Plenaries are an important part of any lesson as they give pupils the opportunity to reflect on what they have learned and achieved during a teaching period. Furthermore, plenaries can also provide time to celebrate good work and learning outcomes. It is essential for pupils to understand what progress they have made and also demonstrate what they have learned. Evidence of progression is key to any learning that takes place within the classroom and plenaries provide an opportunity to draw together, summarise and direct learning, so that pupils focus on what is important, what they have learned, the progress they have made and their next steps. Not only can pupils identify what they have learned through plenaries, but also importantly they can identify what skills they have used to achieve the intended learning (Fisher, 2002). By transferring these skills, children can make links between the learning in one lesson and learning in another or to the everyday real world (Mayer and Wittrock, 1996).
The aim of this practioner enquiry was to explore how different plenary strategies affect intended learning outcomes within a primary classroom. The focus on this particular enquiry was a discussion-based plenary.