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Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction- Questioning

‘One of the strongest implications from Rosenshine’s ‘Principles of instruction’ is that effective questioning lies at the heart of great instructional teaching. Lines up with the work of Nuthall, Wiliam and others, It’s clear that this needs to be a highly interactive, dynamic, responsive process.’ (Tom Sherrington)

This week our fantastic Duo Mr Black and Mr Okemadu delivered our Personal Learning Network session on the importance of effective questioning.

Mr Black, Our Head of English spoke about the clarity of the questions we ask, the focus of the question and its intention and of course the idea of involving all students and have them take ownership for their learning.

Cold Calling is Inclusive  (Based on Lemov) ‘Teach Like a Champion’

Mr Black spoke of the importance of engaging all students and ensuring that all pupils were prepared to answer a question and being expected to work hard to find the answer if unsure. The ‘no hands up’ rule is encouraged in his classroom and he chooses wo answers.

Some teachers can be initially very dubious about cold calling and the fear of the unnerving silence in the room. What if pupils don’t answer? What if the room becomes lack lustre and uninspired? However, cold calling, with time and perseverance does exactly the opposite- it prepares all pupils in your room to prepare an answer and be ready to share  with the class. It creates an inclusive and safe atmosphere for all pupils to take risks, share ideas and work together to find the best answer to the question.

Put another way, the Cold Call has already done the hard work—it’s established that students should always be ready to share their thoughts and participate, that to be in class is to be a part of the conversation.  Given that, part of the teacher’s job is to add a smile and some warmth, to message, ‘Yes, I expect you to participate when I call on you, but I am doing that because I want to hear what you are thinking, I care about what you are thinking.’ Really, a Cold Call is a good thing. To say, I care what you are thinking is to remind a student that they matter. 


picture 1

Mr Black also spoke about the technique called ‘Track the Speaker’

track the speaker

Mr Black discussed the idea of making pupils accountable for the questions and answers within the room. He uses the acronym of ‘SLANT’ to ensure that pupils are trained to answer and most importantly listen to each other and learn from their responses.

The next time you are asking questioning- try and pre plan what type of questions and responses you are looking for. Please see the table below for reference.

Discussion Elements Looks Like Sounds Like
Active Listening Eyes on speaker
Hands empty
Sit up
Mind is focused
Face speaker
Speakerís voice only
Paying attention
Appropriate responses
Voices low
One voice at a time
Active Participation
(respond to ideas and share feelings)
Eyes on speaker
Hands to yourself
Hands empty
Talking one at a time
Head nodding
Appropriate responses
Follow off othersí ideas
Nice comments
Positive attitudes
Asking Questions
for Clarification
Hands empty
Positive, nice questions
Polite answers
Off Others’ Ideas
Paying attention
Postive, nice talking
Wait for people to finish
Disagreeing Constructively Nice face
Nice looks
Polite responses
Quiet voices
No put downs
Focused on Discussion
(body posture and eye contact)
Eyes on speaker
Hands empty
Sit up
Face speaker
Mind is focused
Speaker’s voice only
Appropriate responses
Voices low
Supporting Opinions
with Evidence
One person talking
Attention on the speaker
One voice
Encouraging Others Prompt people to share
Ask probing questions
Positive responses

5 Questions to Tackle in Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques

Mr Okemadu then spoke about making Questioning simple in Maths- which was a fascinating concept. He used Blooms to show us that really what we really want pupils to be able to tell us in maths is-

  1. What are we doing?
  2. How are we doing it?
  3. Why are we doing it?

picture 2


The Learning Rainforest by Tom Sherrington suggests the following strategies for effective and responsive questioning: 

  1. Whole class response with whiteboards 
  2. probing and dialogic questions
  3. quick quizzes
  4. Hinge questions
  5. cold-call questioning
  6. randomised questioning

He states that we ‘need to use the feedback you are gaining as a teacher from your students to decide what happens next. More examples? Further explanatory response? More practice? or jumping forward to the next thing.’ 

