Do you stretch and challenge in the classroom?

Picture by  @RWM_learninglab
Picture by @RWM_learninglab

It is certainly time for an update on progress for my Challenge project at DHSB. My last post was in May last year! However I can confidently say I have made substantial progress in that time.

I had posed a number of questions in my last post outlining the aim of the project and those remain.

*What is stretch and challenge?

*Why stretch and challenge at DHSB?

*How effective is stretch and challenge at DHSB?

Whilst I cannot reach a conclusion I can start to surmise why I am looking at challenge with DHSB.

My starting point for this research was to survey the teaching staff. They are driving forwards teaching and learning in our school and so their thoughts and opinions are paramount. The data was based on the teacher standards and focused on how we support those students who need greatest challenge.  The data was interesting with 50/70 (check figures) staff completing the questionnaire, a brief summary of some of the data is below

  • 76% set goals which stretch and challenge pupils of all backgrounds and abilities
  • 74% plan homework to consolidate and extend the knowledge and understanding pupils have achieved
  • 66% know how and when to differentiate appropriately

I know these are quite broad and crude calculations, however the important question is how do we know this? How can this be evaluated, triangulated and evidenced more?

The next stage now is for our most able students to go into their lessons and reflect on the teaching and learning going that is happening.  They are receiving their training next week which will enable them to be confident to make judgments in lessons about what they are observing. They will be considering the following:

  • I learn best when…
  • I am challenged when…
  • The type of teaching I enjoy most…

This will naturally require them to highlight particular subjects and teachers, but will also provide irrefutable evidence which is essential to effectively evaluating the provision of challenge at DHSB and whether it meets the thoughts and opinions of teachers.

I am really looking forward to this part of the research, giving ownership to our students who after all are the ones who benefit from the great teaching which happens at DHSB.

Rachael Green @dhsbgeography 

Head of Geography

SWAT Co-ordinator



2 thoughts on “Do you stretch and challenge in the classroom?”

  1. An interesting post (especially as it has a picture of one of my activities!!!). I completely agree that students have to give feedback about being stretched and challenge, I am sure that we all say we stretch and challenge, but in reality do we??? Very good research you are doing and I look forward to the results. Are you intending to discuss with staff that they are being “observed” by pupils and having their lessons assessed?

  2. Hello Bob, Of course staff will be informed that students will be reflecting on their learning in lessons, but I think the word assessed gives the wrong context.

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