Due to the emphasis on collaborative discussion, children in my class who usually find English difficult were able to participate in the lesson, leading to improved focus, motivation and self-esteem. I also saw a positive effect on the children outside of LTE lessons: they were better able to identify connections between texts and seemed to have a more solid understanding of genre; their analysis of texts (especially in the run up to the SATS) became more sophisticated and, most impressively of all, they gained more ownership over their learning, looking first to their group for help through guided discussion before coming to me.
I also saw an improvement in my pedagogy after attending the training. I thought I used group work effectively in the classroom before, however after putting strategies in place suggested by the training, I saw the impact of group work on the children’s understanding drastically improve. It has been useful to learn how to facilitate discussion during a lesson through targeted questioning, rather than leading it. I have seen my questioning skills improve and have started embedding this skill in lessons across the curriculum, as I feel it is vital strategy to allow children ownership over their learning. The entire course has been a very positive experience: enjoyable, interesting, purposeful and well led.