Tanglin Edu Vol. 5

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TANGLIN EDU VOL. 5 | AUGUST 2022 SHARING BEST PRACTICES AND RESEARCH FROM TANGLIN TRUST SCHOOL AND AROUND THE WORLD Fostering Metacognition Learning to Learn in Middle School: A Renewed Approach to Homework Questioning to Engage Students in Productive Thinking

Verity Goodliffe (Assistant Head of English Faculty, Senior School) writes on questioning as part of her recent work on the Chartered Teacher Programme. This is a great example of a teacher striving to improve her practice by honing a specific skill (in this instance, questioning) and using a rigorous, researchbased system in order to monitor and evaluate any progress made.

Simone Dixon (Head of Mathematics, Junior School) writes on her recent exploration of Metacognition, or the innate ‘inner voice’ of students that allows them to better monitor and control their own thinking when problem-solving. Good metacognition skills W elcome to the fifth edition of Tanglin Edu! We hope that you enjoy reading this publication, much of which we believe exemplifies key strategic aims of the school. Contained within are many examples of excellent action research projects ran by teachers striving to be their Personal Best and we hope that these examples will inspire other staff members to initiate their own research projects, with support from The Institute. There are also several examples of colleagues building on links with educational organisations e.g. the continued work with the Institute of Education on the NPQML and NPQSL qualifications or projects that support staff on their quest to become Chartered Teachers with the Chartered College of Teaching. Building such links with external organisations is at the heart of what it means to be Team Tanglin and, again, we hope that The Institute can assist you if you are seeking to establish any new relationships with external organisations.

Naturally, the focus of what Tanglin teachers conduct research on relates to classroom practice and how to maximise the efficiency of learning both in and outside the classroom. Hence, in today’s publication, we have four articles that we would broadly categorise under the school’s strategic aim of Inspired Learners: Claire Russell (Deputy Head Academic, Senior School) writes about Learning to Learn. This initiative will be launched in August 2023 with Knowledge Organisers and Retrieval Practice as the focus of homework across all subjects in the Middle School and has close links to how the 3-14 curriculum is being implemented in Senior School.

have been shown to have a huge impact on student achievement both in and beyond school. Again, Simone wrote this as part of the Chartered Teacher Finally,Programme.

Two articles go on to explore issues closely related to student academic performance but which, as they touch upon elements of emotional wellbeing and self-regulation, would be classified under the aim of Flourishing Individuals:

Michelle Durant and Hayley Livermore (Learning Support, Junior School), in a similar vein, write about The Zones of Regulation, a framework for teaching students a set of skills that build an awareness of how they feel, what their triggers are and how to create a range of tools to help them stay in an optimal zone for learning. The basis of framework is based on the recognition that we all fluctuate in our ability to self-regulate but that the more conscious we are of this, the better we are able to respond in times when we are less regulated.

Emma Cottrell (Assistant Head of Year 6, Junior School) writes about Conscious Discipline, a research-driven approach to understanding different behaviours. Taught through 7 key areas or skills - composure, assertiveness, connection, encouragement, choice, empathy, positive intent and consequences - a Junior School behavioural working party decided to trial this approach in order to encourage the teaching of consistent behaviours and the embedding of positive routines and rituals across the school.

Finally, Mhairi Aluthge-Donna (Assistant Head of Business and Economics, Senior School), gives an example of how Tanglin is investing in Our People through the NPQML/SL programmes. She writes of how the different projects this year fascinate her and how inspiring it is to see a variety of school improvement projects in such a broad array of contexts. This year alone colleagues are delivering projects related to study skills, neurodiversity, enquiry-based curriculum, coaching culture and the implementation of various new pedagogical practices across schools and phases.

Andrew Hailey (Director of Aquatics) makes a foray into the philosophical foundations underpinning traditional and alternative approaches to coaching, asking whether methods that encourage athletes to see themselves as ‘of this world’ as opposed to ‘on it’ may lead to more students being motivated to achieve their Personal Best, rather than a select few.

Sophie Chalmers (Geography Specialist) writes on how she trialled a new formative feedback mechanism in the Middle School in order to combat assessment-induced anxiety and student incomprehension of the assessment process. The initiative centred around the unpacking of the assessment criteria and making the thinking behind the feedback process more visible to students.

Evidence-Based Practice

By Sophie SpecialistGeographyChalmers, A cross KS3 Geography, students carry out a range of exciting and relevant formative assessments, focusing on issues at both local and global scales, assessing a variety of skills. These range from sustainable sailing trips around the Great Barrier reef; evaluating the impacts of constructing new MRT lines through Singapore’s remaining primary rainforest; expeditions to extreme environments and more. Each project aims not only to ignite students’ passion and interest in the world around them, but also to develop essential critical and analytical thinking skills, knowledge and understanding leading to greater independence over the course of Years 7, 8 and 9. However, an unfortunate, yet common theme, across KS3 is the inherent anxiety that some students seem to have whenever the word ‘assessment’ is uttered. I believe part of this fear stems from a lack of effective feedback, as well as students understanding of the assessment process. What effective feedback does Feedback is most effective when students have a clear idea of the expected outcome of an assessment and know what they are working towards. Clarifying the success criteria gives learners a goal to work towards and gives them space to think, structure their ideas and demonstrate relevant skills in a more coherent way. Effective feedback also requires learners to be able to comprehend the feedback they receive, both throughout the learning process and at the end of the task. This allows them to adjust their work along the way, encouraging self-regulation and reflection, as well as developing an understanding of where their strengths and areas for improvement lie. Lastly the teacher needs to be able to reflect on the effectiveness of the instructions given through discussions with students and colleagues to make appropriate adjustments to the assessment and/or their delivery of it (Hattie, 2012). Processes such as these make thinking visible throughout the learning process, giving the teacher a clearer idea of what students understand and what they do not.

