Journey to Excellence

Promotion of active learning

Play Controls

Description

Find out about the promotion of active learning. This video shows some of the key features of excellent practice in schools including: using a wide range of learning and teaching approaches; promoting learners' willingness and confidence as seekers of new knowledge, understanding and skills; developing the ability to think, linking new knowledge to what learners already know and can do; providing opportunities to respond to 'open' questions; and collaborative learning.

Transcript

In excellent schools, learners experience a wide range of learning and teaching approaches.

Contexts for learning are challenging and enjoyable, and include creative and investigative activities. Young people engage confidently in such activities, and are prepared to risk making mistakes because they understand that they can learn from them.

Teachers’ explanations of new topics and the skills pupils will learn are very clear. They fully demonstrate the links with previous learning across the curriculum and real-life situations and make new learning meaningful.

Children often demonstrate or explain information, ideas, processes and skills to the teacher and to other learners. They understand that excellent learning means being able to show or explain it clearly to others in their own words, orally or in writing or pictures.

In excellent classrooms, staff questioning is skilled and young people’s responses are always listened to and used to enhance their learning. By being regularly asked open questions, they learn to give considered answers from a personal viewpoint. 

Children get time to think and reflect before responding and they all expect to be invited to do so. Their answers lead to further questioning and dialogue which form coherent lines of enquiry.

All pupils understand that their individual responses will be valued. Children as well as teachers ask questions - of each other and of the teacher. Those who are not involved in discussion participate actively by listening, thinking and reflecting. 

The size of the discussion group, and other contextual features, is planned to meet the children’s needs. Discussions with very young children, and with less confident older children, often take place in small groups.

Teachers spend significant amounts of time teaching actively. They deliver learning personally to individual pupils and groups according to their needs, rather than relying on working only through textbooks. 

Teachers present material actively in a structured way. They continuously monitor the development of pupils’ understanding, tackle difficult concepts in small steps, elaborate, enhance and exemplify the key points of learning.

Download

Referring Articles

Related Videos

  1. Follow the success story of this School of Ambition as staff, parents and students talk about the new learning and leadership opportunities and the impact of celebrating achievement. Charleston Academy succeeds as a School of Ambition and promotes the use of practice learnt at Columba 1400. Staff, parents and students talk about how learning and leadership opportunities have increased at the school, what that means to them and the positive effect that celebrating achievement has on their self-confidence.

  2. Video in which primary learners at Tough School explain how they like to share learning with parents and other adults. They invite parents into the school to see what they have been working on and pass on their learning through Glow. As well as family learning, the older children pass on knoweldge to the younger pupils. Parents also share learning, telling children about their jobs and linking them to to learning activities in school. Part of the Opening up the Future resource on Journey to Excellence website.

  3. Explore the efforts made by this school for learners with challenging behaviour to overhaul its culture and practices and achieve its improvement priorities through the Schools of Ambition programme. Explore the efforts made by this school to completely change its educational style and practices. Staff, parents and pupils discuss the training that has created positive attitudes and expectations and the ways in which pupils are achieving academic success, building their confidence and learning life skills through everyday activities.

  4. Watch as David Perkins emphasises the importance of being able to translate knowledge into understanding - to think with what we know.

  5. Discover how one nursery is increasing opportunities for children to be physically active to promote readiness for learning.

  6. Listen as staff and students of a School of Ambition talk about the development and impact of a school radio station, a community newsletter and the many new leadership opportunities for young people. Queensferry High School becomes a School of Ambition as it promotes shared leadership through partnerships with Rotary Club and a local radio station. Staff and students talk about how leadership opportunities have been developed at the school, what that means to them and the wider community and the positive effect that has on pupil and staff empowerment.

  7. Video showing how staff at Balfron High School have adapted the Learning Rounds process to share practice and discuss issues of learning and teaching. Other teachers and senior students are involved in observing practice and evaluating its effectiveness and the outputs of the process are used for self-evaluation and reflection by practitioners. The most recent focus for this tri-learning process was pupil responsibility. Part of the Opening up the Future resource on Journey to Excellence website.

  8. Watch a secondary school's efforts to encourage inter-disciplinary activities, pupil empowerment and shared learning. Staff and pupils discuss the success of these approaches in building confidence and enthusiasm. Watch this academy's efforts to encourage cross-curricular activities, pupil empowerment and shared learning. The staff and pupils discuss the success of these methods and how they build confidence, improve literary skills and create enthusiastic learners.

  9. Video showing how parents and children at Brucehill Early Education and Childcare Centre collaborated on a literacy project about Scots. The project provided an opportunity for the children to practice reading and speaking in Scots, and to involve parents in their learning. They explored new words and new texts and thought about language and how to use it. Part of the Opening up the Future resource on Journey to Excellence website.

  10. Explore the key features of excellent practice in schools including: an appropriate pace of work; appropriately challenging tasks; providing support and feedback based on teachers having a thorough knowledge of the understanding and learning needs of individual learners; and learners discussing their own ways of learning and their success and progress.

www.educationscotland.gov.uk

In association with Education Scotland