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A-Z of Learning

Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading


An aim is a general statement of intent. It describes the direction in which the learner will go in terms of what they might learn or what the teacher/training will deliver


Assessment lets teachers see what progress your child is making and provides teachers with information that assists them to plan how to help pupils make further progress.

The assessment also enables schools to report information to you as a parent, as well as information to help older children make choices about the examination courses they will follow and the qualifications and careers they will seek.

The assessment also helps schools to set targets for the future and to measure their performance. This information also lets government monitor the performance of the schools’ system generally.

Active Learning

Active learning is an approach to instruction that involves actively engaging students with the course material through discussions, problem-solving, case studies, role plays, and other methods.

Ability Grouping

Ability grouping is the practice of grouping learners together based on their strengths and talents within a learning environment. Advocates of ability grouping argue that the practice allows educators to customise the pace of instructional content to align better with students’ needs and, therefore improving student achievement.

Educators can also provide repetition and reinforcement as necessary for lower-achieving students and an advanced level of instruction to higher achievers.

Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading

Behaviour Management

Behaviour management is vitally important within the classroom. It is not just about punishing unwanted behaviour or even rewarding desired behaviour. Rather it is about having strategies in place to support children to behave in ways that help them gain the most from their schooling.

Body Language

Non-verbal communication means facial expressions, body postures, hand gestures, verbal messages become clear and better understandable.
Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading

Creative Thinking

Creative thinking is our ability to look at ideas presented or a scenario and find new alternatives that solve the problem. Best of all this skill isn’t bound to creative people like designers, musicians, or other artists. A lot of people can benefit from thinking this way from time to time. They can also receive a number of benefits on top of a wide variety of ideas that can spark change.


The school curriculum includes the ‘national curriculum’, as well as religious education and sex education.
The national curriculum is a set of subjects and standards used by primary and secondary schools so children learn the same things. It covers what subjects are taught and the standards children should reach in each subject.

Classroom Climate

Classroom climate refers to the prevailing mood, attitudes, standards, and tone that you and your students feel when they are in your classroom. A negative classroom climate can feel hostile, chaotic, and out of control. A positive classroom climate feels safe, respectful, welcoming, and supportive of student learning.
Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading


Data collected in schools is used to inform teaching and learning and strategic planning. A key use of data in secondary schools is to inform the setting and grouping of pupils. Other important uses of data include monitoring the effectiveness of staff and initiatives and providing reports to parents.


Differentiation refers to a wide variety of teaching techniques and lesson adaptations that educators use to instruct a diverse group of students, with diverse learning needs, in the same course, classroom, or learning environment.

Dialogic Teaching / Discussions

Dialogic Teaching aims to improve pupil engagement and attainment by improving the quality of classroom talk. Teachers are trained in strategies that enable pupils to reason, discuss, argue and explain rather than merely respond, in order to develop higher order thinking and articulacy

Dual Coding

Many may consider it to be a new term to describe an old technique, but dual coding is the combination of visuals and words in the classroom to aid learning. It is argued that a combination of auditory and visual aids increases both retention and recall amongst students.

Divergent Thinking

Divergent thinking, or lateral thinking, is about generating multiple creative solutions to the same problem. It is a spontaneous, fluid, non-linear mental approach based on curiosity and nonconformity. In fact, it is also a type of thinking very common in children, where joy, imagination, and a fresh perspective make their reasoning more free.

Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading


EAL- ‘English as an Additional Language’. It is about aiming to support children in school who speak a language other than English as their first language.


• It helps teachers and learners to improve teaching and learning. Evaluation is a continuous process and a periodic exercise. It helps in forming the values of judgement, educational status, or achievement of students.


In education, student engagement refers to the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion that students show when they are learning or being taught, which extends to the level of motivation they have to learn and progress in their education.
Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading


Feedback is information a teacher or another speaker, including another learner, gives to learners on how well they are doing, either to help the learner improve specific points, or to help plan their learning. Feedback can be immediate, during an activity, or delayed, at the end of an activity or part of a learning programme and can take various forms.


A facilitator will assist a group of people in grasping at their common targets and in achieving them without any intervention on his/her behalf. Therefore, when we say the teacher has to play the role of a facilitator in the classroom, this means that the teacher should not controls the activities of the learners. He /she should grant the learners some space to let the spirits of creativity and innovation.

Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading

Growth Mindset Theory

Growth mind set is a theory centred around the belief that intelligence and learning can be developed and improved. If someone has a growth mind set, they have a positive attitude towards learning and their ability to progress and achieve. Pupils who possess a growth mind set are said to rise to challenges and learn from the mistakes they make, rather than feeling distressed and defeated if they are unable to do or understand something.