So this week- think about your questions and try something you haven’t used before. Leave us some feedback- we would love to hear from you.


Principles Of Instruction- Introducing new content

This week our personal Learning network focused on how we introduce new content in our lessons and what strategies we use to do so.

The first area we looked at was the concept of teacher threshold and how we use this in our planning:

“A threshold concept can be considered as akin to a portal, opening up a new and previously inaccessible way of thinking about something. It represents a transformed way of understanding, or interpreting, or viewing something without which the learner cannot progress. As a consequence of comprehending a threshold concept there may thus be a transformed internal view of subject matter, subject landscape, or even world view.” (Meyer and Land, 2003)


We looked at the metacognition theory and how we can incorporate this into our planning and delivery of introducing new content.

  • Metacognition and self-regulation approaches have consistently high levels of impact, with pupils making an average of seven months’ additional progress.
  • Metacognition & Self-regulated learning can be broken into three essential components:
  • cognition – the mental process involved in knowing, understanding, and learning;
  • metacognition – often defined as ‘learning to learn’; and
  • motivation – willingness to engage our metacognitive and cognitive skills.

Discussion was really positive and we brainstormed different ways we could include Metacognition strategies into our lesson. Our main aim was to ensure pupils had individual goals and that they understood how they best learned and in which ideal environment.

We talked a lot about ensuring we adapt our styles to suit the range of need/ learning requirements in our room. Ensuring that not all lessons fit one size. We also talked about experimenting or creating pupil questionnaires to help with our context sheets and planning for pupil progress.

meta 3

These are 7 useful tips to ensure you are planning to include and improve metacognition within your lessons. As a school our focus in Teaching and Learning this year is to improve the achievement within our disadvantaged cohort and help them to improve their independent learning skills.

Our focus in CPD this year is to really increase our knowledge of Educational theories and research and discuss how we can adapt and include these in our practise. Teachers must constantly learn, just like their pupils.

educational theorists

On Tuesday we started to look at Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory 


Gardner’s theory has come under criticism from both psychologists and educators. These critics argue that Gardner’s definition of intelligence is too broad and that his eight different “intelligences” simply represent talents, personality traits, and abilities. Gardner’s theory also suffers from a lack of supporting empirical research.

Despite this, the theory of multiple intelligences enjoys considerable popularity with educators. Many teachers utilize multiple intelligences in their teaching philosophies and work to integrate Gardner’s theory into the classroom.2

Learning more about the multiple intelligences can help you better understand your own strengths. Continue reading to learn more about the major characteristics of each type of intelligence, and if you still aren’t sure which type describes you best, this quiz can help you figure it out.


Below is a fantastic example of how different pupils learn and as an academy we believe it is really important to think about the individuals in our room and how our styles can be adapted or tailored to suit their learning needs.

Top Tip: Try and design a pupil questionnaire for a new topic to understand how many different learning styles you have in your room- this will help massively with planning and the activities you will use. Use the information below to help you

Visual-Spatial Intelligence

Strengths: Visual and spatial judgment

People who are strong in visual-spatial intelligence are good at visualizing things. These individuals are often good with directions as well as maps, charts, videos, and pictures.3


Characteristics of visual-spatial intelligence include:

  • Enjoys reading and writing
  • Good at putting puzzles together
  • Good at interpreting pictures, graphs, and charts
  • Enjoys drawing, painting, and the visual arts
  • Recognizes patterns easily

Potential Career Choices

If you’re strong in visual-spatial intelligence, good career choices for you are:

  • Architect
  • Artist
  • Engineer

Strengths: Words, language, and writing

People who are strong in linguistic-verbal intelligence are able to use words well, both when writing and speaking. These individuals are typically very good at writing stories, memorizing information, and reading.1


Characteristics of linguistic-verbal intelligence include:

  • Good at remembering written and spoken information
  • Enjoys reading and writing
  • Good at debating or giving persuasive speeches
  • Able to explain things well
  • Often uses humour when telling stories 

If you’re strong in linguistic-verbal intelligence, good career choices for you are:

  • Writer/journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Teacher

Strengths: Analysing problems and mathematical operations

People who are strong in logical-mathematical intelligence are good at reasoning, recognizing patterns, and logically analysing problems. These individuals tend to think conceptually about numbers, relationships, and patterns.


