And Joe arrives...: stretching the very able pupil in the mixed ability classroom


By Kate Hammond, published 11th February 1999

Kate Hammond examines a sequence of three history lessons in order to evaluate techniques for stretching a very able 11 year-old. She adopts a complex blend of differentiation strategies. Rather than merely bolting on ‘extension activities', she starts with demanding objectives for all, as the whole-class entitlement. She then attempts to secure both additional access to that core entitlement and rigorous challenge within it, for all pupils according to ability. In this article she analyses the responses of one pupil - Joe. She is self-critical, theorising from this about principles for effective learning. She concludes that there are ‘endless opportunities for devising new challenges for the high attainer in the mixed ability classroom'.

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