Redefining differentiation & joining the learning dots


Following different professional conversations with colleagues in different schools, visits, reading and debate, I have put together the following document to encourage my staff to keep reflecting and considering the way we approach differentiation, grouping and a new approach to assessment led learning. This is a first draft of the document, so I am very happy to receive any thoughts or feedback as it may well help join some of the dots swirling in my head.


We need to develop our understanding of possible Learning Journies the children may take for different Learning Aims/aspects of the curriculum.

  • We need to lose labels such as lower ability, average ability and higher ability. Whilst we might identify most able children in certain subjects, we need to start with the prediction/expectation that any (and every child) can be expert and understand this specific learning.
  • We need to lose group names (even if we use them flexible)
  • Differentiation through depth and extended enrichment learning activities/challenges


Learning Aim


All learners


(5-10 mins) A group ? Extended / Enrichment Challenge


(15-45 mins) B group ? Extended / Enrichment Challenge


C Group continue on main learning activity/challenge to develop mastery of the Learning Aim

(In future sessions C group may have additional ‘mastery’ learning activities/challenge if required)

(These are not fixed groups, but groups that are formed during the learning based on AfL)

Learning Aim

?                                ?                                ?

Challenge                Challenge                 Challenge

A                                  B                                  C

 (Learners select their own challenge activity to start with. If they find it too hard they move to an easier challenge. If they find it too easy they move to a harder challenge).


  • Time to Respond to Feedback (T2R)
  • Without responding to feedback can children join the dots in their Learning Journey? If not will there always be gaps that block understanding, progress and mastery?

? ? ? ? ?  T2R ? ? ? ? ? T2R  ? ? ?

? = Learning Aim          ? = achieved Learning Aim    

?= didn’t achieve Learning Aim     T2R = Time to Respond to Feedback.

This is a re-blog post originally posted by Tim Clarke and published with kind permission.

The original post can be found here.

You can read other posts by Tim by Clicking here.

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About Tim Jump Clarke 20 Articles
HT at Cornerstone CE Primary (Hampshire).

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