Published on March 22nd, 2013 | by What2Learn


Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils

QTS Part One (Teaching), Strand Five: Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils.

Amplification of scope:

  • Know when and how to differentiate appropriately, using approaches which enable pupils to be taught effectively.
  • Have a secure understanding of how a range of factors can inhibit pupils’ ability to learn, and how best to overcome these.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the physical, social and intellectual development of children, and know how to adapt teaching to support pupils’ education at different stages of development.
  • Have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs; those of high ability; those with English as an additional language; those with disabilities; and be able to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support them.

What will your mentors be looking for?

  • An ability to form an accurate view of the progress, well-being and needs of learners in your classes.
  • An understanding of how different backgrounds and influences can impact on learning.
  • An understanding of how various factors can present barriers to learning, progress and well-being, and how these barriers might be overcome.
  • A knowledge of whole-school policies and procedures that can affect learning and well-being.
  • An ability to use school data on the learners in your classes to identify targets.
  • An understanding of factors which cause boys to underachieve.
  • Reflection on the social factors that can impact on young people’s health, economic well-being and safety.
  • An inclusive approach taken to your teaching, with an awareness shown of different groups and appropriately differentiated learning tasks and targets provided for each.
  • A knowledge of who to go for to seek advice on different groups of learners (e.g. SEN, EAL, Gifted and Talented, etc).
  • Use of data to inform planning for the support of groups and individuals within your classes.
  • Use of Assessment for Learning (AfL) techniques in order to achieve personalisation.
  • Opportunities taken to contribute to the promotion of community cohesion within the school.
  • Awareness of the role colleagues can play in enabling personalised learning.
  • Engagement of parents and carers to help meet learners’ needs.
  • Awareness of the value of listening to pupil voice.
  • Adapt use of language to ensure it is appropriate to learners’ age and ability.

What evidence could you include?

  • Annotated school policies and handbook.
  • Use student progress data to set individual and class targets when planning.
  • Carry out (and annotate) research into the social factors which can impact, positively and negatively, on different groups of young learners.
  • Plan lessons that have personalised learning opportunities for learners with specific needs, e.g. those with Special Educational Needs (SEN) or English as an Additional Language (EAL).
  • Track a pupil with SEN for a day.
  • Lesson plans and observations show that the needs of different groups (SEN, EAL, G&T, etc) have been considered and planned for.
  • Use data to identify different groups within your teaching classes.
  • Meet with the EAL co-ordinator or any Bilingual assistants to discuss ways of supporting relevant pupils in class.
  • Plan lessons with differentiated tasks and resources which do not depend entirely on English language fluency e.g. visual aids and diagrams.
  • Use results from assessment for learning to provide learners with personalised instructions on how to progress. Plan a lesson in which they are given the opportunity to make this progress.
  • Prepare resources to support specific pupils in class.
  • Plan challenging extension tasks for Gifted and Talented (G&T) students.
  • Lesson observations that refer to language being appropriate to learners’ age and ability.
  • End of term reviews by your mentor may make reference to elements from this Standard such as your communication skills.
  • Analyse written instructions to see if they are appropriate to learners’ age (e.g. see //www.brighthub.com/education/k-12/articles/45344.aspx).
  • Plan the breakdown of explanations into sequences of smaller chunks. Evidence will be within lesson plans and resources used in the lesson.
  • Create and then discuss a card sorting activity (e.g. a ‘diamond nine’) to give learners an opportunity to develop and demonstrate their knowledge.
  • Use and review activities which require more verbal contributions from learners (e.g. peer assessment tasks).
  • Research and try out a range of teaching strategies which aim to ensure explanations can be understood by auditory, kinaesthetic and visual learners.


assessment The process of gaining a statement of educational need .
assessment Practical steps to include and help special needs pupils perform.

Recommended links

Pick and mix yor teaching styles

Special Educational Needs legislation

Every Child Matters

Speaking in tongues

Detailed guidance on all strands of the QTS Standards and a free online portfolio for collating and managing your evidence towards meeting all of the Standards is available here.

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