The aims of the session were to discuss:

  • Improving participation, retention and attendance

  • Using ILT to enhance learning

  • Using individualised targets to stretch all learners including the more able

  • Examples of British Values in practice

These are all areas for improvement in our current Quality Improvement Plan, and are the areas where tutors can have an impact.

A sense of BELONGING and commitment to the learning group is a big factor in good attendance and retention.  As a tutor how do you create this sense?  In the CPD session we did a surprise introduction and first activity all in British Sign Language – to give the tutors who attended a taste of coming to a first session and not being quite sure what’s going on!  It’s important to be welcoming to all learners and to anticipate how they may be feeling when they take part in learning for the first time in a while.

It is important to make sure learners understand what the aims of the course are, and essentials like where the toilets are, but also that each learner feels valued as an individual.  What makes up your individual identity is a complex web of things that a stranger can’t guess at.  What will help learners feel valued is being encouraged to share their experiences and aspirations so that they can find points of common interest with their classmates.  Activities which encourage learners to build their relationships and support each other will help foster a sense of responsibility and commitment to each other.  This reminds me of Maslow’s hierarchy.


This padlet includes some basic tips for tutors to encourage good ATTENDANCE at sessions.

Made with Padlet

In many ways attendance is about RESILIENCE.  Depending on your group you may need to spend time actively developing your learners’ resilience: discussing time-keeping strategies with them, talking through public transport or childcare issues, raising awareness of support networks in the area.

Using ILT to enhance learning

As tutors, we all have different starting points in our use of IT.  What applies to everyone is that we will become more dependent on IT to do basic things in our everyday lives, whether it’s paying bills, booking holidays, or getting advice and making friends.  It is a functional skill that we all, tutors and learners, need to be developing.

For tutors in ACL the other big variable is the access to equipment you have – it might be learners’ smartphones, iPads, computers in your room or nothing available during your session!

We have developed a framework to help all tutors take stock of where they are currently with ILT, and what their next steps should be.  We recognise that the range of courses and learners means that one “standard” for ILT use is not relevant in ACL.  In fact, you, the tutors, are best placed to understand what is relevant and useful in your setting.  That’s fine if you are confident and engaged with ILT, but it’s not always easy.  So the framework on the padlet below should give you some ideas.

Made with Padlet


There are 9 categories in columns across the padlet: Resources; tutor skills; learner communication; teaching and learning; independent learning; RARPA; Safeguarding and EDI; embedded employability and functional skills; CPD

In each column identify where you are now in your teaching practice.  The most basic stage is at the top.  You can scroll down until you reach the “expert” stage.

Look at the next few stages and consider if these are relevant to your delivery and worth trying out.

Make a plan to include the ideas in your teaching in the coming weeks.

Review and evaluate: did it work? did it enhance the learning? was it useful for learners? fun? engaging?

Please add comments to the padlet if you can offer advice or suggestions for other tutors. Technology is always changing so this framework should also change!

When you have reached the expert stage in each column you can scan the QR code using your phone or tablet to receive a congratulatory message!

We would like to see tutors using the framework to evaluate their own practice and to develop their ILT practice.  Please add comments to the padlet when you have tried something out, or leave us a comment below.


Stretching is about differentiation and helping students to personally move onto the next step, extending their understanding or skills from any starting point.

Challenge is about building resilience, having the controlled fail, learning from it, and unlocking deeper thinking.

Some questions to consider:

  • Before you stretch and challenge, what do you need to know about learners in the group?
  • What would happen if we never stretched our learners? (hint: think about attendance and retention!)
  • What would happen if we always differentiate well?
  • How do learners feel when we stretch and challenge them?
  • Think about your last session – how did you challenge learners?

KWL is a great way to encourage stretch and challenge.  It is based on 3 questions: What do I already Know about this topic? What do a I Want to know? What have I Learnt?


At the start of a new topic or course, get learners to discuss in small groups the first 2 questions: what do I already know? and what do I want to know? This will give you an opportunity to find out their starting points, and what their interests are, and to use this to plan the subsequent activities.  It will also give them a chance to share their previous experience and knowledge, thus boosting confidence and building relationships within the group.

Record the information gathered – could be a table with 3 columns, or a spider diagram, or timeline layout.  Learners could do their own copy to keep themselves, or it could be a small group activity or even whole class.

Do the teaching and learning activities.

At the end of the topic, go back to the KWL questions, and get learners to discuss the 3rd question: what have I learnt?  A great opportunity to review and consolidate learning.

Record the information on the table/spider diagram/timeline – this is then evidence of learners’ progress relative to their starting points.

Prevent Duty and British Values

Two practical ideas for delivery:

  1. Get the highlighter pens out and identify in your scheme of work where there are naturally occurring opportunities to embed Prevent and British Values.

2. Ask your learners these key questions about e-safety:

  • If you look this up on the internet, how would you know if it’s true?
  • You might need to create an account – what is a secure password?
  • If you saw something that made you uncomfortable on this social media account, what would you do?


Other useful links:

Stretch and Challenge



Thanks to all the tutors who attended and contributed to the session in May.  Please look out for future CPD events delivered by ACL staff, and tutor briefings at the start of the 2018/19 academic year.  If you have a request for CPD themes that you would like us to deliver please leave a comment below!




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