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Autumn week 12

Mentor materials

Upholding high expectations

Select a development area

Consider the development areas for this topic (below). Then make a note of the area you plan to zoom in on and when you plan to visit so you can observe your teacher in this area. Familiarise yourself with the focused development areas. You will select one later when you observe your teacher.

Development area 1: Encouraging effort

Focused development area

  • Teacher draws attention to the effort pupils are putting into their learning.
  • Teacher gives examples of how to apply effort when facing challenge.
Example precise target: Teacher draws attention to the effort pupils are putting into their learning
  • Not doing it at all: Before and during tasks, encourage pupils to put effort into their work to achieve success and show them what this means, e.g. demonstrate that putting effort into their writing means focusing on how to hold the pencil and form each letter shape carefully.
  • Doing it but needs some improvement: Acknowledge the effort and related behaviours you see from pupils that are supporting them to be successful in their learning.
  • Doing it well and needs some stretch: Praise pupils who, through their effort, are exceeding their learning goals

Development area 2: High expectations of pupil participation and thinking

Focused development area

  • Teacher shares high expectations of pupil participation, e.g. all pupils need to think about their answer during the wait time the teacher gives after asking a question and be prepared to respond.
  • Teacher provides support and returns to pupils if they are unable to contribute an answer so they experience success through their effort.
  • Teacher stretches pupils by asking follow-up questions to deepen their thinking, e.g. to make them use vocabulary more precisely, to explain their thinking or to connect to other knowledge.

Development area 3: Supporting pupils to have high expectations

Focused development area

  • Teacher supports pupils to make links between their current learning and long-term goals.
  • Teacher supports pupils to link their long-term goals to success in school.
  • Teacher supports pupils to understand the behaviours they will need to master challenging content.


Consider the following questions based on a short (approximately 15 minute) observation of your teacher.

What was your teacher’s previous target? Are they meeting it? How do you know?

  • Thinking about the development area you have selected for this topic, what is your teacher already doing well in this area? Which focused development area best aligns with what your teacher needs to get better at? What one precise target (bite-sized action) might you work with them on during your mentor meeting?

  • Reminder: You can choose to stick with this previous target if they have not made enough progress. When moving on to a new precise target, you can select one from the table above or, if this doesn’t fit your teacher’s needs, you can write your own.

How will you model the target to your teacher to show them what good looks like? What questions will you ask to check your teacher understands the model? For example, ‘How it is different from your current practice?’ and ‘What impact might it have on your practice and pupils?’

Reminder: Your model should help your teacher develop their ability in some of the following:

  • Acknowledge and praise pupil effort and emphasise progress being made.
  • Teaching and rigorously maintaining clear behavioural expectations (e.g. for contributions, volume level and concentration).
  • Support pupils to master challenging content which builds towards long-term goals.
  • Help pupils to journey from needing extrinsic motivation to being motivated to work intrinsically.

Next, meet with your teacher to work through the ‘Feedback’ stage of instructional coaching.