mentors to  individual AS students who then work together for an hour a week. However we have found that we were not reaching enough students and so have set up a new system.

The new system involves A2 volunteers covering a support block each week and simply helping any students who want to drop in.   Continue reading

Intervention Ideas

By Matt Smith


Just been reading a great blog by Shaun Allison in which he highlights some really useful ways to intervene with struggling students. A few of them are highlighted below:

Move a student to the front. Aim to keep up a regular dialogue with them about their work. More regular feedback than for other students

More regular marking of work for an individual/group for a defined period of time linked to specific targets. Show me your book at the end of the lesson.

Give specific homework so that they can practise areas of weakness.

Targeted questioning – make sure underachieving students are questioned regularly in whole-class questioning.

Plan in regular DIRT, feedback and redrafting lessons. Use this time to work with individuals/small groups more closely.

Plan quick discussions with students/groups into your lessons – usually best when others are working quietly.

Arrange a short session with a student at break or after school to talk through a specific issue. Often appreciated by students and can take the pressure off whole-class teaching.

The full blog can be read here:

Peer Mentoring – Proven to be effective


Blogged by Matt Smith

At our recent TeachMeet at QE we discussed Intervention strategies that we felt worked. One intervention that kept coming up was “the use of A2 students to support and mentor AS students.  Sometimes this was formally through a Mentoring enrichment but often it was was done much more informally with lunchtime sessions with AS students or students helping out in AS classes.

There is quite a lot of research evidence that using peer mentoring is one of the most effective and cost effective methods of intervention. The link below gives a lot more detail on some of these findings.

The Evidence