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Silence is golden

"'Strong' silence is a sound strategy" (TESS, 18 January) interested me greatly. There are two things that I would like to add. One is that, as a teacher, the most powerful tool in my armoury was to do the reverse of my instincts regarding volume. When I was happy with my class I was ebullient and loud. But if things were not as I would have liked, I was quiet and would whisper: "I will have a word with you outside." That worked enormously well. The second point is that using silent gaps in question and answer sessions is immensely useful. The advice I give to NQTs is that when you ask the class an open question, be prepared to sit in silence much longer than you might imagine, giving children time to think.

David Hanson, chief executive, Independent Association of Prep Schools.

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