Go it alone

Ages 11 to 16

Are you halfway through a busy term and becoming extremely frustrated with your history group, who insist on your help for almost every written task given to them?

A practical way to encourage pupils to think autonomously is to issue help cards as they enter the classroom.

Explain the task and tell them that while completing the classwork, they can ask for your help only once. But if they ask for your assistance, the card is taken from them.

Lower ability groups can be given two help cards. As a result, pupils only ask for help if they are stuck and will rise to the challenge of finding the answers and helping each other.

But beware of the "hoarders". A parent, who found eight help cards in her son's blazer pocket, asked why he had so many. The pupil replied: "In case I need help in the end of term exam."

Perhaps collect the cards at the end of each day

Adele Taylor teaches key stages 3 and 4 history and RE at Ladybridge High School in Bolton

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