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Fielding Primary School and Nursery

What makes a difference to learning?

Fielding's teachers have been challenged to think about what really makes a difference to pupils' learning.  Visible Learning is based on 15 years of research into what really works best in education.

"We've spent too long in education trying to find the next best thing for our pupils.  This research based programme makes us stop and think about the things that do make a difference to learning, based on evidence from around the world," explained Peter Dunmall, Head.

Professor John Hattie's research has used effect sizes to order influences that can impact on pupils' learning, enabling us to see those that have the greatest impact.  Hattie's research uses a meta-analysis of meta-analyses to combine the results of several studies that address a set of related research theories.

"Thankfully, over 95% of what teachers do is positive and learning occurs but we need to know how best to spend our time and energy to maximise the impact of our teaching, " added Laura Stabler, Assistant Head for Learning & Teaching.

Education debate and popular discussion often do not focus on the things that have a significant impact on pupils' learning.

Join the debate

Hattie's research has currently identified 150 different influences, 12 of which are shown below.  Which of these influences do you think has the biggest impact on learning?  Try sorting into order from one (most effective) to twelve (least effective): Answers below

  • Student expectations
  • Classroom discussion
  • Feedback
  • Study skills
  • Reading recovery
  • Co-operative learning
  • Homework
  • Individualised instruction
  • Ability grouping
  • Open vs traditional spaces
  • Holding back a year
  • Changing school

Next steps

Fielding's teachers are working with Cognition Education on a two year programme to further improve the impact of our teaching.  The structured programme includes action research and gathering evidence to know our impact.  Up until half-term, teachers are working in groups to explore something new based on Hattie's research and to gather evidence to help us judge our starting point to inform next steps.

Find out more:

(Answer: they are listed in order from most to least impact with Changing school in 150th place)