Norwich

The impact of the project was brainstormed by the teachers.  The following comments are representative of all delegates:

A few of the full comments:

“This project has changed my teaching practice – given me confidence to try out new ideas in the classroom.  It has highlighted the importance of creating a learning culture in the classroom before any high quality learning can happen.  It has given me the confidence to say that immediate feedback is the most effective for children and that writing reams after the lesson is a pointless and time consuming task.”

Children now have visual clues to refer to, there is improvement in learner confidence; children are able to edit their own work with greater detail than before; they have much clearer expectations; there is more time to talk to children and address misconceptions as they occur in the lesson; children are able to talk about their work with greater confidence.”

 “Teaching and learning has become more child-centred.  They are developing more awareness of what is expected of them through clearer success criteria and good examples.  I am seeing depth of learning develop through the use of random talk partners.”

 Midlothian

Some representative thoughts:

“I have been teaching for nearly twenty years and had just returned to work after two years maternity leave.  I’d taught P1 for over 13 years and was coming back to P3 so this project came at exactly the right time.  It gave me the challenge I needed.”

“I’ve become a much more reflective and responsive teacher and hopefully as a result a better teacher implementing all these strategies made my relationships improve with children and I probably has my best teaching year ever!”

“Children are happier learners – they are fearless, they know they learn from mistakes, they know how the brain works, they are so aware that they can’t do it YET!, they are more respectful of each other.”

“I’m more present with the children during lesson time.  I no longer give homework or rewards – both of which I have strongly advocated over 20+ years of teaching – and I/the children do not miss either.  I can see now they were pointless.  I really want others in the school to get on board as I see the benefits.”

“This project has completely changed my practice.  I feel very confident now that I am delivering quality lessons and my learners are aware of what makes a good learner.”

“I have greatly developed feedback but still have a long way to go.  I feel really passionate about developing the way I give feedback.  My lessons are much more engaging and children are becoming more independent.  The use of talk partners has been brilliant.  Having no comparative rewards has given me so much freedom.”

“I have thought much more about my day to day working with the class ;how I interact with pupils in terms of being more focused on giving immediate and meaningful feedback; how my lessons are planned and set up. I took more time to think about how to introduce a lesson effectively and how to ensure learners understand what and why they are learning; how to give pupils opportunities to learn from one another (talk partners); how my layout/displays can assist learning”

“I feel more open to making changes within my classroom and confident in explaining the benefits and impacts to parents, colleagues and children.  I wouldn’t have considered removing rewards or using talk partners previously but this will be an ongoing aspect of my pedagogy in the future.  I have engaged with other research and theory and have been confident in explaining this to teaching colleagues and non-teaching friends and family with great interest.”

“More structured meaningful lessons: learning intentions that the children understand, success criteria that they can use, valuable discussions that inform them and me about learning.”

“Improving culture: talk partners”

“Feedback: better quality for me, for the children, for parents, a better understanding to make informed decisions at school level in regards expectations and meaningful feedback approaches.”

North Wales (both teams)

The following accounts are representative of the many:

“Learners are taking a more focused approach to their learning with more responsibility.  This is because I am thinking more about why I teach in the way I do and explaining my reasons to them.  Greater responsibility for their own learning is improving outcomes in GCSE and A Level results, and more importantly improving learner self-efficacy.  Learners are believing in themselves and questioning more.  They want to learn and believe they can grow.”

Since embarking on the project, my entire perception of the learning culture has changed.  Last year when we started I was very disheartened as I had a difficult cohort of children who made me question my ability to teach.  The project definitely came at the right time!”

“Mixed ability grouping immediately changed the dynamics.  Establishing learning partners gave them a collective attitude that every learner mattered.  The growth mindset was a life changer for them – the class reformed and I’m still teaching happily.”

I have looked at my own practice and have become more reflective about my role as a facilitator of children’s progress.  I feel that I have developed my attitude towards the purpose and function of assessment and have become a more efficient teacher as a result.  Focusing on a growth mindset with lower set GCSE pupils has changed their perceptions of themselves and my perception of expected outcomes.  It has had a positive impact on my teaching and their learning.”

Pupils have a positive mindset about their work and a can do culture across the whole school has been developed.”

“It’s taken me personally out of my comfort zone – questioning my own beliefs and attitudes about what works.  No rewards was a major part of this.  I completely believed I was doing the right thing by giving the children ‘pennies’ as a reward.  Once I had taken them away I was so surprised at their responses and they preferred celebrating learning rather than getting rewards.”

There is an improved ethos in the classroom – talk partners has children working more collaboratively, encouraging each other and becoming more independent learners – finding their own ways to improve or continue when they are stuck.”

“There are more engaging lessons for both me and the pupils.  They love working with a different partner each week and enjoy prior knowledge starter questions and challenges.”

“I feel more effective as a teacher – more time planning interesting lessons and less time marking and wasting time on things no one reads!”

“I have a better understanding of my children – where they are and what they need to do to improve.”

The impact of this project has been far reaching.  IT has totally transformed how I teach, how they learn and the whole ethos of the classroom.  Children are more involved, and get more out of each lesson.  One of the biggest turning points was when we started celebrating mistakes.  I found that children used to copy each other during maths work, not because they wanted to get things right, but because they were afraid to get things wrong.  This has stopped.”

“This has completely transformed my teaching and the children’s learning.  I no longer teach in ability groups.  Every child is in mixed ability and their random talk partners change each week.  The benefits I have seen from this are that there are not set expectations – every child is given the opportunity to listen to a challenge and have a go.  They can pick which challenge best suits them after hearing a whole class into, prior knowledge starter, success criteria and learning intention.  They then pick the challenge which best puts them into the learning zone.  The bullseye zones poster enables them to pick the task that best suits them.  There is no lid on the children’s learning.”

The impact of this project on myself and the pupils is that I’ve felt that I have the freedom to experiment.  It has been a wonderful experience sharing and hearing how teachers in other schools experimented.  Teaching sometimes can seem isolating so for me the ability to collaborate has been a breath of fresh air.  And my marking has decreased! Sometimes less is more!”

“It’s made me think about what’s important in teaching.  There is so much out there that looks and sounds attractive but this project has made me really question the worth of doing things.”

“It’s made me think deeply when planning – in order to get it absolutely clear – my aims regarding what the children need to learn and the most effective way of doing it.”

“Children are much more engaged, understanding what they’re learning and the best way to succeed.”