A TESSA Section

All TESSA sections follow the same pattern (see Table 2). Each section is designed to progressively develop the teachers’ practice through engagement with activities in their classroom. Each activity is expected to take one or two lessons at the most (unless they specify longer).

We suggest you print one TESSA section to look at whilst reading this explanation.

Table 2 Content of the TESSA sections

Key Focus Question This is addressed to the teacher and summarises the area to be studied in the section.
Learning Outcomes Each section has a maximum of three learning outcomes for the teacher. These centre on the development of classroom skills in the context of the curriculum of that module area.
IntroductionThe introduction sets the scene for the section.  It outlines classroom skills to be developed by the teacher and the curriculum content area across the section.
NarrativeThe narrative of each section provides a rationale for the case studies and activities and highlights the purpose of each. It may briefly describe a relevant theoretical perspective, additional subject knowledge for the topic or the location of additional supporting resources.
Case Studies Every section has three case studies, each linked to a particular activity. The case studies illustrate ideas and concepts by describing how one teacher has approached the linked activity or a similar activity in her/his classroom. They may often focus on one particular aspect of the activity or on a particular classroom situation – for example working with a multi-grade class, with very large numbers of pupils or in particularly challenging circumstances.
ActivitiesThe three activities are at the heart of each section. They offer activities for the teacher to undertake in their classroom, with pupils or in the wider school and community. The activities build towards the final activity, known as the key activity. The activities are all learner centred and highly engaging for pupils. Some activities are very short – perhaps a twenty minute task – whilst others are projects stretching over several weeks. The majority should occupy one lesson.

Each section has up to six supporting resources. These can take a variety of forms including web links, articles, images, stories, posters, examples of pupils’ work, detailed lesson plans, poems and worksheets and template documents. They are chosen to enrich the teachers’ learning and support their delivery of the activities. The resources support the development of different dimensions of a teacher’s knowledge base, including:

  • content knowledge
  • pedagogical knowledge and
  • pedagogical content knowledge.

A few of the resources are intended for use with pupils.

Icons are used to show the core purpose of a resource. These are:

  • pupil use
  • background information / subject knowledge for teachers
  • teacher resource for planning or adapting to use with pupils
  • examples of pupils’ work.

1 How are the TESSA materials structured? [Getting to know the TESSA materials]

2 Which TESSA materials are suitable for your teachers? [Curriculum mapping]