Brookfield Community School (BCS) Sharing Practice

Focus Groups

FOCUS GROUPS 2015 – 2016

The 4 groups are:


(Led by Neil Chance – Lead Practitioner & Owain Hoskins – Learning Innovator)

Ratio essentially refers to the difference between participation and active thinking from students.  The more active thinking the better and, although the deeper levels of thinking are harder to attain, the ultimate goal is to encourage students to immerse themselves in cognitive work (writing, thinking, analysing, talking) that is both focused and productive.  This group will look to explore strategies that will encourage and support this cognitive work and foster a deeper sense of learning.


(Led by Pete Pease – Director of Learning & James Parkinson – Lead Practitioner)

Perhaps the most important characteristic of a great teacher is his/her ability to distinguish between “I taught it” and “They learned it”.  This focus group will offer concrete, engaging, and easy-to-implement techniques you can use to recognise and respond to a lack of mastery quickly (when you have 300 other things to think about).  Effective for both new teachers and veterans, Checking for Understanding comprises 10 techniques top tier teachers use to gather data quickly and act on it before misunderstandings snowball – all the while creating a culture that respects, normalises and values mistakes.


(Led by John Fenlon – Lead Practitioner & Dave Fawcett – Learning Innovator)

Academic ethos represents techniques that challenge students to push themselves to greater achievements. Techniques such as Right is Right, Stretch it and Without Apology also aim to create a classroom in which greater challenge is a greater reward and where students recognise their own ability to rise to these greater academic challenges. Supporting this are techniques focusing on planning, lesson structure and pacing that contribute to making the most of all learning opportunities and further driving students to challenge themselves.


(Led by Shaun Riches – Director of Learning & Veronica Hein – Lead Practitioner)

Building a strong classroom culture is integral to ensuring students work hard in your classroom, are engaged, aim for the best they can and also are polite and respectful. This Focus Group will provide you with a range of really effective actionable techniques to drive excellence forward and, just as important, sustain it. A number of areas covered will be Discipline, Management, Control, Influence and Engagement. The Focus group may appeal to newer teachers but is also for experienced members of staff who are looking to make their classroom culture even stronger.


‘Teaching, like any complex cognitive skill, must be practised to be improved’

To know if practice is improving teachers must deepen their awareness of and understanding of:

  • what goes on in their classrooms
  • their effectiveness as teachers
  • their own and their students’ learning

The Brookfield Focus Group Programme offers an excellent opportunity for colleagues to develop their practice in a key area of their choice.  Discussing and sharing teaching techniques, strategies and resources across subject areas and within subject areas.