How we helped to double progress in Money at First Level CfE in two months

Do you struggle with teaching your cherubs money? You are not alone.

We recently had the pleasure of working with a great teacher of a composite P2/3 class (aged 6-7) who presented this very challenge to us. In truth this challenge was not the struggle this practitioner thought it would be.

We are going to explain how, with little tweaks to classroom practice we made significant strides in this area of this group of children’s learning. The secret to this success – looking at three different parts of HOW we teach this area of the curriculum.

The first part of the ‘how’ - what makes a good lesson (using How Good Is Our School 4 and the schools new learning and teaching policy).

  • Learning intentions and success criteria seem to make a lot teachers want to scream (including the one involved here…) but we were relentless in making them a feature of EVERY lesson – introducing them, referring to them throughout and linking them to the starer and the plenary.
  • Thankfully challenge, support and differentiation are no longer seen as simply producing different worksheets for different achieving levels – we factored in mixed AND set achievers for partner work and incorporated peer support too.
  • Asking children and young people for feedback on the demand can result in anxiety – preparation time and huddling with their team mates helps with this.

Varied teaching approaches, with particular focus on cooperative learning within these features of good practice went hand in hand.

  • The holy grail of teaching cooperatively is structure, structure, structure and this teacher now uses these structures like any other part of her teacher toolkit and across curricular areas.
  • A class culture of cooperation and the post lockdown scream out for positive interdependence and reconnection work in the shape of team and class building.
  • It is never one size fits all – these pupils were asked to work individually and in pairs. They problem solved with little teacher input and practiced after high teacher input. Variation was key.

Formative assessment strategies (thanks to Shirley Clarke)

  • Co-constructed success criteria helped us to communicate the steps to success for the young people in language they came up and understood.
  • Learning partners – both regular and random – coaching each other by making using of the clear success criteria as a reference.
  • Prior knowledge lesson starters and exit passes linked prior learning and resulted in reflection of learning.

You may be doing much of this without even realising! A lot of this is down to good learning and teaching practice. This partnership covered so much more than I could cover in this article.

Curious to know more?

Get in touch 😊

Posted by Stewart: 17.01.2022