Over the past two years I have been working on integrating strategies into the classroom that help develop more effective feedback practices. These aim to take the fear of assessment and build up student confidence and independence in their approach to different formative projects. This has primarily been done through collaboratively unpacking the success criteria for different projects in class. Each project has a tailored rubric that outlines the specific tasks and the skills that they aim to assess. Students are encouraged to interpret each criterion and put it into their own words, ask questions, imagine what it would look like, and how they can demonstrate that criteria in their work by sketching our plans and relevant diagrams. This activity encourages greater interaction with the rubrics and furthers self-regulation and reflection throughout the learning process. Students can use their ideas as a checklist to ensure that they have fully addressed each part of the task. At the end of the assessment, they can then compare their own interpretation

Here are some examples across Tanglin where teachers are engaging with research to inform their practice, and trialling new and exciting changes to positively impact student outcomes. Improving feedback in KS3 Geography

Feedback strategies

1. Making thinking visible

of their success with the teacher’s feedback and reflect on the outcome of the assessment more meaningfully.

overall presentation of their work and referencing. Student reflections after the completion of the task have also been more insightful and have clearly highlighted the areas that they need to work on moving forward. This strategy has been adopted by teachers of KS3 Geography. Not only has it provided clear aims for each formative assessment that uses a rubric, but it has also facilitated greater standardisation across classes with regards to expectations and outcomes.

Collaborative conversations

KS3 teachers have observed that this activity has reduced the stress and fear that students associate with the assessment process and given them clear targets to work towards moving forwards. Effectiveness across KS3 Geography Having carried this out with multiple classes, I have noticed that students are more willing to clarify their doubts and question the task that they need to complete. It has also allowed me to help guide students through the process more effectively by encouraging self-regulation through simple questioning in class and directing students back to the success criteria that they have spent time unpacking. Greater consideration has been put into how they demonstrate the skills that they are being assessed on, as well as other transferrable skills such as the

Developing an effective feedback strategy is an iterative process that can take time to develop. Each project sheds light on what can be done to further improve this feedback cycle through collaborative conversations with colleagues, multiple inadequate glances and interactions with students. Although a timeconsuming process at first, the activity has proved to be incredibly valuable. Listening to conversations between students on the different success criteria was extremely useful as it highlighted specific issues with the rubrics that had previously been Foroverlooked.example, the initial rubric used some language that was inaccessible to students. They were also struggling to identify the key words in the success criteria, so certain words were emboldened to help with this. To avoid them focusing on a numerical result/ quantifying their attainment we used words as descriptions for each level (outstanding/excellent/ good etc.). Building this activity into the assessment process has allowed students to develop a deeper understanding of what they need to do and set them clear goals to aim for when carrying out their work. It increases their independence as they approach subsequent assessments.

Above: Improving feedback in KS3 Geography

3. Know thy impact- teaching, learning and leading https://thelearningexchange.ca/wppdfImpact-Teaching-Learning-and-Leading.content/uploads/2017/04/Know-Thy■


2. Know thy impact (Hattie, 2012) num01/Know-Thy-Impact.aspxeducational-leadership/sept12/vol70/http://www.ascd.org/publications/(abstract only)

Further reading

Approaches to learning

In my role, I am responsible for the quality of teaching, learning and assessment in the Senior School. In a school as large as Tanglin, I see part of that responsibility as ensuring consistency of experience for all students. It came to light this year that we were not, as a Senior School, always managing consistency across and within subjects with regards to homework in the Middle School, and so it was clear this was something we needed to consider. At the same time, in Term 2, many of our older students in the Upper School and Sixth Form were completing mock examinations, and it was clear that some of these older students were still struggling with the necessary independent study skills for success in examinations.

Middle School homework is a chance to explicitly teach students these independent study skills early on, and to embed them as part of their repertoire of learning strategies so that as students graduate from our Middle School into the Upper School, they are ready and equipped to tackle the challenge of formal examinations that these later school years bring. After talking further with Joe, the idea of ‘Learning to Learn’ was born; a name which we feel conveys what the initiative is really about. Put simply, ‘Learning to Learn’ is about the explicit teaching of a variety of independent study skills through the curriculum, with opportunities to practise these skills embedded by homework tasks.

Following a conversation with Joe Loader, our Head of IB, it also seemed clear that what we were really talking about were the IB Approaches to Learning. To me, all these things were linked, and I spied an opportunity.

By Claire Russell, Deputy (Academic),Head Senior School

Instead of using a scattergun approach to teaching the necessary skills for learning though, we felt that a more coherent approach would work better so we will be launching the initiative in August 2023 with Knowledge Organisers and Retrieval Practice as the focus of homework across all subjects in the Middle School. We have started to consider how this might look in different subjects and how we can also incorporate the “Sticky Knowledge” of our 3-14 curriculum into these Knowledge Organisers. In time, we aim to move on to other key learning strategies, such as note-taking and summarising, but our first focus will be Knowledge Organisers and Retrieval. Doing the research There were two areas of research that we needed to investigate before arriving at a proposal that we thought would address our concerns as outlined above; one was homework, and the other was study skills. Two texts, in particular, were immensely helpful; they really helped to shape our thinking and also gave us the confidence that what we wanted to do would work!

