2012 Age 5-7: Y1/2 (K/1 Grade US) Feedback from Day 3


True or false questions were effective openers to lessons. The explanations given illuminated children’s current thinking for the lesson to come.

A photo of Mary Seacole was used with the statement ‘This is a person from the past’ for children to agree or disagree with. Children articulated their observations. Any answer is valued and some children’s answers really helped support other children’s understanding.

The odd one out had been successfully used in a SPLD school using physical objects such as shapes. Children gave answers but were not able to always give a reason. With speech restrictions this is being explored.

In maths the following question was effective:
Which one must be wrong and why?

The subsequent discussion led to success criteria being generated by the children (e.g. the answer must be lower than the first number because it’s subtraction)

The general impact of asking more worthwhile questions had been to increase children’s vocabulary and confidence that all answers are valuable.


The ‘odd one out’ question had been used effectively. One teacher put up 3 words and asked which was the odd one out (one was not an adjective). This gave a good indication of prior knowledge.

Numeracy starter questions were easy to use, with differentiation happening naturally through the discussion.

The different starter questions engaged children immediately and motivated them to learn as well as providing important prior knowledge information for the teacher.

Teachers’ questions are now more focused on the subject of the lesson. Children’s language skills have improved and their confidence in discussing and explaining why they gave a particular answer.


When I was observed by my headteacher and deputy, they both commented that my questioning was very targeted and enhanced all the children’s learning.

This was not something that I had particularly focused on, but just something that now comes naturally. Children’s responses were also well discussed with their partners and the expectation that an answer is explained is now a natural response amongst the class.

Also a question was used to start a topic after watching a clip from ‘Toy Story’: What do toys do when we’re not watching? The responses included:

  • ‘Only toys with batteries come to life’
  • ‘I’m not sure but my teddy does move in the night’
  • ‘They have a nap’
  • ‘Gran’s toys didn’t come to life because none of them had batteries.’

This enabled us to then plan with the children what they would like to learn about.

Sophie Adams

Tower Hamlets, London

Teachers had used the following question starters:

Given 1 true and 2 false statements

You can see electricity
Electricity flows through wires
Electricity buzzes around us

Lots of misconceptions were identified through the children’s discussion. Children who understood the statements often used incorrect answers to explain why they were incorrect.

Guess the number

A number was covered and children need to ask questions to guess the number. They had to be reminded about the kinds of questions they could ask. Children developed their questioning language.

Misconception discussion

During a unit on capacity and weight in maths, talking about making porridge for baby bear, many misconceptions emerged over time. These misconceptions were put up on the whiteboard, anonymously, for children to discuss. The children really developed their understanding.


During Black History month, a picture of Rosa Parks was put on the board. Children were told that she was arrested and were asked why could she have been arrested? I explained how black and white people did not get along.

Some children had seen the current news where a child had been abducted which caused discussion. It was interesting to see children’s views on this and then I steered the discussion back to racial segregation and the impact this had on people at the time.

The picture generated excellent discussion and encouraged children to think about how things were different. They were horrified to think that segregation existed compared to our inner-city society now which is so multicultural.

Hollie McDonough


Question starters used:


During a science lesson on variation with Year 2, the children were working with talk partners to group animals.

I overheard one discussion with the statement ‘A fox is more like a cat than a dog’. I put this on the whiteboard and asked for class feedback. After they talked with a talk partner, I recorded their responses on the board. After the first 2, I quickly added 3 pictures – a dog, a fox and a cat.

They began developing their statements and justifying their answers, concluding that a fox was more like a dog.

Some examples:

  • It is more like a cat because it has long whiskers
  • It is more like a cat because cats can jump into trees but dogs don’t bother. And foxes live underground.
  • Foxes normally go up near branches and so do cats.
  • A fox is more like a dog because cats bury their business but dogs don’t.
  • I think the dog looks more like the fox because they both have long snouts.
  • They both have black noses (dog and fox)
  • The dog and fox have long tails the same.

Impact: pupils developed their own learning. I could easily assess the learning as it happened. I did less work, they did more. They enjoyed it.

Kirstin Greygoose, Bidford-on-Avon Primary School

Children’s questions


After spending the first half term building on learning skills and questioning, we held a KS1 history presentation afternoon to conclude the ‘Ourselves’ topic.

We invited the Bidford Historical Society in to answer questions from the children which had been prepared in Literacy against the success criteria developed by the pupils.

The visitors’ feedback was very positive, commenting on the range of questions and meaningful questions asked by the children.

It was lovely to see the impact of the work we’d done together and how the children were using their questions for a real purpose.

Kirstin Greygoose, Bidford-on-Avon Primary School


Claire Hodgson | clare.hodgson@hertsforlearning.co.uk

Tower Hamlets, London

Stella Smith | ssmith88.211@lgflmail.org


Stella Smith | sheiladentith@warwickshire.gov.uk


Pauline Hill | phil@geoffreyfield-jun.reading.sch.uk