Silence is golden

8th February 2013 at 00:00

"'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.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today