Learning to Learn in the Middle School: a renewed approach to homework

The first was The Revision Revolution by Helen Howell and Ross Morrison McGill, which is essentially a stepby-step guide to building a culture of effective study in a school. Helen Howell writes about her own experience of leading this in her school, so she is able to outline the potential pitfalls, the steps to take to gradually build this culture, and the important role that homework has to play in effectively teaching study skills to students. This text draws on all sorts of research in the field, including Tom Needham’s research into retrieval quizzes, Paul Kirshner’s work on backwards fading, David Didau’s work on curriculum, as well as Bjork and Bjork on desirable difficulties. Next, we read Homework with Impact by Andrew B Jones, which makes a very convincing case for setting homework that allows students to practise the study skills we want to teach them. Jones cites a study by Cooper (1989) where it is found that practice and preparation tasks have a clear positive impact on immediate and delayed achievement Inmeasures.thisstudy, pupils who included practice and preparation tasks alongside other tasks outperformed their peers by 54% (Hallam and Rogers, 2018). Jones also draws on research by Dunlosky et al (2013) which shows that practice testing is the most effective learning strategy of all. Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction (2012) also recommended that students practise short reviews of previous learning, checking understanding through questioning.

Putting into action As this initiative is very much in its infancy, I would love to write a follow up article in a year’s time to look at the impact so far. As with any change or intended improvement, we need to see this year as a pilot, and to periodically pause to reflect and monitor the impact. No doubt it will take time to embed, but we are excited about the possibilities! As we move forward with this, our subject leaders will be the people who can really explain how ‘Learning to Learn’ works in their subjects. For now, Joe Loader or I will be more than happy to talk with colleagues from across all three schools if you have an interest in how it will work and the guiding principles behind it.

By Simone Dixon, Head of Mathematics, Junior School Fostering Metacognition

I worked with a group of highattaining Year 6 students on how to approach maths investigations and produce an accompanying report. Beforehand, they were given a cold task, which provided me with an insight of their prior knowledge and helped me pitch the level of challenge. In general, their attempts showed good knowledge of how to find the nth term for a linear sequence, but they were lacking in the requirement to provide a clear explanation of how they explored the task.

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF, 2020) reports metacognition as their second most impactful intervention (behind feedback). To develop as reflective, metacognitive learners, students need to experience the same strategies being used frequently across many lessons in order to internalise, emulate and independently apply them.

Despite this dissent over defining metacognition, the strong evidence base suggests students who are taught to use metacognitive strategies are more successful in school and their later lives. When honed, the innate ‘inner voice’ acts as a teacher within students.

On my journey towards Chartered Teacher Status, I have been exploring metacognition in maths in order to develop critical thinking. Metacognition refers to one’s own monitoring and controlling of their thought processes. Most of us do this daily (consciously or unconsciously), yet I realised through a self-assessment that there was much to learn about the theory and its application in the classroom.

Using strategiesmetacognitivesuccessfully

Real world application I did the latter with Junior students by playing a few rounds of tic-tactoe. After the games, we discussed how they drew on their previous experiences of the game and monitored, adapted and evaluated their strategies after their opponent’s moves. I found this to be a quick yet effective way of introducing and defining ‘metacognition’.

Metacognitive regulation refers to approaches taken to plan, monitor and evaluate when carrying out a task. Metacognitive motivation relates to the extent to which one wishes to perform a task.

Recommendations for best practice include explicitly modelling to students how to plan, monitor and evaluate learning, promoting metacognitive talk, encouraging learners to seek connections between previous and new problems, setting an appropriate challenge level to evoke motivation and informing students about the value of the theory (Hattie, 2012; Coe et. al., 2019; EEF, 2018).

For example, before declaring that they are stuck during a task, a metacognitive learner will consider why they are stuck and what they may need to progress. Metacognition has three key concepts (Webb, 2021). Metacognitive knowledge involves one’s considerations of the knowledge they hold about a task, their knowledge of strategies to succeed and their knowledge of themselves as a learner.

The term ‘metacognition’ was first used by Flavell in 1976 who defined it as the active monitoring and regulation of cognitive processes or ‘thinking about thinking’ (Hattie, 2012, and EEF, 2020). More recently, emerging theories of self-regulation and self-regulated learning have become entangled with metacognition, with the three terms often used interchangeably.

Dinsmore et. al. (2008) investigated the variance in definitions and measures in studies that relate these theories to academic learning, finding many overlaps. Furthermore, he found only 49% of the published research over a 5-year period (2001 - 2006) provided a definition of metacognition. As a result, critically reviewing literature on metacognition can prove challenging.

References: I displayed the task they had completed under a visualiser whilst narrating my thoughts to model how drawing on my preexisting knowledge and awareness supported me in my planning for the task. I scripted and practised this prior to the lesson in an attempt to be as explicit as I could, removing any guesswork for children about my approach. For example: ‘Which diagrams do I know, and which would be best for this task? I have seen and used tables before to help identify patterns. How might I show a clear diagram? Using labels would be useful because it would make clear what is being represented.’

