Classroom Interventions

A collection of evidence-based teaching and learning activities designed to expedite growth for looked-after children, as well as how foster caregivers may assist.

What for Children Looked After Works?

This part addresses Virtual School Heads' concerns that there is very little knowledge on 'what works' to improve educational results for looked-after children. Children who have been cared for have typically had disrupted school experiences for several reasons, and their development must be hastened so that learning gaps may be filled and they can achieve academic success comparable to their peers.

The recommendations presented here are based on substantial research undertaken by the Sutton Trust and Educational Endowment Fund into the influence of various teaching and learning practices on the achievement of disadvantaged pupils. The effectiveness of these interventions, particularly for looked-after children, has not been extensively explored, but the tactics listed below were shown to have the highest impact in terms of quicker development and better attainment for vulnerable and disadvantaged learners.

The six tactics are as follows:

The school's situation will determine the ways to develop. While extremely beneficial for looked-after children, all of these tactics are likely to need whole-school implementation and leadership rather than being utilized solely with those children. When these measures are successfully applied, children in care are more likely to make progress, leading to increased achievement and, eventually, better educational outcomes.

The final piece discusses how schools might collaborate with foster carers to enhance outcomes for children in care. Foster Carer involvement should not be seen as a "add-on" or "optional bonus." Schools should prioritize the involvement of Foster Carers in all efforts to help children in care. Any initiatives that schools establish for looked-after children should specify how Foster Carers will be actively engaged to guarantee the strategy's success.

Self-regulation And Metacognition

Metacognition and self-regulation are sometimes referred to as 'learning to learn' tactics. Pupils are given particular tools for establishing objectives, tracking progress, and assessing their learning.

Taylor (1999) described metacognition as:

Zimmerman (2000) recognized three cyclical periods of self-regulation:

Forethought And Planning

Performance And Monitoring

Performance Evaluation

There are several approaches for implementing metacognition and self-regulation in the classroom. Alite and Alistair Smith propose one cycle for developing these metacognitive and self-regulation skills (2007).

Phase of Connection

Phase of connection refers to linking what has previously been learned and what is already known.



Demonstration Phase

The demonstration phase allows learners to 'show what they know.' This step generates a loop with the activation phase.



Consolidation Phase

The Consolidation Phase reflecting on what was learned and how it was learned.



Collaborative Learning

Collaborative learning activities are tasks that are structured to be completed by groups of pupils. They are frequently posed as issues of sorting and organizing data. These exercises aim for pupils to think and discuss together to investigate and comprehend the nature of the topic matter. Pupils are therefore assisted in activating their prior knowledge and experience and forming connections with the new knowledge they are receiving.

Collaborative learning activities motivate pupils to do the following:

Teachers must:

One of the primary goals of collaborative learning activities is to encourage pupils to communicate vocally with one another. The items act as catalysts, encouraging pupils to converse on the specific topic matter. The activity and materials must be sufficiently hard to do this. If the work is too simple, no thinking is required to execute it, hence no need to 'speak' about the subject.

Cooke (2005) distinguishes three major forms of activity that are particularly conducive to collaborative learning. Some of them are discussed more below.

Activities That Fill Information Gaps

Information gap activities occur when a pupil possesses some information that other pupils require and requires input from other pupils.

These are some examples:

Activities to Organize Information

These exercises often include pupils organizing information in various ways. Matching, Sequencing, Sorting, Rank ordering, or a mix of these methods can be used to organize information.

Sequencing is the practice of exploring issues using a timeline, action strip, life cycle, or flow chart, such as events leading up to WWI, how milk is made, or the carbon cycle.

The principal areas and cities of the Weimar Republic, as well as the rts of the eye and their functions.

Sorting - using spider diagrams, branching, and tables to investigate issues such as quadrilateral qualities, settlement kinds, and vertebrae groupings.

Ranking - using target diagrams, rating charts, and diamond 9 activities, such as metal element reactivity, megacities' advantages, WW II's reasons, and what type of exercise boosts your pulse rate the most?

Effective Feedback

Feedback is information provided to the learner on their performance with respect to learning objectives. Pupil learning should improve as a result of effective feedback. However, some research has found that low-quality comments might have a detrimental impact. As a result, feedback must be properly designed in order to maximize learning gains.

Shute (2007) provides several suggestions for making feedback more effective. Some of these are listed below:

**Let the learner go first **- instruct the learner to evaluate their performance with respect to the specified goals and objectives.

Pay attention to the task, not the learner - Provide comments on particular areas of the learners' work regarding the assignment, along with ideas for improvement.

