![alt text](/filestore/BlogImage/0d0d09f7-a5bd-4c8c-8e0c-84cf0bfdc2f9/e8babf47-9b88-4437-92d4-efbbdc58b8c2AcceleratePupilProgress.png "Accelerate pupil progress") Based on Accelerate Pupil Progress webinar from 09/06/2022. Watch [here](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcXeTxiOa8A&t=0s). Improving pupil progress for every child in your class is easy! We’re joking, of course. It’s really difficult. You’re one person, with a maximum of 60 minutes to get around a class of at least 30 students, each with different learning needs. That said, there are some simple and effective strategies that you can use to improve the progress of your students, and we’ve gathered them in a handy list below. What is meant by pupil progress? -------------------------------- Pupil progress refers to the rate at which pupils progress to the next level of learning. Teachers aim to accelerate pupil progress, whether that’s in the lesson or over medium and long periods of time. If you can make consistent accelerated progress over a short period of time, ie. in a lesson, often enough, you are going to make accelerated progress over a sustained period of time. Look after the pennies (lessons) and the pounds (long term) look after themselves, as they say! What does accelerated pupil progress look like? ----------------------------------------------- It can look different for every pupil! One of our favourite quotes about what pupil progress looks like is one from Robert John Meehan, **_“A student’s progress should be measured in terms of the questions they are asking, not merely by the answers that they are reciting.”_** But the reality can be quite different as accelerated pupil progress is not always tangible in a lesson. Here are some signs to look for that suggest pupil progress: - confidence levels have increased - engagement is apparent - greater focus in the lesson How often should pupil progress be measured? -------------------------------------------- It’s all very well seeing signs of accelerated pupil progress in students, but how do you prove pupil progress? Assessment is key. But how often should we assess? Each school, and indeed, some subjects, are different as we learned on the [webinar.](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcXeTxiOa8A&t=0s) Some will assess termly, some half termly. Others prefer to assess at the end of a topic or unit of learning. It’s about drawing a balance between having enough data to inform great teaching, and avoiding over-assessing where you run the risk of burdening teachers and stressing out students. Assessment is an incredibly powerful tool when done thoughtfully. 7 strategies for accelerating pupil progress -------------------------------------------- Here are some easy practices to implement in your classroom today. ### 1\. Retrieval practice Retrieval helps students remember key information by revisiting topics that have been previously learnt. Going back to work and making sure students can retrieve what they learnt before moving onto new topics can encourage consolidation and progression to happen simultaneously. Practically, why not try having your starter activity as a retrieval question? Or perhaps use mindmaps and different coloured pens for each time you revisit a topic so that you and your students can see the progression happening. (Thank you to Charlotte & Sam from the webinar who provided these practical tips!) ### 2\. Scaffold content when introducing new topics Whether you set for your subject or not, there will always be different paces of learning between the students in your class. This is where differentiation is important. Scaffolding content, especially when introducing a new topic, can ensure everyone has access to the subject matter and can move at a similar pace. ### 3\. Focused practice Focused practice can have a huge impact on confidence levels in students and therefore accelerate their progress. Embed knowledge through drills. Whilst the word ‘drill’ has definitely had a bit of a bad reputation in the past, educationalists now see merit in both skills and knowledge as the bedrocks of a good education. Drill activities as part of your arsenal can be very handy. ### 4\. Effective marking Effective and thoughtful marking practices can make a huge difference to the progression of students. But what does effective marking look like? The [DfE workload review](https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/reducing-school-workload) suggests marking should be: - meaningful - manageable - motivating The first two may seem a little contradictory, but it is possible to provide meaningful yet manageable marking for students. ‘Deep marking’ or frequent marking isn’t always necessary. @TeacherToolkit has some great tips on reducing workload with marking, whilst ensuring it remains meaningful in his blog [13 Marking Workload Tips for Teachers](https://www.teachertoolkit.co.uk/2018/09/24/13-marking-workload-tips/). * * * * * **Related content** [Two easy ways for teacher feedback to improve pupil learning](https://www.lbq.org/Blog/teacher-feedback-improve-pupil-learning) [End of year science and maths quizzes](https://www.lbq.org/Blog/end-of-year-quizzes) [LbQ's Passport to secondary science](https://www.lbq.org/Blog/secondary-science-transition) [Why is LbQ feedback so effective?](https://www.lbq.org/Blog/lbq-feedback) _______ ###5. Appropriate, relevant, and directive feedback Feedback deserves a blog (maybe several) all of its own because it is so integral to the progression of students. But ensuring your feedback is appropriate, relevant and directive is a good place to start. Asking students further questions and digging into the nitty gritty is a great way to feed back. Equally, nudges at the point of misconception is a very great method of feedback that is sure to accelerate pupil progress. ### 6\. Identify gaps in learning Question level analysis off the back of assessments can be a great way to see where individual students are struggling and where there is perhaps a bigger, class-wide issue. ### 7\. Intervention Specific intervention with individual or small groups of pupils can help to close progress and attainment gaps in key areas of study. Schools and teachers must consider what can be reasonably achieved given the staffing available. Strategic planning and baseline assessments can ensure intervention is effective. How can Learning by Questions accelerate pupil progress? -------------------------------------------------------- The biggest issue in ensuring accelerated pupil progress is, the strategies that have the biggest impact are often the most labour intensive. With teacher workloads soaring as they are, other solutions have to be found. Enter Learning by Questions. ### Feedback at the point of misconception We go on about feedback a lot, but that’s because it’s so great at helping to progress students! Feedback on Learning by Questions is written by teachers, who understand the most common misconceptions of students, and it is provided at the moment of misconception. It’s one of the best features of Learning by Questions - and it’s what sets us apart from the rest. Pupils answer a question, and each answer is given its own, personalised feedback. A further question, a nudge, or short explanation - whatever the feedback, you don’t have to be there to give it and the student gets to have multiple gos. ### Data, data, data As students move through questions that you have set for them, you can see which students are struggling, which questions are stumping the whole class, or which group of students need you to go and provide extra support to. Our Results Matrix provides a visual representation of the progress your students are making through the task you have set for them, meaning you can intervene in the lesson with the students who need you the most. Your time is optimised. On top of that, you can use the data beyond the lesson. Look back over it, see progress over medium and long term periods of time and use it to inform planning, setting, progress meetings, or even parents’ evenings. ### Thousands of quality resources at your fingertips We pride ourselves on the great quality questions (and feedback!) available on our platform. But don’t let us tell you… _Learning by Questions gives you that essential respite at the real pinch points in the year. You know the questions and feedback will be good, so it gives you the confidence that what the pupils get will be good. It gives me breathing space to focus on exam classes when they really need it, but know that every pupil is getting challenged and supported to suit their needs._ **Dr Zoe Saunders, Queen Elizabeth Grammar School** Sold? Well, you can try Learning by Questions for free with our 14-day trial or 6-week trial. Find out more [here](https://www.lbq.org/trylbq).