Pairs were then given two full solutions to the task and asked to explain which they believed was the better response and why. Their responses showed a shift from what they previously felt constituted a clear explanation and there were attempts to link their thoughts and comments back to those I had modelled.

Progress was more noticeable in the next lesson when students were given another investigation to work on in small groups. They began by articulating their thoughts on the knowledge they felt they had about the task, underlining and rephrasing key aspects as they read it. Students were heard discussing possible strategies and debating the most appropriate. Their conversations demonstrated greater awareness of how to plan for success and one group put a student in charge of monitoring/checking their responses as they progressed through the investigation. Whilst this was not an entirely new strategy for me, my research-informed approach on this occasion had far greater rigour.

Since metacognition is an internal action, it can be difficult to identify and assess progress. I encouraged pair and group discussion in order to reduce this barrier; learning journals are also recommended by experts for this purpose. Seeing it in action Teaching students to be metacognitive learners takes time. The Junior maths team is in the process of refining our framework for teaching problem solving and exploring the best metacognitive approaches to support this. I would be pleased to meet with anybody who would like to discuss this more.

Being on this world is the position taken by a dualistic, Cartesian viewpoint. Being that the mind and body are separate. Without going into the depths of dualism we can pick out the important areas that effect teaching.

2. Movement skills are broken down or simplified into key components of a skill for learning, as performing an optimal movement pattern is often beyond the reach of children who are in the early stage of learning a skill.

1. There is a correct optimal movement pattern for each fundamental movement skill.

Astrange question to ask, but one that has serious implications on how we view the world. Answering this question impacts how teachers and coaches might adopt different philosophical and pedagogical approaches. Woods et al (2020) explain how from a learning standpoint, skilled athletes have a strong understanding ‘of’ their environments rather than just ‘about’ it. However, even though this is understood, the way in which practices are designed adopt a heavy knowledge ‘about’ our world approach. This is because traditional thinking places us ‘on’ this earth and not ‘of’ it.

3. Movement variability (or error) is viewed as noise in the system, which the child must reduce in their quest toward mastery of a skill.

By Andy Hailey, Director Swimmingof Are We On or Of This World?

From this position certain motor learning theories became dominant, in the form of certain behaviourism and cognitive theory frameworks. Most prominent of these was information processing (IP) (Proctor & Chong 2020). Information processing

A dominant metaphor within IP is the comparison of the human brain to a computer that is in control of the processing of the perceptions from the environment, whereby the mind is an information processing hard drive, and a major assumption is that biological nervous systems operate in the same way as robotic or engineering control systems (Hristovski et al., 2012; Davids 2012). In summary, Rudd et al (2021) distill the links between IP and pedagogical practice into four principles:

From these four points, a picture of what coaches build their models of practice on is evident and it is from here a traditional approach can make links between practice design and theory. This traditional approach is very hierarchal/top down heavy, usually placing the teacher/coach as a god like knowledge giver teaching ‘about’ the world around us. In contrast, Woods et al (2020) explain a more monistic viewpoint, in that the mind and body are in fact one. Rudd et al (2021) explain that from a cognitive position the influence of the

4. Focus of attention when performing a movement skill can be implicit or explicit and is dependent on what stage of learning a child is currently at.

the largest expanse of water on the planet. Knowledge about this skill would not be able to teach the unexplainable connections these sailors developed; they would instead be left able to explain the concepts without being able to achieve the same outcomes. Knowledge of and being of this world look to seek a more ecological interaction with our environment. Approaches to teaching therefore could use this concept and outlook to reflect on practice designs to support more implicit learning through an appreciation of the learning that happens between the learner and the environment.

A good example comes from the wayfinders from Polynesian cultures. These sailors and navigators had extremely high levels of the knowledge of their world, using the feel of currents and reading of stars to navigate through

environment is downplayed and that it is between the individual and the environment that learning is supported through a process called perceptionaction coupling, causing individuals to self-organise and adapt. Through this interaction and self-organising process, learners develop implicit knowledge of the world (Woods et al 2020).

References 1. Araújo, D., Davids, K., & Hristovski, R. (2006). “The ecological dynamics of decision making in sport”. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 7(6), 653–676. learningapproachButton,2.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2006.07.002Chow,J.Y.,Lee,M.C.Y.,Komar,J.,Tan,C.W.K.,&C.(2014).“Nonlinearpedagogy:Aneffectivetocaterforindividualdifferencesinasportsskill”.

PLoS ONE, 9(8). ReferenceLearningin3.https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0104744Davids,K.(2012).“PrinciplesofMotorLearningEcologicalDynamicsAcommentonFunctionsofandtheAcquisitionofMotorSkills(WithtoSport)”. The Open Sports Sciences Journal, 5(1), 113–117. V.,4.https://doi.org/10.2174/1875399x0120501013Hristovski,R.,Balagué,N.,Daskalovski,B.,Zivkovic,Aleksovska-Velickovska,L.,Naumovski,M(2012).

5. Masters, R., Farrow, J. Baker, & C. MacMahon. (2008). “Skill learning the implicit way—Say no more!” InD. Developing sport expertise: Researchers and coaches put theory into practice (pp. 111–125). Routledge.

