NPCS Teacher Toolkit

Motivate. Aspire. Transform

The Hook

The hook is a short opening into a lesson that prepares students and gets them excited and infused about what they will be learning.


Below are three tried and tested strategies that have worked well with students of a range of abilities. Email NRA by the end of the week if you have any other 'hooks' to share with the school.

Hook 1 - mystery

Create a sense of mystery and intrigue to get students thinking and questioning as soon as they enter your classroom. Use pictures, objects and music to engage students and try to link it to their interests and likes and dislikes.


You could even transform the room from a classroom to a scene of your choice e.g. crime scene, jungle or even go back in time. This needn't be a lot of work and could be conveyed quite simply by a poster on the door, description/pictures on the whiteboard and/or sound effects.




Hook 2 - questions and games

Have a provocative or thought provoking question displayed on the whiteboard when students enter the room. The question should link to prior learning or the learning that will take place in the lesson.


Use anagrams, riddles, code breaking activities, Catchphrase, Scrabble etc to get students thinking about the learning but also improving their literacy skills by thinking about key words and spelling.





Hook 3 - change your room and yourself!

If possible, change the layout of the room based on what you are teaching them and the way you are teaching them. For example: for a discussion based lesson, students could sit in a circle.


Change yourself! Wear something that links to what students are learning in your lesson or change the way you would introduce the lesson e.g. it could be teacher in role.

NPCS Book of the Term

This term's book is Engaging Learners by Andy Griffith and Mark Burns.


Amazon Book Description

At the end of every week many teachers leave school exhausted. In an era when responsibility for exam results lies with them and not their students it's time to redress the balance so that students take more of the responsibility for their learning and progress. Engaging learners in this way unpicks intrinsic motivation, the foundation that underpins a productive learning environment and helps to develop independent learning, creativity and improved behaviour management. Andy and Mark aim to challenge all who teach, from NQTs to seasoned professionals, to reflect on their day-to-day practise and set an agenda for sustainable teacher and leadership improvement. Outstanding Teaching: Engaging Learners was short listed for Educational Resources best Educational Book Award 2013

Blog of the Month

Marginal Learning Gains by Zoe Elder @fullonlearning on Twitter

Read this inspiring blog to discover some small but powerful ways of improving the quality of teaching and learning in your classrooms.

Do you have any top tips?

The next Teaching and Learning bulletin will be focusing on strategies for effective verbal and written feedback. Contact NRA to share any strategies you have used with your classes and help to improve teaching and learning at NPCS.


“I think the only way that we can improve teacher quality is to create a culture of continuous improvement."

Dylan William

Every Teacher Can Improve