The Big Four: Sustainably Improving the Quality of Teaching and Learning

The practical guide to developing questioning skills, effective feedback, student independence and ensuring greater challenge

Bethany Kelly

Bethany is passionate that teachers should make their own learning a priority alongside that of their students. Her approach brings together her philosophical background, experience of a wide variety of independent schools, a creative method and an interest in popular culture. Bethany has worked in education for over 20 years in all, spending all but the first three years in leadership roles. trainer profile

How confident are you that the questioning skills of both teachers and pupils are as strong as they could be?

Has improving feedback been raised as an area for improvement in a recent school inspection?

Do you want to do more to improve the quality of your pupils’ thinking skills to ensure that they are truly independent learners?

The ‘Big Four’ (questioning, feedback, independence and challenge) are the main-stay of outstanding quality teaching and learning the world over. The techniques shared on this day are designed to have maximum effect from minimum teacher input and many are easily applicable to the widest range of subject areas and age groups

What other teachers have said about the course

  • Very useful, with a range of strategies that can be used tomorrow to teach all subjects at all levels. A very good pace to ensure we got as much out of our time as possible.

    Cat Moss-Hundred of Hoo School
  • Very informative with enthusiasm and humour. Lots of ideas in classes across the primary phases.

    Anne Ross - SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary Academy
  • Practical demonstration, enthusiastic delivery, well resourced and well pitched for our needs.

    Jenny Byrne - SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary Academy
  • All expectations have been blown away by such a brilliant presenter. The trainer made it fun, inspirational and knowledgeable. I have used/ delivered some of these things when I deliver ELO…

    Katy Wankowicz- Spring Gardens Primary School
  • A very informative training session. A good balance of theory and practical application presented by an excellent facilitator. Lots for us to take away and digest as staff.

    Terry Sheen-Holland Junior School
  • Very informative. Lots of valuable information received.

    Diane Evans - Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi

Full Course Content

This Course Aims to:

  • Increased use of higher order questioning skills (for both staff and students)
  • Greater shared progress over time through effective feedback techniques in all subjects
  • Raised attainment through increasing challenge in lessons
  • Improved student ability to work independently enabling teachers to increase the opportunities for independent learning

Course Outline

  • start 09:00am - 
  • end 03:00pm

20 Ways of Improving Teacher and Student Questioning Skills

  • Strategies for improving the quality of teacher questions
  • Techniques for improving the number and quality of student questions
  • Socratic questioning techniques and how they can be applied to different subjects
  • Questioning and new technology

20 Ways of Developing Effective Feedback to Ensure Improved ‘Progress Over Time’

  • Developing invaluable feedback dialogue between teacher and pupil
  • Effective use of lesson time to enhance teacher feedback opportunities
  • Strategies for improving peer and self-assessment
  • Feedback and new technology. yes it works, but care is needed

20 Ways of Increasing Student Independence and Adding Greater Challenge to Lessons

  • Ways of supporting students in ‘learning how to learn’
  • Using thinking skills to improve independence and challenge
  • The ‘flipped classroom’
  • Twitter and student independence