Contemporary methodologies are argued to support the athlete’s implicit learning, and the ability to self-organise, self-regulate and improve decision making whilst under pressure (Araújo et al., 2006; Hristovski et al., 2012; Masters et al., 2008; Raposso et al., 2014). This is achieved using a more non-linear and inclusive approach to practice design (Chow et al 2014). Non-linear learning Approaches that use more emphasis on guided or discovery learning support implicit learning because of the opportunity for learning to emerge, which allows the learner to build stories of the world around them and become attuned. Thus, developing the knowledge ‘of’ our world and not just ‘about’ it. What has been seen as error is supported to be explored, within the realms of error we can appreciate how learning takes place. With error, learners can build relationships with what worked and what did not. Understanding what no feels like is needed to know what yes feels like and vice versa.

6. Raposo, F., Calderia, P., Batalau, R., Araujo, A., Silva, M. (2019) “Self-Determination Theory and Nonlinear Pedagogy: An Approach to Exercise Professionals’ Strategies on Autonomous Motivation”. Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Lusófona University of Humanities and Technology (Portugal). CIPER, Faculty of Human Kinetics, Lisbon University, (Portugal) ISSN: Edición impresa: 15791726. Edición Web: 1988-2041 7. Rudd, J., Foulkes, J., O’Sullivan, M., Woods, C., (2021) “A ‘Fundamental’ Myth of Movement with a ‘Functional’ solution”.

On the same level The true power in learning comes through guiding students through a concept called Wayfinding (Woods et al 2020). Wayfinding places the teacher and the learner level with each other in a bi-directional relationship. Traditional approaches seek to limit error and in print ‘perfect’ models of practice onto the learner, usually removing opportunity to explore because of the interventions made to reduce error, thus reducing the opportunity for learners to couple with the environment. Whereas a teacher who supports exploration and wayfinding uses the power of what’s available in the environment for the learner to find their own way, which places the learner at the centre. A fundamental error in traditional approaches is believing we have a perfect way to do something. This idea of having ready-made models disregards the complexities of individuality and has been linked to the causes of demotivation and drop out in sport because of the reduction in opportunities on offer to learners (Moulds et al 2022). What works for one person cannot be proven to work for everyone.

“Linear and nonlinear complex systems approach to sports. Explanatory differences and applications.” Research in Physical Education, Sport and Health. Pages 25-29

8. Proctor, R., & Chong, I. (2020). “Parallel Development of James J. Gibson’s Ecological and Paul M. Fitts’s Information Processing Approaches to Perception and Performance”. The American Journal of Psychology, 133(1), 89-106. doi:10.5406/ 9.amerjpsyc.133.1.0089Woods,C.T.,Rudd,J., Robertson, S. and Davids, K. (2020) “Wayfinding: how ecological perspectives of navigating dynamic environments can enrich our understanding of the learner and the learning process in sport”. Sports Medicine-Open, v.6 (1), pp.1-11.

By Emma Cottrell, Assistant Head of Year 6, Junior School A Conscious Approach to Discipline

Below: How does a Conscious Discipline model look here at Tanglin?

What is Conscious Discipline? Conscious Discipline was developed in the USA by Dr Becky Bailey (an ex-teacher). Based on scientific and developmental research it aims to educate adults and children on the understanding of behaviours linked to brain science with the results of creating independent, self-regulated and intrinsically motivated individuals. These are all taught through 7 key areas or skills: composure, assertiveness, connection, encouragement, choice, empathy, positive intent and consequences. What the research says “Behaviour management systems that focus on controlling behaviours from the outside will never build deep values and internal control.” (Gluckman and Hanson, 2006)

• Improves the social and emotional behaviour of students and teachers

• Improves the classroom and school climate (Hoffman, Hutchinson & Reiss, 2009, Rain, 2014)

Conscious discipline, however, focuses on the development of equal relationships. Everyone in a classroom is responsible for their own behaviours - empowering teachers to practise and model their own self-discipline and in doing so teach the children how to do this too. Conscious Discipline uses the science behind brain states to teach and develop understanding of different states of mind. Many researchers have studied the brain states that lead to stress, fear and helplessness (including McEwen, 2001 and Siegel, 2010) and by basing a behaviour model on this research, we are able to respond to children experiencing these emotions in an appropriate way to return them back to an executive brain state. Using the brain state model as a basis, children are taught how to be assertive, how to adapt and respond to others and how their behaviour impacts others through the use of natural consequences. Time is spent on explicitly teaching children how to: calm themselves when they feel stressed or angry, speak to others when something is happening that they do not like and reflect on their own behaviours when something hasn’t gone to plan - seizing conflict as an opportunity to teach life skills.

A number of studies have been carried out into the effectiveness of Conscious Discipline implemented in classrooms which highlight some key pivotal developments for both students and teachers including:

• Decreases impulsivity and hyperactivity

How is Conscious Discipline different from traditional behaviour models? “Do as I say, not as I do.” The word discipline for many connotes old-fashioned ways of managing behaviour, focusing on punishments to teach children right from wrong. Traditional classroom management systems are based on control. The teacher holds all the power and must control the students (Dr Becky Bailey, 2021). You do good, you get a sticker, you do wrong, you miss playtime. But then what happens when the extrinsic motivator isn’t there?

