Foundations of Good Practice: Teaching Assistants – Autumn 21

This programme will ensure that TAs are equipped with the knowledge, skills and strategies which are required to support quality first teaching and enable pupils to get back on track.

Training objectives

  • To upskill TAs to a level where their impact can be measured
    across the classroom and curriculum.
  • To enable TAs to effectively support learning in both English and
  • To understand how to use questioning and formative assessment
    strategies to identify gaps and to check that gaps are closing.


  1. The pupils that Teaching Assistants support will become more
    proficient in English and Mathematics.
  2. Intervention sessions provided by Teaching Assistants will be
    sharply focused on addressing gaps in learning and will enable
    pupils to catch up with their peers.
  3. Monitoring by senior leaders will demonstrate both qualitative and
    quantitative improvements from baseline assessments.


  • The series consists of 10 sessions, including an introduction session and an evaluation session which the class teacher and  member of SLT are invited to attend.
  • The sessions will be delivered monthly via Zoom across the year.
  • Access to a bank of useful supporting resources will be available for each unit to allow personal learning to turn instantly into professional practice.
  • Practical and experiential gap tasks will be set and reviewed with the programme tutor and peers, creating a learning network.

Session 1


An introductory session for the TA, class teacher and headteacher to outline course expectations and to allow linkage with performance management and SDIP

Session 2

Supporting Phonics

  • To familiarise delegates with the expectations of teaching word reading and spelling using the DfE Reading Framework (July 21)
  • To support TAs in developing strong subject knowledge of both decoding and encoding principles.
  • To provide TAs with an understanding of how to deliver phonics sessions which meet the need of their groups.

Session 3

Supporting Reading Comprehension

  • To know and understand the most effective ways to support reading comprehension.
  • To know and be able to use the best strategies to support reading fluency in both 1:1 reading, but also in small group and whole class teaching of reading.
  • To be provided with tips and strategies to support the teaching of reading strategies and reading skill

Session 4

Supporting Writing

  • To familiarise TAs with the subject knowledge that they will need to support the explicit teaching of NC14 Grammar and Punctuation objectives.
  • To provide TAs with a bank of strategies to support independent spelling to meet the guidelines of DfE Reading Framework.
  • Delegates understand the successful ingredients of a Live Modelling writing session.
  • Delegates confidently support the implementation of Scribed/Helicopter Stories in EYFS.

Session 5

CPA in Maths

  • TAs will know and understand the term CPA and know how to use each element to improve the understanding of abstract topics.
  • TAs will create their own toolkit of manipulatives to support the teaching of Number.
  • To know and understand the best strategies to support the CPA approach in their classrooms.

Session 6

Questioning in Maths

  • TAs will know how to ask a variety of questions and will understand how a specific type of question affects the responses that are received.
  • To know and understand the type of questions that enable the teaching adult to push for a deeper understanding.
  • To use indirect prompts which encourage learners to internalise their thinking.

Session 7

Supporting calculation

  • TAs will know and understand how pictorial and concrete understanding can help pupils to develop their calculations.
  • TAs will understand the progression of mental and written calculations across the primary age range.
  • TAs will understand the expectations for the children they are supporting.

Session 8

Supporting Vocabulary Instruction

  • To be provided with a robust approach to the teaching of vocabulary.
  • Know how to use specific retrieval strategies to enable children to learn and retain new vocabulary.
  • To know how to teach vocabulary effectively in under 15 minutes.

Session 9

Assessment for Learning Strategies

  • To know and understand how to use formative assessment strategies practically across the curriculum.
  • To be provided with tips and strategies to engineer effective discussions.
  • To know best practice in supporting oral and written feedback.
  • To provide TAs with practical strategies to support lesson plenaries.

Session 10


  • A review of the key messages from the programme.
  • An opportunity to reflect on the strategies that have been impactful on children’s progress.
  • Member of the SLT welcome to attend.

Members Resources/Forum

Play Video

CPD to transform practice


Prior knowledge of delegates will be captured in advance of each session to ensure that each session meets the needs of all participating schools.


In every session, opportunities will be provided for guided practice under the support of a skilled practitioner. Gap tasks will be set at the end of each session, which require participants to practice the modelled techniques in their own settings.

Explain & Elaborate

In every session, opportunities will be provided for participants to draw upon their observations and reflections following the gap task.


Opportunities will be built into every session for participants to evaluate the success of the
modelled strategies on learners.

How do I take part?

Cohort 1 Dates

Cohort 2 Dates

Emma Adcock

Emma is a former headteacher, system leader and advanced skills teacher. She regularly provides additional leadership capacity for schools. This additional leadership has previously included: acting head positions, part-time assistant head roles and she has worked across schools as a teaching and learning coach to support Quality First Teaching. Emma is also an experienced trainer who regularly provides training for VNET schools on the following: curriculum design, subject leadership, Reading, Writing, Spelling and the explicit teaching of vocabulary.

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