Talk partners were used by all but one class allowed the children to follow their suggestion of sitting with their friends on a Friday.
Short times to talk (e.g. 30 seconds) were important to keep the children focused.
Talk partners were used in all aspects of learning and had been recognised in Collective Worship. They were used to assess listening skills.
Most children were able to reflect on which learning skill their partner had supported them to develop.
All teachers were using random talk partners, changing weekly and had changed the layout of their classrooms so that children were facing the front. Children work as mixed achievers and this has increased confidence, engagement and listening. They are more critical but positive in their helping strategies. Children love the random choice.
Talk partners really benefited children with EAL but also other children who needed language development. In addition, modelling of what a good listener was or looked like took place through role play. After this some children became over analytical of their talk partner! Too critical!! This was turned around on them as they were then asked ‘What could you do to help your talk partner?’
Esther Fletcher, Peckover Primary
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