Key implementation challenges
When making changes to how learning is linked between interventions and the classroom, certain implementation challenges are likely to crop up. Here we can think about two of the most common, and how you can overcome these.
Challenge one: lack of time for teachers and TAs to liaise
Time is required if learning is to be linked. Teachers and TAs need to talk about the progress of students who are taking part in interventions. Here are five ways through which to make time available:
- Set-up a rolling opt-out from assemblies so that all teacher-TA teams have an opportunity to discuss pupil learning during the week.
- ‘Red box’ the first ten minutes after the end of the school day and specify this as time in which TAs and teachers talk to one another. Set clear expectations on how to use that time productively.
- Marry up teacher and TA PPA time so some of this can be used to discuss pupil progress and to link learning between interventions and the classroom.
- Encourage the use of learning diaries at the end of each day. These are a great reflection technique and can be completed independently. While pupils are doing this, teachers and TAs can grab a quick conversation about the day’s interventions.
- If you have a daily staff briefing, start this five minutes earlier and establish this time as TA-teacher discussion time with an emphasis on linking learning.
Challenge two: an assumption that pupils can make links themselves
Assuming pupils can independently connect learning in the classroom and learning from interventions is risky. In many cases, they can’t or won’t make the links teachers want or expect. For the avoidance of doubt, and to help maximise achievement, TAs and teachers should be encouraged to always help pupils in making links. Here are three ways they can do it:
- Teachers can provide TAs with an overview of current and future schemes of work. For example, by storing them online in a shared area to which TAs have access. TAs can then look through these, know what learning is coming up, and use this to make links for pupils during intervention sessions.
- At the end of the day, TAs can provide teachers with brief summaries of what learning has been covered in interventions sessions. They can then suggest what would make a good starter activity for those pupils who have completed interventions. Teachers can then implement this the following day, either for the whole class or for those specific pupils.
- Teachers and TAs can develop an email chain summarising learning in interventions and in the classroom. This gives both parties access to the information they need to help pupils make connections between the learning they are doing.