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Two years’ lessons and a year’s school-based training and support for the cost of less than three pupil premiums

In class

Let’s Think in English consists of high-interest stimulating lessons, but their success lies in how teachers use them. Teachers need to understand how the various elements of the lessons, such as focussed discussion (social construction), problem solving (cognitive conflict) and reflection on thinking (metacognition), work to best effect. We have to learn to hold back from giving students answers or guiding their discussions, giving them freedom to work out the (for them) new ideas on which growth of reasoning depends.

For a ‘taster’ day at King’s College London, please see Really raising standards in GCSE English introductory course details [PDF document].

We therefore offer an initial training day followed by three afternoon meetings during the rest of the year to share experience of teaching Let’s Think in English (LTE) and ensure teachers are aware how the programme is delivered to best effect. The LTE lessons are accordingly only available to schools which undertake the training and support programme.

Training and support programme

Session 1: Introductory day with all participating staff (see below)
Session 2: Observation of LTE lesson delivered by lead teacher. Twilight on effective group work
Session 3: Observation with lead teacher of LTE lesson(s) delivered by other staff . Twilight: encouraging higher order thinking and developing metacognition.
Session 4: Twilight: embedding LTE and planning your own LTE lessons.

Initial full day training and materials

This includes an introduction to Let’s Think in English (LTE), modelling of several lessons, classroom approaches, evidence of success and applicability to the new GCSE examinations. If the school is in session, the day should ideally include a demonstration lesson taught by Laurie Smith or Michael Walsh, observed by teachers at the school with discussion afterwards. We have found that this clarifies the LTE process very helpfully. If the school is not in session, the demonstration lesson would be delivered at the first support session and the other observations moved to the subsequent ones.

Schools then receive 30+ Let’s Think in English lessons (lesson plans and Powerpoints) which have been trialled fully with classes of all abilities. The lessons are designed for Years 7 and 8 (the initial target years), and are also used very successfully in KS4 and KS5. Schools also receive an increasing number of LTE GCSE lessons, currently 7 with a further 14 in active development. All these resources are provided free as part of the training and support package.

3 training and support meetings

These afternoon sessions are held during the next three terms on dates to suit the school. Each session will provide an opportunity for teachers to observe, review and discuss the lessons and their classroom practice together with a twilight professional development. Further details of the programme are available on request.

Cost

Training and support package comprising a full day’s training, three afternoon/twilight support sessions and 30+ KS3 Let’s Think in English lessons plus the GCSE lessons as developed : £2470
plus travel outside London and overnight accommodation for the training day if required.

Network and updates

Schools that complete the three support sessions are eligible to join the Let’s Think in English Network at a cost of £150 a year. This enables the school to receive new lessons and updated lessons (including new GCSE lessons) receive further support at a discounted rate and attend Network meetings. Members say they find these meetings very helpful as professional development.

Clusters

We are happy to work with groups or clusters of schools at no extra cost. Meetings may be held in rotation in the participating schools.


Contact Laurie Smith at laurie.smith@kcl.ac.uk or Michael Walsh at michael.walsh@letsthink.org.uk.

For training and support in Let’s Think in Science (formerly CASE) and Let’s Think in Mathematics (formerly CAME), please go to www.letsthink.org.uk.

What teachers say about our training:

Fabulous! Everything I’ve ever believed about education (how it should be) has been vindicated today. Thank you.

Excellent – made me far more confident about engaging with the new GCSE system and also made me look at developing students’ skills in a totally new light.

Being able to participate in the lessons instead of leading allowed me to experience the processes as the students would which was really useful. Really enjoyed the wholeday.

Really inspirational programme rooted in research delivered by people who believe wholly in the programme.

Very enjoyable and eye-opening. I can see how it could be applied within my school and how it can develop key skills. The lengthy support subsequently is v encouraging.

Really useful to learn something new – loved the ‘hands on’ approach, it’s so much more effective than just listening.

A wonderful day! Inspiring to be on the receiving end of learning & a real hope for the future that English can go back to being inspiring, innovative, exciting… Thank you.

A great idea and resources I can see being extremely useful in the classroom. My department will love it!

Really useful and thought-provoking training and materials. All very practical and common-sense, but refreshing with a new and distinctive perspective.

Superb. Very enjoyable but also thought-provoking in terms of thinking again about how children learn. Excellent to spend a day thinking about, and practically approaching, what really matters: teaching and learning!

An inspiring and illuminating day. Focussed on what, why & how. Fully covered all my questions and left me excited with the opportunities of developing student resilience and staff enquiry.

Really enjoyed the session and found it extremely helpful. We will be moving to an extra weekly hour in English in KS3 (Yr 7 & 8 only) next year so these materials will be perfect for promoting the skills now so necessary for GCSE.