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Ask, ask and ask again

Adviser Lesley Robertson, who has helped train staff in the new approaches, believes that pupils in Clackmannanshire are well used to the interactive methods because of earlier work on literacy. Teachers, too, are familiar.

The constant questioning of pupils and search for clear explanations teases out answers and eepens understanding, she maintains.

Ms Robertson travelled to Zurich to see the standards set there and returned convinced. "The mental calculations of 10 and 11-year-olds were faster than any of the adults observing the lesson could cope with. It was an average class and it was spectacular," she says.

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