INSET : Extending Pupils’ Academic Study Skills and Higher-Order Skills (HOTS)

Thank you again for the INSET, the staff were buzzing afterwards! Karen Coles, Director of Studies, Fulham Prep

What can teachers learn from psychology and cognitive science to apply to the classroom?

Are you looking for strategies to make your pupils really think?

How do we improve pupils research and referencing skills?

How should teachers best utilise “pupil talk” in their classrooms?


Teachers are good at writing and asking literal questions (e.g., “Name the parts of the digestive system”), but do we tend to do this far too often? Students must be taught to find the information they need, judge its worth, and think at higher levels. Higher-order thinking skills go beyond basic observation of facts and memorization. They are what we are talking about when we want our students to be evaluative, creative and innovative. The “new” style of examinations require students to apply their knowledge to new situations to achieve the highest grades at GCSE and A level. This highly practical course helps develop teachers pedagogical tool kit to meet this new challenge facing our students.


Improving Memory and learning

  • How to cover the lower order skills (LOTS) quickly
  • Strategies from psychological research that students can employ to improve their long term memory.
  • The importance of “learning to learn”
  • Five tips from cognitive science on the best ways to revise


Developing effective study and research skills

  • Modelling our own research processes for pupils
  • How to use the internet effectively (rather than just copy and paste)
  • Using Flipped learning and prereading activities to activate background knowledge, establish purpose, and formulate questions that can drive inquiry.
  • Improving pupil’s ability to draw upon a suitably wide range of sources
  • Improving referencing skills


Extending Pupil’s Higher-Order Skills (HOTS)

  • Strategies for developing HOTS in the classroom: analysis, hypothesizing and synthesizing
  • Enhancing problem solving
  • Developing active reading methods that engage pupil’s brains
  • “Visible learning” and its impact
  • Designing activities that require students to process information at the highest levels of thought.


Developing HOTS through effective “pupil talk” in class

  • Interactive classroom strategies to encourage critical thinking
  • Strategies to involve the quieter children in “pupil talk”
  • Encouraging effective critical discussion through argument
  • Leading a successful debate


Improving Pupil Outcomes in Examinations (SAT’s, CE, Entrance exams, GCSE etc)

  • Teaching exam preparation strategies
  • HOTS and their role in exam question analysis and literacy
  • 3 phase preparation for exams
  • Approaches on how to construct outstanding exam responses



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