Group Work

Group work is simply defined as more than one person working together to complete a task or assignment. In the classroom, group work can take many forms; however, the goal remains the same—to get students to interact with each other and collaborate to complete a unified task.

Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading


Homework is defined as out-of-class tasks assigned to students, it may be an extension or elaboration of classroom work. It is the school work that a pupil is required to do at home.

Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading

Individualised Instruction

Individualised instruction involves different tasks for each learner and support at the individual level. It is based on the idea that all learners have different needs, and that therefore an approach that is personally tailored — particularly in terms of the activities that pupils undertake and the pace at which they progress through the curriculum — will be more effective


Interleaving in learning is often described as a method that involves studying parts of different courses or topics within the same period, as opposed to finishing with one before moving to the other. It refers to mixing multiple subjects in a bid to improve learning.

Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading

Knowledge Organisers / Books

A Knowledge Organiser or book is a go-to document for a topic/unit of work: each one identifies the key information that children need to have learned by the end of a topic. It also acts as a tool to support children in retaining and retrieving knowledge for life-long learning. They are used as a planning tool- to plan the essential knowledge that pupils need to cover in the unit

Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading

Learning Environment

Learning environment refers to the diverse physical locations, contexts, and cultures in which students learn. Since students may learn in a wide variety of settings, such as outside-of-school locations and outdoor environments, the term is often used as a more accurate or preferred alternative to classroom, which has more limited and traditional connotations

Learning Outcomes / Objectives

Learning outcomes or objectives are any measurable skills, abilities, knowledge or values that the student demonstrates as a result of completing given instruction. Learning outcomes or objectives should be specific and well defined.

Learning Styles

The seven learning styles is a theory that suggests people learn best in different ways. All the supposed styles tailor towards an individual strength thought to help a person retain information more effectively. They all focus on one of the five senses or have a social aspect involved. This theory enjoyed significant popularity for a time as it was thought that by finding an individual learner’s style and tailoring teaching to it that their efficiency could be improved. The 7 styles of the theory are as follows:

  • Visual
  • Kinaesthetic
  • Aural
  • Social
  • Solitary
  • Verbal
  • Logical


Literacy is the ability to read, write, speak and listen in a way that lets us communicate effectively and make sense of the world.
Literacy skills allow students to seek out information, explore subjects in-depth and gain a deeper understanding of the world around them.

Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading


Modelling is an instructional strategy in which the teacher demonstrates a new concept or approach to learning and students learn by observing and making learning notes.


Metacognition is, put simply, thinking about one’s thinking. More precisely, it refers to the processes used to plan, monitor, and assess your understanding and performance. Metacognition includes a critical awareness of your own thinking and learning and yourself as a thinker and learner.


Motivation is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. Motivation involves the biological, emotional, social, and cognitive forces that activate behavior. In everyday usage, the term “motivation” is frequently used to describe why a person does something.
When you are intrinsically motivated, you engage in an activity because you enjoy it and get personal satisfaction from doing it. When you are extrinsically motivated, you do something in order to gain an external reward.


Mentoring in education involves pairing young people with an older peer or volunteer, who acts as a positive role model. In general, mentoring aims to build confidence, develop resilience and character, or raise aspirations, rather than to develop specific academic skills or knowledge.

Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading


Classroom observation is about teachers observing each other’s practice and learning from one another. It aims to support the sharing of best practices and build awareness about the impact of your own teaching. Effective observation (including feedback and reflection):
focuses on teachers’ individual needs and gives an opportunity to learn from, and give feedback to peers
is a core component of creating a professional community and building collective efficacy.
It can help teachers continue to improve their practice in ways that better promote student learning
is a developmental learning opportunity.

Online / Remote Learning

Online learning refers to the idea of using online tools for learning. Basically, an online course implies a distance between you and your teachers. Lessons, assignments, tests are all enabled by virtual platforms, such as ‘Teams’ and ‘Zoom’

Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading

Peer Assessment

If used effectively, peer assessment – a formative assessment strategy that encourages students to comment on the work of their peers – can improve students’ understanding of success criteria, help them to become more engaged in learning and develop their interpersonal skills

Personalised Learning

With personalised learning comes higher student engagement. By addressing the different interests of students, you can enhance and improve student engagement. With higher engagement, students will spend more time learning and actually absorb the material.

Problem-Based Learning

PBL is a pedagogical approach that enables students to learn while engaging actively with meaningful problems. Students are given the opportunities to problem-solve in a collaborative setting, create mental models for learning, and form self-directed learning habits through practice and reflection.

Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning (PBL) is a student-centred pedagogy that involves a dynamic classroom approach in which it is believed that students acquire a deeper knowledge through active exploration of real-world challenges and problems. It is a style of active learning and inquiry-based learning.


