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Learning Intentions and Introduction

Session Elements

  • self-assessment
  • independent planning
  • reflection
  • observe a colleague

Learning Intentions for this session

You will learn that:

  • effective teachers introduce new material in steps, explicitly linking new ideas to what has been previously studied and learned
  • questioning is an essential tool for teachers; questions can be used for many purposes, including to check pupils’ prior knowledge, assess understanding and break down problems
  • practice is an integral part of effective teaching. Ensuring pupils have repeated opportunities to practise, with appropriate guidance and support, increases success

Through the theory to practice activities, you will also learn how to make good use of expositions by:

  • combining a verbal explanation with a relevant graphical representation of the same concept or process, where possible
  • using concrete representation of abstract ideas. For example, making use of analogies, metaphors, examples and non-examples


In the last mentor session, you further explored how effective teaching can transform pupils’ knowledge, capabilities and beliefs about learning, focusing in more detail on its practical implications. The key messages from that session were to understand why modelling helps pupils to understand ideas and why scaffolds and worked examples (and their gradual removal) are central to building pupils’ confidence and expertise.

In this self-directed study session, you will extend your knowledge of how to introduce new material in steps, making links to pupils’ prior knowledge, with an emphasis on expositions (explanations). This session will also focus on an essential teaching tool, questioning, and how it can be used for many purposes in order to secure knowledge and understanding.

You can apply insights from these exercises to examples from your own past experience with pupils, and to future lesson plans.