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Denmark Road High School

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How Will Teachers Keep Learning Active in Lessons?

Our focus on active rather than passive learning remains. As a reminder, this is what Active learning looks like:


Active:  This is where a student receives regular, responsive feedback during a learning episode, so they can learn to take responsibility for how they learn whilst being guided by us. By checking for understanding regularly and ensuring our lessons are highly interactive, we are able to responsively plan our next steps. The feedback we gather needs to inform us of students’ confidence, fluency and accuracy of their progress.


Active students are leaders of their own learning. Active students are resources for each other.


Whilst we will have classrooms which are structured in a more traditional ‘chalk and talk’ fashion and we may not circulate, there are ways to still engage learners.

Below are examples of Active vs Passive strategies your teachers may try:

Instead of


Marking essays or questions outside of lessons

  • Live marking
  • Using the HUE cameras
  • Using low stakes testing, such as multiple-choice tests as a starter or summary exercise that elicits past knowledge (interleaving) as well as current
  • Using paired quizzing – students prepare retrieval questions based on last year/last term/last week and test each other. They become responsible for taking control and monitoring their own learning

Copying chunks of text

  • Having key terminology and extracts prepared so that class and peer discussions can happen quickly
  • Using ideas from Pixl Revisit to read text from books/sources then reproduce notes/diagrams in different formats (dual coding)

Asking one student for a response to a question

  • Asking 2 – 4 students or utilising mini whiteboards to check the consensus on whole class understanding before moving on with a lesson
  • Think/Pair/Share

Just using questions from a textbook/worksheet in the order given

  • Planned questions to steer discussions and progress clearly and explicitly
  • Knowing the difference between ‘intelligent practice’ – being able to apply the knowledge being taught and ‘fluency practice’ – opportunities to consolidate and retrieve.

Always give tight learning objectives

  • Students should always be thinking hard! Where appropriate, teachers will use goal-free, problem solving tasks that encourages students to be critical, research and make choices to find a possible solution. 



Additionally, both students and teachers have learnt to utilise technology efficiently to learn in the classroom during lockdowns. Students will continue to utilise these skills (such as google chat, online whiteboards and quizzes) as we continue to follow government guidelines regarding social distancing.