Talk partners had been modelled with TAs and random talk partners had been set up and changed weekly. Children are doing better and more passive children now have to be more focused.
Some difficulty was expressed at children moving every week when their ‘stuff’ is in their tray, but other teachers felt this had not been an issue and had made items more moveable.
One teacher with a difficult child said that talk partners had been a success.
Sometimes 3s was more appropriate, with a Y3 nurturing Y2s for instance. This led to Y2s feeling less pressure and becoming more responsive.
It was felt by some that so far the main impact was social rather than academic.
Most teachers loved the talk partners as the impact was positive in unifying the class, giving them wider friendship groups and settling the class.
One teacher makes the selection on a Friday when the children are gone and places names on tables ready for Monday.
All teachers had used random talk partners and introduced self and peer evaluation of being a good talk partner. The impact of talk partners was more focused discussion, increased confidence, improved independence, better behaviour, higher quality group work and better listening skills. Learning to get on with others was a huge impact of talk partners with playground behaviour also improved. Children’s language skills had improved as they had vocabulary to use during self and peer assessment of talk partners.
One school has ‘happy to help’ cards, which children can pick up to go and help another child.
Fiona Large | email@example.com
Nicola Parker | firstname.lastname@example.org