Using the coaching model in the classroom

I was out in Humbie Primary school yesterday afternoon.

Humbie have embraced the active learning approach for early years which have seen the introduction of pre-school approaches into early years of primary.

The school are now exploring the use of the coaching in the learning and teaching process. Some of the teachers in the school were exposed to the GROW model and now want to extend the active involvement of learners into the upper primary school.

One of the lessons I observed was one of a series which had been planned by the teacher in conjunction with the pupils using the GROW approach.  The topic was the body.  Here’s an example of how the GROW model was being used in relation to the heart:

Goals: What do we want to find out? – How does your heart work?; is the heart soft or hard?

Reality: What do we know/have already? – We have a model of a heart; Sara knows an experiement; Our teacher knows an experiment.

Options: What might we do? Loook at a model of the heart; research; interview a doctor; use stethescopes.

Will do/Wrap up: What will we do? – We’ll do all of the things we identified under options.

The teacher had generated the entire topic through this form of dialogue with the pupils.  In this way they had co-created the curriculum and were actively engaged in, and responsible for, it’s success.

It is the quality of this dialogue that makes this approach so successful – with the teacher being a partner in the learning process – as opposed to the director.

This was experimentation in action and I gave out one of my “Permission to Learn” cards for the first time as the teacher was worried about taking risks.

If you are interested in trying out the approach in your own classrooms I suggest you contact the school.

1 thought on “Using the coaching model in the classroom

  1. Dear Don,

    I was wondering if I could pick your brains about the similarities (if any) between ‘GROW’ and ‘Formative Assessment’. I am currently on placement at Law Primary School and I am coming across lots of ‘buzz’ words like ‘Formative Assessment’ and so, such is my growing passion and enthusiasm for education, I am compelled to find out the infomation!

    Correct me if I’m wrong, as it is very possible, but formative assessment seems to me to be about giving pupils ownership of their learning. Researching what they have to know, researching what they want to know. They are fully involved in the learning process and are given feedback accordingly. And GROW- Goals; Reality; Options; Will do/ Wrap up- seems to involve a similar structure and approach through pupil participation and involvement.

    Am I going along the right lines?! Any information that you could provide would be greatly appreciated.


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