Feedback must be extremely explicit and specific - Connect feedback directly to goals, for example, you have identified four events that occur in a Gurdwara. Next, you must be able to explain why Sikhs value meal sharing.

Provide detailed comments in small chunks

Pay attention to learning rather than performance - Stress that effort enhances learning and that mistakes are an important part of the learning process.

After the pupil has attempted a solution, provide feedback - Allowing pupils to view solutions before they tackle the activity is counterproductive to learning, according to study.

Do not compare the pupil to other pupils - Feedback should be completely tailored to the requirements of the particular pupil, with no comparison to other pupils.

Avoid giving overall grades- Without offering an overall mark, feedback is most useful when it highlights areas of strength and provides information on how to improve.

Be cautious of excessive praise, but avoid being negative or critical - Remember that feedback should be directed on the task, not the learner. The term 'praise' refers to the pupil, not the work. Similarly, criticism or harsh feedback diverts focus away from the activity at hand.

Written feedback is more effective than spoken feedback because learners perceive it to be less biased and hence more accurate.

Feedback Timing

Quick feedbackallows for the correction of errors in real-time, resulting in more immediate benefits and more efficient learning. Use it for:

Delayed feedback is more effective when learning needs to be transferred (applied to a new setting). Use it for:


Homework is defined as assignments assigned to pupils by teachers to be accomplished outside of class time. The usefulness of homework has been extensively investigated, although mostly in regard to whether homework enhances school achievement. There is some evidence that homework is beneficial. Some studies have found that progress in classrooms where homework is assigned is greater than in equivalent classes where homework is not assigned. The advantages are bigger in secondary school than in elementary school.

Homework is most successful when it addresses content that has previously been taught. However, offering an assignment on the information presented the same day is not as successful as giving the assignment to review and reinforce abilities mastered in prior weeks and months. When used to teach complicated abilities, homework is less effective.

Good homework contains the following characteristics:

First, it includes detailed directions for pupils.

Ideas for Productive Homework

The American Federation of Teachers (2011) offers ideas for productive homework, which are summarized below:

1. Homework Schedule

Create a homework schedule that includes subjects and abilities such as:

2. Do Not Assign Homework

Assigning homework makes it:

3. Establish a Work Ethic for Homework

Create a common understanding that learning occurs inside and outside school and classrooms.

4. Plan Ahead of Time

So there is ample class time to offer precise guidance for the homework assignment and answer queries.

5. Resources at Home

Don't assume that all pupils have resources at home or in the community, as well as Parents and Caregivers who can help them with their homework. Ensure that all pupils have access to all materials needed to complete the homework assignment and that a clear explanation is given during the session and written directions.

6. Place for Homework Submission

Designate a specific area in the classroom for homework submission and collection.

7. Feedback

Discuss and provide feedback on any homework assignments pupils have turned in.

8. Caregivers Support

Encourage caregivers to support their children's homework efforts, but avoid assigning activities that are so difficult that they do the work for them or that cause friction at home as caregivers get concerned that the kid is failing or not concentrating in school.

9. Time Limitations

Consider suitable time limitations for homework assignments based on the lesson's goal. Some homework assignments may take more than one day to complete. If this is the case, provide specific instructions. Consider that other professors may be assigning homework with the same time constraints. A homework schedule for each child should minimize overburden.

10. Homework Standards

Develop, educate, and publicize homework standards and procedures to ensure pupils and caregivers understand them. When assignments are due, where they should be turned in, how to make up missing assignments, and any links between homework and class grades should be included.

1:1 Tuition

1:1 tuition is when a single youngster receives focused instruction. 1:1 tuition is frequently used to close literacy and numeracy deficits. This might happen during the school day or after school. According to research, one-on-one instruction is most successful when:

The Department for Education (DfE) has identified features of schools where one-to-one tuition has a strong impact. These are outlined below.

The Whole School Structure

Organization of 1:1 Tuition

Tuitional Characteristics

The Department of Education's one-to-one tuition guideline materials provides thorough instructions on executing one-to-one tuition.

Peer Tutoring

Peer tutoring entails pupils acting as academic tutors to other pupils. Typically, a high-achieving pupil teaches a low-achieving pupil.

There are several peer tutoring models available, including:

Class Wide Peer Tutoring (CWPT): divides the entire class into groups of two to five pupils of varying skill levels. Pupils can then serve as tutors, tutees, or both. CWPT methods are often highly organized. As a result, pupil groupings may alter throughout the program. Pupil pairs are determined by academic achievement or pupil compatibility.

Cross-age Peer Tutoring: Older pupils work with younger pupils to teach or review a skill. The roles of tutor and tutee remain unchanged.

Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS): In PALS, a variant of the CWPT paradigm, a teacher pairs pupils who need more instruction or assistance with a peer who can aid. Groups are adaptable and frequently switch between topic areas or skills. At certain periods, all pupils have the chance to be a tutor or tutee. In addition, pupils are often placed with other pupils who are at the same skill level as them, with no significant differences in ability.

Reciprocal Peer Tutoring (RPT): During each session, two or more pupils alternate between acting as tutor and tutee, spending equal time in each position. Higher-performing pupils are frequently matched with lower-performing pupils. RPT pupils may produce learning materials and are responsible for monitoring and assessing their classmates on the teacher-identified goals.

Same-age Peer Tutoring: Peers within one or two years of age are partnered to study crucial ideas. Pupils with equal aptitude levels may be matched, or a more advanced learner may be paired with a less advanced pupil. Pupils with similar abilities should have similar knowledge of the content and ideas. When pupils of different levels are paired, the roles of tutor and tutee can be switched, allowing the lower-performing pupil to quiz the higher-performing learner.

Putting Together a Successful Peer Tutoring Program

Jenkins and Jenkins (1987) highlight numerous factors contributing to good peer tutoring programs.

1. Systematic Tutor Training

Tutors must be trained in a variety of skills, including confirming accurate responses regularly, giving praise, giving constructive corrective feedback, positive verbal and nonverbal communication skills, and active listening skills, in addition to any specialized techniques, such as synthetic phonics.

2. a Highly Controlled And Meticulously Planned Lecture Format

Jenkins & Jenkins discovered that 90% of sessions might use the same structure while being extremely successful. This allows instructors to focus on becoming 'managers' of the peer tutoring program rather than devising new activities.

Class teachers should define the program's content in accordance with the school curriculum. Classroom performance should be used to assess pupils' achievement.

4. Employ a Mastery-based Methodology

Teachers should choose the program's material with caution. A skill is selected and taught daily in a mastery-based paradigm until the learner has mastered it.

5. Session Frequency And Length

According to research, daily sessions of roughly 30 minutes in duration are the most helpful.

6. Daily Assessment of Pupils' Progress

Tutors must be trained to assess performance both within and outside sessions. After each session, the tutor and tutee should review performance and set a goal for the following session. The manager of the peer tutoring program should then monitor these goals and provide comments on their quality. The program manager should also keep track of how well the objectives are met. Tutors should also collaborate with class instructors to examine evidence of success in class and work with teachers to alter peer tutoring aims.

Jenkins and Jenkins also provide additional helpful information, such as how to launch a peer tutoring program and how to recruit tutors. Starting small and identifying pupils who require more practice with important abilities appears to be the most successful strategy for long-term sustainability. In this regard, CLA is likely to be the perfect cohort to begin a program with. In terms of recruiting, teaching staff identification of potential tutors appears to be the most reliable.


Education Endowment Foundation (2014). Sutton Trust – EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit. London: Author. Available from

Peirce, W (2003). METACOGNITION: Study Strategies, Monitoring, and Motivation

Smith, A (2007) The learning classroom. Handbook from Alite Accelerated Learning course. Available from

Best, B (2003). Accelerated learning pocketbook. Hampshire: Teacher’s Pocketbooks

Barood, T (2012) Learning to learn pocketbook. Hampshire: Teacher’s Pocketbooks

A’Echevarria, A and Patience, I (2014) Teaching thinking pocketbook. Hampshire: Teacher’s Pocketbooks

Cooke, S (2005) Collaborative learning in the classroom. Leaflet, Nottingham EMAG service. Available from

O’Neill, G (2010) Teaching tool kit. Formative assessment: Practical ideas for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of feedback to students. Dublin: University College Dublin

Self, N (2014) Designing effective homework

Linsin, M (2010) A simple, effective homework plan for teachers. Available from:

Spencer, T (2014). Practice and homework: effective teaching strategies. Available from:

Cambridgeshire County Council (2014) A pupil premium handbook. Available from:

Jenkins, J, and Jenkins L (1987) Making peer tutoring work. Available from:

Harris, A and Goodall, J (2007). Engaging parents in raising achievement: Do parents know they matter? Nottingham: Author. Available from:

DCSF (2010) One to one tuition: parent and carer leaflet. Nottingham: Author. Available from:

Lucas, B and Smith, A (2009). Help your child to succeed: The essential guide for parents. 2nd Edition. London: Continuum International Publishing Group

The research of Harris and Goodall (2007) did not single out Foster Carers, and so the research summary presented here is more generic: hence use of the phrase “carer” rather than “Foster Carer”