Characteristics of logical-mathematical intelligence include:

  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Enjoys thinking about abstract ideas
  • Likes conducting scientific experiments
  • Good at solving complex computation

If you’re strong in logical-mathematical intelligence, good career choices for you are:

  • Scientist
  • Mathematician
  • Computer programmer
  • Engineer
  • Accountant

Bodily-Kinaesthetic Intelligence

Strengths: Physical movement, motor control

Those who have high bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence are said to be good at body movement, performing actions, and physical control. People who are strong in this area tend to have excellent hand-eye coordination and dexterity.4


Characteristics of bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence include:

  • Good at dancing and sports
  • Enjoys creating things with his or her hands
  • Excellent physical coordination
  • Tends to remember by doing, rather than hearing or seeing

Potential Career Choices

If you’re strong in bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence, good career choices for you are:

  • Dancer
  • Builder
  • Sculptor
  • Actor

Musical Intelligence

Strengths: Rhythm and music

People who have strong musical intelligence are good at thinking in patterns, rhythms, and sounds. They have a strong appreciation for music and are often good at musical composition and performance.5


Characteristics of musical intelligence include:

  • Enjoys singing and playing musical instruments
  • Recognizes musical patterns and tones easily
  • Good at remembering songs and melodies
  • Rich understanding of musical structure, rhythm, and notes

Potential Career Choices

If you’re strong in musical intelligence, good career choices for you are:

  • Musician
  • Composer
  • Singer
  • Music teacher
  • Conductor

Interpersonal Intelligence

Strengths: Understanding and relating to other people

Those who have strong interpersonal intelligence are good at understanding and interacting with other people. These individuals are skilled at assessing the emotions, motivations, desires, and intentions of those around them.5


Characteristics of interpersonal intelligence include:

  • Good at communicating verbally
  • Skilled at nonverbal communication
  • Sees situations from different perspectives
  • Creates positive relationships with others
  • Good at resolving conflict in groups

Potential Career Choices

If you’re strong in interpersonal intelligence, good career choices for you are:

  • Psychologist
  • Philosopher
  • Counselor
  • Salesperson
  • Politician

Intrapersonal Intelligence

Strengths: Introspection and self-reflection

Individuals who are strong in intrapersonal intelligence are good at being aware of their own emotional states, feelings, and motivations. They tend to enjoy self-reflection and analysis, including daydreaming, exploring relationships with others, and assessing their personal strengths.5


Characteristics of intrapersonal intelligence include:

  • Good at analysing his or her strengths and weaknesses
  • Enjoys analysing theories and ideas
  • Excellent self-awareness
  • Clearly understands the basis for his or her own motivations and feelings

Potential Career Choices

If you’re strong in intrapersonal intelligence, good career choices for you are:

  • Philosopher
  • Writer
  • Theorist
  • Scientist

Naturalistic Intelligence

Strengths: Finding patterns and relationships to nature

Naturalistic is the most recent addition to Gardner’s theory and has been met with more resistance than his original seven intelligences. According to Gardner, individuals who are high in this type of intelligence are more in tune with nature and are often interested in nurturing, exploring the environment, and learning about other species. These individuals are said to be highly aware of even subtle changes to their environments.1


Characteristics of naturalistic intelligence include:

  • Interested in subjects such as botany, biology, and zoology
  • Good at categorizing and cataloguing information easily
  • May enjoy camping, gardening, hiking, and exploring the outdoors
  • Doesn’t enjoy learning unfamiliar topics that have no connection to nature

Potential Career Choices

If you’re strong in naturalistic intelligence, good career choices for you are:

  • Biologist
  • Conservationist
  • Gardener
  • Farmer

Information obtained from

multiple intelligences

The Principles of Instruction- Daily Review.

