Liam Colclough, Head of School, St Thomas of Canterbury School, Sheffield
Liam described how his school’s successful implementation of a mastery approach was built on four pillars:
- A complete belief, held by all staff, in the new approach
- A sharp cultural shift towards the expectation that all pupils will achieve
- Speedier, same-day intervention
- Re-defining the role of the class teacher, as an expert who has passion, zeal, and a depth of subject knowledge
Intervention now comes in two types: before lessons for those thought to take longer to grasp new concepts; after lessons for those having trouble grasping concepts, or those struggling to show depth of understanding. The intervention usually takes place in a 20 minute period after the 40 minute whole class teaching element of the lesson. During this time, those not getting individual support from the teacher are practising and deepening the concepts and skills that they have learned by tackling intelligent practice questions (see separate section).