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Autumn week 4

Mentor materials

Directing attention

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: Getting everyone on task

Focused development area

  • Teacher gets the whole class’ attention before delivering instructions.
  • Teacher ensures their instructions are clear by making them manageable and sequential.
  • Teacher ensures pupils know they are accountable for following instructions by standing where they are visible to the class and checking they are following instructions.
  • Teacher reminds pupils who are off-task what they need to do in order to get back on task.
  • Teacher deals with off-task behaviour least intrusively starting with a non-verbal corrective gesture, e.g. putting their finger to their lips to remind the pupil they should be silent at this point in the lesson.

Development area 2: Positioning and checking

Focused development area

  • Teacher ensures they are able to see all pupils and explicitly scans the whole class.
  • Teacher checks for and reinforces the behaviour they want from pupils and non-verbally corrects behaviours they do not.
  • Teacher, with the support of a colleague, identifies when it is most useful to check all pupils’ behaviour and which behaviours they are looking for.
Example precise target: Teacher ensures they are able to see all pupils and explicitly scans the whole class
  • Not doing it at all: When you need to see all pupils and be seen, e.g. when checking their behaviour or delivering instructions, stand in a spot where you can view all pupils and they can all see you.
  • Doing it but needs some improvement: Standing on a spot where you can view all pupils and they can all see you, check all pupils’ behaviour by scanning across the whole class.
  • Doing it well and needs some stretch: Standing on a spot where you can view all pupils and they can all see you, make it obvious to pupils that you are checking all pupils’ behaviour by exaggerating your body language, e.g. stand on tip-toes, widen your eyes and/or move your arm across the room to match your gaze.

Development area 3: Positive narration and social norms

Focused development area

  • Teacher, with the support of a colleague, identifies and names the positive behaviours they expect from pupils at each stage of the lesson.
  • Teacher ensures that pupils know exactly what the behaviour expectations are so they can meet them.
  • Teachers use specific, positive narration to normalise the behaviours they expect to see from pupils.


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:

  • Getting pupils on task by giving them manageable, specific and sequential instructions.
  • Supporting behaviour expectations through positively narrating the behaviours they want to see and therefore highlighting positive social norms.
  • Positioning themselves so they can check pupils are following instructions and support pupils to remain on task by using least-intrusive reminders.

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