2: and promoting good progress

This section contains resources and links relating to Teacher Standard 2, around promoting good progress, and ECF Section 2, around how pupils learn. You can read the detail of the teacher standard and ECF section by expanding the sections below.

Promote good progress and outcomes by pupils

  • be accountable for pupils’ attainment, progress and outcomes
  • be aware of pupils’ capabilities and their prior knowledge, and plan teaching to build on these
  • guide pupils to reflect on the progress they have made and their emerging needs
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how pupils learn and how this impacts on teaching
  • encourage pupils to take a responsible and conscientious attitude to their own work and study.

From the Department for Education’s Teachers’ Standards

Learn that:

  1. Learning involves a lasting change in pupils’ capabilities or understanding.
  2. Prior knowledge plays an important role in how pupils learn; committing some key facts to their long-term memory is likely to help pupils learn more complex ideas.
  3. An important factor in learning is memory, which can be thought of as comprising two elements: working memory and long-term memory.
  4. Working memory is where information that is being actively processed is held, but its capacity is limited and can be overloaded. 
  5. Long-term memory can be considered as a store of knowledge that changes as pupils learn by integrating new ideas with existing knowledge.
  6. Where prior knowledge is weak, pupils are more likely to develop misconceptions, particularly if new ideas are introduced too quickly.
  7. Regular purposeful practice of what has previously been taught can help consolidate material and help pupils remember what they have learned.
  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.
  9. Worked examples that take pupils through each step of a new process are also likely to support pupils to learn.

Learn how to:

Avoid overloading working memory, by:

  • Taking into account pupils’ prior knowledge when planning how much new information to introduce.
  • Breaking complex material into smaller steps (e.g. using partially completed examples to focus pupils on the specific steps).
  • Reducing distractions that take attention away from what is being taught (e.g. keeping the complexity of a task to a minimum, so that attention is focused on the content).

Build on pupils’ prior knowledge, by: 

  • Identifying possible misconceptions and planning how to prevent these forming.
  • Linking what pupils already know to what is being taught (e.g. explaining how new content builds on what is already known).
  • Sequencing lessons so that pupils secure foundational knowledge before encountering more complex content.
  • Encouraging pupils to share emerging understanding and points of confusion so that misconceptions can be addressed.

Increase likelihood of material being retained, by:

  • Balancing exposition, repetition, practice and retrieval of critical knowledge and skills.
  • Planning regular review and practice of key ideas and concepts over time.
  • Designing practice, generation and retrieval tasks that provide just enough support so that pupils experience a high success rate when attempting challenging work.
  • Increasing challenge with practice and retrieval as knowledge becomes more secure (e.g. by removing scaffolding, lengthening spacing or introducing interacting elements).

From the Department for Education’s Early Career Framework

Early Career Hub resources about how pupils learn

Other Chartered College resources about how pupils learn

External links related to how pupils learn

DfE references list for Early Career Framework Section 2

resource completion : 2 - How pupils learn