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Spring week 5

Mentor materials

Discussion - effective questioning to extend and challenge pupils

Teaching techniques to focus feedback on




To have planned and practised effective questioning to extend and challenge pupils.

N.B: this session will either occur in advance of the ECT training or after. Therefore, this session will either prepare teachers for the ECT training session or further build on their learning after it has occurred.


In their online study materials, your teacher was asked to insert questions into a lesson plan that they will teach either this week or next week. Review your teachers plan.

Praise, probe and set precise actions

The following practise should be focused around the outcomes of the probe and precise actions, so that it is specific to your teacher’s developmental needs. However, below are some practise ideas based on the online study content to support you if needed.

Plan and practice ideas

Work with your teacher to support them to improve their questioning and consider the following points:

  • Avoid self-report questions - ask questions that directly assess pupil understanding of the material being taught
  • Check whole class understanding
  • Provide appropriate wait time after asking a question to allow pupils to generate a response
  • Do not complete pupils’ answers
  • Ask follow-up questions to extend and challenge pupils
  • Will pupils’ benefit from scaffolds such as sentence frames when answering questions?

Key questions and talking points

  1. When should you check for pupil understanding?
  2. What are the different ways you can check pupil understanding?
  3. How can you use questions to extend and challenge pupils?
  4. What scaffolds could you provide for pupil talk to increase the focus and rigour of dialogue?