All teachers had used a randomiser for choosing talk partners. Either orally or through a compliment slip, children gave their partners feedback at the end of the week. This has led to confident speaking and answering and lower achievers and shy children are now more willing to talk. Their answers are also of higher quality because of their 30 seconds discussion. They are excited to find out who their new partner will be each week.
All teachers created class success criteria for being a good talk partner by modelling good and bad examples
Teachers found the mixed ability made it easier to teach, moving around the room. Ability grouping was still used for phonics lessons.
Children are learning how to deal with others. They support each other and are now more tolerant. They are happier to have a go.
This takes a bit of getting used to and a change of mindset, but children excel as there are no boundaries.
All teachers had introduced random talk partners, either changing Monday or Friday. There had been a very positive response from everyone, with children very enthusiastic. The greatest impact has been on children with SEN and shy children. They can participate more easily with talk partners. There are fewer arguments and more tolerance.
One child with language delay is in a three. One teacher experimented with mixing Reception, Y1 and Y2 for talk partner, with positive feedback so far.