Differentiation in Practice: Classroom tactics for support and challenge

Provider: Optimus Education
£199.00 (no VAT on this item)

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Description An in-school training course to help teachers personalise and differentiate learning effectively without placing unrealistic demands on planning time.

Optimus Education's website

Categories Primary, Secondary, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, CPD Leader, Main-scale (core) teacher, Newly Qualified Teacher, Teacher trainer, Head of Department / Faculty, Personalised Learning, After-school meetings, Book, DVD / CD ROM, Teacher Enquiry
Learning outcomes for participants/users and, where relevant, pupils or students
Evidence underpinning this approach

Training materials are a result of author Julie McGrane's practical experience with teachers and research for the Challenge and Differentiation Toolkit at http://www.leadinglearning.eu/differentiation/

How users/participants can evaluate success

Each training session includes suggested ways that the leader can follow up on the session to evaluate 'what's changed?' and seek evidence of impact on teaching and learning.

Follow-up activities and support

Each training session includes a 'professional development tool' to use in ongoing professional learning and promote a sustained, collaborative approach. For example, the first training session recommends the use of 'professional enquiry cards' as a tool for designing and planning a classroom enquiry project. These enquiries can be carried out by pairs or small groups of teachers.


The pack contains three training sessions, designed for use with teaching staff, novice teachers and middle leaders. The structure of the sessions means that leaders can also develop their own session with a 'pick and mix' approach. Each one follows the same format:

1. Optional pre-session activity
Using the ‘flipped classroom’ idea staff are invited to complete a short activity before coming to the session. This means they have already thought about the issues, thus engaging participants more quickly in order to make more of the time you have face to face.
2. Starter task
This engages participants with the main focus of the session and promotes talk about differentiation in their classroom.
3. Expert input, tools and strategies
Teachers tell us they like to get practical strategies to take away and try in the classroom. In this section you will find tools, practice theory and evidence to help you facilitate this session.
4. Professional development tools that staff can apply after the session
For maximum impact, professional learning benefits from a sustained and collaborative approach. The tools in this section scaffold ongoing professional learning opportunities.

The introductory section includes a diagnostic challenge and differentiation audit to identify training priorities in your school.

Course summary

Training session 1 – Whole school/ group introduction and overview session

Learning outcomes:

  • understand the benefits of differentiation and the positive impact it can have on learners
  • consider and reflect on current practice
  • identify and plan next steps
  • develop strategies for support and challenge to take away and try in the classroom
  • collaborate with colleagues on application of new strategies.

Training session 2 – NQTs or those who may need to revisit differentiation

Learning outcomes:

  • understand the basic principles of support, differentiation and challenge
  • know how to respond to pupil learning during lessons
  • be able to organise yourself to support learning and promote challenge.

Training session 3 – Middle leaders

Learning outcomes:

  • audit current practice within your team
  • lead collaborative professional learning to enhance this aspect of practice
  • develop a shared language to talk about differentiation and challenge
  • develop tools to monitor practice and track impact.
Associated Files File_icon Resource_map.pdf