16 January 2022

Whole School CPD Focus:

Purposeful Writing (Explaining and Modelling)

Walkthru Cluster:

Explaining and Modelling



Dual Coding: Recount and Recall (pg. 70)




Paivio’s Dual Coding Theory was concerned with the recall of lists of unchallenging material.  Recount and Recall allows teachers to share their schema (plan or model) with students visually, as well as with words. By incorporating embodied cognition (i.e. physically drawing out the thought process in diagrammatic form), the constraints of working memory are bypassed.  Understanding is strengthened throughout this process, by allowing peer explanation and oral rehearsal which prepares students for later writing.


So what are the five stages of this Walkthru?


Stage One: Construct and Explain Your Diagram

Sherrington’s Walkthrus rely on explicit metacognition, this one more than any other.  He suggests that the teacher starts by saying that the diagram that they are about to build is a model of their schema.  He suggests the following process for embedding this Walkthru.


Explain that aim is for all students to have the same schema in their head by the end of the process. Set the expectation that you would like all students to understand the topic as well as you – using this schema. How? Sherrington suggests using live drawing using a visualiser or through gradual display with a prepared presentation.


Stage Two: Copy and Trace the Branch with Tracing of the Lines

After explaining the organisation and meaning of the first part of the diagram, Sherrington then suggests directing students to explain it back to their partner.  This is often the stage that is missing – oral rehearsal. However, this stage has another essential element to ensure that the listener is actively participating within the task: whilst listening, the students trace the line relating to the section being summarised.  Both parties – the speaker and the listener – should do this to ensure that they are actively engaging with the schema.


Stage Three: Repeat the Same Process Until the Whole Diagram is Complete

This stage does what it says.  Students should continue to work in this way until every section of the diagram has been completed, then summarised to a partner and every line traced. In order to avoid students simply reading the words on the diagram, Sherrington suggests enforcing the rule that every keyword needs to be explained in, say, three sentences.  This will ensure students are able to articulate their thoughts.  Listening partners can also ask questions relating to the diagram and start to make cross-diagram connections.


Stage Four: Recount the Whole Diagram to Partner, with Tracing

This stage is worthwhile but may not always be possible due to time constraints.  Give students the opportunity to explain the whole map – in the same way – to their partner. Again, this oral rehearsal prepares students for any possible written outcome required.


Stage Five: Redraw the Whole Diagram from Memory

The final stage of this process would be to remove the diagrams from sight.  Students would then be asked to play back their explanations, silently, whilst also tracing the diagram with their index fingers.  Once students realise that they have a solid memory, they should pick up their pens and redraw the diagram from memory.  When complete, they should be asked to compare their diagram to the original and to search out gaps or inaccuracies. 


Students should be made aware that this is a useful revision technique across all subjects. As with all of Sherrington’s Walkthrus, this approach relies on slowing down and focusing on the process of learning, allowing students time to process and absorb the information being shared with them.


CPD Cascade

Please complete one of the two CPD modules by the end of January (JHA)


Sexual Harassment and Gender Stereotyping

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



Understanding the New DfE Report on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Between Children in Schools and Colleges 2021



National College

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


Free Sessions – VSH



Wednesday 12th January 3.30pm

Understanding Mental Health and Adverse Childhood Experiences

Friday 21st January 9.30am

Understanding and Supporting Children With Anxiety

Wednesday 26th January 3.30pm

Building Better Relationships Through Understanding Attachment

Wednesday 2nd February 3.30pm

Communicating with Children in Distress

Friday 4th February 9.30am

Supporting Children Following Loss and Bereavement

Wednesday 9th February 3.30pm

Understanding and Promoting Resilience in Children and Young People

Wednesday 23rd February 9.30am

How to Support Staff Wellbeing and Organisational Resilience

Wednesday 23rd February 3.30pm

Understanding Mental Health and Adverse Childhood Experiences

 Wednesday 2nd March 3.30pm

Understanding and Supporting Children With Anxiety

 Wednesday 9th March 3.30pm

Building Better Relationships Through Understanding Attachment

 Friday 11th March 9.30am

Communicating with Children in Distress

Wednesday 16th March 3.30pm

Understanding and Promoting Resilience in Children and Young People

Wednesday 23rd March  9.30am

Trauma-informed Working in Schools

Wednesday 23rd March 3.30pm

Supporting Children and Young People with Low Mood and Depression

Friday 25th March 9.30am

Supporting Children Following Loss and Bereavement





Posted by Rachel Long

Category: Teaching and Learning Digests

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