• Increases student academic achievement

• Reduces aggression in classrooms

Based on these descriptors, we have implemented some key whole school routines into the school day in order to build consistency. As a working party, it was discussed which key things we wanted to work on first and with such a busy timetable of specialist lessons and new playtime arrangements, transitions were quickly identified. With simple steps to success and a key focus on modelling expectations for lining up and transitioning throughout the school, we are already seeing an impact on behaviour. Children line up effectively and quickly, maximising lesson time and children walk smartly

Following a disrupted two years of teaching and learning, at the beginning of Term 1, 2021-22, a behaviour working party was formed by the Deputy Head and Pastoral Team with the intention of refocusing on the teaching of consistent behaviours and embedding routines and rituals across the Junior school. Having moved to Tanglin in 2020 from a school in the UK that had practised Conscious Discipline for over 10 years, I felt that this was the philosophy to support the development of our behaviour practices across the school.

How does a Conscious Discipline model look here at Tanglin? Dr Becky Bailey makes a clear distinction between the construction of school routines and rituals (See table below).

Equally, there are a number of teachers involved in the pilot training who are willing to share their practice with you.

“It’s my job to keep you safe and it’s your job to help me do that.” Underpinning everything we teach, the school values have been updated to reflect this sentiment and used as a key reminder for children during assemblies. In Year 6, the language of safety has been key to communicating with children, getting them to reflect on their behaviours and identify ways in which they could have responded differently. Using this language of safety, restorative conversations are a growing focus in dealing with an incident. The intention is to teach children how to behave differently next time, rather than to punish them for what they did this time.

Seeing the children use their own voice rather than relying on adults to fix a problem for them has not only demonstrated a growth in skills of independence, but also reduced the number of incidents to deal with during the average playtime. Commenting on the use of the safe place in class, one child stated, “I really like the safe place because if someone really feels bad about something that has happened at school then they have somewhere to go, whereas before they might have run off to the bathroom to hide.”

Some staff have already participated in classroom observations of Conscious Discipline in practice.

In the meantime, members of the Learning Support team have commented on the benefits of seeing empowered children and hearing their voice when dealing with conflict. “Asking a child the key question of “Did you like it?” and then empowering them with the language of “I don’t like it when…” has been really useful.

down the stairs to the echoes of teachers reminding them that “left is best”. Children report that, “it is a lot safer now when we walk down the stairs”. But these routines are just the beginning of a change in mindsets. Through the pilot scheme training of approximately 15 teachers, children have been introduced to the development of Conscious Discipline Skills from the calming strategies of pretzel, tap, balloon and star to the assertive voice used to state, “I don’t like it when you do that.” All year groups have implemented safe places where children know they can go to emotionally regulate and others have focused on offering 2 positive choices “you can either complete your work at your desk, or here next to me, which is best for you?”.

For teachers… Further training will be delivered to teachers across the Junior school. There will also be weekly reminders delivered via briefing each week with key ‘focus phrases’ to work on.

The plan for moving forward Having seen some of the successes of the introductory pilot of Conscious Discipline strategies across the school, we now plan to continue to embed it into our practice over the coming year.

Positive feedback Across the school community, children are feeling more empowered, relationships are being strengthened and effective modelling - inspiring teachers who were not even part of the original pilot. Head of Year 5, Nicky Hodges has given her feedback on the positive impact of implementing a welcoming ritual into the daily routine as well. With a direct 1:1 conversation each morning, children have not only developed their social skills and are now more likely to sustain a conversation following up with “how are you?” and increasing overall engagement in the classroom.

As a Junior School… Conscious Discipline is something that we fully believe in. We are invested in incorporating this fully into our practice and intend to update the behaviour policy to reflect these changes.

A number of teachers have commented on the positive impact of the “We Miss You” boards introduced in Term 2. These are used to add names of children who are absent so that they know we are thinking of them, even when they are not there. When they return and notice their name has been on the display, they feel like they were not forgotten even when they were absent.

For parents… we plan to deliver a range of parent workshops in 2022/23, so look out for dates of these coming up in In Touch. ■ Further resources and reading are available at https://consciousdiscipline.com and we also have a copy of the book Conscious Discipline: Building Resilient Classrooms available for loan from the school CPD library.

- Leah Kuypers, author of The Zones of Regulation

Below: ©Kupyers & Sautter 2012

“ R egulation is something everyone continually works on whether we are cognizant of it. We all encounter trying circumstances that test our limits from time to time. If we can recognize when we are becoming less regulated, we are able to do something about it to manage our feelings and get ourselves to a healthy place. This comes more naturally for some, but for others, it is a skill that needs more attention and practice. This is the goal of The Zones of Regulation (or Zones for short)."

The Zones of Regulation is a framework, created by Leah Kuypers in 2011. It teaches students a set of skills that builds an awareness of how they feel, what their triggers are and how to create a range of

tools that fall into three categories. They are calming tools, alerting tools and thinking tools that help them to stay in the Zone where they learn best. It serves to support our students who struggle and need support regarding social, emotional and mental health challenges.

According to the SEND Code of Practice, 2015, children can be broadly categorised into four main areas of need:

The Learning Support (LS) team are therefore not limited to supporting children’s cognitive and learning needs, but also their social, emotional and mental health, as well as their communication and interaction with others. As a team, we are always keen to develop our knowledge and interventions with evidenced based programmes and ideas.