Plenaries are used by teachers to review the lesson objectives and consolidate learning. This can be midway through, or at the end of a lesson.
Students and teachers can reflect on the learning, ask questions, discuss the next steps and celebrate good work and positive learning outcomes.


PSHE stands for Personal, Social, Health and Economic education. It is an important part of your child’s national curriculum learning. … Personal, social and health and economic education, or PSHE, aims to give children the knowledge, skills and understanding to lead confident, healthy and independent lives.

Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading


Effective questioning involves using questions in the classroom to open conversations, inspire deeper intellectual thought, and promote student-to-student interaction. … ‘ Using them in the classroom creates opportunities for students to analyse their own thinking, that of their peers, and their work.

Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading


Reading aloud helps students learn how to use language to make sense of the world; it improves their information processing skills, vocabulary, and comprehension. Reading
aloud targets the skills of audio learners. Research has shown that teachers who read aloud motivate students to read.

Retrieval Practice

Retrieval practice is a strategy in which bringing information to mind enhances and boosts learning. Deliberately recalling information forces, us to pull our knowledge “out” and examine what we know.


The term “rigour” in education has been a buzzword for at least a decade. It describes the result of work that challenges students’ thinking in new and interesting ways. Promoting rigour in the classroom requires expectations and experiences that are academically, intellectually, and personally challenging.


We define academic resilience as students achieving good educational outcomes despite adversity. This resource should ideally form part of a whole school community approach to help vulnerable young people do better than their circumstances might have predicted.


Reflection makes learning more meaningful for students, enabling them to develop a personal relationship with the material at hand and to see how it fits into a larger picture. A personal tool that students can use to observe and evaluate the way they behave and learn in the classrooms.

Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading


A scholarly person pursues academic and intellectual activities, particularly those that develop expertise in an area of study.


Sequencing is one of many skills that contribute to students’ ability to comprehend what they read. Sequencing refers to the identification of the components of a story, such as the beginning, middle, and end, and also to the ability to retell the events within a given text in the order in which they occurred

Subject Knowledge

Subject knowledge has a very important role to play because high-quality teaching rests on teachers understanding the subjects they are teaching, knowing the structure and sequencing of concepts, developing factual knowledge essential to each subject and guiding their pupils into the different ways of knowing that subjects provide: subjects create disciplined ways of knowing. It is also clear that when there is a lack of subject expertise, or it is unevenly spread across teaching groups, then the quality of teaching and students’ exam results are at risk.

Setting / Steaming

Streaming meant splitting pupils into several different hierarchical groups which would stay together for all lessons. Setting meant putting pupils of similar abilities together just for certain lessons. So, for example, it would be possible to be in a top set for French and a lower set for mathematics

Stretch and Challenge

In 2015, Ofsted commented on stretch and challenge in the context of ‘the most able’. They said that education must challenge and support students at all levels, whilst identifying the ablest and ensuring that they are stretched.


‘Special educational needs is a legal definition and refers to children with learning problems or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children the same age.

SEN ‘Special educational needs is a legal definition and refers to children with learning problems or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children the same age.

Success Criteria

Success criteria is a list of features that a teacher wants the children to include in their work during the course of a lesson. It is a really good way of making children aware of what is expected of them and can also encourage them to extend themselves during the course of the lesson.


Scaffolding refers to a variety of instructional techniques used to move students progressively toward stronger understanding and, ultimately, greater independence in the learning process.

Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading

Teaching Assistants

Teaching assistants support teachers and help children with their educational and social development, both in and out of the classroom. In secondary schools, teaching assistants are often known as learning support assistants (LSA)

Teaching Strategies

Teaching strategies refer to methods used to help students learn the desired course contents and be able to develop achievable goals in the future. Teaching strategies identify the different available learning methods to enable them to develop the right strategy to deal with the target group identified.

Thinking Skills – Taxonomy

Thinking skills are comprised of different types of cognition; information processing, enquiry, creative thinking and reasoning.
Schools take different approaches to teaching thinking skills, either introducing them within the curriculum as a discrete unit, or instituting them through the use of a specific methodology. The best approach, however, is one that stimulates learners to use and apply thinking skills across the curriculum and upon their learning.

Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading


Teaching for Understanding is leading students toward being able to do a variety of thought-provoking things with a topic, such as explaining, finding evidence in examples, generalizing, applying, making analogies, and representing the topic in new ways.

Teaching Aspect/Strategy/Focus This is: Further Information/Reading


Writing is the primary basis upon which one’s work, learning, and intellect will be judged, in school, in the workplace and in the community. Writing equips us with communication and thinking skills. Writing expresses who we are as people. Writing makes our thinking and learning visible and permanent.