It is a brand new year and CPD at Westfield Academy has begun with full gusto and enthusiasm. 

On Tuesday we had our first Personal Learning Network session where we looked at the first of Rosenshine’s ‘Principles of Instruction.’ Our aim this year is to bridge the gap between research and practice and ensure our pupils are receiving the best education in every classroom in our Academy. 

The purpose of our Personal Learning Network is for colleagues to share best practice and to provide one another with tips, tricks and well-rehearsed strategies that get the best outcomes in our subjects. We are really focusing on how we bridge the gap for our disadvantaged pupils and ensure they have the best possible outcomes at GCSE and A Level. This week we looked at the power of Daily Review. 

Below is a list of tried and tested strategies to embed Daily Review into our lessons. 

Daily Review

What is the purpose of a Daily Review?

1.     To check understanding

2.     Test key concepts have been embedded

3.     Create opportunities which stretch and challenge previous knowledge and concepts

The 4-minute summary

Actively engaging students during a lecture class can come through many formats.  The 4-Minute Summary is a versatile pedagogy that can be readily applied to any class format (e.g., traditional, flipped), any class size, and any content.  Students benefit by engaging with peers while at the same time recapping and recalling content in their own words.     

The 4-Minute Summary allows students to

1.      engage with peers,

2.      engage with content,

3.      recap/recall content in their own words,

4.      practice speaking the content and

5.      provide a venue for questions to be answered.

Sketch what you know

This is a fantastic way to change up how you review pupil understanding. This can be achieved in their books or on a mini whiteboard.  

Diamond 9 display

A really simple and effective way to enable pupils to order/ rank/name key concepts of the previous lesson. It can be created as a paired/ group activity or a simple diagram in their books. You could even make it an interactive board activity.

diamond 9

The three Rs- Revise, Recite, Recall

Memory retention is one of the biggest barriers to learning and progression. Embed moments within the lesson to help aid pupils long term memory.

This can be done in a series of ways- chant, song, beat, actions


It is important to remember: ‘If teachers are going to be successful in improving their practice (and pupil outcomes), they have to be working consciously and deliberately to do so. Teachers need to be working on developing better habits, seeking to be more effective day in, day out when nobody else except their students is looking’ ‘Rosenshine’s Principles in Action’ by Tom Sherrington 2019. 

New Academic Year-Same Focus- Success For All

Well we have returned this week, and I am so excited for 19-20, with so much to look forward to :

  • 4th consecutive year of positive results, rising in all measures
  • Our biggest ever Academy -increasing numbers in Yrs 7 and 12
  • Great blend of new and experienced staff, with last years’ trainees going from strength to strength
  • Middle leaders continuing to develop and hone their skills
  • Great Academy environment with a team of non-teachers working like the proverbial swan in supporting progress
  • Teaching and learning moving forward with the development of our classroom practice through Rosenshine’s principles and new technology
  • Performance management that has consistency and transparency and supports both academy progress and staff rewards and recognition
  • A great community of staff, students and parents, all working together!


Image result for working togetherWe are off to a wonderful start- year 7s have settled in well, as well as our new staff and the positivity and collegiality in the air is wonderful.

Let us make 2019/20 an Academic year to remember!


Image result for success

Our Personal Learning Network begins on Tuesday 10th September at 7:50am. Room A203.

First Topic- Setting the bar for Success


See you then.

#F2FTM hold fast to your dreams

“Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough but because they can be even better”.

We are good to go, and look forward to welcoming all our guests tomorrow…


hold fast
Living the Dream


Planning done


pop tart preparation
Prepared, and we just don’t care


One step at a time…

See you at the TeachMeet

No excuses!




#F2FTM Thursday 27/6/19


TeachMeet time is approaching, and this will showcase our work this year on FACE, with strategies to support feedback, autonomy, challenge and engagement.

