Session title: “Yes, we’re all individuals” Brian, 1979

Differentiation, expert coaching and The Challenge Escalator


Half-day session.

Information for event organisers

Teachers’ ability to write about differentiated learning in lesson plans varies significantly and is often poor. Text can be overly focused on simply repeating the outcomes of initial assessment or justifying why a lesson ‘naturally’ differentiates for a particular group of learners. All too often this text is then cut and pasted from one lesson plan to the next – making it no more than invisible bureaucracy.

In the first part of this session, staff explore the real meaning and impact of differentiated learning. This not only challenges the writing of justification-text, turning it into the planning of creative opportunities for personal learning, but it may also challenge the very foundation of their approach to teaching and learning.

The second part of the session is a carefully choreographed journey into expert coaching. When using Q&A in the classroom, many teachers underestimate the negative impact of learners failing to answer, or of the overuse of open questions to the whole group, which can create education bystanders. Through a series of practical activities, staff produce a definitive definition for expert coaching, self assess their current abilities against it, then practise the art, including the use of ‘resource’ learners.

Arguably, ‘high-flying’ leaners are one of the most regularly overlooked sub-groups, so in the final part of the session, staff explore The Challenge Escalator. Based around Bloom’s taxonomy, staff practise developing stretch-and-challenge questioning that will force their most able learners to work at the edge of their intellectual abilities, rather than simply completing additional work.

At the end of the session, delegates complete an Ideas Plan to help capture and structure the development of any new ideas.

Publicity information for potential delegates

Do you enjoy completing the differentiation box on your lesson plan? Do you enjoy watching Hollywood Films? Have you ever watched an episode of The Antiques Roadshow? If the answer to these questions is no, yes and yes, then you may be interested in this session on teaching and learning. In it, you’ll be challenged to examine your current teaching style and to reflect on whether your questioning techniques leave your learners bruised or gently glowing. And using The Challenge Escalator, you’ll explore a technique for making all of your learners sweat, but in a good way..

This session will enable staff to:

  • reflect on any ability-group bias in their teaching
  • define differentiation
  • plan differentiated learning experiences
  • develop expert coaching skills
  • use The Challenge Escalator to prevent any learners from coasting.

What the delegates say

  • ‘It has highlighted my tendency (or comfort) to teach towards the more able..’
    ‘This is one of the most useful development sessions I have attended.’    Isle of Wight College
  • ‘I have learnt that I usually focus on my low achievers and have discovered methods of challenging my other students.’
    Old dog! New tricks :)’    Kendal College
  • ‘Mind blowing – blooming brilliant!’
    ‘I came with my eyes closed and they were prised open.’      Reading College 

Why not see what other providers said about this training? Click here, then ‘Filter by session’, and select the title for an overview of providers’ feedback. You may then wish to ‘Filter by provider’ to see further details of the impact it has had on individual staff. These comments can be invaluable when generating curiosity about forthcoming training.


Half-day session. Typical uses in a staff development day include:

‘Yes, we’re all individuals’ Brian, 1979 (grp 1) ‘Yes, we’re all individuals’ Brian, 1979 (grp 2)
Data Springboard ‘Yes, we’re all individuals’ Brian, 1979
HoT Learning ‘Yes, we’re all individuals’ Brian, 1979
HoT2 – Techniques for engaging learners ‘Yes, we’re all individuals’ Brian, 1979
‘Yes, we’re all individuals’ Brian, 1979 Independent Learning
‘Yes, we’re all individuals’ Brian, 1979 Equality and diversity
‘Yes, we’re all individuals’ Brian, 1979 Wiki Wonderland


To discuss your requirements in detail, please phone or drop us a line.