Active learning in the Classroom: make your pupils work harder than you!

Active learning


Sarah Lemmon, Headteacher, Redcliffe School


  • Are there aspects of teaching and learning which you would like to develop?
  • Are your staff aiming to be outstanding teachers?
  • Are you looking to develop strategies with staff to actively engage their pupils?
  • Do you want to improve the motivation and attainment of all pupils through proven principles?
  • Would you prefer to avoid ‘silly’ role plays or pointless group work to concentrate on the most effective techniques?


The most recent ISI and Ofsted frameworks require a certain style of teaching to achieve the highest levels. The pupils, their abilities, attributes, attitudes to learning and inevitably their levels of progress are the most important deciding factors. As schools we should be challenging pupils, developing their learning skills. An active approach to learning allows students to develop these essential skills for life-long learning.  To remain masters of our craft, it’s important that we, as teachers, keep learning and evaluating on our own practice. This course provides just that opportunity for practitioners, providing strategies, practical advice and actionable pedagogies.

Benefits of this course:

  • Actively engage with innovative teaching methods
  • Opportunity to be in the position of the learner and utilise innovative ideas
  • Consider a wealth of learning tools that makes students more responsible for their own learning
  • Improve your ability to develop communication and thinking skills in your students.

 Course Outline

What is the role of a 21st Century teacher?

  • What does the research of Hattie and Marzano say – what’s effective/ what’s not and why?
  • Updated role of technology in the classroom
  • What are Ofsted and ISI looking for from schools and departments?
  • How do we develop students with enough Grit, Resilience and Independence to prepare them for the next stage of their education?


Creating the Perfect Learning Climate to foster high levels of engagement, motivation and Independence

  • Effective grouping
  • Establishing a growth mindset and culture of active learning
  • Tweaks to strategies to make your pupils work harder
  • Motivational triggers: getting the most from every lesson


Planning for Active learning throughout the curriculum: a toolkit for middle leaders

  • Creating “active schemes of work”
  • Outcome focussed planning
  • Strategies to reduce teacher talk in lessons
  • Monitoring implementation and effectiveness
  • Tools that teachers can use easily to judge progress
  • Evidence for Inspectors


Developing your pupil’s enquiry, decision- making and problem solving skills

  • Deeper Questioning – ask better, deeper questions and expect the same from your pupils
  • Equip your pupils with the skills to answer their own questions
  • Establishing exactly what concepts your learners still do not understand to better target intervention


Personalised learning approaches: tailoring the curriculum for individual pupil’s needs

  • Using assessment effectively to meet the learners needs in your teaching
  • Marking and Feedback – strategies to show sustained improvement over time
  • Who to target with what intervention
  • Academic literacy – developing students’ understanding of ideas and concepts through effective communication
  • Highly effective differentiation whilst still stretching the most able


 Active, collaborative and independent learning strategies for your pupils

  • Helpful “pupil talk” how to facilitate quality discussion
  • The importance of peer- tutoring
  • Developing peer to peer critiquing strategies

“Really illuminating and motivational” Jemma Walker, The Market Bosworth School