8.3: Developing your teaching

Time allocation

20 minutes


  • Below are some ideas for you to practise related to retrieval practice.
  • Select one of the ideas for practice from the area to try out in your classroom. 
  • This will require some additional planning either individually or in collaboration with a colleague. 
  • You should also evaluate the effectiveness and impact of this in discussion with your mentor.

Retrieval practice

  • Starter for 10 quiz
  • Speak like an expert
  • Power paragraph

By trying this activity, you will…

Learn that: 

  • 2.7 Regular purposeful practice of what has previously been taught can help consolidate material and help pupils remember what they have learned.
  • 2.8 Requiring pupils to retrieve information from memory, and spacing practice so that pupils revisit ideas after a gap are also likely to strengthen recall.

Learn how to: 
Increase likelihood of material being retained, by:

  • 2i Planning regular review and practice of key ideas and concepts over time.

If this is happening in your classroom, you will see…

  • Pupils will remember material over a longer period of time.
  • Pupils will be able to build on previously taught material when learning new content as they can recall it.
  • Pupils will develop effective practice techniques which they can use themselves.


Starter for 10 quiz

  • Choose a day which works for you (e.g. every Monday morning. If you see your classes regularly do this every week, if you see them less regularly, do it once a month or as appropriate).
  • Let pupils know that on the designated day, they will have a fun ten-question quiz which will include questions from recent and not-so-recent content.
  • Tell pupils that it is low-stakes, and that you really want them to practise content they have covered because this will help them remember it.
  • Set a big timer on the screen for ten minutes and let pupils go.
  • Spend some time after the quiz going through the answers, modelling on the board if possible so they can see the correct way to do it and will be able to do it differently next time.
  • You should keep a note of which questions the class consistently gets wrong, so this helps you to include them more often.

Speak like an expert

  • Tell pupils that they will have up to two minutes to speak about a previously learned topic. 
  • They should aim to speak without hesitation or repetition.
  • You could include a set of key vocabulary which scores them extra points if they use it correctly during their presentation.

The power paragraph

  • This works well at the end of a topic or get pupils to do a power paragraph on a previously learned topic.
  • Give pupils a time-limit, e.g. three minutes.
  • Tell them you want them to write down as much as they can remember about the topic.
  • At the end of the three minutes, hand out success criteria and get pupils to either self-mark or peer-mark to see how many of the key aspects they were able to remember.

In your notepad – reflect on your practice…

  • Which idea(s) for practice did you try? 
  • What did you do? 
  • What happened? 
  • What will you do next?