These strategies have come through our Lesson study programme that all staff have taken part in:

1: Chidi, Sara-Kate, Teresa, Ben Jigsaw learning so that I see an improvement in the students’ ownership of their learning
2: Jen, Josh, Nina, Alison  How can I use ‘prep/deliver/assess’ to see an improvement in the skill of independence
3: Chris C, Mel, Sam How can I use ‘Providing choices’ so that I see an improvement in the autonomy with
4: Jay, Mark, Paul How can I use  the 7 Es so that I see an improvement in the quality of challenge
5: Jason, Manaz, Sabah, How can I use  challenge boxes  so that I see an improvement in the stretch and challenge with the top achievers in the class over
6: Christine, Isye, Ryan M 3 pre-prepared questions linking to Blooms Taxonomy to improve higher order thinking with pupil premium learners
8: Bernie, Katy, Leah the use of group work in helping students to learn how to escape the learning pit with less teacher input and a role that they can work within with our 9WES classes.
9: Chimameka, Chris G, Kelly Group 9 is going to research how we use blooms taxonomy so that we see an improvement in achievement of different focus groups
12: Bebhinn, Jayna, Jacqui looking at how to engage students (especially year 9 boys) in a subject (Food Tech) that they chose for practical side but has quite a bit of theory in it too.
13:  Annabel, Ernesto, Julia  How can I use DIRT slides so that I see an improvement in the students’ response to my feedback with a selection of shared Year 9 students
14: Chloe, Lena, Sebastian, Nitza, Group  14 is going to research how we can use feedback sheets, writing frames and re-drafting lessons so that we can see an improvement in extended writing skills with KS5
16: Emma, Chris B, Ryan P,   How can I use student worked examples within the starter so that I see an improvement in the students’ awareness of common pitfalls with Year 11….
B: Jonathan, Roland, Clara  We are going to use competitive games to improve participation of reluctant  girls
C: Ishrat, Greg, Carly, Haroon Personalised Learning Checklist (PLC) so that I see an improvement in DIRT feedback after assessments with my Yr 11 GCSE We will use Teacher Toolkit Marking strategies

4.30pm, Thursday, 27th June, in here…

Image-3 (6)

Butterfly showcase

This week we had a miscellany of strategies, primarily the soft skills of embedding deeper relationships, working together in the classroom and how we are celebrating all that we do  at Westfield.

Engaging displays – Sam Cole    

 Making good use of school displays for the following:

intent of learning
– outline of topic

– key terms and phrases connected to project

– next step questions

implementation of teaching
– content of information

– photos of student task

– demonstration of class resources

impact of outcome

– large scale work

– bold colours

– good quality work show high aspirations for students

Elaine has been working with the site staff and individual faculties to showcase all the fantastic work that we do around the school. 

Use of Voice -Bebhinn Kennedy      

How do we use our voice effectively in the classroom?

Using your voice to help with behaviour management………..

  • Speak slowly and calmly
  • Dramatise activities to increase enthusiasm
  • Raising your voice (not screaming)
  • Speaking quietly to emphasise certain feelings / emotions / key vocabulary
  • Voice projection
  • Not talking when the students are talking – using wait times / countdowns to get attention

Different types of voice include a “firm voice to grab the attention of the classroom very quickly”, and “a comforting, advisory voice that is soothing”, for example. Having a calm, deep voice, rather than having a high-pitched tone or shouting, can help to give a sense of authority.

Whatever the voice, it is always about the consistency of practice, and the relationships that we are constantly building.

Student interviews and evaluations – Teresa Porter

  •  We teach as per the curriculum
  • We teach as per the Westfield way
  • We formatively and summatively assess students to check progress over time.

Unless we speak with students and ask them their own thoughts on their learning, how do they learn more?

How do we do less for them? How do we make them learners that are more independent? And how do we know the impact of our pedagogical skills?

We can either speak to students individually, as a small group…in these cases, choose students who are not necessarily the most compliant or best behaved, but those that will give the most honest and constructive, answers.

Alternatively, you may choose to do student evaluations/ questionnaires for the whole class.

And then act upon whatever we have found out…

Thanks all