![alt text](/filestore/BlogImage/f8c1935e-95aa-4e41-9ebe-830876637cb8/cda947d5-663d-40b6-879a-9c7cbca5f5d5Gettingthebasicsrightblogimage.jpg "Safina") We spoke to recently qualified teacher (RQT) of English, Safina Hussain of [Bowland High School](https://bowland.atctrust.org.uk/) about what the realities of teaching secondary English is like as a new teacher and how Learning by Questions has helped her students get the basics right. The first thing to say about Safina is that the passion she has for English is undeniable. When asked about her feelings for the subject, she simply replied, “It’s my life.” Teachers like Safina are in decline, with many new teachers leaving the profession within the first five years. But Safina is pretty sure of her choice of career, “I’m so passionate about literature; my students find it humorous. Texts provide a valuable life lesson, which interests them and at times provides an emotive response from pupils, opening up areas for discussion.” Safina works in an ‘Outstanding’ school. Bowland High received the accolade from Ofsted in 2016. The school continues to work hard to maintain the high standards noted in 2016. Safina works in an English department that achieved an 89% standard pass rate in 2018; the pressure is on. But Safina is not to be put off. Her 2018 GCSE results included a large proportion of Level 9s and her students make good progress. She has used Learning by Questions since her NQT year and believes in the benefits it has for her students. “LbQ is pretty amazing. It’s an exciting new way to engage students, especially those cheeky, tricky boys we all experience in the classroom.” She uses the lesson matrix to monitor the progress of her students in the lesson, but she also uses it as a way to engage students in their own learning, “Pupils are actively engaging in their own progression. They see it as a competition and I am able to easily see how they are developing. It’s win, win.” Learning by Questions has Question Sets for all of Key Stage 3. “The grammar Question Sets for KS3 are great to use to prepare year 8 and 9 pupils for the GCSE exams. Not only does it mix it up for the students, but LbQ highlights issues with some of the basics that I have missed or underestimated. It helps them recognise their own areas of strength and weakness as well, meaning they can take leadership in their own learning.” Learning by Questions has Question Sets aimed at KS3 that cover grammar elements such as [determiners](https://www.lbq.org/Questions/UserQuestionSetPreview/Determiners-), [tenses](https://www.lbq.org/Questions/UserQuestionSetPreview/Past-Present-and-Future-Tenses) and [clause revision](https://www.lbq.org/Questions/UserQuestionSetPreview/Revising-Clauses47732be5-0921-485e-b373-c684caaa037e): all elements needed to effectively tackle the GCSE Language papers. “What I like about Learning by Questions is that it can be used alongside the resources and lessons I already use. It doesn’t replace what you already have, but effectively works alongside. It provides differentiation for lessons, whilst studying challenging literature.” If you’re interested in what Learning by Questions can offer your classroom and students, [open a free account](https://www.lbq.org/TryLbQ) with us and start using this revolutionary ed-tech today!