The standards, in essence, offer the following interpretations
- 2; Know your children, and know what to expect from children, of a similar age, so that appropriate decisions can be made about challenge within planning, over time.
- 4; Plan effectively, over a reasonable timescale, to ensure curriculum coverage, but also to take account of the range of abilities involved. In the first instance, this may well be a form of hypothesis, against which in-lesson interactions will clarify the basis for expectations.
- 6; Think on your feet. You have set challenges, and need to engage with individuals, especially those whose learning behaviours prompt you to act.
- 5; Where necessary, adjust the challenge so that every child has an opportunity to succeed and to make some progress.
- 2; Reviews after the lesson will show with greater clarity the specific abilities of the children in the context of that lesson. Moderated against other class outcomes allows a deeper understanding still, especially in terms of clarifying expectations.
Repeating this cycle enables ever greater refinement of challenge and understanding of what your children can achieve. For specific groups and individuals, the nature of challenge may well become investigative, to discover the extent of any areas that appear to be less than secure, or to ascertain the extent of ability or talent.
This issue can manifest itself in many ways. A trainee may not have a secure understanding of child development, especially across a range of subjects, in a Primary setting, nor will they have a specific knowledge of the class in front of them. Equally, an experienced teacher transferring from one year group to another, while having expertise from the previous experiences, may well struggle on both counts, as with the trainee, but hopefully can bring insights that speed up the acquisition of knowledge.
Putting together the needs of the curriculum with the needs of the children is the bread and butter of teaching and learning, as it does embed the skills of assessment. This, as I have argued previously, requires a Frame of Reference against which to make judgements. Insecurity with the curriculum demands, the assessment needs and the personal needs of children, especially at the SEN end of the spectrum are all currently in play.
Planning, and using plans dynamically over the medium term, can enable a rapid recycling of 24652, to ensure that teacher and child confidence can grow, enabling all to move forward with enthusiasm.
The bottom line is to know your children, well. Upon this knowledge, the whole teaching and learning edifice depends. Or it is a “house of cards”.