27 October 2021

Whole School CPD Focus:

Feedback and Questioning

Walkthru Cluster:

Feedback and Questioning


‘Process Questions’ (page 102) plus the Teacher Workbook


Starting Point




Those familiar with Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction will be aware of process questions and the significance of metacognitive discussion in promoting depth of understanding and subject mastery. Sherrington suggests that the more successful teachers use process questions; similarly, the EEF guidance report on metacognition endorses the strategy of teachers encouraging metacognitive discussion within their lessons.  As is the case with each of the Walkthru clusters, Process Questions can be linked with other approaches within this cluster: Cold-Calling, Show-Me Boards and Say It Again Better, to name recent Digest focuses.  By adding layers to our repertoire of feedback and questioning techniques, Sherrington arms us with the ability to personalise these Walkthrus and to truly embrace the ADAPT methodology.


So, what are the stages of Process Questions?


Stage One: Model Your Thinking.  Sherrington suggests that it is important for teachers to share their thought processes with students. As you talk through a problem, question or writing task, talk through and make your thinking explicit. A visualiser may work well here.  He elaborates here by suggesting: drawing on knowledge of previous examples; making arbitrary choices or use trial and error; use a strategy that should be used as routine; and check your answers for accuracy.


Stage Two: Emphasise How and Why.  During an instructional phase, narrate your thought processes. Routinely place an emphasis on how we know what we know and why the answer is the answer. For example, in Maths we might learn that 7-squared is 49 as a number fact but we probably work out 7-cubed by multiplying 49 by 7. This could be done in various ways.


Stage Three: Ask Students to Explain Their Methods and Reasoning.  When students have offered an answer, ask them to follow up (probing questions) by explaining how they arrived at their answer.  ‘Thanks Jack.  Please could you explain how you arrived at this answer’ or ‘That’s interesting Abby, but could you explain why you put them in that order?’


Stage Four: Ask Students to Explain Their Ideas and Choices. When you cold-call students to share ideas, ask them to justify them. ‘Great idea, Tim. What made you think of that?’ or ‘Interesting suggestion, Jasmin. Why did you think that would work?’


Stage Five: Ask How Similar Alternative Questions or Problems Might be Appreciated.  It’s important to reinforce divergent and evaluative thinking; to show that a range of approaches are valid, even if some are better than others.  ‘Is there another way that we could interpret that quotation?’  ‘Is there another way of approaching this question?’. 


With this Walkthru, as with others in this cluster, the thought process is arguably more important than reaching the ‘correct’ answer as it reveals misconceptions and reinforces routines in approaching questions or tasks.


CPD Cascade

RHO – Sherrington’s Checking for Understanding


7 Principles of Effective Feedback (RHO)

from Teacher Toolkit




Mini-whiteboard tips (RHO)


Sexual Harassment and Gender Stereotyping

Free online training to tackle sexual harassment, language and gender stereotyping.


National College

Remember that there are subject-specific watchlists available in National College.


Useful Webinars from Creative Education (RSW)


Title: Tics and Tic Disorders: Recognising & Supporting

Date: 15th of November at 4 pm UK time

How to book: Register here to attend


Title: Let’s talk about Oracy – how to promote purposeful talk and improve student outcomes and wellbeing in your school setting

Date: 16th of November at 4 pm UK time

How to book: Register here to attend


Title: Whatever you are passionate about, it needs to include Postural Care too

Date: 10th of November at 4 pm UK time

How to book: Register here to attend


Title: Developing & Implementing a Relational Approach to Behaviour

Date: 9th of November at 4 pm UK time

How to book: Register here to attend


Using Personal Growth Plans as a Springboard for Staff Development

New to the Role of Mental Health Lead

Supporting Staff Mental Health in the Current Context

Monthly Safeguarding update: November 2021

Posted by Rachel Long

Category: Teaching and Learning Digests

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