Learning about the zones

By Hayley AssistantLivermore,Head of Learning Support

By Michelle Durant, Head of Learning Support of regulation

• communication and interaction • cognition and learning • social, emotional and mental health difficulties • sensory and/or physical needs

The Zones of Regulation (Zones) first came to our attention when reading an Educational Psychologist’s report for one of our students, where it was mentioned as a strategy to support their emotional regulation. Having explored the programme, via the Zones website, we registered everyone in the LS team for the webinar. It was certainly inspirational and informative, and one of the best webinars we had attended. Since October 2021, we have seen the Zones of Regulation flourish and develop as a concept in the Juniors. Staff and parent workshops have been delivered, regulation stations set up and children are starting to use the Zones as a common language to help them navigate the world of emotions.

All children can benefit from the programme, learning about the Zones and the tips for managing people around us, our triggers and our reactions. Resisting emotional outbursts when something upsets us, focusing on schoolwork, controlling our impulses, calming ourselves down when we feel worried or anxious, and transitioning from one task to another are all examples of self-regulation that children need to learn and need guidance and practise on just like any other subject. What the research says Originally the Zones of Regulation was designed for children who struggle with self-regulation and have, for example, a diagnosis of ADHD or Autism. It was then discovered that the Zones was

The Zones starts the children on a journey of self-discovery, as emotional regulation is an ever evolving ability that requires self-reflection and analysis of what our triggers are and how we respond. We have seen huge individual progress and the Zones have certainly been a part of that transformation. Other strategies are used alongside the Zones, but the programme has resonated well with so many of our students.

With class teachers on board, the ZOR can then be put further into action and embedded into the classroom culture at Tanglin. Other useful aspects of the programme have been Stop Opt and Go, an easy phrase to remember for those children who struggle with impulse control, as well as the size of the problem where children are encouraged to think “Does my reaction match the situation?”

Consistency is key and the more we encourage the children to use the Zones in their everyday life, the greater the impact will be.

A journey of self-discovery

Comments from some of our recent Zones of Regulation groups:

• I really use the Stop Opt and Go and sometimes I use my own tools.

Group sessions bring awareness, they start the conversations, and they bring understanding, and openness within a safe group.

• I enjoyed the group a lot. I still feel I can improve more at home.

Hayley, the LS link teacher in Year 5, has also worked with Jenny and Jenna to implement the Zones in LifeSkills lessons.

We have created Google folders with resources and slides for any teachers who wish to explore this intervention further with their classes. All teachers have attended a Zones workshop and have been given resources that can be put into place quite easily in the classroom. Over time we hope it will embed further and develop into a resource that teachers and children both refer to and just remember “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it!” (Charles Swindoll).

• I don’t have as many outbursts; I am more relaxed.

We are more than happy to share resources, deliver starter Zones sessions and create intervention groups. Year 3 has already had introductory lessons delivered by Anjni, the LS link teacher for Year 3. Last Year we also trialled some very successful sessions in Year 5 on the Zones and Whole Body Listening.

Above: Zones of Regulation a programme that everyone could use, including parents and teachers. Multiple studies have shown immense impact on safety perception in schools, children with various social, emotional and mental health needs or who have experienced trauma. The team have access to a range of resources exploring the Zones including games, books, toolkit cards and Michelleprintouts.Garcia Winner who designed the incredible resource, Social Thinking , also supported Leah Kuypers in her development of the Zones refining lessons and states, “The Zones of Regulation also incorporates core teachings from Social Thinking to help students learn more about perspective taking to better understand how being in the different Zones impacts others’ thoughts and feelings around them……The Zones curriculum helps students gain an increased vocabulary of emotional terms, skills in facial expressions, insight on events that trigger their behaviour, problem solving skills and much more.” This sums up the hugely valuable resource The Zones of Regulation has become in so many schools and homes. Social stories, founder Carol Gray, Dunn Buron’s and Curtis’s The Incredible 5 Point Scale as well as Susanne Poulette Truesdale’s Whole Body Listenin g have given Learning Support a wealth of invaluable resources that complement and support each other in our quest to enable the children we work with, successfully navigate the complex social world.

• I know about the emotions; I just need to control them.

Sharing resources

References: 1. Kuypers, L. (2011), The Zones of Regulation 2. Department for Education, Department for Health (2015) Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practise 0-25 Years, London: HMSO

Deliberate practice was not something that I had really considered as necessary before the course but being asked to By Verity Goodliffe, Assistant Head of Faculty (English), Senior School

Asking the right questions We all know that we spend our days asking questions, but I was surprised by the findings of Hastings (2006) – “Teachers ask up to two questions every minute, up to 400 in a day…ask the right ones in the right way”. It was obvious when I thought about it properly that within each of my lessons, I was missing the opportunity to engage my students through questioning that was not properly planned. Research by Ramsey, Gabbard, Clawson, Lee and Henson (1990) promotes preparing questions in advance and as part of this preparation, including questions that students can answer silently so as to engage their thinking before asking for them to share their answers.

Dylan Wiliam talks about approaching questions as “a set piece” – preparing them in advance so that you can consider the way that students may respond and then prepare any further questions to take their response further and provoke a deeper understanding. In addition to this, I was introduced to the ‘pose, pause, pounce, bounce’ method (Ross McGill, attributed to Pam Fearnley, 2011) which seemed so obvious and yet made so much sense.


Twenty years into my teaching career, I decided to undertake the Chartered Teacher Programme and it has proven to be the most positive consolidation of my teaching practice as well as an opportunity to remind myself of those aspects of my classroom practice that would benefit from improvement.

