Educational research frequently highlights the importance of structured learning. Mortimore et al., (1998) asserted that the key factors contributing to effective learning outcomes for students were ‘structured sessions, intellectually challenging teaching, a work-orientated environment, communication between teacher and pupils and a limited focus within the sessions’ (Mortimer et al., 1988, 70). Plenaries help pupils to focus on what they have learned, the progress they have made and where they will go next by drawing together, summarising and directing their learning. The benefits of structured plenaries to lessons are clear, however, it is widely recognised that the plenary is often the most overlooked part of a lesson. Existing research on student-led plenaries is sparse, however, after trialling the method, a PE teacher from Durrington High School in West Sussex suggests they have the potential to: engage all pupils and encourage pupil questioning; stretch pupil knowledge; develop reflective thinking, confidence and leadership and create a sense of achievement (Axten, 2018). With this in mind, this study hands responsibility for the plenary to the student.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of student-led plenaries on pupil engagement and motivation.