NPCS Teacher Toolkit

Motivate. Aspire. Transform

Questioning strategy 1 - Pose, Pause, Pounce, Bounce

How does it work?

Pose - the teacher poses a difficult question to the class.
Pause - the teacher waits and gives students thinking time.
Pounce - the teacher then insists on no hands up and pounces on a student for a response.
Bounce - the teacher or student bounces the ideas to another student in the class. The 'bounce' student should respond to what the previous student has said. You can then keep bouncing!

Please see: for more information.

Questioning Strategy 2 - start your lesson with a THUNK!

How does it work?

Thunks are designed to be thought provoking questions and they are a great way to generate discussion that link to learning instantly. The most difficult thing is thinking of a Thunk.


· Can a toddler commit a crime?

· If you could take a pill that would mean you would never fail, would you?

Display Thunks on the whiteboard or print them out so students see them as soon as they enter the room. After a few minutes, start a discussion with the class. Encourage students to explain their views by asking why or by deliberately disagreeing with them!

See for more examples.

Questioning Strategy 3 - students create the questions.

Encourage students to ask the questions and lead group and class discussion.

Provide students with question stems from the grid below and encourage them to ask deeper questions to their peers and the teacher. Students could ask these questions in plenaries throughout the lesson. This type of activity needs to be repeated so students get used to talk for learning.

Please read: and for more fantastic questioning ideas.

NPCS Book of the Term

This term's book is Don't Call it Literacy! What every teacher needs to know about speaking, listening, reading and writing by literacy guru Geoff Barton. This book shows every teacher – whatever your subject – the simple steps which could transform your students into better speakers, listeners, readers and writers. Harnessing a range of straightforward, but powerful techniques, it shows you how to help each student in your subject to improve their spelling, to use the key vocabulary of your subject more accurately and to speak, read and write with confidence like a historian, scientist, designer or mathematician.

Blog of the Month

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'The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think -- rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with the thoughts of other men.'

John Dewey