Questioning to engage students in productive thinking deliberately practise a specific aspect of my teaching really enabled me to focus in on what I wanted to improve, research how I might do this and then put this into practice –several times – with reflection. I had a sense that my questioning did not always seem to push my students out of their comfort zone, and I wondered if I could work specifically on this area in order to produce a deeper interaction from students and a more productive outcome.

I would highly recommend deliberate practice as an effective reminder of something you used to do but maybe don’t use any more. You can set yourself a time frame for this at any point and use it as an independent reflective task. I am always more than happy to open my classroom doors for colleagues to see my questioning in practice – or to observe how they might utilise varied questioning within their classroom. I have found that informal conversations with colleagues about questioning is enough to remind them that they should dust off their own historical ‘toolkit’ and get some old tools back into their classroom.

Withthinking.Year 12 IB, I used this method of questioning to guide classroom discussion by involving students in creating their own “set piece” of questions. This emphasised the importance of productive thinking when considering both questions and the answers they might lead to. Our discussion was then guided by their pre-considered question set and this shared the responsibility of the questioning, as well as leading to an effective classroom discussion, and confident and analytical understanding of textual features.

Putting questions into action

Alongside my research into questioning, I also explored Mary Budd Rowe’s idea of “wait time” as I was particularly interested by her findings that giving students this wait time increased “probability of elaboration”. In support of this, Stahl (1994) found an increase in the number of volunteered appropriate answers following the use of wait time and in order for this to be successfully implemented in the classroom, I adopted Wiliam’s “no hands up rule” (2019). Testing it out I trialled both the “pose, pause, pounce, bounce” questioning and the use of wait time with my Year 10 IGCSE Literature class. I planned the “set piece” of questions on Curley’s Wife in advance and included those that could be answered silently. I established “no hands up” and utilised wait time – pushing this from between 3 and 5 seconds. Students very quickly realised there was a real depth of knowledge and understanding being shared and asked to take notes which really reassured me that the questioning was achieving the engagement I had hoped for. In the bounce section of questioning, students understood they were not allowed to repeat a previous point but had to develop another student’s idea and this resulted in some very effective deep

By FacultyAssistantAluthge-Donna,MhairiHeadof(Business & Economics), Senior School National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership profession”. Courses range from 12-18 months, dependent on which option is followed and during this time participants will take part in a mixture of face-to-face sessions, webinars, and self-directed study, deliver a whole school implementation project and complete a short, assessed case study question. Learning conversations Whilst the course objectives have been set by the DfE, the content and delivery model has been designed by each approved provider of which Tanglin is one. The UCL approach draws heavily on the work of the Education Endowment Foundation that has published guidance on the successful implementation of school improvement projects (EEF, 2019). The project itself is not assessed but runs in parallel with the modules studied and ensures that the theoretical content is 'grounded' in practice. Professional Learning Group and Face to Face sessions are spaced out through the course and are designed to give opportunities for 'Learning Conversations', as described by Professor Louise Stoll from the IOE in London which is part of UCL (Stoll,

Iam currently working with a group of teachers at both Tanglin and Dulwich on the completion of their NPQSL (National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership). I completed my NPQSL in 2018 analysing the impact on educational outcome and student progress of improvements in staff wellbeing. Since its completion, I was inspired to become a facilitator and I have been very fortunate to work with a number of teachers throughout the region. I am fascinated by the breadth and depth of different projects that are completed by participants and to see the impact of school improvement projects in various contexts. This year alone colleagues are delivering projects related to study skills, neurodiversity, enquiry-based curriculum, coaching culture and the implementation of various new pedagogical practices across schools and phases. World-class teacher qualifications

The new NPQ suite of qualifications is based around the UK government reforms on teacher development including support for all throughout their career and encompassing initial teacher training, early career framework and the national professional qualifications. The recent UK government White Paper on “Delivering world-class teacher development” (Department for Education, March 2022) stated that the “NPQs complete the golden thread, running from initial teacher training, early career teaching through to school leadership, rooting teacher and school leader development in the best available evidence and collective wisdom of the

• Leading Literacy - for teachers who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading literacy across a school, year group, key stage or phase.

Teachers who are keen to find out more about the following specialist NPQs at Tanglin can contact John Ridley or Mhairi Aluthge-Donna:

2012). The Learning Conversation is a vital part of learning where peers can challenge colleagues' thinking as well as supporting reflection. Impact on teaching and learning Over the course of the NPQSL participants are enabled to develop and apply deep, factual and evidence-informed knowledge and skills about the leadership of teaching, learning and school improvement within their own context through the following domains: • School Culture • Teaching • Curriculum and Assessment • Behaviour • Additional and Special Educational Needs, and Disabilities • Professional Development • Organisational Management • Implementation • Working in Partnership and Governance and Accountability. It is an extensive programme that combines both academic and practical experience drawing on an evidencebased curriculum, effective pedagogy, current research and international best practice. The opportunity to participate in a peer learning group is a central theme and provides participants with the opportunity to foster collaborative support networks from other areas of the school or other schools.

• Leading Teacher Development for teachers who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading the development of other teachers in their school.

• Leading Teaching - for teachers who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading teaching in a subject, year group, key stage or phase.

• Leading Behaviour and Culture - for teachers who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading behaviour or supporting pupil wellbeing in their school.

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