Visible NQTs – session 5 – Language of Learning

Developing the language of learning

Fresh from a week off we met with NQTs this week, we focussed on the language of learning and developing the dispositions for learning. We did something slightly different this time and it seemed to work well. NQTs had been given one of two articles to read in preparation for the session – one by Guy Claxton and one by Costa & Kallik. We started the session by having them create a mindmap based on their prior knowledge, their reading and experiences. This task seemed to engage and focus the group well and there was a lot of high quality dialogue – this is definitely worth using in the future.


Processed with MoldivProcessed with Moldiv

As with other sessions we include practitioners who are able to share their practice as NQTs value this and it helps us make the connection between theory and practice more visible. Primary NQTs heard from Pauline Mckay from Cuiken Primary School and their whole school approach to developing a language of learning. One of the things that struck me about their approach was how strong the role of learner voice is. We also had Andrea Berry from Roslin Primary join us and share their journey of developing metacognition across the school and reflecting on how knowing more about visible learning is helping them embed this approach for greater impact. Their PowerPoints are available below.

Roslin Primary School

Cuiken Primary School

Greg Coburn from Dalkeith High Shool shared his experience of developing the language of learning within his subject area of PE and emphasised the importance of teaching for the transfer of their skills through meta-cognition. Greg’s PowerPoint is available below.

Dalkeith High School

Secondary NQTs also did a short exercise in which they brainstormed the skills they teach in their subject areas, we then mixed up the groups and circled all the skills that they teach in other areas. It goes without saying that there was a significant amount of overlap, which highlights the importance of developing a shared language of learning and using this across all areas of learning.

group work

Due to a slight mix up the date of the final session needs to be re-arranged and we will get details out as soon as possible. In the meantime we have asked NQTs to do the following:

  • Share and discuss your mind-map with your supporter.
  • Revisit ‘what makes a good learner?’ with your class.
  • Discuss your findings with your supporter and consider what you can do to have a greater impact for your pupils.
  • Bring your findings and reflections to the next session.

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