Hannah Murray

Primary Teacher

Victoria Primary

  • Assessment For Learning

Exploring the Possible Effects on Readiness to Learn of Starter Tasks in the Classroom


My rationale for conducting an enquiry into the effects of starters on readiness to learn aligns with Phillips’ (2001) thinking that lesson starters can ‘hook’ learners from the initial task to the main lesson through a stimulating link. Smith (1998) explains that lesson starters can also ‘connect’ learning between lessons, allowing for a deeper learning experience. Finally, Muijs and Reynolds (2001) explains that starters can be used to ‘manage’ learners during transitions between learning topics by reducing disruption through creation of a lesson routine.

Overall, conducting a practitioner enquiry will improve my teaching methodology and practice through self-reflection. Gilchrist (2018) presents the idea that teacher confidence and agency are improved through practitioner enquiry, resulting from increased reflection on one’s self as a teacher. Guilfoyle (1995) and Hamilton (1995) further explain that critical reflection provides a means for practitioners to gain a better understanding of their teaching experience.

Implementing a practitioner enquiry as a group pushes forward improvement for a wider community. Gilchrist (2018) encourages the growth of professional learning communities within a school wide culture that focusses on growing and sustaining school improvement through professional enquiry. The General Teaching Council for Scotland (online) agrees with this idea by stating that findings from a professional enquiry can be ‘shared’, allowing it to become something for other practitioners to also learn from and reflect on.


By undertaking this enquiry, I sought to find out the impact of using well planned starters on pupil’s readiness to learn. From this, I plan to use the information gathered to inform my future practice, improving my teaching methodology and pedagogical approach to learning.

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