Recommendation Seven: Ensure explicit connections are made between learning from everyday classroom teaching and structured interventions
On page five, the guidance report states:
“Interventions are often quite separate from classroom activities. Lack of time for teachers and TAs to liaise allows relatively little connection between what pupils experience in, and away, from, the classroom. The key is to ensure that learning in interventions is consistent with, and extends, work inside the classroom and that pupils understand the links between them. It should not be assumed that pupils can consistently identify and make sense of these links on their own.”
What does this mean in practice?
Great practice here means learning in interventions is consistently linked to learning in the classroom. To get this right, a couple of things need to happen.
First, the teacher and the TA need time to talk about what happened in the intervention. For example, the TA might explain to the teacher what work was covered, how the pupil responded, where they made progress, where they encountered difficulties, and what they will be looking at next.
Armed with this information, the teacher is in a position to adapt their teaching to take account of it. For example, they might encourage the pupil in question to use their intervention-based learning at the very start of the next lesson, so as to consolidate it. Or, they might change the group to which they had intended to assign the pupil, deciding that a different option is now more appropriate.
Second, the teacher and the TA need to help pupils make connections between the learning they do in interventions and the learning they do in the classroom. This means not leaving it up to the pupil and hoping they will make links themselves. Don't rely on this to be achieved successfully and consistently.
Connections can be made in lots of relatively simple ways, but this is always predicated on prior communication between teacher and TA. Without this it becomes much harder to identify and illustrate the links. Teachers need to know what learning is happening in interventions so they can link it to learning in the classroom. And TAs need to know what learning is happening in the classroom so they can link it to the learning in interventions.
Overall, this recommendation is about ensuring all the learning a pupil does is joined together – in their minds and in the minds of the teacher and the TA.